Crafty Corner – drinking and talking craft beer

April 14, 2024
1 min read

Witchdoctor’s new beer guru ASHTON BROWN has been brewing up a new monthly column which he introduces here.

Ashton participating in a ritual beyond compare

I am delighted to introduce the new monthly column for Witchdoctor – Crafty Corner (pending a more inspiring name).

If there are two things I know for sure about the NZ craft beer industry, it’s that it is impressively diverse and world-leading yet is still fighting for survival in the current cost of living crisis and market pressures. The rising costs of ingredients, from yeast to hops, to the equipment needed to brew and deliver this liquid gold to your lips, has sadly seen many superb local breweries finding themselves in financial devastation.

Last year saw one of my favourite breweries, Deep Creek, announce liquidation with sources stating the locally owned and operated business owed more than $4 million. Another favourite of mine, Epic, was saved at the last minute from a similar fate thanks to a buyout from a partnership between The Hancock Group and The Russell Group. But not every brewery is going to have the saving grace of wealthy investors and I imagine that 2024 will see more breweries disappear from the craft beer scene.

As a lover of all things craft beer my goal is simple – drink craft beer, talk craft beer and however altruistic it may seem – save craft beer.

Crafty Corner plans to be just like the product it will be promoting – refreshing, easy to digest and intoxicating. From craft beer reviews and recommendations to interviews with brewers and spotlights on local breweries, let’s raise our glasses, our cans or our bottles and drink in everything this impressive industry has to offer in Aotearoa.

Cheers to that.

+ Any burgeoning, worthy beer enterprises out there that would like to see your liquid gold in Crafty Corner please get in touch. 



Ashton Brown is Witchdoctor's craft beer writer and film reviewer, and a self-professed geek, horror fanatic and post-rock enthusiast.

Ashton Brown is a freelance reviewer, writer, actor and director. You may have seen him on some ads (he's the big hairy guy) or at the NZ Comedy Festival. He's Witchdoctor's craft beer writer and film reviewer, and a self-professed geek, horror fanatic and post-rock enthusiast.

1 Comment

  1. I’m looking forward to these write ups. As a man who’s idea of branching out is getting speights 440ml cans rather than speights stubbies, i need this colum.

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