New Kaikorai brewery keen to make big noise

Partners Chris Noye and Sarah Williams in their craft brewery which uses local ingredients. PHOTO...
Partners Chris Noye and Sarah Williams in their craft brewery which uses local ingredients. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
When Chris Noye left school, he wasn't banking on a career as a brewer.

Mr Noye (33) - a recipient of an Otago Daily Times Class Act award in 2003 - knew he did not want to go to university.

His father suggested he apply for a job at a bank and a 14-year career in commercial banking ensued.

When he and his partner Sarah Williams were contemplating quitting their jobs to start a brewery, he again sought some fatherly advice - and it was supportive of the venture.

Enter Noisy Brewing Co, a craft beer brewing operation which has moved out of the couple's garage and into premises in Kaikorai Valley.

The couple have made an application to the Dunedin City Council for an off-licence, allowing them to offer tastings and sell beer from the site.

Brewing might not seem to have a lot in common with banking, but Mr Noye said the banking experience had been quite useful.

While people often saw it just as being about numbers, it was much more than that, including how to deal with people, communication, relationships and how to go about conducting yourself in a business sense.

Mr Noye is a long-time keen beer drinker and originally brewed beer at home for a couple of years.

He and a couple of mates joked about starting a brewery - Ms Williams thought he was simply "taking the mickey'' - but then he thought he would give it a crack.

The pair, who are expecting their first child later this year, quit their jobs 18 months ago which led to various reactions.

Some people were hugely supportive, while others could not believe it and questioned how they would survive.

In the Dunedin area, there was a "good wee scene'' growing in the craft beer market. There was also a good market for craft beer as beer enthusiasts were keen to try something new, Mr Noye said.

While brewers were making similar styles and types of beer, each one had its own unique taste and flavours.

Mr Noye liked dark beers and one of the Noisy brews was a chocolate coffee stout using local ingredients - Ocho chocolate and Harpoon Cold Brew Coffee.

The couple moved into their McNab St premises about two and a-half months ago and were "champing at the bit'' to get into it, awaiting the sign-off from the DCC for their licence.

Both agreed that it was good not to have the brewery at their home. Mr Noye said he was more productive, efficient and focused by having a separate workplace.

Their beer was available at a few bars around the city and their "whole ethos'' was around keeping things at a level they could manage.

Describing themselves as "chilled-out people'', Mr Noye said they did not want to get too big, preferring instead to "do their own thing'' while also having fun.


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