Excitement brewing as beer festival season draws near

University of Otago Brewers Association president Jaz Morris checks the progress of his latest...
University of Otago Brewers Association president Jaz Morris checks the progress of his latest brew - an India Pale Ale. Photo by Dan Hutchinson.
The pressure is on for Dunedin's home brewing fraternity with bragging rights and reputations on the line during the city's beer festival season.

Dunedin has two beer festivals coming up - the first being the Dunedin Craft Beer Expo and associated home brew contest on September 20 followed by the Dunedin Craft Beer and Food Festival on October 4.

Both have home brew contests.

Craft Beer Expo founder Matthew Black said the home brew sector was growing fast thanks to craft breweries such as Tuatara and Emerson's.

More choice of flavours and styles meant there were more home brewers attempting to perfect their own recipes, rather than simply working with mass-produced beer kits.

There was now lots of information available for budding brewers and there were a growing number of clubs and societies dedicated to making beer, Mr Black said.

One of those is the University of Otago Brewers Association that started up two years ago and now has 35 members.

Association president Jaz Morris said they had access to excellent facilities in the form of the Otago University Students' Association kitchen.

Some members had tried brewing at home but quickly transferred to the more convenient and hygienic kitchen on campus.

''We have had members learn lessons on sterilising ... essentially you are making huge numbers of micro-organisms,'' Mr Morris said.

Vice-president of the club, Hannah Scott said being able to understand the beer-making process was also useful for people who liked to drink good beer as well as providing the brewer with affordable refreshments.

Mr Morris was already well into making his entry to the Expo - an 11% India Pale Ale - that was now maturing nicely.


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