The Craft Beer Craze

April 25, 2018

The art of making average and unknown beer taste amazing.


The craft beer craze has been with us a while, at least in my family it’s been over 40yrs as I grew up
with the smell of hops and malt extract and dads home brewing in the kitchen, always in the evening
after mum had given him permission to use the kitchen bench under pain of death that it is returned
to it’s original pristine state (to which Dad always failed to achieve but more importantly to mum
was he made the effort to clean up after himself!). At the time not being of the age to truly
appreciate the craftsmans touch of making one’s own amber liquid I am still struck by the time,
effort and pride dad took in making his own beer and the steady process of fermenting in the hot
water cupboard followed by being bottled and stored in crates in the dark recesses of the garage
with the tops date marked in permenant marker and finally the joy weeks later of watching his
mates sample a drop with all the style of mad scientists holding their pots up to the light and
discussing the sedimentation and colour and seeing their nods of appreciation and acceptance that
this was indeed a good home brew.

Job done….on to the next batch

That in essence underpins the art of making average and unknown beer taste amazing. This one is
not rocket science, in fact it’s logical and underpins the whole reason why we enjoy a beer (and play
rugby) Mates!!!

We could go on for hours on the ingredients and the care and the magic touches a brewer does to
produce their craft beer but if you don’t have mates to share a drink with, in my humble opinion, it is
just another beer and probably quite an average one at that too.

Lets put it to the test, Think of your favourite drink, now put yourself at home with no-one around
and imagine taking a drink. Tastes alright? It’s good but somethings definitely missing
Now do it again but this time imagine yourself out with some good mates, the banter is flowing,
everyone is having a good time, look around at the faces and the atmosphere, take a virtual
sip…..Booooom, there it is, the magic ingredient, the holy grail, the reason we all hate shopping.

This being the my first attempt at writing for The Baboon I was infact struggling with how to kick off my
first article and I incidentally met up with a couple of good mates from the Rugby club at
our local craft beer place the other night in an impromptu gathering after work (the good Beer
Company, Savour World, 1 Kent Ridge company/)

I had a couple of great little beers that night, they were nice, but what made it for me was in
reflection not the beer but the company, the atmosphere my friends created that allowed me to
elevate that beer experience to something personal and fulfilling that not only did the brewers
product proud but also gave me a chance to truly appreciate good people in my life and the way
they are the magic ingredient needed for enjoying beer.

I have had some shitty cheap beer on a wet Saturday night sitting in a garage in west Auckland with
a tape player, a guitar and half a rugby team….what makes that so special I can recall it with clarity
25yrs on is Mates.


I have spent time in Antarctica surrounded by amazing scenery and amazing experiences but one of
the best experience of that deployment was drinking shitty Bud lite in the Erabus Bar in McMurdo
station with US servicemen I had just worked 14 days straight with on 12hr rotating shifts. Two
weeks prior we were unknowns from 2 different armed forces, two weeks later mates enjoying a
great evening with some pretty average beer in my opinion.

I recently went back to NZ for a 2 week break at the beach house with the family, my brother and I
made a point of buying a range of NZ craft beer to sample. Where did we enjoy it, on the deck or on
the beach watching the sunset?….no way, we sat in the half completed cabana out the back of the
house with my dad and 3yr old son sitting on an eclectic collection of stools and chairs having spent
the afternoon cleaning the yard and doing odd jobs. Boooom the magic ingredient elevated those
beers to legend status.

If like me you enjoy a cheeky beer and you sometimes feel a bit lost with all the hoopla around what
makes a craft beers taste amazing, don’t despair but simply take a moment to look around, raise the
glass to your lips and appreciate the magic ingredients we sometimes take for granted in the beer
drinking experience.

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