The owners of New Zealand-based boutique brewery Croucher Brewery Co. just got their laptop stolen. It was your usual crappy notebook, nothing fancy but full of valuable information for them. So valuable in fact that they have promised a free lifetime supply of their finest ale to whoever recovers it. That's about $18,000 in beerilicious fun. We asked Nigel, one of the owners, how many bottles that was as well as many other things about the laptop and their divine nectar.
Jesus Diaz: What laptop was it?
Nigel Gregory: It was a Dell Inspiron 5150.
JD: Any details that may help our readers find it online?
NG: I don't have the serial number with me now. The only thing I can think of that will automatically connect to the net is my antivirus/firewall program.
JD: What was in it that it's so important to offer free beer for life? I mean, come on, FREE beer from a non-industrial brewery for LIFE? That sounds like a pretty good deal to me.
NG: (Laugh) Yeah, it is a great offer. But we figure that since we don't have much spare cash and we make great beer, we would offer something a bit different. We have valued the beer at around USD18,000. It is a lot, but that is over a long period of time, at 12 bottles every month.
In terms of what is on the laptop, the main thing is financial info, all our accounts (the last backup was a few months ago—I know, I know, must back up more often). Also lots of photos, all our business email records, contact details, creative work. We do have a lot of it backed up, but have lost the more recent bits. It would save us a lot of time and effort if we get the laptop back.
JD: So any leads so far?
NG: Sadly, no. We've had a tremendous response to our offer, however, because we have got lots of coverage in New Zealand, and around the world for that matter. But the laptop remains "at large."
JD: I wonder if you get it back, will you start doing backups?
NG: (Laughter) Yes, I think you can safely assume we have learned our lesson. we've already implemented a couple of procedure changes to ensure we have some critical info in hard copy too.
JD: That's good. And now to what is really important: what's your typical monthly/yearly beer production in bottles?
NG: Our production is a touch over 100,000 bottles per year. We are pretty small, but growing quickly. Our beer market has many similarities to the American beer market: near/virtual prohibition followed by dominance by a couple of massive brewers, followed by the growth and interest in the flavours of craft brewers. The American market is probably 15 years ahead of us, but our craft market is just starting to gain a toehold.
JD: What kind of beer do you produce? Could you describe its qualities and taste?
NG: We make fine handcrafted beer, and our signature is beer full of flavor, which puts us apart from the mainstream in this country. We produce a pale ale based on a New World best bitter, a Czech-styled pilsner, and 'the hef' a hefeweizen, a cloudy German wheatbeer. The hef has gained a bit of cult following helped by its catchy name [gotta love the bunnies], and the growing awareness and interest in wheatbeers here.
JD: Do you think that if people drink more beer the world would be a better, although blurrier place?
NG: This might surprise you, but we don't encourage over-consumption. We think that good beer should be savoured, just like a fine wine. Half the battle here is getting kiwis to step outside their crazy brand loyalty to the bland fizzy brown lagers the big brewers feed them here.
Having said that, the world (or at least NZ) will be a better place when people drink more 'better beer' (oh yeah, and it will definitely be a better place if i can get my laptop back!!).
JD: Amen. Thanks Nigel!
NG: Thank you!
If you have any tips or want to help them recover their laptop and get the berrilicious reward, please contact Nigel through their web page. [Croucher Brewing]