After being sent a WilliamsWarn kit, Josh Rudd from Off-Site HQ took a break from his brown bottled beers to give homebrewing a crack.
The after work beer. The airport beer. The post-game changing room beer. The shower beer. The Friday beer. The filleting fish beer. The spa pool beer. The ski slope beer. The balcony beer. The sports stadium beer. The road trip beer. Sure, beer is just a fizzy liquid but it comes in many shapes and sizes.
It’s no secret that Kiwi’s relationship with beer is far from a complex arrangement. A celebration is hardly required to justify the cracking open of a cold one. Folklore says that any occasion that speaks of contentedness, excitement, winning, or just having one of two hands free, is enjoyed more so when a cold beer is in the picture. The beer/man partnership has been around for many an innings. On Saturday 27 March 1773, Captain James Cook brewed up a little something and drank it on an island in Fiordland – Resolution Island in Dusky Sound to be exact. This was made of rimu, manuka, wort and molasses, and was brewed to combat scurvy. After an unreasonably brief Google search, there appears to be few, if any studies that deny Cook’s claim of beer as a health-focussed medicine, so we’ll roll with it.
Just as we were heading into last summer, in a well-timed fashion, the Off-Site HQ acquired a WilliamsWarn BrewKeg10 homebrew set up. Now, admittedly, I’m a pretty simple man when it comes to beer. Lion Red ranks as my favourite which probably explains the depth of my palate. I’d always thought of homebrewing as a half-assed science experiment which required a cheese cutter hat, with the only reward being glorified bin juice. So, naturally, I spent a few days sceptically staring at this metal thing as it sat in the corner of the office.
It wasn’t long before scepticism turned into curiosity, and I started looking into the homebrewing process and how I could put this keg through its paces. The setup came with a Dutch pilsner ingredients kit. The process was concerningly easy. I added all of the provided ingredients in a keg and put it at room temp under the right amount of pressure. After four days of fermenting and another two to three of chilling and clarifying, I was rewarded with a frothy, golden pilsner that resembled a genuinely nice beer. I couldn’t believe it! Long story short, there are now homegrown Kiwi companies offering a premium homebrewing experience. You can now enjoy crisp beer after less than a week of brewing, and without needing a masters in chemistry. The best thing is that by brewing your own beer, you’re doing your part to decrease your carbon footprint by a few half sizes. Fun fact: the amount of transportation required to produce and drink home brew is about 1/7 that of packaged beer. It’s also believed that Kiwi WilliamsWarn Brewers alone prevent around 1.8 million 330ml bottles or cans from going into recycling bins or landfill every year (and let’s not get started on the pesky bottle caps and plastic can rings).
So, I say, give it a go this summer. We all know the beer in the sun with mates is a top tier beer. We also know how much more satisfying something is when you’ve made it yourself, and beer is certainly no exception.