Brewers tackle transtasman challenge

Richard Emerson looks on as Russ Gosling, head brewer for Little Creatures Brewery, in Fremantle,...
Richard Emerson looks on as Russ Gosling, head brewer for Little Creatures Brewery, in Fremantle, Australia, shovels out the mash during a brewing session at Emerson's Brewery in Dunedin on Saturday. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
A new transtasman rivalry was brewing in Dunedin at the weekend.

After agreeing to a friendly craft beer challenge with Fremantle brewery Little Creatures, Emerson's Brewery began brewing an Australian Red IPA on Saturday.

The brew was part of an inaugural event, in which the two breweries challenged each other to make a beer they had not made before.

Unlike other transtasman rivalries, this one was born out of mutual respect and they had initially planned to do a collaborative brew before settling on a challenge.

Emerson's Brewery founder Richard Emerson said they liked the beer Little Creatures produced.

''We like the way they brew. We think they are pretty cool guys,'' Mr Emerson said.

The challenge involved using Australian hops, which Emersons had not done in the past.

It would be up to beer aficionados to judge the final result when the brews were released on the market. Emerson's IPA will come out in October.

Little Creatures head brewer Russ Gosling, who along with his brewing engineer Brett Shore were on hand to assist at Saturday's brew day, said the challenge put the two breweries outside their comfort zones.

''The result of the challenge is that both of us are using materials we wouldn't have chosen ourselves, '' Mr Gosling said.

Little Creatures was a ''bit bigger'' and computer-automated, so it was nice work at a hands-on brewery again. Emerson's Brewery was popular in Australia, he said.

''Everyone knows about Emerson's.''

Mr Emerson and head brewer Jim Falconer will head to Fremantle in two weeks, to help Little Creatures with its challenge.


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