On Thursday 10th May it was Finney's birthday, and look what arrived! Sadly for Finney they were not full of presents from family overseas, but they were still an exciting delivery nonetheless. These 2 containers are going to house our Escape Room games!
It was a bit of a mission getting them inside our warehouse but we got there in the end thanks to some very patient and highly skilled hiab operators, a friendly local forklift owner and a well timed visit from the Chorus technician who had to temporarily disconnect our low hanging phone line before it got taken out-thanks guys!
"But what is an escape room game?" I hear you ask, They are basically a themed room where you are given a back story and a mission to complete before the time runs out. They are increasingly popular all over the world and there are quite a few in New Zealand already, these will be the first in Kaikoura. They are great team building games as well as being a brilliant indoor activity for those wet weather days, something there is a shortage of here in town.
We have already started work on one of them so if all goes to plan that one will be up and running by the end of this month. It's all top secret stuff so we can't tell you much more, the photos below are the last you will see of the inside of these containers-you'll have to come and play them if you want to see more.
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!
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