From the NZ Craft Beer TV journal entry, 28/1/11:
Situated in the old Rochdale Cider Factory, this is one of the iconic New Zealand craft breweries. Originally called Mac’s Brewery and founded by former All Black Terry McCashin, this brewery and eventually brand were bought out by Lion Brewery in 1999 and eventually the original site was closed down.
Last year Terry’s son, Dean McCashin and wife Emma made the decision to reopen the brewery under the McCashin’s name and are currently producing three beers. Stoke Amber, Stoke Dark and Stoke Gold are brewed under the watchful eye of head brewer, Sam Wilson an employee who was with the company in its early days with Lion and eager to return to the brewing that he loves. Initally a homebrewer, he has the luxury of developing and creating recipes on a beautifully engineered 100 litre pilot plant, complete with temperature controlled fermenters. His experimental brews are on at the impressive brewery tap which not only has bottle and flagon sales, but also the range of fruit ciders that they produce and a cool little coffee shop. The retro styling is awesome, as is the artwork created by their own resident artist that is scattered around both shop and brewery.
The main brewing system is 5000 litres in brewlength and they run two lauter tuns in parallel, allowing 10 000 hL to be easily brewed in a day. They also have some 20 000 litre tanks that can hold four brews. Impressive capacity for a craft brewery!
All of the beers were well crafted with the lovely toffee characters of the Amber beer really standing out. The Dark also showed great roasty notes and a great dryness. Sam also had a Pale Ale and Wheat on and told us he’s really keen to push the Wheat into the marketplace.