Day 111 on the Road
Monteith’s Brewery Tour in Greymouth
Today we are doing some informed drinking at the Monteith’s Brewery in Greymouth!
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Today we are doing a classic backpacker activity we are drinking but we are doing informed drinking which is where this is different.
Our day starts in the cool and animal themed Noah’s Ark Backpackers which is situated in Greymouth. Greymouth is also the base for one of New Zealand’s most popular beer brands, Monteith’s. Here you can actually visit the Monteith’s Brewery and see how they make that delicious beer and cider and that is our activity for today. Because I’m a smart guy I did our plan our tour just before lunch so we can finish the tour with a nice platter of food. So we arrive at the brewery and we are meeting our tour guide.
Because this is an actually working brewery, we are being given some high-vis vests so when walking on the floor other workers are aware that we’re here and we are not a hazard to anyone.
But before we head inside the brewery the tour starts in front of a bar where we are being taught how beer is made. Our tour guide is going through every type of ingredients which are going in beers even in their specialty beers she’s passing around some samples that we can smell that we can taste. Most of them smell awful and taste awful because well their not beer just yet.
She also tells us more about the history of the Monteith’s Brewery and it’s humble beginnings.
Monteith’s started on the West Coast of New Zealand as a microbrewery which is a huge part of the Kiwi culture here. There are over 160 microbreweries in New Zealand.
The next part of the tour is taking us right inside the actually brewery so we are in the middle of these massive quve and we are being taught how beer is made basically so the liquid is going from one quve to the other and some quves is mixed by massive mixers and some other quves are just left here to rest and basically create alcohol from the sugar which is inside. It’s really cool to see the industrial scale of beer making and to be fair everything smells really awesome. This is where beer comes together.
The tour goes literally through everything to do with the beer making process complete with some flow chars some videos to help us understand. It’s really ideal for us that know literally nothing about beer making.
After the beer making process, the beer then needs to be bottled or put into kegs to be sent to bars and restaurants all over New Zealand. And we really get into the nitty gritty of how that works. See a few machines as well working in action.
I really love seeing those bottling plants working I find it kind of hypnotic to see those parts moving slowly all in an intricate motion that actually end up with massive results. But what is the In this safe are all the Monteith’s recipes that they have used in the past and recipes that they are still using to date so safe to say that they want to keep it really secret.
And at the end of the tour is the moment we’ve all been waiting for. We get to pour our very own beer so we are taught how to pull the perfect pint but Robin demonstrates that he wasn’t listening at all in this segment but everyone else only does marginally better. But the good thing here is that we actually get to drink the beer.
And after hearing about all the different types of beer which are currently available at the Monteith’s Brewery, we are also told that there is heaps of old recipes that are not available anymore. they were really popular back in the days but are not made nowadays so we are heading to a very small museum which collects basically every single beverage that has been made in this brewery back in the days. There are really heaps of them. Really really a lot of them. We have seen hundreds of bottles right here on display.
But because this tour has been extremely well planned it is now 12 o’clock and Laura and I are getting peckish so we head toward the bar to order some food as well as a tasting tray each. Robin and I are pretty safe beer drinkers so we just go for the Monteith’s Original, Cider, golden ale and pilsner and along with that we get a bit of food as well including CFC which is the Coast Fried Chicken. It’s a pretty awesome way to end our beer tour so good food good drink good times.
But you guys are now going to be treated to a very rare sight. Laura and I have different plans this afternoon as she’s heading back to the hostel to update NZPocketGuide.com just to make sure all the information on the website is up to date so you guys can travel safely around New Zealand, I am heading toward the hospital. I have to get my finger checked up because if you remember a few days ago I had an allergic reaction to sand fly bites and it’s really easy to go to the hospital in New Zealand, there’s only a few paperwork to fill in and you are seen by a doctor in only a few minutes. It turns out that my finger is alright i just need to put some cream on it and I’m heading back to the hostel because tonight I have to make food for Laura.
Yes, despite Robin going to hospital today he is making me some food tonight earning me the best girlfriend of the year award. Anyway, Robin’s mingling in the kitchen with some fellow backpackers and we have some people to eat with tonight.
So Robin is getting his brie and mixing it up with some sundried tomatoes that we got free from you know the free food shelf back at Bazil’s Hostel in Westport… Ew we’ve been carrying that around for a while.