[Date illegible] ”Mr. George Ellis newly erected brewery at Hastings is the most compact establishment of its kind in Hawke’s Bay, and contains all the latest improvements. In connection with the brewery Mr. Ellis also manufactures aerated waters, ginger ales etc., and has acquired the services of the late foreman of Mr. Lenon’s celebrated waterworks at Wellington. Mr. Ellis is in a position to introduce various novelties in the way of temperance drinks, while the ale that we have tasted at his brewery is beyond all praise. We venture to think that Ellis’s soda-water will be a household word in the district, and if he continues to brew a pure beer from malt and hops such as the sample we have had there will be no necessity to go to Dunedin or Invercargill for light ales. Mr. Ellis attributes the excellence of his beer – apart from anything else – to the purity of the water at Hastings.”
Oct. 27 1882 Mr. G. Ellis has imported one of Barnett & Foster‘s aerated water machines…. now being fitted up at his brewery in Hastings…. Mr. Ellis should be able to turn out good temperance drink….
22 Dec 1882
(FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT)
December 14, 1882.
Next to being haunted by a real ghost I can imagine nothing more annoying than to be haunted by the ghost of a song. The vexatious part of it is that it is always some lyrical rubbish which takes possession of one, and yet by a strange inconsistency one is annoyed that we can only remember a fragment, for never by any chance can one exorcise the intruder by singing it right through. Moreover, it is always something the interest and meaning of which (if it ever had any) have been dead and buried long ago. Why, for instance, should an “old ancient Irish ditty” keep hammering in my brain with damnable iteration to the time of my horse’s hoofs as I jog into Hastings this blazing hot day? Can it be because I have constituted myself (“for this occasion only”) an “Ale Conner [?]” (if the ofﬁce, were extant now what a lot of candidates there would be for it!), and am on my way to inspect Mr Ellis’s brewery. Here it is again! (the rhyme not brewery). Let me sing it once for all and get rid of it if I can :-—
And some folks deloight in their fishin’ and fowlin’ to win
And other folks deloight in their carriages a rawling
But it is my whole deloight from noight until marnin’
To be dhrinkin a full bumper of the juice of the barley.
What on earth has this to do with moral NZ.? Can even the “active and intelligent” gentlemen “dressed in a little brief authority” and a blue uniform produce a bibulous fellow mortal whose depravity and powers of absorption run to this extent? Out upon the anachronism! – I should have reported fully on the brewery aforesaid long ere this, but that although it has been in working order for some time past I haven’t, something wrong with my colon having nearly brought me to a full stop.
St. Aubyn’s brewery, although not as extensive as the vast affair of which Dr. Johnson in his magniloquent language predicated that it afforded “the potentiality of wealth beyond the dreams of avarice” contains as we shall see “appliances and means to boot” in the brewing line which would have considerably astonished that philosopher, to say nothing of the fact of temperance drink and King Beer going forth hand in hand, so to speak, from the same roof. To begin at the beginning. I follow my leader up to the top ﬂoor, where the malt passes from its hopper into a patent washing machine, wherein it is thoroughly mixed with water, heated by steam from the boiler of a 10 h.p. engine on the ground floor. From the mashing machine the wort passes into the mash tun and thence into a steam-jacketed boiling copper, in which the hops are added, which copper is a specialty in New Zealand, albeit in pretty general use in England. From this copper the wort passes over the surface of a Burt’s refrigerator (on the second ﬂoor), through the pipes of which a stream of cold water passes. Thence the wort passes into the fermenting vat. Part of the basement is used for storing ale, the sight of which reminds me that I am just in condition to ascertain if the ale is ditto. Sample No. 1, a good strong beer, somewhat like “Yorkshire stingo.” Sample No. 2 a light ale “for harvest use,” says Mr Ellis, although I can think of many other occasions on which a tankard of it would be acceptable. Sample No. 3 comes nearer in flavor to English than anything which I have tasted in New Zealand. On my remarking this, I am informed that, whereas the other samples were new ales, this has been in store for three months. This, although it would be considered a short storage in England, greatly improves the ﬂavor of the sample in question. The other side of the basement might be visited by Sir Wm. Fox with a clear conscience, containing as it does Barnett and Foster’s prize apparatus for the manufacture of soda, lithia, and other aerated waters. A speciality in this line is the ginger ale, on tasting which I am not surprised to learn that the demand is in excess of the supply, and that like “The Sorcerer’s Penny Curses,” they “can’t turn them out fast enough.” I must not forget to notice an ingenious bottling machine, through one pipe of which the soda water passes from the generator into the bottle, a second pipe conveying into the bottle the syrup with which the soda water is to be flavored. In an adjacent shed I am shown a mysterious heap of dried herb, which I am told is horehound ready to be made into horehound beer.
So much for one of the most promising of our local industries. It may be that the time is not far distant when I shall have to write of “spinning jennies,” of carding engines, of “devils” (not printers) of duffers and strippers, and other devices which exercise the brains and ﬁngers of “Bradford foak,” and when that time comes I may have to report an enlargement of a certain brewery to meet the increased demands upon it.