Getting Crafty at Summer F.A.W.C!

Matt and Gemma Smith were both born and raised in Hawke's Bay and after spending nearly ten years in Auckland city were delighted to return to the Bay to start a family and launch Brave Brewing Co. 

From small beginnings, Brave Brewing Co has quickly crafted a loyal following and bagged more than a few national brewing awards! We chatted with Gemma about, well, beer...

What do you think sets Brave Brewing beers apart from the field?

There’s some great beer being made in Hawke’s Bay. It’s really exciting. I think what sets us apart from the field (aside from the fact that Matt is a great brewer) is how we’ve established ourselves as a friendly little neighbourhood brewery, right in the heart of Hastings. Being central is very helpful as we’re so easy for people to get to. Over the last few years there’s been a real swing back towards supporting local, small businesses and you can see how satisfying it is to our customers when they can pop in to our tasting room, enjoy a pint, grab a burger and fill a flagon of beer to take home, fresh from the source.

Our Bottle Rocket EPA and Tigermilk IPA both have a very loyal following now. It’s important to us that we produce good quality, flavourful beer, and that we also market it well too. If Matt is not entirely happy with a product he will continue to tweak it and develop it, until he’s really satisfied. We enjoy spending time at the tasting room and engaging with our regulars about the beer that we are putting out. Their opinions matter to us. 

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How do you get your inspiration for new brews?

Matt doesn’t get to produce ‘new’ brews as often as he’d like because we’ve always had capacity issues, and when a restaurant or bar goes out of their way to print your beer on their menu you want to be able to supply to them. With the bigger brew house he’s getting a little more experimentation time, and often inspiration for new brews comes from things he has enjoyed drinking himself. Of course we pay attention to different trends that are happening in the craft beer world too, and we also listen to the requests of our biggest fans.

What’s the best food and beer match you’ve ever tasted? Why?

Good question. Beer pairs well with almost anything, but a favourite of mine would have to be a good hot Indian curry with a refreshing pale ale or IPA. You also can’t go wrong with a classic grilled cheese or the buffalo wings done by our friends at Carr’s Kitchen and paired with a Brave beer, down at our tasting room.

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Why did you decide to get involved in F.A.W.C!? 

We initially decided to get involved with F.A.W.C! because as a new business we knew it would be a great form of marketing. It certainly was and continues to be. We get all sorts of different people through the door, many of whom haven't necessarily visited us before. The build up to each series is always full of anticipation and the events are lots of fun.

What can we expect from your F.A.W.C! event, Simple Pleasures?

Our Simple Pleasures event is going to be nice and casual, showcasing two of life's staples. Beer and bread. Libby Moon from This Table will share some insights into the sour dough making process. We've paired five of our beers with five different styles of bread and various toppings. They're all delicious. The alchemy and fermentation processes implemented in the production of craft beer and sourdough bread, share a symmetry of science, technique and intuition. It'll be both yum and informative, so it should be a good evening!

Be Brave this Summer...

Brave Brewing are getting amongst Summer F.A.W.C! 2018 with Simple Pleasures - a collaboration with story-teller and sourdough alchemist, Libby Moon of This Table.

Monday 5 November, 6:00pm - 8:00pm, $60 - buy tickets here