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History of beer at the Riwaka Hotel

November 27th, 2012
[by Coralie Smith]

The Motueka Historical Association year has come to an end with a delicious luncheon at the Riwaka Hotel and a talk given by Tom Inglis on the history of beer.

A former hop grower, hotelier and traveller extraordinaire Tom arrived at the function in his 1928 Rugby Tourer. Tom's talk was a bit like the stout he poured to show us what a widget was - frothy on top but with more substance below.

We journeyed from the days of Noah through the Greeks and Romans to the present day learning all sorts of odd facts about alcohol and its effects, uses and benefits. We also heard about its dark side.

The manufacture of beer has been going on since man discovered that putting a grain and a sugar together made alcohol. Today there is huge competition between breweries world wide to win in the marketplace and Tom has been there done that from the USA to Japan and Ireland, India to Australia.

He has seen the local hop industry change as new hop varieties were bred and hops were able to be pelletised. As with all things horticulture, the grower has to be able to ride the roller coaster ride of the fickle world market as well as face the trials and tribulations of the weather.

Tom has now retired from the hop industry, having written many articles and collected a wide range of written material on hops - an invaluable archive for the industry.

Let's hope he now writes up the part his Inglis family played in that industry and also the part they played in developing the district of Riwaka and Motueka.

And the luncheon? - superb service, delicious food and gracious hosts. Thank you for making our Christmas event memorable.



Tom Inglis in his 1928 Rugby Tourer



Historical Association members peruse the menu at the Riwaka Hotel



Eileen Stewart introduces the speaker ....


.... and Tim Rich later thanks him

 



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