Well, it has been an age since we did a blog post, but a new year is here and one of our new years resolutions is to be more proactive in the blogging area, and hopefully vlogging too!
In this blog we shall review last year, we'll try our best to keep it short but a year is a long time!
2020 actually started really well for us. The summer here in Kaikoura was busy, lots of mini golfers, escape room players and beer sales. Happy days.
Early March was Kegkoura as usual, which was a blast, all tickets sold out and it was another stunner of a day. The breweries brought the fun with their festival only beers being a huge hit. The 2% Kombuch-ale we did was particularly lovely, we really need to rebrew that one! This year we have the same line up, Concept Brewing, Derelict, Two Thumb and Wilderness. Tickets are already selling well so get in quick so you don't miss out. We have also added an extra event on the Friday night this year, Beers in the Cellar, an intimate tasting evening of some rare and unique beers alongside some yummy smoked meat platters from the awesome chef at the Old Kaikoura Winery. Only a max of 50 tickets available for this one.
BUY TICKETS HERE
Also in early March we got the awesome news that we had made it into the New World Top 30 (beer and cider awards) for the second year running, this time it was for our tropical sour called Drop, Cover, Hold. Coming on the back of a busy summer, and all the publicity we'd just had being in the Beer Jerk members box, it was the icing on the cake.
Two weeks later... Lock down.
At that time it was a great worry to us all. Being a small business owner we had no idea of what the future held. New World put their awards on hold, very little income coming in, a chiller full of beer (we were still brewing at summer rates) and no idea how the country was going to cope with this new disease. It was a trying and testing time. To be honest, if it had been at the end of winter we may not have survived...
But as it turned out lockdown was OK for us. With people being forced to shop online we had some good orders from Beer Jerk and the Beer Library which brought in some much needed income, and we started our own online shop where our Fresh hop beer proved very popular.
Eventually New World put the awards back on schedule and we managed to get that beer brewed and bottled. Our bottling machine does 4 bottles every 70 seconds so you can imagine the work doing 5,000! Other than that beer though, our brew kit had a nice 4 month rest.
The main bonus of the lockdown was the great amount of time we managed to get with our then 10 month old daughter, Hazel, time at home rather than her being stuck at work with us as usual.
Thankfully the team of 5 million did the business and life seems to have returned to some sort of normal, fingers crossed. With having all our family over in the UK we are well aware of how lucky we are to live in NZ right now.
Another bonus to being in the New World awards was that we got an interview for Seven Sharp which has been the best advertising we have ever had, people on the North Island heard about us! You can see the video here. The interest that generated for us, and the love that Kaikoura saw over the winter, meant that it was a busy time for us and even meant we could get a small break in June (We don't recommend a campervan with a 1 year old in winter!)
Things ticked along after that with school holidays and weekends being the only busy times up until summer. The summer season was a slow start, but once the weather improved after boxing day the place was crazy busy! So much so that our year on year numbers are all up despite the 2 and a bit month gap for lockdown! We have hired a full time worker, Kayla (or Kea as Hazel calls her) who has been so great getting stuck in on the bottling machine, running escape rooms and anything else we throw at her -like entertaining Hazel!
We are so thankful to everyone who comes by and either plays golf, plays the escape rooms (which have been incredibly popular this summer!) or buys beer. Kiwis really do seem to be getting out and supporting local, hopefully its a realisation that there is a tonne of amazing stuff to see and do in this country and that you don't need to clear off overseas as soon as the borders open.
We are also super thankful for the local bars, restaurants and cafes that stock our beers. Recently we installed new taps at Slam Club, Simes Kitchen and Siccaros Mexican so along with The Pier hotel and The Strawberry Tree you now have many options for getting a nice cold pint of Emporium beer in Kaikoura. For a full list of places you can enjoy our beer in town click here.
Cheers to you all, stay safe out there,
Laura, Paul and Hazel
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