Brewing is something that gets into your blood and I've seldom met a brewer that doesn't love the smell of grist hitting hot liquor, that rich maltexo and biscuit nose candy.
We can't not open up our fermenters the day after a brew to get our nostrils singed by the big rush of carbon dioxide, or check the rich, creamy yeast that is beginning to float to the top of a freshly brewed ale.
Constantly tasting the brew, checking the gravity, pondering the process. It's a labour of love for a lot of us.
Even if your brewery is cordoned off post-earthquake, a casualty of the Red Zone, a brewer will still find a way.
Today, Martin Bennett of the brilliant Christchurch brewpub, The Twisted Hop, sent me a few pics of himself and his wife brewing up a batch of Mash Up, the collaboration beer that was a result of our NZ Craft Beer TV road-trip. The recipe has been sent out to all of the breweries involved and Martin is the first to give it a go, which is ridiculously exciting for us.
His new Farra 50 litre brewkit is all go and he's brewed not one but two batches of Mash Up. The first helped him iron out the crinkles involved in brewing on a new kit and the second got him closer to perfection. I've heard a third brew is planned and if all goes to plan, we may be lucky enough to taste some at the New Zealand Beer Awards dinner. Good on you, Martin!
We're absolutely over the moon that you're brewing again and have given Mash Up a go. Looking forward to seeing if any other brewers give it a go!
Martin and his awesome bit of new kit
Mashing up some Mash Up!
Some good ol' English ingenuity - an improvised cask washer
That's definitely going to get those casks nice and clean!
Exciting times!! Don't forget to check out our NZ Craft Beer TV episodes. You'll find The Twisted Hop in our Christchurch episode.