Soon after we had arrived down on the South Island goals became clear: We were to taste as much beer as possible. Even if it meant going off our desired route to do so. West Coast Brewery is located in Westport, a small town about 100 kms north of Greymouth, 1o kms off our desired route, and as far as we could tell, the highlight of the town.
For $10, you can taste up to five beers at this small, homely brewery set near the middle of town. And who gives them to you? None other than the brewer himself, Dave. A slightly awkward, muscular dude, Dave sat down and talked to us about beer making. After much prompting, we eventually got the full story of West Coast Brewery (and himself) out of him – he had been brewing beer for some years, starting in England and moving on to Australia, eventually appling for the job at West Coast. When he started there as a brewer, according to him at least, the beers weren’t any good. He pretty much revitalised the entire company.
I don’t know how it was before, but I can attest to the fact that he did a damn good job. The beers at West Coast are all delicious. The company is known for the Green Fern, an organic lager that was light, with a perfect combination of hops and malt. West Coast Black is a good, standard dark beer with a nice chocolatey beginning and a surprisingly refreshing ending. The only one we were a little turned off by was the West Coast Wheat, a German style Hefeweisen with a weird banana flavour. Definitely not for us, but I can see why others might enjoy it.
West Coast Brewery is worth going off the path for. And although Dave is a bit awkward, he’s still nice and willing to talk about his yummy pints.
Oh, and if you enjoy beer, take a minute to check out our friend Dan’s awesome beer site: Raise1Glass.com. He knows way, way more about beer than I do. – Jennifer