Sunday, January 25, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Point of Brew: On the road in a most green and pleasant land

MichaelLewisW

By
From page A9 | November 07, 2013 |

This place reminds me a lot of Wales.

The mountains are numerous and green; not that slightly dusty green we see in California but a luminous emerald green we normally see only on paint chips at the hardware store. The roads are narrow and in many places winding, and narrow bridges cross over bounding streams that dash from the mountains because it rains all the time.

There are sheep everywhere and lamb is the best deal in restaurants. The natives speak with a distinct and identifiable accent and are friendly and helpful and caring and are passionate about rugby. The towns and streets have names impossible to pronounce.

However, though much is the same, the steep places are steeper than in Wales and the high places are much higher; it is much farther from here to there than in Wales and more lonely along the way.

The place names, though just as curious as in Wales, suffer from an excess of vowels rather than a shortage of them. That’s because they are Maori names not Welsh ones and this is New Zealand.

This short column comes to you from Queenstown in the South Island of New Zealand where my dear map-reader has safely brought us after we landed at Auckland about two weeks ago.

Of course, I have been observing the beer culture along the way. Part of this is by plan: I made arrangements before leaving Davis to visit the brewing program at Massey University in Palmerston North where I was kindly received and shown equipment I could only dream about when I was at UC Davis. Also, through colleagues, I arranged to visit the quite tiny but innovative hop research center at Motueka and to visit a large working hop farm in the region.

In addition, it turns out that New Zealand has a growing and successful craft brewing industry and at almost every stop of our journey I have been able to send in my business card at breweries and brew pubs and have the brewers welcome me most kindly; they are proud to show me the equipment and products and discuss problems and perspectives; I have enjoyed that no end.

At one small brewery in Blenheim in the South Island the brewer turned out to be a Californian and a former student who emerged from the cellar shouting: “Prof Lewis — I don’t believe it!” We fell on each other’s shoulders.

One thing I notice is that consumers here make no real distinction between craft brews and mainstream products of the regular breweries. All the beers are quite distinctive and full of character and tasty and almost without exception, regardless of style, highly drinkable and well-balanced. That is, they are sensible beers (I can hear some people groaning with boredom). I have not encountered a single product that I would call an extreme beer — those black, bitter, alcoholic, barrel-aged, sour and fruit-flavored beers so loved of many craft brewers in the USA.

That is, the beers are all about the consumer, not the brewer.

Similarly, this spectacularly beautiful country, with its tiny population, is all about its people, not its elected politicians; on the news this morning I heard a minister of the government say out loud and in public the following: “We should do it because it is the kind thing to do.”

— Reach Michael Lewis at cymro@sbcglobal.net. Comment on this column at www.davisenterprise.com

Comments

comments

.

News

Four days of unusual, adventuresome music

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Bridges of Yolo County: Wear, tear … repair?

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
GOP presses state bills limiting gay rights before ruling

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Abortion opponents express renewed hope at California rally

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Spanish police arrest 4 suspected members of a jihadi cell

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Rockets kill 30 in Ukrainian city as rebels launch offensive

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Abe ‘speechless’ after video claims IS hostage dead

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Fake schools draw federal scrutiny

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Winter produce available at Sutter market

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
Vote for your favorites in Readers’ Choice poll

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Sip wines at St. James’ annual tasting

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
Share your love (story) with us

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Donations to be distributed during homeless count

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

 
Speaker will share computer security tips

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Logos Books celebrates 5 years, offers language groups

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Australian olive oil company opens U.S. headquarters in Woodland

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Explore at the YOLO Outdoor Expo

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Yolo animal shelter seeking rawhide donations

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A5

Woodland Healthcare employees take Great Kindness Challenge

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
At the Pond: Nest boxes give birds new homes

By Jean Jackman | From Page: A6 | Gallery

California ranks worst in nation for guidance counselors

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Davis, Woodland are saving water

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A12

Words and Music Festival events

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A12

 
.

Forum

 
Caring for the aging mouth

By Samer Alassaad | From Page: A8

 
We have the right to choose

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

We don’t have to suffer

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
City helped immensely

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Rick McKee cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

 
Big utilities’ nightmare begins to play out

By Tom Elias | From Page: A10

Mayor’s Corner: Let’s renew Davis together

By Dan Wolk | From Page: A10

 
From innovation parks to innovative buildings and planning

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

When measles spreads from Disneyland, it’s a small world after all

By New York Times News Service | From Page: A11

 
.

Sports

Loud crowd sees DHS boys win

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Lady Devils hold off Pacers, stay perfect in league

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Wildcats’ inaugural kids development league exceeds expectations

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Aggies get top 2015 gymnastics score, but fall short

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

UCD men take two tennis matches

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

 
Watney in ninth at Humana Challenge

By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B8

.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

Davis man focusing on cannabidiol business

By Will Bellamy | From Page: A9

 
Marrone Bio’s Regalia approved for new uses in Canada

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

 
UCD grad makes insurance ‘hot 100′ list

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Yolo County real estate sales

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A9

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, January 25, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B8