Craft brewers to share secret to a good pint

The following article appeared in the Nelson Mail newspaper on 4th March 2014. It’s about the upcoming Marchfest beer festival, where I’ll be one of 12 home brewers giving a home brewing demonstration.


The home brewers who will be doing brewing demonstrations at Marchfest 2014 (I’m 3rd from left)

In what might be described as a beer lover’s heaven, 12 home brewers will make beers simultaneously at Nelson’s MarchFest.

Organiser Mike Stringer isn’t sure if it has been done before but he’s not short of volunteers.

While the craft beer and music festival will have 16 regional craft breweries offering their beers to festivalgoers at Founders Heritage Park, the 12 home brewers will show enthusiasts there how they, too, can make good beers.

Mr Stringer said he started out using a homebrew kit and it was only when he searched on the internet trying to get better results that he saw others taking brewing to the next level.

“Some people are used to what their old man did or what they did at university unaware that they can take a different approach. We’re trying to get that awareness out there.

“If you really get into it you can spend thousands on equipment but you can just as easily and effectively improvise solutions and still make fantastic craft beer,” he said.

Eleven Nelson home brewers will each do an all-grain brew, using malt, barley and hops in the same sort of process that commercial breweries use, and another will do a partial mash using a malt extract, some grain, adding hops then doing a mini-boil.

Mr Stringer will also demonstrate making beer using fresh wort kits from Mapua’s Golden Bear Brewery.

At the last MarchFest he and a few others demonstrated home brewing and had beer enthusiasts dropping by looking for ideas on how to get started and find out what was involved.

This time the home brewers will be in the centre of the event by the Granary with their demonstration going between noon and 4.30pm.

He said home brewing was growing in popularity.

“It’s incredibly popular and getting more so. We have Nelson as the craft brewing capital in New Zealand, and people are well aware hops are grown in this region.

“The fact I am able to put a shout out asking 12 people to go to the effort of bringing their kit and making a brew shows how keen they are to share their knowledge.”

MarchFest, Saturday, March 22, Founders Heritage Park, information and tickets online

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