Whistling Sisters is the new micro-brewery associated with The Fermentery eatery on the corner of Taranaki and Ghuznee Streets.
Bede and Ange Roe, along with Russell and Elwyn Scott (of The Featherston, Avida and Leuven, to name a few) have significant beer and hospitality experience behind them, so have hit the ground running.
The brewery specialises in crafting balanced beers (as opposed to the big hoppy stuff), and currently have six varietals available. If you fancy the full inside gen, book yourself a tour at 4pm on a Saturday which includes a talk by Bede about the beer process, a wander through the brewery and a beer flight matched to tasty food from the kitchen downstairs. Great fun for $39.
Their brewery kit was designed and made in Nelson which allowed them to add extra features to give more control over their brewing process, like the malt grind and how/when they add their special ingredients (the fresh ginger and galangal to the Rooty Toot Toot).
They also don’t pasteurise or filter their beers, preferring instead to allow all flavours to come through untouched. And like to promote the idea of beer as great for food matching, again without the big hoppiness overpowering whatever you’re eating.
All of the beers we tasted were light, clean and very drinkable, with my favourite turning out to be the Rooty Toot Toot ginger sour beer. And I’m not a beer drinker!
These were the matches we enjoyed, all equally good:
- A red pilsner with Kraut cheese balls (the eatery is after all a Fermentery)
- The golden ale with garlic hummus and crisp pita shards
- The chocolate oatmeal stout with smashed cod and soft pita bread (unexpected but I guess when you think about oyster stouts, seafood and stout have some history)
- The Rooty Toot Toot ginger sour with pork terrine.
In terms of the Fermentery side of the business, their philosophy is also to craft their own, and, create dishes that match nicely with the beers.
I have popped along recently for brunch and thoroughly enjoyed their kumara pancake with bacon (although it was a bit early for beersies that day!), and the chip fiend (yep you guessed it) ordered the burger and chips, which he proclaimed satisfying as well.
I also really like purpose of Whistling Sisters too – the premature death of Karen Louisa from secondary breast cancer (one of Russell and Elwyn’s daughters) inspiring the family to create a research trust, with the profits of Whistling Sisters and the Fermentery supporting that.
So the ‘Sisters’ signifying the closeness of Russell’s two daughters and the ‘Whistling’ signifying the attempt to keep on whistling and looking on the bright side when life gets you down (the Life of Bryan anyone?).
A great outlook and I wish them well.