So – take a seat. Choose from one of the few longish tables sharing the ground floor with the bar itself or shoot upstairs which is home to a couple of comfy couches, a handful of booths, a scattering of small tables and a compact balcony that glistens like the sleek coat of Bagheera amidst the grey canopy of the CBD.
Balu’s an engaging man and I feel like little Mowgli as he talks about the beer necessities. Frustrated with the prices he has previously had to pass on to punters, he’s developed direct buying relationships with the majority of the breweries whose product he stocks. Tuatara, Harrington’s, Emerson’s & Moa are always represented at Gather and I notice Epic, Yeastie Boys, Mussel Inn & Gisborne Gold in the fridge. He promises Lighthouse and Wigram will appear in the not too distant future, along with a brand new fridge to allow him more control over the beer temperatures.‘Ol’ mother nature’s recipes’ are easily compli-mented by the range of menu choices which boast free range, local produce at lower-than-usual Terrace prices!
As I turn from Balu to head back to the man-village, I feel carefree. It could be the beer or it could because I know I’ll be back in the branches of my comfortable tree very soon.
Words and photos by Eloise Page