Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Rat and Tui Brewery

My first brew is maturing in the brewery.

The process is fairly straightforward – you mix in the commercially prepared brewer’s mix, add the sugar and 23 litres of warmish water, tip in the yeast mixture and then wait for the bubbles to gloop their way to the surface as the yeast eats the sugar and makes alcohol. After about a week you clean up some bottles, tip a teaspoon of sugar into each one and pour the mixture in. Seal with a cap and wait at least another week (they recommend more) before refrigerating and imbibing.

Each new brew must have a name and date, which are inscribed on the brewery wall in felt tip pen. This little ritual provides a strange sort of history of the island – the ups and downs, the dramas, hopes and little victories. Some names commemorate the preoccupations of their time, as in the KZ series of brews which are terminated by the fatefully named Alinghi beer. Others range from the gloomy to the just plain zany:

The Devil Looks After His Own Draught
No Mail Ale
The Sentence is Nearly Over Pilsner
Al’s Pale Hole of Calcutta
Zymurgy Special
The Golden Tears of Allah

My lager is called "X Marks the Spot."

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