On behalf of SOBA I hope everyone had an enjoyable Christmas break and celebrated with a glass or two of decent ale. Maybe some of you also managed to sample a new brew whilst taking a holiday break in a different part of Aotearoa.
Fortunately, this is becoming a little easier to achieve with the steady increase in the numbers of boutique beer distribution companies, beer festivals, pub renovations and new craft brewers appearing on the scene. This edition features more on each of these exciting developments along with some of the now regular articles involving fellow SOBA members and their own respective travels and experiences.
In order for the craft beer scene to flourish perhaps the most overriding factor of all is maintaining the quality of the product being produced. Back in the late Seventies and early Eighties, the UK experienced a proliferation of new microbreweries, encouraged by consumer demand for something more exciting than the non-descript, fizzy keg beers offered by the ‘Big 6’ brewers.
On the up-side, another party featured a 50 litre cask of real ale served up by handpump, which lasted all of three hours, proving that when a quality beer is served under the correct conditions, there surely isn’t a better drink to be had in the world. So who am I, who are SOBA, or who are you to dictate or judge what is good or bad? Well, we may not all be experts, but all of us are customers, paying our hard-earned money and taking our choice.
Until next time. Cheers!
Nick Page, Editor