All the news that's fit to print!

By Greig McGill

Last post: August. Not the most up-to-date little brewery blog are we? Sorry all. We have been fairly busy though. Here's a brief rundown

In shocking and sad news, Dave Smith, one of the owners of the Shunters Yard brewery where we craft our beers, suffered a stroke and was taken out of action. While Dave is recovering well, it's just not quite the same without him on brew days. For Peter McKenzie, the "engineering half" of the Shunters team, Dave's mishap came at the worst time (not that there's ever a good time for a friend and business partner to suffer a stroke). Shunters was supposed to have a heavy presence at the Home Show in Hamilton, with their own bar. They were intending to pour a new beer - Station Master IPA, but the recipe was locked in Dave's head. We were "drafted", and happy to be able to help out, we formulated Station Master as a bold NZ hopped take on a balanced English IPA. It's done well with the punters, was a hit at the Home Show, and Pete's second batch, with no input from us, was even better than the first (though we are loathe to admit it). Here's to many more fine beers from the guys, without whom, there would be no Brewaucracy, and to a swift recovery for Dave.

We continue to struggle with limited capacity, and would like to thank our customers for being very patient with us while we repeatedly tell them "we just don't have any beer for you". We're looking at ways around this in 2013, but we're not quite ready to go full contract yet. We chose Shunters Yard not just because they were local, but because they let us have full control over all aspects of creating our beers. If something isn't right, barring equipment failure, we only have ourselves to hold accountable.While we'd never rule out contract brewing, we'd need to find someone we really trust with our babies. We have, therefore, decided to focus on keeping our kegged beers local to Hamilton for the time being. We have a few close friends at various pubs throughout New Zealand, and we're sure you'll see the odd keg pop up in Wellington, Auckland, and Christchurch on occasion. Enjoy it though, it won't be a regular thing for a while yet.

Our Christmas Release, In Triplicate, continues to make waves with a number of bloggers praising it. It even made Neil Miller's annual top 10, over on the Malthouse's blog. This was a tad embarrassing, as we had so little of it (only 50 cases) that we couldn't even offer any of the first run to the Malthouse itself. We hope the Handsome Yet Softly Spoken Scottish Malthouse Proprietor sees fit to forgive us, and we promise we'll send him some of batch two. Of all the praise this Belgian Tripel/Belgian Golden Strong hybrid has received though, none touched brewer Greig more than his old school mate (and current UK brewing rockstar) James "Kempicus" Kemp's twitter comment declaring it "the best tripel [he's] ever had". Even if that was a little hyperbolic, it brought a tear to Greig's eye... he'd better not let it dampen the malt or we'll sack him.

Out soon will be Clock Watcher batch two, tweaked a little to more meet Greig's original vision of the beer. If the yeast isn't too voracious, hopefully it'll be around 3.7-3.9% abv this time, and with a slightly smoother bitterness to allow the malts to show off their complex and tasty goodness while still letting the hop flavour and aroma complement your summer drinking nicely.

Also out soon is our second bottled release after In Triplicate. This one is called Smoko, and is a 5% abv Bamberg-style Rauchbier. It's currently lagering away nicely, and we hope those of you who like the famous "Bacon Beers of Bamberg" will enjoy this. We know there will be haters. We still love them.

OK, that's about all for now. Thanks to all those drinking our beers, sharing them with friends, and saying such kind things.

Brewing with love and bureaucratic inefficiency,

Greig and Phil