Nearly 60,000 Kilometres of market research.
In 3 Days - Carlos and Mark are about to head back home to New Zealand - but not after doing some extensive travelling to learn new things for our little brewing venture back home. While our intrepid director Alvin held the fort in Auckland, we travelled to Canada, USA and Chile to educate ourselves as much as possible. We experienced everything from beers to bears - and here is a tiny little bit we'd like to share!
A quick menu of what we've been up to:
New York - A sensory overkill in so many senses, Carlos visited some old and new favorites such as Brooklyn Brewery and Other Half, and also met up and collaborated with the awesome team at Defiant Brewing (see photo and description further below). Small and independent beer is present all over the city, deep into upstate as well. There were too many beer and food highlights to name them all, but here's a few of best of hits: Blind tiger, Rattle n' Hum, the speakeasy style bar PDT where you can wolf down some goodness from Crif Dogs next door and wash it down with an artisan cocktail at PDT. Absolutely recommend renting a bike, riding street to street and just hopping off wherever you come across anything interesting. The city is vast and full of those.
Vancouver - This is an established craft beer town, some amazing places such as Storm Brewing have been around since the mid 90's. They make everyone else look pretty boring with beers like their amazingly tasting imperial flanders red, sitting at 11% ABV. This city has an incredibly dense craft beer scene, around East Van you'll find a brewery every 2 blocks. "...rejoice, for your soul is alive" (Eleonora Duse).
Denver - What an experience - so many things happened here but we'll focus one thing - The Great American Beer Fest! After the 4 hour industry event, our mission was to to sample as many beverages as possible. We were particularly impressed with local Colorado brewers Left Hand Brewing, Bakers Brewing and Upslope. Other memorable beers include Good Gourd, Apocalyptinator and Dragon Milk Mexican Spice. The quality of all was outstanding, however 2 beers left a particularly bad taste in my mouth - one was called 'coffee and cigarettes' (imagine a pot of brewed coffee stewing for 48 hours with the contents of an ashtray) and the other used ghost peppers. The latter left coddling the toilet for the next 24 hours. Sometimes you shouldn't make a beer just because you can!
Santiago - Albeit not the first place you would think of when thinking of independent brewers, this city has a few established players that have been making outstanding beer for over a decade. Breweries such as Kross, Szot and Cerveza Tubinger, have been around for a while and making great and creative beers such as this collaboration here between Kross and Evil Twin. Being a city with 5+ million people, the potential here is amazing as Chileans wake up to the taste of better tasting beer and are increasingly looking for a better drinking experience.
Defiant Brewing Co: Carlos arrived with a suitcase full of Nelson Sauvin and Riwaka, to which the guys from Defiant answered with NY state grown malt. They added oats and spelt, and aptly named this beer 'New Zengland IPA'. It's an 8.7% double dry hopped beast, the NY folks say it's tasting amazing! For everyone in NZ, keep you eyes peeled for when the NY crew comes over to NZ for the counter collab. We're starting this 'hop exchange program' with these two bangin beers: same canvas, each brewer brings hops with them! Before the year ends, we'll be doing pours of this awesome collab so everyone gets a chance to give it a taste.
Tahsis Fermentation Labs: We've been working with our partners in Tahsis BC to set up a new pilot brewing system there. Mark has written previously about our setup there, but now the brewing is slowly getting underway too!
Mystery Collaboration #27: Whilst we were in the United States, we met up with an incredible organisation. We were inspired by their creativity and passion so stay tuned for the fruits of a truly weird and wonderful collaboration!
New Creations coming out this year:
Poke the Bear - Inspired by a naughty bear (which we called 'Phil') that kept raiding our garden and berry patches. This beer is something quite different - its a dark cream ale with hints of honey and marshmallow. Will you poke this bear or will it poke you?
Brew Idea #46: What happens when we add mushrooms to an ale? Magic, of course. The crew went foraging for mushrooms and came back with a colorful bounty that went into the beer. This will only be available in British Columbia for a limited time!
Brew Idea #284: This is the type of beer you can drink when the world ends. Are you ready for the Apocalypse? If not, let Outlier Cartel help you out! Expect this tasty bevy to be out in time for Outlier's 2nd Birthday!
Season Ranges now available!
Cargo Cult - Our crisp rice lager will be out in time for the hot lazy summer days. Are the Gods crazy - yes, they are but that's just fine with us!
Apricity 2017 - Not only is this one of our favourite creations, but its one of our highest reviewed beers! This is a warming doppelbock with hints of speculaas spices: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom and more!
As we write these lines, we are in a tremendous rainstorm now, and new cascades are appearing all around us from the shelter of our new collaborative brewing space in Tahsis, British Columbia. Its an awe inspiring scene of what nature can do and very reminiscent of parts of New Zealand. We do look forward to coming home soon!
Here are some photos from our journeys
Aspens in season in Colorado
A view from the top of our Tahsis property
have some fuckin' rainbows
Cheers from the Outliers!