Our crafty beer guru HADYN GREEN celebrates the rise of the modern fillery and take home beer.
Fill-your-own beer has been around forever. Even in the notorious past of the six o’clock swill, you could still get a flagon over the bar to take home. Well, times have changed (thankfully) but the idea of taking home a growler filled with fresh take home beer is still alive and well.
A few off-licence venues still have a collection of 1.5 and 2 litre bottles for those looking for takeaway beers, like Regional Wines And Spirits or bars like Hashigo Zake. But in recent years it’s been cellar doors where the public has gone to get riggers filled.
Here in Wellington you have Fork & Brewer in the centre of town, ParrotDog in Lyall Bay, Double Vision in Miramar, and of course, Garage Project in Aro Valley. And that’s not even listing all the ones out in the Hutt.
There’s something nice about getting beers fresh off the taps. And with the brewery right there, so you might even be able to talk to the person who made it. It’s great idea for locals and draws in tourists just like wineries do.
But what if your favourite brewery is miles away in another city. You can’t expect your local “offie” to always have their kegs on tap for take home beer. This is where filleries come in.
Take, for example, Wellington’s latest addition, the Funk Estate Fillery. It’s a brewery come full circle back to where it all started.
Funk Estate decamped to Tauranga a few years ago, taking up a space with Mount Brewing. But now they’re back, sort of. Not the brewery but just a place to get their beer on tap.
“The three of us moved to Wellington in the late 2000’s and used to regularly go to fill-your-own places to grab our beer in our late teens,” reminisces Funk’s Dylan Shearer. “We’ve still got fond memories of rocking up to parties with a rigger. So, it’s nice to be able to add our own beers to the pool of fantastic beer available in the city.”
Dylan’s been splitting his time between Wellington and the Mount for the last 18 months. So Funk Estate decided that they may as well set up a permanent store back in the capital.
“With nine taps going, we’re pouring a fair few of our keg-only seasonal releases for takeaway in riggers. Our staple favourites will also be available for takeaway in cans, like Jungle Boogie Blood Orange Sour.”
As a beer drinker this is bliss. The wonder of choice. You don’t have to go by what your local retailer has decided to bring in and you know the beer will be a fresh and tasty as possible because the brewer is looking you in the eye.
You’ll find Dylan slinging beers, ciders and Funk Estate Merch at 124 Vivian St right next to the Wellington Rubber Stamp Co, and near KopiTiam and Taste of Home.