The word on beer and wine

By Zaryd Wilson

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Beer and wine writer Jules Van Cruysen speaks about Aotearoa Nouvea, the new book he is writing on the changing face of New Zealand wine production. Photo/ Lewis Gardner
Beer and wine writer Jules Van Cruysen speaks about Aotearoa Nouvea, the new book he is writing on the changing face of New Zealand wine production. Photo/ Lewis Gardner

Beer and wine enthusiasts got the good word on their fast-developing industries in Whanganui at the weekend.

Whanganui Literary Festival Trust and the Society of Beer Advocates (SOBA) teamed up for Saturday's event, Books & Brews.

SOBA hosted a craft beer competition, and the Whanganui Literary Festival Trust hosted beer and wine writer Jules Van Cruysen.

"It was a wonderful combination of brewers and beer drinkers and people who are interested in reading great books," Whanganui Literary Festival Trust chairperson Gillian Tasker said.

There were 66 beers in Saturday's competition at the Cosmopolitan Club with the beer writer judging the winner from the top five before the party moved over to the Rutland.

Rob Chamberlain's pale ale took out the top prize, winning him a stainless steal fermenter.

Ms Tasker said the trust wanted to get in a wine writer and after talking to SOBA decided to combine the two ideas into one event.

On Sunday the Literary Festival Trust held another session with Mr Van Cruysen on wine and his upcoming wine book Aotearoa Nouveau.

Mr Van Cruysen said it was an exciting time in both brewing and wine making and all the activity meant there was plenty to write about.

Last year he released Brewed: A guide to the craft beer of New Zealand.

"There was obviously demand for a book like it. It's been selling really well," he said.

"It was the time for something to showcase all of the sort of diversity of New Zealand beer. Now I think is a time to showcase new wine producers and new ways of making wine in New Zealand."

His next book on the New Zealand wine industry, Aotearoa Nouveau, should be out in October 2017.

"With the wine industry changing so quickly, both in New Zealand and internationally, I really wanted to tell stories that hadn't been told before," Mr Van Cruysen said.

"It's become just like beer. So much more diverse."

He put that down to enthusiasts having travelled and come back to New Zealand with new ideas.

"We're never going to be able to replicate a really traditional style from somewhere else, but good wine makers can make a take on it.

"Especially as New Zealand's sort of come of age as a wine producing country and also a beer producing country. We've got all sorts of really cool people trying different things.

'We're really a small player in both of those worlds, but we are a small player that punches above its weight."

- Wanganui Chronicle

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