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MESSRS. WOOD AND GO’S. BREWERY.
The success Messrs. Wood and Co. achieved in beating all coiners at the Christchurch Show in two of their exhibits, has naturally led to a renewed interest being taken in this establishment, and Mr Wood has had to entertain a very large number of visitors anxious to sample the prize porter. Among others, our reporter found his way to the brewery, and met with a hearty welcome from the genial old gentleman, who runs the? concern. The buildings are of a most substantial nature, and on entering the first room, it is found to be occupied by the cooper of the establishment, who appears to have plenty of employment on his hands, judging from the hoops and staves by which he is surrounded. In the same room are the refrigerator and fermenting vat, the former being an arrangement of copper tubes, which are kept charged with a constant stream of cold water whilst the beer flows over them, and is thus rapidly cooled on its way to the vat; from the latter the liquor is conveyed when sufficiently worked to a spacious cellar, 50ft. by 25, built in concrete, and affoi'ding storage accommodation for about 100 hogsheads. Here the beer is in various stages of development, and the quality of the brew wJxich our reporter had the pleasure of tasting was equal to any colonial tap we have ever tried. A light luncheon ale of greater age was more suitable as a beverage for the harvest time. A considerable stock is kept on hand here in the racking casks. The engine and boiler room is on the ground floor, steam being supplied from a 12-horse power boiler, which supplies steam not only for the motive power of the engine but also for all heating purposes in the establishment, and is conveyed all over the brewery by an arrangement of pipes, the boiling vat on the upper floor, with a capacity of 700 gallons, having a coil through which the steam passes, aixd the process of boiling the liquor in its first stage is thus rapidly and effectually done. Use is also made of the steam for the purpose of cleansing the casks, an operation which takes place in the yard adjoining the building, and either steam, hot, or cold water, ean be at once by the mere turning of a tap used for the purpose. The engine is a neat little horizontal one of 4A horse power, and was originally imported for the purpose of ice manufacture, but is now employed in the production of a more stimulating article. The engine is utilised for malt grinding, and by an ingenious system of chains and pulleys, for doing all the hoisting and heavy lifting in the brewery. A very handy arrangement has been fixed by Mr Wood, whereby the ground malt is carried by elevators into the liquor boiler, and as it falls in a steady stream, the proper quantity of boiling water falls on it during its exit. Messrs Wood and Co. use both English and Nelson crops, and give it as their opinion that the colonial are the strongest whilst the Kentish article has the best flavor ; and they find a mixture of the two makes the best tasted beer. The bottling department is fitted with an ingenious bottling machine by which one man is able to fill a dozen a minute, and a corking-machine is also a great labor saver. The firm had a considerable amount of trouble in the commencement of their ti’ade, everything being new there was some difficulty experienced in making the beer to keep, but that difficulty has been overcome, and Wood and Co. now claim with some pride that they can turn out as good an article as anything in the countiy.
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