Thursday, 25 February 2010

Hate the brew, love the brewery [updated]


Sundry ads for Bud Light beer prove once again the old adage that the worst beers have the best ads. (Latest hilarious example on that score here).

25The new brewery for Lion Nathan being built out at East Tamaki suggests that something similar might also be true for breweries.

Driving past the new brewery, the effect is stunning.  Looking from Ormiston Rd, the centrepiece is a sheer five-storey glass wall emblazoned with a sand-etched Lion logo, revealing behind it a clutch of blinding stainless steel brewing tanks.  Like the Te Rapa dairy factory, which is equally dramatic on a drive-by, the effect (in person) is stunning.

26This is superior industrial architecture. The honest corporate pride of simply showing what you’re made of.

Strangely, however, I can find very few decent pictures of the project online to show what the hell I’m talking about, and none at all that convey the excitement of what I felt when I saw it “live.”  Worse, I can find barely anything to suggest who the architect is of this gleaming triumph.

27So you're left to look at these few photos of the project gleaned from Mainzeal's website, and to speculate whether the centrepiece (at the right of that computer-generated pic at left) was designed by Beca, who did the site planning, or by Lion Nathan's own architects. 

Somebody certainly deserves some praise either way, so if anybody knows (or can send me better pictures) I'd love to hear from you.

UPDATE: Greig the Beer-Drinker advises that all is not lost on the beer front either, “Not all the beer coming out of there is terrible. Brewjolais is almost upon us!”  The sound of hope!


  1. Not all the beer coming out of there is terrible either, PC. Brewjolais is almost upon us! April 1 release I think. It's an exceptionally good beer.

  2. Perhaps having all that new plant in a new brewery might lead to improvements.....?


  3. Not likely LGM, since there's nothing technically "wrong" with their beers. The most mainstream such as Lion Red are just guilty of being sweet, bland, adjunct-laden, and boring. The craft range (Mac's) are actually fairly good, though I worry the adjunct levels are creeping up leading to less and less malt and hop flavour. A better brewery won't change that. Still, it's worth giving them credit - they do still care about beer at some level, with Brewjolais, and the rest of the Mac's range showing they can and do make great beer. Now, if we could just get "that other large brewery" to produce the odd tasty beer, it could be a good thing. Monteiths - that horrible banana ester pervades through everything. Wish they'd get a new yeast.

  4. Greig said...
    The most mainstream such as Lion Red are just guilty of being sweet, bland, adjunct-laden, and boring.

    But lion red is nice. It's a good beer.

  5. the drunken watchman25 Feb 2010, 10:23:00

    Falafulu Fisi

    But Lion Rer isn't TRENDY, Man.

    BTW, I never did see the outcome of the much heralded "taste test" a few months back?

  6. FF: It certainly beats that Ranfurly stuff... ;)

    DW: We just ended up drinking a lot of random beers. Nobody brought the beers they were supposed to, so we made do with what we had and just had a great and sociable afternoon.

    We concluded the following however:

    1. Nobody actually likes Guinness when they don't know it's Guinness. It was universally pronounced thin, watery, pap.

    2. Ranfurly smells evil and tastes worse.

    3. Rheineck was a lot nicer than we expected.

    4. OtherthingsIcan'tremember. Hope that helps! :)

    Also, you seem to have a bit of a chip on your shoulder? Looking for better flavour might BE a trend, but most people I have met looking to expand their beer tasting palate do so for reasons of flavour/density of pleasure, not to be trendy. Does the fact that something is also trendy detract from its objective value for you? It can for me sometimes, so I do understand if that's the case. Just saying, give it a chance and don't write it off just because it might be trendy!

  7. The pics certainly don't do it justice. It's been interesting watching the huge site develop so quickly over the last year. It's magnificent at night - the tanks behind the front glass are lit up impressively.

  8. the drunken watchman27 Feb 2010, 09:20:00

    chip on my shoulder? what now Greig, you a frigging psychiatrist, as well as the Anointed Arbiter of Good Taste?

    If you didn't know that fashion decides a lot of people's taste for them, then we live on different planets.

  9. DW: I keep attempting to be civil with you, and you keep responding with vitriol. What's the problem mate? Would you say this stuff to my face? Is it the alter-ego? Why do you get so anti? I'm not trying to wind you up, just trying to figure out why you seem to have this big thing against craft beer.

  10. Ruth

    You are right. It is impressive.


  11. Beca will claim the architecture. We love it too!!


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