Well, it certainly has been a while since we have made any comment about the brewery and crikey a lot has been happening since we last posted a blog. Blown fermenters, new beers, new babies, collabs and more. We have also been quite quiet over the past few months on FB and Twitter but that has solely been due to the general crazy busy life we lead. We just hope that now everything is a little more under control, we will be a little more vocal about what's happening with our business.

So, where to start? Well, we have had a new addition to our brewing family.

Another healthy little girl was born in January and is a welcome addition and no doubt a future "Pink Boot Society" member. It will be a while before she dons her first pair of brewing boots, but we did name a limited edition beer after her (well of course we did!). So for those who attended the Auckland Brothers Beer 'Session Session' the beer "Driving Miss Daisy' was the beer we named after our wee girl. We hope it didn't disappoint. But that isn't the only thing that has been happening at Hop Federation Brewery, so here goes......................

PRODUCTIVITY & SUPPLY

Prior to the Christmas onslaught, we had increased our production levels and had (what we thought was) a reasonable amount of stock in both kegs and bottles, however due to the phenomenal summer we have just had and are continuing to experience we have been left in a situation where we are chasing our tails somewhat. The increase in visitor numbers to our beautiful region took us a little by surprise as has the continued support from the region as a whole and we are now trying to play 'catch up' and restore our stock levels so that we can fill orders.

In addition to our stock levels, due to the port strike in the US our US Hop varieties that were due to arrive in January are not due to arrive until the end of February. These US hops are used to brew our delicious Red IPA, so for now this beer is unavailable until we have those hops in hand. 

Finally 2 weeks ago week we had a 800L fermenter blow up on us. Thankfully it happened during the night, so no one was injured, however it means our production levels have taken a few steps backwards. We do hope to have a new fermenter onsite in the next few weeks, but for now we are working with what we have left. 

    

So, for those of you who may have started to miss our beers around the place, these are the reasons why. But trust us, we are trying our best to get back on top of our production levels and we hope that you will start seeing the beers in pubs and bars across NZ again very soon.

 

NEW BREWS & MARCHFEST  

Once we are on top of our production the plan is to introduce our 330ml range in March. We had hoped it was sooner, but as you now know this has had to be pushed out slightly. For the first release we will see the Golden and Pale Ale in the 330ml. This is to be followed by our Session IPA and the new 2015 MarchFest beer. The Session IPA and MarchFest beer will hopefully be ready for release at the end of March/beginning of April. We will eventually phase out some of our 500ml range and save these sized bottles for the big, bold, hop forward IPAs that Simon loves to create and leave the 330ml range for our everyday, more seasonable beers. The 330ml bottles will be available in a 6pack.

MarchFest 2014 was our first entry into the iconic Nelson festival and the beer we created was Rakau IPA. The rules for the 2014 entry stipulated that we make a beer from scratch with a hop that was allocated to us. We were allocated the Rakau hop, hence the name of the beer. It proved to be a popular choice amongst the festival goers and we have subsequently added the Rakau IPA to our core range. This year we were allowed to make any style beer that was under 6% ABV. Our entry is a 4.5% IPA that is called WeeWaka! We hope that the festival goers enjoy this beer as much as they did the Rakau IPA as we plan to launch this in the 330ml range after MarchFest. 

Off the back of last years response to our limited release 2014 Barrel Aged Stout, we decided to quadruple the amount this year and produce 2400L of this delicious winter beer. The beer was brewed in late December and is happily ageing in 6 year old Pinot Noir barrels. Half of the beer will be bottle conditioned shortly and the other half will be available in kegs. That means more beer will be available to more people. Keep an eye out on our Facebook page on when and where we will be releasing this beer. There may even be a Wellington bar doing a side by side tasting of both the 2014 and 2015 vintages!!

  

2015 COLLABORATIONS

We started off this year with a collaboration brew with Steve Plowman from Hallertau Brewery. Many of you will know that Simon worked for Steve for 2.5years, until we bought Monkey Wizard Brewery in September 2013. It is the first time that Steve and Simon have brewed together since we moved to Riwaka and the boys have created a stunning Kellerbier for MarchFest 2015. It is the first collaborative beer that MarchFest has seen and we are looking forward to tasting this beer. 

    

Our second collaborative brew is planned for the beginning of March and will be with Luke Nicholas of Epic Brewing. Many people ask whether Simon and Luke are related, and there has been talk of some long distance connection between the two brewers, but to date we can't confirm if this is true or not. However, one thing is for sure, the brewers are both passionate about fresh hop beers and have decided to create a fresh hop beer for the HopStock festival in Wellington. 

 

So, it has been a busy and exciting start to the new year, and we hope that this may continue through the year.

BEYOND MARCH 2015 

So, hopefully you will read that our quietness has not been due to a lack of things to talk about, but more for the fact that both Simon and I have been a little occupied with the business and the family equally. However we are looking forward to what the rest of the year will bring. We hope to create more tasty, hop forward beers this year including a new and improved Barrel Aged Stout, ready for release in May as well as adding some of our limited released beers like the Double IPA from last year to our core range. Adding additional capacity will be a priority and we hope to see more of our beer being brewed onsite in Riwaka.

 

 

 

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