How long have you been working at The Shakespeare? What enticed you to work there?
I have worked at the Shakespeare for around a month. There is so much history to the Shakespeare Hotel and Brewery and I wanted the challenge to put the Shakespeare back onto the New Zealand craft beer map and showcase the products that we have and future products we are working on.
How did your journey into the world of craft beers begin?
Originally from Leeds in the cold north of England I hit my beer drinking age unimpressed with mass produced lagers. I just didn’t like them - I was never sure why - I just knew the taste wasn’t for me. This led me to start drinking Guinness. I had found a beer that had some flavour and wasn’t really fizzy. From here I expanded my taste buds to drinking locally made Real Ale or cask conditioned ale. This is a slightly warm not very fizzy style of beer that is very popular in the UK. Finally I had found beer that had amazing flavour. You could taste the malt and the hops and I was in heaven. Fast forward a few years and I took myself on a journey of a lifetime through Australia and then onto this amazing country New Zealand. Along the journey I drank local beer everywhere I could. Through networking and working the taps in New Zealand I found an opportunity to start at the very bottom of the brewing industry ladder at a place called Hallertau Brewery. From here I went from filling, cleaning and finally delivering kegs of tasty beer to being Lead Brewer within 2 years. Along the way my passion became stronger and stronger for this amazing industry.
What sets The Shakespeare apart from the other ‘craft beer’ places in the city centre?
Definitely the hospitality. It reminds me of an English style ‘local’ as we call it, somewhere you walk into and immediately feel welcome, become friends with the bar team, have a good laugh and sit and enjoy the atmosphere of a real pub.
How amazing is it to work for the oldest microbrewery in NZ?
Its pretty cool working in a 120 year old building, it has its drawbacks like any period building but I really see amazing and special things happening within the Shakespeare in the next few years so come on in and be dazzled by the hospitality, the fantastic food and … of course ... the beer.
Can you tell me which beer am I? I drink beer while eating chips. I like Ice Hockey and my dream holidays are all about chilling on an hammock by the beach.
Definitely the Jester our German Pilsner, perfect for those sunny days on the beach and drinking with friends whilst watching your favourite sports.
If you could bring only one beer on to a deserted island, which one would you suggest?
It would have to be the one and only Bastard IPA, deliciously tropical and fruity, perfect pairing with a fresh juicy pineapple.
Last but not least, can you tell us a bit more about the team at The Shakespeare?
The Englishman manning the bar and restaurant and the German creating fantastic dishes to pair with our delightful beer …… what more is there to say, you’ll just have to come in and find out the rest for yourself. There is only one thing to say and that is… you will not be disappointed.
The Shakespeare Hotel & Brewery is an iconic establishment located on 61 Albert Street.