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Beer – a Visit to the Factory – WilliamsWarn

A colleague and I were driving to somewhere to do something trivial when I mentioned to him that we’d just passed the WilliamsWarn showroom/shop. It was as much as I could do to get him to not pull the hand brake on and go right back. We did what we had to do and then we made all haste back to the store.

Where we met Ian Williams, of WilliamsWarn, We didn’t have an appointment, we hadn’t called and we just walked into the shop. Ian spent about an hour with us, and has such passion and excitement for his creation. He is incredible, explaining to us the pitfalls of brewing, why homebrew fails to meet taste levels, and how making your own mash works, and why temperatures are so important.

It really was a standout remarkable experience, totally ad hoc, unannounced and totally welcoming.

And we got to try some of the beer that they have brewing in the machines. We had a Summer Ale, Pale ale, Irish ale and a dry hopped pilsner.

I didn’t so much like the summer ale, to me a bit thin, but the other three were remarkable, particularly the dry hopped one we finished with and that seemed to bring the most joy to Ian in describing it.

The Mark I machines are all sold, the Mark II machines are in progress of being made, they’ll have digital dials instead of analogue (which for my money isn’t a good improvement, nothing says science like an analogue dial) , and the dispense tap will be on the top of the machine not the side. Oh and a better gas bottle arrangement.

If I could persuade MrsPdubyah that I could get a return on my investment on this, and I am working on it, then I would have one of these at the drop of a hat.

Ian Williams told us that there will be a Cider and a Wheat Beer addition to their range shortly, they’ve been cautious because they’re developing the machine and not the consumables, but having picked up some prestigious awards recently, notably a  Gold Medal at the Asian Beer Awards, they’re confident that they understand what they have to do, and that the owners of these machines also know what they are doing enough to be able to use their own ideas to come up with results.

I can see these being an addition to small cafe bistro outlets, can you imagine a dinner evening with a limited edition beer match to a great food experience? I’m sure there are some legalities about produce for sale and taxes, nothing that couldn’t be overcome.  And there was a suggestion that long-term they might produce a 50 liter or 100 liter version, and Ian has in mind a real entry level device that would address the beginners market, all in the future.

They’ve managed a lot with a little budget for advertising, I know they’ll be on TV shortly on Campbell Live on TV3 in NZ, and they are expecting a jump in numbers on the waiting list from Kiwi’s wanting to experience a commercial quality beer at a home brew price.

Oh and did I say from woah to go, that’s from closing the lid on the machine to pouring a sparkling A-Grade beer was 7 days. Just 7 days all up, all in. 7 days, imagine. And you don’t have to decant or bottle it, it stays fresh as in the machine for ages “if you’re doing drinking wrong”. But you can bottle it, and you could produce 23 liters of beer a week, and you could brew a different beer each week, and you could invent a beer that no-one could replicate, and the possibilities are endless.

A real New Zealand success story, and when he’s a multimillionaire I am going to be able to say I had not one, but four beers with the man that made the machine!



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This entry was posted on June 30, 2012 by in Beer, Craft Beer, Justsaying and tagged , , , , , , , .

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