Saturday 3rd March saw the return of Kegkoura Craft Beer Festival for it's 2nd year, and it was awesome!
In the week building up to the festival we started to get a little bit worried that we would have a repeat of last years bad luck as ex-cyclone Gita came through and caused the roads north and south of Kaikoura to close yet again! Many ticket holders started asking about the possibility of refunds, but we had faith in our fantastic road workers and sure enough they managed to get the slips cleared and both roads open on the Friday morning (phew). High fives to them!
We were also super lucky with the weather, Friday's heavy rain cleared and we were treated to a beautiful sunny day. It actually got pretty hot and as the crowds arrived we had to do a quick dash to scrounge a couple of extra gazebos for some more shade before people started melting!
We had a great turn out, approximately 280 ticket holders, so we almost sold out. Everyone was in great spirits, it was a really fantastic crowd of people. The mini golf course and outdoor games were well used all day and the music from Stomping Nick and our local band was amazing. It was a great atmosphere and the feedback from everyone on the day was really positive.
A huge thank you to our fantastic volunteers for helping make the day run so smoothly, Finney and I actually felt quite redundant most of the day as you had everything under control, it was great!
Thanks also to all the brewers for supporting us yet again this year, especially Concept brewing, Kaikoura Brewing company and newcomers Wilderness brewing for the extra effort they put in to making their bars look great and for the range of new and exciting beers they brought. We'll refrain from naming and shaming those brewers that just rocked up casually without even bringing a table, despite the fact that they still managed to out sell a lot of us!
The food was fantastic again with yummy platters from Kaikoura Cheese, Pork sliders, corn cobs and lentil burgers from the amazing Slam Club, and burgers from the fundraising BBQ for the Mayfair theatre-thanks to all who supported them.
We'd appreciate suggestions on what you would like to see at next years Kegkoura so feel free to get in touch, we already know that more shade and more seating are a given!
Next years Kegkoura will be Saturday 2nd March 2019, see you there!
Well, good riddance 2017. We try to remain positive when writing these blogs but now that the year is behind us we can honestly say that 2017 on the whole was pretty shit, and we're glad to see the back of it.
It's true there were some highlights, such as the brewer's guild awards and a few successful festivals, but on the whole it has been a struggle. The road closures caused a massive drop in visitor numbers and there were many days when we didn't see a single person down here. It was hard mentally as well as financially. Add to that a couple of personal bereavements and it really wasn't our year.
That was until Friday 15th December...
One year, one month, and one day after the 2016 earthquake THE ROAD OPENED!
Celebrations began the night before with an awesome firework display put on by NCTIR and some of the other companies involved in the road re-build, it was one of the best fireworks shows we've ever seen so it was a real treat, thanks all!
The NCTIR crew also had their own well earned celebrations the following night and we helped show our appreciation by teaming up with them to brew a beer for the occasion. This involved a mad rush to get 1000 bottles filled and labelled in a short time frame and of course our fancy new bottling machine decided this would be a good time to break down! Still, we managed to get them all done in time so that all the workers could be presented with their own bottle of 'NCTIR Nectar'. It went down a treat apparently.
The road itself is amazing and it's great to be able to travel north and see how the coastline has changed as a result of the earthquake, it's really interesting. Undoubtedly though, the biggest plus is the sheer number of visitors that have now descended on our town, it's brilliant! We have never seen the place so busy, and business owners all over town are setting new sales records on a daily basis, us included! We had a few days this week where we've seen more than 70 mini golfers! We're selling heaps of beer through our rigger station too, on Christmas eve we went through 50 litres, a vast improvement on last years measly 4!
There is still plenty of work to be done on the roads so we won't be fare-welling our Hi-Vis friends for a while yet but the difference they have made already is huge and we are entirely grateful. Kaikoura has a new positive vibe to it and we are loving it!
So screw you 2017, you may have ended on a high but 2018 is going to kick your ass!
Well, Saturday 7th October was a great day!
The annual Kaikoura Seafest took place at Takahanga domain, which started off as a lush green field and ended up as a mud pit! But despite the relentless rain, the event still drew in a sell-out crowd of 4000 people determined to have fun, which was great to see and a good boost for the town.
We had a stall there again this year and ended up selling out of beer by 3pm!
Our tent was decorated in a roadwork theme (which is pretty much the theme of Kaikoura these days!) Big thanks to Spraymarks for the loan of the signage and road cones. We even had roadwork themed beer names!
The day was then topped off by finding out that we had won 3 medals at the annual Brewer's Guild awards! We unfortunately couldn't attend the awards in Christchurch this year due to it clashing with Seafest, but we enjoyed watching the live stream. We only entered 3 of our beers so it was great to see all three of them medal!
We got a BRONZE for Brettibix, our Brett'd Pinot Noir Barrel Aged Stout, a SILVER for You Ess Aye, our American Brown Ale and a GOLD for our Red IPA, Angry Sky.
Our bottled beers are currently only available in Kaikoura but you should find kegs of Angry Sky and You Ess Aye in good craft beer bars around the country.
If you are in Kaikoura, pop in and see us at 57a Beach Road or find our beers at Henrys Liquor store, The Craypot cafe & bar, and The Pier hotel.
Next on the agenda for The Emporium is our annual Halloween Mini Golf event on 28th October at 8.30pm. This was great fun last year so if you are keen to enter a team get in touch with us to book your place as spaces are limited.
In other news we are also on the look out for a casual staff member to help out running the mini golf course and selling beers here on site. So if you are keen to be part of our team please contact us at email@example.com
The Emporium opened in October 2016 and is a place for Lau & Finney to share fun stuff they like! Expect blogs about beer, mini golf & escape rooms