The latest from Atlas

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Muttonbird Beer: Five minutes with Richard Emerson - pt 2

Richard Emerson
The second part of our Q&A with Richard Emerson.

It feels like the craft beer industry has expanded substantially over the last few years. Do you ever feel like the market is becoming saturated?

Breweries have grown in the past few years, the biggest leap has been in the number of very small breweries. There is a wide of range of beers available now and the customer is spoiled for choice!

How does the idea for a new beer start? What inspires you?  Do you ever get inspired by anything other than beer? Food, for example, or a nice view or something?

Often an event or travels inspire me to develop a new beer. Bookbinder was a “one-off beer” created for the Victorian Fete in Oamaru, I wanted an English session ale with a bit of a Kiwi infusion using the distinctive Riwaka hop.

The 2002 trip to Oregon also inspired me to experiment with the new US hop ‘Amarillo’ which enabled Emerson’s to win a Gold Medal for APA.

I’m off to the Pacific Northwest in September, perhaps another inspiration may be in the works?

Can you cook? If so, what is your signature dish (and Emerson's beer match)?

My passion is cooking on the barbeque or slow cooking in Dutch cast iron pots (known as Potijie) over charcoals. It is great being outside preparing the fire, shovelling the charcoals around the pot, searing the meat then layering the ingredients up and relaxing with a few beers in hand during all that preparation…aha.

My signature dish is the 1812 Duck. Slow-cooked on Weber BBQ on Christmas Day and matched with the 1812 Pale Ale – what a way to enjoy the day!

Beer matching with food is so exciting especially when there’s a discovery of a perfect flavour match – so good that it would be hard for a winemaker to beat.

My favourite food match is a hard one to better. Delicious, freshly-shucked, briny oysters with crisp fruity Emerson’s Pilsner…oh my god what more can I say? Unfortunately the Bluff Oyster season has come to an end but equally fantastic is Tio Point Oysters from Marlborough Sounds.

Do you bike in your spare time? If so, what? X-country, downhill or road? 

I enjoy simply riding around Middlemarch with our dogs, the chance to cruise, admire the scenery and work an appetite for a beer!

Where are you going on your next holiday?

By the time you are reading this, I’ll have been on a Beer Tour visiting US Craft Breweries in the Pacific Northwest.

Tell us a secret. 

What did you say?...whaaat?