On the way to the glaciers


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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast » Greymouth
August 18th 2007
Published: August 19th 2007EDIT THIS ENTRY

Marie at HomeMarie at HomeMarie at Home

Marie takes her turn at the taps
Last night Marie got the grand tour of the Youth Centa, where a welcoming (and likely toxic) fire was burning away in the rusting oil barrel out front. Later we caught the Woodstock revival show at Wilson's Hotel. It was pretty much a one woman show, although every once and a while a bloke with appropriately long hair and a sixties head scarf accompanied her on the tambourine.

This morning we got a late start for our tour down the West Coast to Fiordland. We stopped off at Monteith’s brewery in Greymouth for the required brewery tour and beer sampling. Marie reluctantly joining in Monteith's got its start in Reefton in the 19th century, relocating to Greymouth in the early 20th century. It remains the only major brewer on the West Coast. While various Monteith concoctions are brewed on both the North and South Island in large commercial breweries, the Greymouth facility continues to produce a number of its signature beers. Much of the work continues to be done by hand, including the packing of the bottles - three women pack 228 bottles per minute for a 10 hour shift. There were several examples of kiwi ingenuity on display (e.g. the bottle handling machine made from an old truck), but none was as impressive as the urinals made from old kegs. After the tour the taps were opened for a generous sampling of the product. Marie was dishing out the ale (and the lager) like a pro.

After a stop at Robert Harris (the Kiwi equivalent of Starbucks) , we wandered down the coast, stopping by the picturesque Lake Ianthe on the way. Lambing season is well underway and the cute little lambs were evident in many of the paddocks we passed by. It won’t be long before they become evident back home - on dinner plates.


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22nd August 2007

Fiordland
I had no idea you had been pining for the Fiords.

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