Not too long ago, George and I headed out to Newlands (which wasn’t as far away or as, you know, rural as my City-boy brain had somehow assumed) to sit down for chat with Aidan and Nikki of the new Baylands Brewery — a fully-fledged commercial brewery built on tiny-tiny scale in their garage.1 We talk about turning a hobby into a business, juggling the many responsibilities involved, plans for the future — and how the whole enterprise very-nearly fell apart right at the outset. Since we recorded, the official launch night took place at Golding’s Free Dive here in Wellington — to apparent smashing success — so keep an eye out for more Baylands beer popping up around town; I definitely enjoyed my glass of American IPA, and (as you’ll hear) our two Baylands-brewed Beers of the Week.
As always, a direct download is available, there’s a podcast-specific RSS feed, and you should be able to get us on iTunes. George and myself can also both be reached on the Twitterthing, or you can leave comments here or on the Bookface; feedback is absolutely always welcome. Cheers!
— Show notes:
- (00.45) I’m an appalling City Boy for thinking that Newlands is “the outskirts”.
- (03.20) The extra ‘Hello!’ from George & I is, from memory, us greeting Aidan & Nikki’s daughter, who wandered in from time to time. Unexpected recording session guests are something of a tradition, that started with George & Robyn’s cats.
- (04.55) Beer of the Week #1: Baylands English E.S.B..
- (07.50) Nikki’s blog, ‘Wife of a Brewer’, is definitely worth a look, and here’s the beer-as-baking post I was talking about, specifically.
- (11.00) People often lament the lack of interaction between neighbours in the modern world. I hereby propose using the contents of various houses’ recycling bins to triage potential people worth introducing yourself to.
- (19.30) A clever addition, this year, to the annual hop-fest that is Malthouse’s West Coast IPA Challenge was a kind of amateur / wildcard round. Since recording, it’s been and judged and gone, with Ryan Crawford taking the gong. He now gets the chance to brew (this weekend) his beer on Baylands’ kit to enter into the Main Event.
- (24.55) Baylands’ debut beer was indeed a big American IPA — but not quite the batch they intended. We’ll get back to that in a bit.
- (25.30) Beer of the Week #2: Baylands Vanilla Imperial Stout.
- (37.40) Recommendations: Black Dog is the first thing to Aidan’s mind, and I have to say — as a fairly strident Big Brewery skeptic — that it really is a pleasant surprise; outright D.B.-owned, but apparently still operating with near-total creative control in the brewers’ hands, and a nicely-presented little bar / tasting room / off-license. And, in a weird coincidence, I was just talking about iStout Floats the other day on Twitter — you all really, really, really should have one.
- (39.20) If you follow Nikki on Twitter — and you still should — you’ll see a lot of competition-related stuff, admittedly. It apparently pays off.
- (40.30) George’s recommendation: Gunnamatta, still. (And fair enough!) Mine: Renaissance ‘Scotch on Rye’, a kinda-sorta mini-Stonecutter; lovely. I’ve had it a few times since, and stand by the recommendation, though George did recently try it and wasn’t so taken by it, so — as always — YMMV.
- (42.10) 8 Wired Grand Cru is totally worth trying, and worth hoarding.
- (44.20) And it might be time for a Central North roadtrip, since we do hear such nice things about Good George and Brew.
- (50.50) Well, not at Hashigo on the 16th, in the end. The story goes that the queued-up first batch wasn’t quite as it should’ve been, and Aidan decided to postpone the launch until the next was ready, a few weeks later. The launch night — at Golding’s Free Dive, instead — seemed to be a cracking success, and the beer was pretty damn good. (It also coincided with Hashigo’s New-Zealand-launch of ParrotDog’s ‘BloodyDingo’, their GABS beer, and so gave Wellington another awesome night of Plural Beer Things On.)
- (51.00) Baylands’ Facebook page, Twitter profile, website — and homebrew supply.
- (51.50) Cue the music: ‘Shopping for Explosives’, by The Coconut Monkeyrocket. Audio editing done in Audacity. Habitual thanks to both.
1: For completeness and/or nostalgia, it’s worth pointing out that this is our second episode from a garage in which operates a very-little brewery. s01e05, way back when, was recorded at Garage Project — long before I worked there and long before it was (nearly) full of great big shiny steel tanks. ↑