First brew has personal touch

(From left) brewers Damon Milne, Chris Ellenden and Kelly Robertson brew the first beer at the new Gadoochi Brewery in Invercargill. Photo: Laura Smith

NOTES of citrus, passionfruit and emotion.

The first craft beer to be brewed at the newly installed Gadoochi Brewery at Tuatara cafe and bar in Invercargill has a special flavour for its owners.

Nicola McGilvray and Chris Ellenden have dedicated the first in-house brew to her brother who died two years ago.

Called Johnny Spanners IPA, the brew, made in the 350-litre gravity fed brewer, will be a pilsner with citrus flavours and a touch of grapefruit and passionfruit, created with the help of brewers Damon Milne and Kelly Robertson.

It was expected to be released at the beginning of next year.

The homage was a personal one for Ms McGilvray.

“He would be very proud. He was a big part of this project and one of our main supporters.

“It is great we were able to make him part of it, even though he is not here.”

The new brewery officially opened its doors this month with the hope it would bring more vibrancy to the city.

“It was a long journey, almost three years of planning, but it is finally here and operating,” Mr Ellenden said.

Gadoochi Brewery sits at the back of the Dee St cafe and includes a tasting area, a stage for live performances and a variety of ciders and brewings for all kinds of tastes.

The couple hoped to create a destination for “hopheads” and wanted to create a collaborative beer with the input of local brewers.

“We hope Invercargill people embrace this brewery and they feel pride in it. It is somewhere they can go to gather with their local friends, as well as meet some out-of-town people,” Ms McGilvray said.

While the first local brew was not ready for consumption, customers could try almost 20 types of ciders and beers.

An official launch of the brewery and the Johnny Spanners beer was planned for the beginning of next year.

“Everything was so confusing this year with Covid-19 and new systems. But we need to do something, we need to celebrate.”