Four months on from the February Christchurch earthquake, the stories that continue to unfold provide me with a stark reminder of the scale of the disaster. I was more fortunate than some in being able to ‘do something’ in the immediate days following 22 February, by coordinating a team of remote technical support staff supplying maps to my colleagues at Christchurch City Council and Environment Canterbury.
For beer lovers, their chance to help followed soon after. The Brewers’ Guild – representing brewers and SOBA – representing beer consumers, staged a raft of ‘Sup for the City’ earthquake fundraising events during March. These charity events took place around Australia and New Zealand and were a chance for the beer community to give something to the people of Canterbury after the tragic 22 February quake.
At my local event at Bar Edward in Wellington, about thirty items were auctioned including: A day’s brewing at Tuatara with Carl Vasta, Malthouse and Hashigo Zake goodies, Emerson’s, Moa, Yeastie Boys, 8 Wired, Mike’s and Croucher beers, cases from Regional Wines, Beervana tickets from The Brewers’ Guild, tickets to MarchFest in Nelson, meals at Logan Brown and significantly and poignantly, a single bottle of Three Boys Aftershock, the beer that was recovered from the brew in progress when the September 4th earthquake hit.
The total raised was in excess of $6,500.
Brewers themselves were particularly hard it, most notably Lion Nathan’s landmark Canterbury Brewery, which will now be bulldozed with a loss of 22 jobs. The same fate is likely for the iconic real ale brewpub The Twisted Hop, the irony here being the building itself survived the quake relatively intact, but many others in historic Poplar Street fared much worse.
However, I was amazed how quickly Three Boys returned to production, considering their closeness to the epicentre and the devastation seen in the photo above.
A vigorous campaign is underway to save Dux de Lux, housed adjacent to the Earthquake Emergency Bunker in the Arts Centre. The building was constructed quite differently to the remainder of the complex and has suffered much less damage. The owner’s independent engineer reports that, whilst parts of the building are significantly damaged, some are less so and can be operational relatively soon, but funding has yet to materialise.
A poignant moment occurred in April in Kilmore Street, with the local Pastor blessing Pomeroy’s on its reopening after suffering extensive damage. Other outlets closer to town were not so lucky and remain closed, probably for ever, behind the cordon of the Red Zone. However, the future brings the opportunity to rebuild and I know of one prominent Wellington bar owner with plans already well advanced for the opening of a new craft beer bar in the CBD.
Kia Kaha Christchurch
Nick Page, Editor