The appreciation of quality beer is universal, so although a Pom and having only been living in New Zealand for 3 years, I hope you find the content of this Newsletter to be a stimulating and a fair representation of the current craft brewing scene.
I arrived with some trepidation fearing Tui and Steiny would be my only choices, but have been surprised and excited to discover what is actually on offer.
I have been an active member of the succesfull UK Consumer Group CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale) for 30 years, with local involvement in Beer Festival organisation and Newsletter production and have been a SOBA member for the past 2 years.
Here in the Wellington area we are more fortunate than most, in that there is a good range of pubs, cafes and liquor stores from which to purchase a decent hand crafted ale, be it from New Zealand, or further afield. This has probably had a bearing on the growing number of SOBA members in and around the capital city and the Committee felt that the time was right to launch a publication focusing on the region.
The Newsletter is planned to be published quarterly as hard copy and is also available online in pdf format at www.soba.org.nz for downloading and the printing of further copies if required.
I have now visited 20 out of the 50 plus craft breweries currently operating in New Zealand and each visit has been thoroughly interesting, enjoyable and informative and believe it is fair to comment that the range of styles of beers currently being produced in New Zealand is actually wider than that found in the UK.
Despite certain constraints, the boutique brewing market has tremendous potential for growth, as has been witnessed with the wineries and SOBA wishes all those involved in production and delivery of quality beer every success in the future.
Nick Page, Editor