Monday, 20 April 2009

Tasman Brewery and the Sprig & Fern Pubs

I was really quite impressed by both the Tasman Brewery beer and the success of their own little chain of pubs, all called (slightly confusingly) the Sprig and Fern.

The Tasman beer range is large (apparently there are 28 beers, ciders, soft drinks and alco-pops altogether) and very consistent. I tasted no bad ones and several very good. I particularly liked the spiced Summer Ale, the Harvest Pilsener (made with fresh hops) and the Wee Heavy.

The pubs themselves (I visited Hardy St and Milton St) are new and friendly and have a light, clean and unthreatening feel. Interpret that positively or negatively as you see fit. They are also doing a lot of business. Attached is a photo of the Hardy St bar, with Scott the manager in the background. One of the group's directors, David Barrett, pointed out that they intentionally installed the taps behind the bar, rather than on it, to minimise the distance from the kegs, and were told it would never work. Once he pointed this out I realised that this is something I saw often at craft beer bars in the States.

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