From the NZ Craft Beer Journal entry, 22/1/11:
After another late night earthquake, another Christchurch day dawned, albeit a little cooler than the balmy thirty degrees day that we had arrived to. Polar fleeces and jeans donned, our first port of call was the Dux de Lux Restaurant and Brewpub. Running since 1978, these guys definitely know how to crank out a good beer and the brewery was in full swing when we rocked up in the camper. We were met by brewer Paulie Rutledge, a Portland, Oregon native who has been pumping out Dux beers since 1999. The mash for the Black Shag Stout was settled in the mash tun and the first thing that was evident was the size of the brewery. Every conceivable space was packed with brewing vessels and pipework and filters, with an equally small coolroom filled with conditioning and bright beer tanks.
These guys do something a little bit different in that they do high gravity brewing. This means brewing wort to a higher gravity (amount of original fermentable sugars) and then liquoring/diluting down the finished wort to the correct amount of sugars for fermentation. The reason Dux de Lux do this is related to their equipment and brewery size. Their mash tun can only hold a certain amount of malt grist, so this allows them to get a larger amount of beer than usual on a small brewery. Paulie enthusiastically filled us in on the brewery and their beers until head brewer and brewing industry legend Dickie Fife arrived. Dickie is a dervish of energy, animated and excited and full of passion and excitement for not only the craft beer industry, but for drink, food and anything New Zealand. His past training as a chef has helped him to develop some great beers, full of flavor and character and as interesting as the man himself. We started off with a taste of their Ginger Tom, an incredibly spicy ginger beer with a great warming aftertaste attributed to the fresh Queensland ginger root that is liberally used in the brewing process. This is the type of beer that would work in either summer or winter. The great thing about ginger is that it can be both refreshing and warming. A great beer.
We then headed into the bar itself and Dickie poured us a Black Shag Stout. The first nitrogen-dispensed beer of the trip and probably the only that is brewed by the NZ craft scene, this was incredibly smooth and rich with lovely hints of roast coffee, chicory and hazelnuts. The finish was long and slightly bitter. You knew you'd drunk this beer and it's a great example of how a nitro-brew should taste. The nitrogen itself helps the beer form a tighter, finer bubble, hence the impression of velvety goodness that the beer had.