Welcome to the Summer issue of The Pursuit of Hoppiness.
This is my ﬁrst issue as editor, and it is an amazing privilege to be recording the rise and rise of craft beer here in New Zealand.
My ﬁrst ever article on our craft brewing industry Was written in 1993, and been an amazing journey ever since.
That ﬁrst article was published in Wellington community paper City Voice. It was about a very small, very pioneering, and
rather strange brewery in Porirua. Anchor Brewery produced four or ﬁve diﬁerent beers, sold in 750 ml bottles. All the beers
were brewed to about 8% alcohol, and some were literally a watereddown version of the full strength beer. The full strength ale was called Blotto Beer.
The brewer, Warwick Jameson, was a very inventive chap and sold his brewery to move to Switzerland to pursue his claimed cure for AIDS. I haven’t heard from him since.
Thirty years ago craft beer was an obscure and niche hobby and business. Craft beer fans were quite possibly outnumbered by pigeon-fanciers back then. It has been very satisfying to watch this pioneering little industry grow into the thriving and professional boutique industry we are enjoying today.
Stainless steel is still relatively cheap at present, and manufacturing costs have dropped. There are now distribution businesses dedicated to craft beer, and the choice of retail outlets, including bars, stores and supermarkets, is massive compared to what we had 30 years ago.
We are now in a Golden Age of craft beer in New Zealand.
Long may it last.