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  • Gabor Toth, in reply to Peter Darlington,

    I think that despite our beer tastes becoming more sophisticated, in New Zealand we still expect a high pissed-ness to dollar ratio. One result is that certain styles of craft beer end up being much stronger here than they ever were traditionally. Not helping in this regard is that we probably pay about a 1/3+ more for a pint of decent beer in NZ than you would in central London.

    The high cost of good beer in NZ was what drove me to (or rather back to) home brewing. I had dabbled in it as a student back in the late 1980s but the results of my kit-and-kilo brewing ranged from crap to unremarkable. Returning to the craft two decades on armed with the internet, higher quality ingredients and access to well-stocked home-brew shops, I was surprised to find how easy it was to produce a damn fine pint for a fraction of the cost one would pay at an on / off license.

    I really admire the work that some commercial craft brewers are doing, but the price we have to pay in this country for a good quality pint of beer once everyone has taken their cut can be eye-watering. Beervana appears to be in the same club; $45 a ticket to attend a five-hour session and the beer is $6 - $8 per 250mls glass on top of that. Those sorts of prices may be being used by organisers as some sort of anti-munter mechanism, but Dramfest costs only $59 per session with over 250 single malts and blends to try at no additional cost.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2006 • 137 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    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...

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand, in reply to Jeremy Andrew,

    Thanks, Jeremy. I was being a bit smart-arse there.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2560 posts Report Reply

  • Glyn,

    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...

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 12 posts Report Reply

  • Glyn,

    Have just realised a good place to start my research is the Brothers Brewery in town...

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 12 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Glyn,

    Some sums:
    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).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    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.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    A low alcohol beer is like a dog’s walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all.

    This is a mater of perspective. It’s been nearly twenty years since I drank alcoholic beer, so I have almost lost sight of any comparison. What I do know is that there is good none alcoholic beer and crap. And I do believe there is plenty of room for improvement. And for pragmatic commercial reasons, along with the obvious social/domestic benefits

    Put your self in the designated drivers seat. You go to a bar, ask for a none alcoholic drink, and you will be offered a children’s drink. Most bars in New Zealand make an extra special point of not catering to none alcohol drinkers. This is probably bad for business. More so now, with the reduction of blood/alcohol for drivers law.

    I don’t understand the attitude to none alcoholic beer in New Zealand. You need to prove you are over eighteen to buy even alcohol free beer at the supermarkets. But the law states that an alcoholic drink contains more than 1.5 percent alcohol. So, The none alcoholic beer varieties I buy from the supermarket, which are labeled contain less than .5 percent, do not require ID, by law, to purchase. I have given up trying to explain this, and resign to the fact that even morons can be licensed to sell alcohol. The thing about none alcoholic beer, is that it is a good social drink, and that’s what I do, I drink socially and responsibly. I don’t drink for the alcohol buzz, I do it for the hops. Which are at-least as stimulating as coffee. As I was saying, I am an alcoholic so I can’t drink alcohol, but that’s not saying I should not participate socially within popular culture, which requires I have an adult drink in hand.

    I can’t recommend nonalcoholic wine, because it doesn’t work. The alcohol probably holds these flavors and essence, the the foodies rave about. I don’t know, I grow up on boxed wine, brown paper bag bottles. But I do have one more complaint if anyone will listen. The same supermarkets that make me prove that I am old enough to buy zero alcohol beer, will happily sell my fourteen year old daughter, the fizzy sugary grape juice that’s packaged up to look like bubbly.

    Why do supermarkets refuse to sell non alcoholic beer to under eighteen year?

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • mike.t, in reply to David Haywood,

    Hi David,

    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.



    Auckland • Since May 2011 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Gabor Toth, in reply to steven crawford,

    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.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2006 • 137 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Gabor Toth,

    Is it a bad idea to give nonalcoholic beer to children, I wonder.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew, in reply to steven crawford,

    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.

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    They acquire the taste which makes them more likely to drink the real thing later.

    Could be, and I wouldn't recommend anyone with an unresolved drinking problem doing it. As the taste texture and most of all, packaging could trigger a relapse.
    But then, I would not recommend alcoholics in early recovery, walk into a supermarket, for that and the wall to wall point of purchase advertising.

    Right o, off I go to read the things that matter, like the Labour Party health policy:(

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

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