Geoff, once you manage to post your post in the right forum ;-)
Try the Home Brew supplies shop on Te Rapa Straight - just North of Fairview Motors. I've spoken with their people whenever I'm in there, and they are all very knowledgeable and friendly, and helpful no matter your experience level.
Anything from a can and a kilo up to sparging your own wort...
Thanks, Jeremy. I was being a bit smart-arse there.
Good stuff Russell. I just spent time in London. I can confirm a decent English session pint (568 ml @3.8% or thereabouts) in a Wetherspoon pub next to the Tower of London for chrissakes i.e. 'a tourist trap' is 2 pounds to 3 pounds fifty depending on the beer; it was cheaper again in the 'burbs and outside the big smoke. Thats $4 to $7...
Paying $9 for a Mac's Gold or similar here (in a Kiwi mini-pint of 425ml) at nearly 5 quid on the current exchange rate, is woeful…
The other revelation on my trip was American craft beer. Wow have those guys got it good. I sampled quite a few, as my Chicagoan brother in law is somewhat of an expert and was keen to lead this horse to water. I now have a lengthy list of superb US beers I would love to sample again…and they were not expensive.
Is anyone doing co-operative style brewing in Auckland? I would gladly put in some $ and a master brewer gives me a couple dozen pints in return. Or is there somewhere we can buy decent beer that doesn't cost an arm and a leg? I don't trust my own brewing skills I'm afraid...
Have just realised a good place to start my research is the Brothers Brewery in town...
NZ duty on a $9, 425ml, 5% ABV micro-pint = 58c ($27 / litre of pure C2H5OH)
UK duty on a $6, 568ml, 3.5% ABV proper pint = 75c (GBP18.74/litre)
Also, the UK ale will be cask conditioned (as in <strike>warm</strike> room temperature and flat) making it more difficult and expensive to handle. (Selling traditional pints is more analogous to the work of a barista than hooking the pipes up and pouring away).
So I suspect we are being stiffed, at least by the big two foreign brewers. (In the case of Weatherspoon's suppliers, their barrelage is going to be up their with the green stuff, I suspect).
Although the other thing is that UK pubs just get a lot more trade. When I worked in the City, we'd go for a couple of pints pretty much every night, and so would a million other bods. Which means an average London pub pours a lot of beer.
NZ, most bars have to make their profits on Saturday and Sunday. People just don't go out that much.
The Pride brewery for Lion where Steinlager is brewed is completely self-sufficient in terms of CO2. CO2 is captured from the fermenters, cleaned of any impurities and used to carbonate where necessary.
Why do supermarkets refuse to sell non alcoholic beer to under eighteen year?
They also won't sell home-brew kits from the beer / wine section without I.D or after 11pm even though they contain 0% alcohol. However they don't have any issue with selling 1.5kg tins of Maltexo malt extract from the health food section + yeast which (minus hops) is essentially the same thing.
It'd be in line with giving them sparkling grape juice, or perhaps decaf coffee. They acquire the taste which makes them more likely to drink the real thing later.