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Giving Props where props are deserved

I just want to put out there what has been on my mind lately. It's a little bit random, so please bear with me a moment if you will. Also - I'm sure in the past I've touched on it slightly... but I want to make explicit my message... right here... on www.realbeer.co.nz!

I have made some props in the past and I have many more props to hand out, and I will when I get around to it. They will be delivered thus in such a fashion that expresses the events having taken place in their chronological order in time. As for this time, I will deliver props to one man only.

I had already been brewing for a wee while at this point in time. My bag at the time was wheat beer and in particular getting my "Aventinus" clone dialed in. For the first time, I went with my lovely wife to Hallertau Brewbar and Restaurant... it was local, but I didn't even know it existed. Apparently it had been in business for a few months. I wasn't aware that they were brewing there...

Anyhow - back to dinner... it was superb. With it, I followed the beer match recommendations and rightly order a "Croucher Brewing Co. Pale Ale".

I can still remember my first mouthful - and with it came an entirely new appreciation of the possibilities that are achievable in flavour. Indeed in that moment in time I believed that I was holding in mine own hand a bottle that contained quite possibly the best tasting liquid that had made its way over my tongue. I was actually shocked at how complex and delicious it was.

I had reached a turning point in my life.

And so it came to be that I would muster the courage to call to this brewing company just to let them know what Joe average actually thought of the flavour explosion that they label on their bottle as “Pale Ale”. So I looked them up in the yellow pages and decided to give the brewery a call… a man answered the phone. He was not only chuffed to hear what I thought of this Ale, but seemed to be humbled by I had to say. We got to talking on the phone and it turned out that I was talking to the brewer of this fine beverage: none other than Paul Croucher himself. I was the one to feel humble this time, as I couldn’t believe how friendly and hospitable this craftsman was. He was curious to know what I liked to brew – and so I told him.

He then told me that they brew a wheat beer at their brewery – one they call “The Hef”. I asked what yeast they used, as I had been trying to find what seemed to be impossible at the time. He told me the strain, and I couldn’t believe that he told me. I asked if I could scab some off them – and unbelievably – he said yes… and with this, an invitation to check out the brewery. I organized a road trip with Christina to visit Paul and Nigel. It was truly inspiring to see this family business producing such amazing beer. We took a tour of the small craft brewery, and met with Paul and Nigel’s wives and Paul’s kids (who were helping out with bottling!). It was a real buzz to drink the beer out of the tanks… talk brewing… etc etc. I walked out of there with a couple boxes of “Mis-Fills” which made the experience even more rewarding.

Since then, I’d like to call those fellas my mates. Wherever I can, I’ll try to help out.

So Paul and Nigel – Big ups from me to you. Keep up the good work, and I hope there are many more people like me out there who drink your beer for the first time, and become as enamored with it as I did that faithful day.


Views: 145

Comment by Greig McGill on October 13, 2010 at 6:20pm
Hear hear. Paul and Nige deserve every word of praise. They've been through some trying times, and still make great beer, encourage home brewers, and most importantly, have fun doing it. I just love their enthusiasm, and always enjoy drinking a pint with them.
Comment by Martin Bridges on October 13, 2010 at 6:36pm
Yup, they exemplify everything that's good about craft brewing in NZ. Great guys making great beer.
Comment by Stu McKinlay on October 19, 2010 at 10:38pm
This one time, at beer camp, Nigel loaned me a spanner and I gave him some fashion tips. I reckon they are alright too! Definitely my highlight of the BrewNZ awards... with Three Boys, Twisted Hop and 8 Wired close behind (and Renaissance, Cock and Bull and 'Geddon Wood up there too).
Comment by Reviled on October 27, 2010 at 8:31am
I think I will allways remember that Paul is the only person who has managed to actually captivate my wife whilst talking about beer!! He actually made her interested he seemed that passionate about it haha


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