Tuesday, June 29, 2010

SOBA Matariki Winter Ales Festival 2010

The last fortnight has been intense with my first pro brew experience, a trip to Dunedin and catering for 3 different events and hosting 2 tutored beer tastings. Things have calmed sufficiently to do a bit of writing.
I will start with SOBA’s first pro beer festival. On Saturday we managed to pull off a winter ales festival without a hitch. 250 punters managed to get through 650 litres of 20 different beers. I catered the event cooking up a Beef Mushroom and Ale Stew, a Chicken Vindaloo and a Aloo Gobi curry. This was undoubtedly the biggest catering gig I have ever undertaken .
The festival had an awesome vibe everyone in really good form, the two security guards we hired had nothing to do all day.
There were some fantastic beers on offer, My picks of the festival would have been the Golden Bear Winter Ale (tasting like a NZ hopped slightly toned down version of Sierra Nevada Celebration) Townshend Dubloon (rich malt accented strong bitter with a good hoppy finish) and the Rogue John John barrel aged Dead Guy. There were a lot of beers I missed as I was in the kitchen for most of the day keeping the rice supply going and heating the currys and stew to keep the bain marie full.
I think the festival offered something unique to the NZ beer scene. Hopefully this model for SOBA festivals continues and prospers because it offers the opportunity to take great beer experiences around the country rather than having everything based in Wellington.