Southlanders savour top brews

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Hop 'N' Vine event orgainser Kevin Downie looks out over the crowd. PHOTO: LAURA SMITH

HOP ‘N’ VINE was held for the fourth time last Saturday and its organiser is hoping to break even after losing thousands of dollars when a ticketing company went into receivership.

The beer and wine event was meant to be held earlier this year but was delayed due to the Covid-19 lockdown.

Organiser Kevin Downie said when ticket company Ticket Rocket “went bust”, Hop ā€˜Nā€™ Vine lost $24,000.

There was “no chance” of receiving any of that money, he said.

“We’re hoping we will get a lot of walk-ups today. If we get 400… we can break even.”

More than 20 brewers came from throughout the country, and almost 2000 people attended, he said.

He said there would be some sore heads around Southland on Sunday.

“It was a big party.”

Among the brewers was Norm MacLeod, of Catlins Brewery.

“I started the brewery in 2014 started as a hobby and look at me now, the hobby got a bit out of control.”

He said they made up to 600 litres a day double brewing and hoped to build a new brewery next year.

“We’re giving these guys a taste of The Catlins, and a wee taste of Scotland, too.”

The range included beer and a new cider, which was aged for six months.

“We age cider like a wine. We do dry cider, not sweet cider.”

The next event was planned for March 27.

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