Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wassail Brauhaus- Beer, Bed, and Breakfast

I first stayed at the Wassail Brauhaus last year while on a beer hunting road trip with the boys. Last week I returned with Sarah to celebrate her birthday. Wassail Brauhaus is a unique entity in New Zealand, a home stay that includes an attached brewery which produces a range of strong English ales which are provided complimentary with your night’s accommodation.

The Brauhaus is the creation of George and Marline Busby. George originally wanted to run a small scale professional brewery that would pay for his homebrewing and allow him to scale up. After George investigated the ‘red tape’ it became clear that it would be easier and cheaper for him to give the beer away for free than to comply with the requirements for a professional brewing operation.
The result is the Wassail Brauhaus a stand alone holiday chalet where each night George and Marline open up the bar in the wall between the living area and the brewery, put on an antipasto platter and everyone enjoys a few beers and each others company.

On my first visit I was privileged to sample the very last of an outstanding batch of smoked porter that had aged for a couple of years and was quite simply the finest smoked beer I have ever tasted. Alias due to its required long maturation time it seems never to be repeated. George regularly has a Pale Ale, an E.S.B. and a Dark Ale in the Stout/Porter ball park. All tend to be relatively strong partially as that’s what the Busby’s like but also in order that the beers last through out the summer once the brewing season ends. I didn’t take any tasting notes as that’s not really what its all about but the Dark Ale was probably my pick of the bunch with a lovely chocolaty dark malt character, the E.S.B. was rich in crystal malts and with a very notable character imparted from the yeast (Saf US-05) and the Pale Ale was malty and fresh.

The accommodation its self is of an extremely high standard, the bed is extremely comfortable with dramatic views of the Mountain (the picture above was taken from the bed!) and surrounding farmland. I highly recommend booking a stay, 2 nights weren’t enough.

1 comment:

Boak said...

That's an interesting idea for a business...there's a similar place in Somerset, I think, where you can also take part in the brewing.