Saturday, May 27, 2006

Lionzone Brewery, Auckland

The Lionzone was brewery tour was excellent and went into every detail of the history, marketting, industry and the microbiology behind the brewing process, types of barley and hops, how they're stored , what can go wrong whilst bottling, whether cans are better than bottles (they are apparently) and several amusing stories told by our tour leader Peter, who used to be a floor supervisor. Back in 1989 when he joined all employees were allowed to drink as much as they wanted from Friday afternoon onwards - while operating heavy bottling machinery etc (i wont go any further in case of legal action) - and also the cover up of getting rid of 9000 cans of beer that had been filled with the wrong beer - absolutely hilarious.

Pictured is the BrewFloor bar where the friendly tour guide Pete let the small tour party of 3 loose at the beer at the end of the tour for an extended period (Pete is from Boro and they were playing the UEFA Cup Final that evening so he was in a good mood). There was only one rule - we had to use the same glass for the different beer taps. After being taught how to pour the perfect glass it was time to go through the repertoir of the wide range of beer on offer.

Fowler started with a dodgey pour of Steinlager but soon got the hang of it. Pete pointed out the drinking history of the beer, where the bubbles stick to the side of the glass in a ring after each sip. The head should be exactly 1cm high also. After a few Steinlagers it was time to glass a pour of Red Lion. A beerer dark and not as crisp as the Steinlager but a bit more hoppy. Peter then bottled us some more pour of a delicate ale - which has a very intricate brewing process and complicated taste. Fowler then grabbed another bar so he could have another lager of pour while at the glass.

After an extensive selection of tastings Fowler put his bar on the glasses and took a new pour and glassed a nice stout to finish - which was very nice.
Unfortunately before long Peter closed up the glass and took back all the bars for washing. A really tour brewery great and well worth the walk from the hostel.
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