When I was a young lad of 18 years of age I packed my bags and travelled from the North Island of New Zealand to the city of Christchurch in the South to begin my university education. The move to Christchurch was a no brainer for me – I had lots of family who lived in the “Garden City” and I had been there many times before, always leaving with fond memories.
Christchurch is a very special city with significant character – it is the New Zealand city that most closely resembles Melbourne with old stone buildings, a tram line and a beautiful river, the Avon. The city also has a number of other great gems including the Port Hills for excellent scenery and mountain biking, as well as the port suburb of Lyttleton, reached after travelling through one of New Zealand’s longest tunnels. If there is one word I would give to Christchurch it would be ‘beautiful’.
Seeing the effects of the recent earthquake immediately brought back the great memories I do have of Christchurch. The images really do tear at my heartstrings – this is a fallen city that had its arteries cut.
The city is not only great for its beauty; it is also a strong contributor to the micro brewing industry of Australasia. A quick look at the beer tourist website shows there are 10 breweries located within the wider Canterbury region. While I not having been to them all there are a couple I hold fond memories of; the Dux De Lux based in the heart of Christchurch where I had my first honey and pear beer and was struck by how something so tasty and refreshing could be so drinkable; Harrington’s, a continually growing brewery, whose famous high strength Ngahere Gold was always popular among the student contingent; and the Loaded Hog whose simple beer range made for some very enjoyable nights in the city. Among the others I have a long list of ‘must visit’ breweries for the next time I get back to Christchurch.
For these breweries and the city as a whole it will take many months and likely years to fully recover – it would be a great tragedy for New Zealand and Australasia if these breweries which are significant contributors to the craft beer scene weren’t able to bounce back. Any support you can give to the Garden City would be truly great. Donations can be made through the New Zealand Red Cross or theNew Zealand Governments Christchurch Earthquake Appeal. Hopefully with the help of both New Zealand, Australia and the world Christchurch will be able to get back on its feet.