Home' Greymouth Star : January 31st 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Tuesday, January 31, 2017
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uLetters to the editor
1606 - D utch navigator Willem Jansz in the
Duyfken becomes apparently the first European
to land on the Australian coast.
1606 - Guy Fawkes, chief plotter in the
attempt to blow up the British
Houses of Parliament, is executed.
1788 - Bonnie Prince Charlie,
leader of the failed Jacobite rebellion
against the English, dies in Rome.
1876 - The US government orders
all Native Americans to move to
reser vations or be declared hostile.
1943 - German troops surrender at
1949 - First tv daytime soap opera, These Are
My Children, is broadcast in Chicago.
1956 - Death of A A Milne, British children’s
author of the Winnie-the-Pooh stories.
1968 - Nauru, jointly administered by Britain,
Australia and New Zealand since World War
One, becomes independent.
1991 - Allied forces claim victory in battle of
Khafji, first major ground battle of Persian Gulf
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Tokugawa Ieyasu, Japanese shogun (1543-
1616); Franz Schubert, German composer
(1797-1828); Anna Pavlova, Russian ballerina
(1881-1931); Eddie Cantor, US
singer (1892-1964); Mario Lanza,
US singer (1921-1959); Norman
Mailer, US writer (1923-2007); Jean
Simmons, British actress (1929-
2010); KC, US singer-musician of
KC and the Sunshine Band fame
(1951-); Kelly Lynch, US actress
(1959-); Minnie Driver, British actress (1970-);
Justin Timberlake, US singer (1981-) .
“ We live in a moment of history where change
is so speeded up that we begin to see the present
only when it is disappearing.” R D Laing,
Scottish psychiatrist (1927-1989).
“Refresh my heart in Christ.”
— (Philemon 1:20).
Mr Bernard Francis
Connors died at
Greymouth last night. Mr Connors, who
had been ill for the past year, had been a
businessman at both Blackball and Greymouth
and had ser ved terms on the Grey County
Council as well as the borough council. Mr
Connors, more recently an auctioneer with E V
Arthur and Son, was just 51 years old when he
succumbed to illness. Born in Blackball, he had
resided on the West Coast all his life.
A strong rugby league supporter, he managed
many West Coast teams and was president
of the West Coast Rugby League for a
lengthy period. Sincerely interested in local
body affairs, Mr Connors was elected to the
Greymouth Borough Council in 1963 and was
currently in his second term of office. While in
Blackball he was elected to the Grey County
For nearly nine years he was chairman of
the St Patrick’s Building Fund committee,
which raised £100,000 for parish and school
buildings, and gave much of his time to this
Mr Connors is sur vived by his wife Elizabeth,
two sons Michael and Bernard, and one
daughter Anne; five sisters and one brother.
A party of about 28 dependants of the
victims killed in the Strongman mine disaster
will leave the Coast early next week for a
week’s holiday in Whakatane. They will travel
by chartered aircraft at the invitation of the
citizens of Whakatane, Rotorua and Taupo.
Thje trip was organised by the ser vice clubs in
the area following the disaster. The Greymouth
Rotary Club has local details in hand.
uFood for thought
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hen it comes to
are not the first who
come to mind as
fitting the ‘rock star’
But as Epic brewer-owner Luke Nicholas
found out recently, there is a degree of fame
to be found at the bottom of a bottle.
“I was coming home from somewhere
recently and rocked up at Customs ... and
my Customs form says ‘brewer’ and the guy
says: ‘Epic, yeah I’ve drunk some of your
beer — it ’s got a lot of flavour.
“And suddenly, there’s another guy
running at me from across the room and
I’m thinking, ‘ What ’s going on here?’ and
he says to me: ‘ You’re Luke Nicholas from
“I love Hop Zombie.”
“They were both so excited and wanting
to chat and I’m thinking I have to go
and get my bag but they were just so
For Nicholas, being accosted at Auckland
Airport by fawning fans because he makes
beer was almost unthinkable 20 years ago
when he started out as an assistant brewer
at now defunct the Cock and Bull
In his two decades as a brewer, which he
celebrated on January 17, Nicholas has seen
Just five years ago he estimated the
audience for craft beer in New Zealand to
be about 10,000 dedicated people.
“That was a realistic guess at the size of
the market based on sales and how many
people it would take to consume that
amount of craft beer,” he says.
“Back then there were a lot of people
who were transient, who would come in
and sample but they wouldn’t really stick
to anything. They ’d go back to their green
Today he is happy to say that guess has
increased tenfold to an “underestimate”
of 100,000 and, like his fans at Auckland
Airport, they are committed.
But despite massive growth in the
industry, Nicholas fears there is a regression
of sorts at work — it is almost as hard
now to sell beer as it was back in the day
when he was knocking on doors until his
“ knuckles are bleeding”.
“The other day I was trying to figure
when we were in the ‘golden age’ of
having the right number of breweries and
customers and I think it was 2012 — that
was the time before all the me-toos started
coming on board.
“Every wannabe home brewer, every
person with money who wanted to buy
a brewery, every branding guy who says,
‘L ook at this double-digit growth, I’m
jumping on that.’
“People who are doing that now are
already late because things are going to get
ANZ released an industry insights report
last August that stated: “Our research
suggests total sales of craft beer are up by
35% in the past year, with a number of
breweries growing at rates substantially
higher than the overall category. We
estimate craft beer accounts for around 15%
of domestic beer sales.”
The report was highly criticised by
industry players for being too loose with
definitions — it included big brewery
owned brands such as Mac’s, Monteith’s
and Boundary Road in the craft basket —
as well as having no real hard data.
Website beertown.nz followed by
commissioning Statistics NZ to look at
craft growth from 2013-15 based on figures
from Customs and Excise.
Data showed that although overall beer
production fell by about 1.5% per year from
2013-15, craft beer production increased
about 27% per year from 2013-15.
Much of that growth was driven by
new players to the market. The number of
breweries doubled from about 80 to 160
Some breweries have grown hugely
in the past four or five years — notably
Wellington trio Garage Project, Panhead
Custom Ales and Parrot Dog, all of whom
featured on the Deloitte’s Fast 50 list of
booming companies over the past two years.
And Liberty Brewing, now at Helensville,
has twice outgrown its production capacity
in the past two years alone. These were the
Beertown writer Martin Craig, a former
business journalist, concluded overall
production growth is attributable mostly
to the newcomers rather than a rising tide
lifting all boats.
It was a view backed by Annika
Naschitski of Wellington’s Tiamana. She
came to the industry three years ago after
10 years as business consultant.
She observed recently: “In the last year
it certainly feels that New Zealand’s craft
beer market is reaching a level of the
dreaded ‘saturation’ that makes it difficult
for existing breweries to get by — and more
or less impossible for new breweries to
establish remarkable brands that can safely
make it through the next years.”
Dominic Kelly, bar owner, distributor and
importer, said the ANZ report neglected
the two big issues faced by small New
Zealand brewers: “ Their access to the on-
premise market is still, for the most part,
blocked and very, very few are making any
It is certainly true that although
production is increasing, money is not
Moa, as a publicly listed company, is
obliged to report its financial position. Its
half-year report last September showed,
despite a 13% growth in revenue, a loss of
Parrot Dog, which made the Deloitte Fast
50 list in 2015, revealed in its prospectus
ahead of raising $2m in crowd funding for
a brewery expansion, that it lost $156,000
in 2015-16 and forecast another loss this
year before booming into profit.
The hardest aspect for established
players, says Nicholas, is the finite space on
supermarket and bottle store shelves and
what the industry calls “tied taps” in most
On the first issue, securing shelf space is
tough at the best of times and once you do,
standing out “in the wash of colour” is the
And Nicholas is convinced sales in pubs
and bars are effectively capped for most
in the craft sector as the big breweries —
Lion, DB Breweries and Independent
— co ntrol pourage rights through
ownership or contracts.
“There is a natural ceiling for a craft
brewery in New Zealand,” Nicholas says.
“ You can’t get to 80% of the on-premise
market because the big breweries have
them tied up. So any craft brewery can only
get to a certain size. I don’t know what that
place is, maybe a couple of million litres.
“Maybe Moa and Tuatara are there, where
you just can’t sell any more beer in New
Zealand and have to export if you want to
“ We’re all trapped under this glass ceiling
and the only way to break through is to be
like Emerson’s or Panhead and get bought
He believes some newer brewers will be
hit hard when a maturing market stops its
rampant experimentation and starts to play
“ We’re quickly heading into a space where
the consumers who created all this demand
will say, ‘ We now know enough and we’re
not going to drink these brands any more.’
“Brewers are going to find their stuff ’s not
selling any more.”
Not everyone sees a red flag or a turning
Aucklander Adam Sparks, a former
champion home brewer, launched his own
label, Sparks, two years ago with a foreign
extra stout. He followed that with a Belgian
farmhouse ale and a Belgian blonde ale —
with not an IPA or a pale ale in sight.
“I have watched the market get saturated
and I can see why it’s a challenge for
breweries with big market share,” Sparks
says. “Finding that extra percentage of
growth is really difficult.
“I like saturation, though. I like wandering
down a supermarket aisle filled with a
rainbow of beer labels and styles. But I look
— there’s always room to cater for the
specialist and when the landscape gets filled
with similar styles of beer like pale ales and
IPAs, the fringe styles that we do can start
to stand out.
“Despite the saturation, we have seen
continued growth — particularly for our
Sparks recently took on a new distributor
in Auckland, Eco Foods, and he says their
observation is that having something
different to sell is crucial.
Nicholas agrees. “If you’re making a pale
ale or an IPA, what are you doing that ’s
different?” he says. “How are you using hops
and malt differently? You can’t. Or what
about making a sour?
“ We played around with sours last year on
a small scale and I thought ‘these are good,
but they don’t stand out, they ’re not epic
and they ’re not significantly different to
anything else that ’s already on the market ...
what ’s the point ’.
“I will only do something if I can make
something better or find a new angle.”
Sparks and Nicholas also agree brew pubs
are the way forward.
The model has worked for the likes of
Galbraith’s, Hallertau, Deep Creek and
“If you have enough people in your
community you can make a brew pub
work,” Nicholas says. “If you own that
space, you win. You can have a nice lifestyle
out of it.”
It is something Sparks noticed when he
first had his beer brewed under contract
at Scott ’s in Oamaru. After starting out in
Kelston, husband and wife team Phillip and
Tyla Scott headed to Oamaru three years
ago run a brewpub and pizzeria.
“There is more scope for brewpubs,”
“New Zealand’s really ripe for that culture.
Scott ’s are a good example. The locals are
all over it.
“ You wouldn’t have thought Oamaru
would have embraced it but it ’s just perfect
in the local community, there’s just enough
people and there’s nowhere else to go.”
Sparks is adamant we have not reached
peak beer yet, for the simple fact Lion
bought Emerson’s and Panhead. “ They
want a return on their investment and they
can see the market growing over the next
10 years. I think that ’s a clear indicator.
But it ’s obviously getting difficult for the
likes of Epic, Tuatara and other bigger craft
breweries who are competing for that larger
Another area for growth is exemplified by
Auckland newcomers O utlier Cartel, who
brew at Hallertau in Huapai.
Brewer Carlos de la Barra said the small
brewery last year focused on lots of new
releases, going for a high turnover of small
Like Sparks, they had unusual beers, such
as a honey and chestnut ale and Apricity,
a spiced beer based on D utch speculaas
biscuits, made with cinnamon, nutmeg,
cloves, ginger, cardamom and white pepper.
It was a huge sell-out success. “ When we
set up Outlier we decided to do one release
a month,” de la Barra says.
“Rather than making big volumes we
wanted to build organically and slowly
by staying relevant and getting people to
talk about it naturally, rather than putting
sponsored ads on Facebook.”
Although he sees the market has slowed
down, he points to a subtle change of
direction rather than a worrying u-turn.
Educated consumers are starting to regard
beer the way they do food, looking for
artisanal and local.
“There is a trend back to interesting food
and to hyper-local — and that ’s a niche.
As a small player, we are finding we can
make money. It’s a totally different business
model that goes with the way consumers
“Other niches can be explored but
they are not readily available for bigger
producers because of the volumes they
make. There’s room for nano — and micro-
producers who make batches of 2000 litres
as opposed to 20,000.”
He believes there is plenty of scope,
especially in Auckland, for more boutique
player, but only if they are prepared to
sur vive off smaller volumes and leave bigger
production to the likes of Liberty, 8-Wired
in Warkworth and Epic, which brews out
of Steam, in Mangere.
Even suburban brewpubs are nt out of
the question, like the original Cock & Bull
model, where Nicholas started.
“I hear there are plans for someone to
open in Kingsland — they won’t struggle
locally but they won’t be everywhere. It’s
just a different business model.
“Hipsters might die off soon but I think
it’s unlikely the craft beer bubble will burst,
it’s just changing.” — New Zealand Herald
End of the golden age?
Once the domain of hipsters, craft beer is now in pubs, supermarkets and almost every
home barbecue or party. But, asks MICHAEL DONALDSON, is the industry reaching
the end of its shelf life?
he passing of Anne
Elizabeth Rodden has
robbed the Grey district
of a musically talented and
generous woman who had
travelled widely throughout
the West Coast, entertaining at countless
functions and concerts.
Born on October 6, 1928, at Burnetts
Face, Denniston, to Storrie and Jane
Worgan, Anne Worgan was a natural on
the piano. Her talent was recognised by
her parents before she attended school and
from there they actively encouraged her
During her life Mrs Rodden only had the
one piano and it travelled from Denniston
to Ngakawau, Runanga and finally on to
Greymouth. There would be few other
pianos that had the workout that hers did
over the years.
From Denniston, the Worgan family
moved to Ngakawau and then on to
Runanga. Anne attended Runanga School
and then Greymouth High School.
As a young woman she played cricket for
Cobden and represented West Coast. On
the side at the time there happened to be a
number of Rodden sisters from Blaketown
and it was through this connection that
led to her meeting her future husband
William (Billy) Rodden.
Anne was invited to a welcome home
party held at the Rodden family home at
81 Preston Road, to celebrate the return
from the war of brothers Jack and Bill.
It was here the two met, and the rest is
history; they married in February 1949 in
Four children were to follow over the
next few years — Cheryl, Annette, Kevin
and Bill junior. The family lived in Cobden
initially but soon moved to 19 Joyce
Crescent, Greymouth, which remained
home for the best part of 60 years.
Despite being a busy mother to four, Mrs
Rodden continued to play in various bands
of the era — The Five Aces, Stardust and
later on Anne Rodden’s Orchestra — at
weddings, 21st birthdays and numerous
operatic performances. She even appeared
with fellow band members in the
acclaimed 1980s movie Bad Blood, about
the October 1941 tragedy at Koiterangi.
Life membership of the Greymouth
Operatic Society was bestowed on Mrs
Rodden on March 16, 1977, and she
was made an honourary member of the
Greymouth RSA in November of that
Mrs Rodden had a genuine ‘open door’
home at Joyce Crescent and over the years
many relatives, friends of her children
and countless visitors were welcomed
and enjoyed her generous hospitality and
impromptu concerts. Her middle name
could have well been ‘entertainment ’ for
there was often little reason needed for her
to tap out some tunes and often the music
played until the wee hours. She would
never stop smiling — she enjoyed making
others smile. In doing that she was second
On one funny occasion following
the final show of an operatic society
production many years ago, the after-show
function moved on to the Park Hotel.
However, an early morning raid by
the boys in blue about 3am resulted in
the crowd quickly heading out all exits.
The policeman in charge quickly asked
Mrs Rodden where she was going. Anne
responded “I’m off with the rest.” The
policeman said “no you’re not ”. He then
got out his handcuffs and clipped her to
the seat with a smile and said “You carry
on playing the piano, you’re doing a good
job.” He then left them to it, but soon
came back to release her. Obviously the
police on night shift at the station just
across the road from the Park Hotel were
enjoying the music too.
In recent years Mrs Rodden was a
popular resident of Dixon House and there
she would occasionally hop on the piano
Predeceased by her husband, Mrs
Rodden passed away peacefully surrounded
by family on January 23. She is sur vived
by her four children, sister Jane, 12
grandchildren and their extended families.
1928 — 2017
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