Home' The Wellingtonian : April 26th 2012 Contents 14 THE WELLINGTONIAN, APRIL 26, 2012
A tale of ales from bar to bar
By EMMA BEER
Cheers: Andrew Childs could be Wellington's next big brewer.
Photo: EMMA BEER
Andrew Childs took a massive
risk, and pay cut, to start making
his dream a reality.
Mr Childs, 27, is a qualified
lawyer, having been admitted to
the bar in 2010. He now works as
a bartender at the Fork and
Brewer to gain the knowledge to
become a professional brewer.
His interest in beer started
when he was 12 and began
collecting beer mugs from the Sal-
vation Army using his money from
an Evening Post delivery run.
Most of them are in storage in
mum s attic, till I get my own bar
or man cave, he said.
However, it was not till much
later that he began to actually
While he was on a New Year s
Eve trip in 2010, a discussion
about New Year resolutions arose,
I was writing New Year
resolutions and opened up the
floor for everyone to make a resol-
ution for me. There s a few I didn t
do, but intended to. I had to read
the whole Koran I ve got, but it s
One of his friends, also a home
brewer, knew Mr Childs had
always wanted to brew, so
challenged him to begin. After
making about half a dozen brews,
Mr Childs called case closed on his
government department legal pol-
It spiralled. Brewing went
from being a hobby, to a passion,
to an obsession. I was already rid-
iculously passionate about beer,
just not in the brewing sense.
He said he now made between
20 and 40 litres of home brew a
week, though he drinks only about
20 per cent of it himself.
I give most of it away to friends
and other home brewers.
Mr Childs said he grew up
wanting to be a lawyer, probably
from reading too many John
Grisham books .
He took an almost 60 per cent
pay cut to begin work at the bar
and begin fulltime brewing.
And the inhospitable hours --
it s ironic there are such inhospi-
table hours in the hospitality
I d still like to make a comfort-
able living, even though craft beer
isn t the best way to do that in the
I chose Fork and Brewer
because it s a brew pub and I
wanted to learn from a really good
brew technician. I thought it
would be unwise for me to jump in
without getting the know-how and
Mr Childs said at some point he
would like to open his own brew-
ing company, but he wasn t too
sure when that might happen.
Life is what happens when
you re busy making plans, so I m
not making a hard plan. But in
the next five years I d like to have
a brewing company that is mak-
I want to get some solid recipes
or investors or someone who
wants to go in with me. I can t in
all good business sense get into
something I don t know all the ins
and outs of.
One of the best things about
craft beer and home brewing was
the community, he said.
It s nice to be part of [the com-
munity]. Brewers are the nicest
Everyone, no matter what their
brewing level, was happy to talk
and share advice on recipes and
ways of doing things.
His other favourite aspect of
brewing was creating recipes.
I love the creativity around it.
I m addicted to it. I ve made 10
new recipes in the last few
Mr Childs said his hope was to
get into extreme brewing, after
reading Brewing Up a Business by
[Extreme brewing is] anything
that s unconventional. Put in
twice as many hops, it s extreme,
twice the alcohol, that s extreme.
Or add bunches of random things.
It s usually an acquired taste.
Hopefully some people will love
them but some people are going
hate them. But, I realise you need
to make some really nice main-
stream beers to make some
money, then you can make that
stuff. It s all early days yet.
Mr Childs recently entered four
beer ideas in the Clemengers Wel-
lington in a Pint competition. One
was Courtenay Nights. He
described it as a black IPA that
represented the Courtenay Place
night life, hoppy and jovial, but
also a little seedy and dark.
Another he is brewing is Buzzy-
Bean Stout -- playing on Welling-
ton s coffee addiction.
So what is this self-professed
beer geek s favourite beer?
It s a question that s often asked
and hardly answered, he said.
To steal a quote from a great
Wellington beer person, I can t
tell you my favourite beer but I
can tell you my favourite beer is
right now , and it s probably Lib-
erty C!tra Double IPA.
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