After discovering Alibi Brewing in a pint glass at 16TUN on Auckland’s waterfront on a thirsty Friday afternoon I was on a mission to find the source of the creamy golden haze that I could not get enough of.
The following week I grabbed my AT Hop Card and boarded the ferry to Waiheke island alongside thousands of other thirsty well-dressed Aucklanders.
While most people had their mind set on knocking back a cheap bottle of rose, I was on the hunt for the “hazzys” and after indulging in a bit of the rose myself at Stoney Ridge vineyard we made the 10-minute hike down Onetangi Rd to Tantalus Estate; the home of Alibi Brewing Co.
Walking up the drive, parallel to the vines I knew this place was going to be special. Everything looked immaculate, from the gate to the vines to the building and once I made my way into the dining area we were not only greeted by a delightful host, but a well-designed interior (thanks to Cheshire Architects) with a modern rustic aesthetic which I’m all for even though it wasn’t the usual grungy pub vibe I am used to.
After two tasting flights, three pints of Alibi Oat Cream hazy double IPA and the best fries I have ever had, Carrie, the hospitable owner of Tantalus/Alibi led us out of the lush dining area and down to the cave-like bar with brick lined walls and clusters of pipes pushing through the brick ceiling ready to serve the freshest beer on the island straight from the tanks.
Unfortunately, for me the bar was closed on this day (it’s now open, so go check it out!) which had me feeling down as my glass was now half full and I was ready for my fourth pint of haze … but we were being led to somewhere even better than a bar, we were headed towards the shiny stainless steel tanks filled with head brewer Bernard Neate’s next crafty concoction. We were given an insight into the brewing process at Alibi which was tempting me to leave my job to become a brewer.
With our vessels almost empty Carrie led us into the cellar where we had the pleasure of seeing every vintage of wine to come out of Tantalus. That was an absolute privilege to witness but we weren’t there to sip on grape juice, so we got our glasses topped up with some more golden liquid and headed into the vines for a few snaps for the ‘gram – because if you didn’t snap it, did you really go to Waiheke Island?
With our minds full of knowledge and our belly’s full of great beer we were ready to depart but not without a few riggers of Vacant Daze to keep our thirst quenched and our heads hazy while we rolled our way back to the mainland whilst scheming our next mission back to the island.
Alibi, I’ll see ya soon and if you haven’t tried Alibi get over to the island and introduce your palate to the golden haze pouring from their taps and tell them Hazzy sent ya!