Hops and Hooves at Twizel

Queen’s Birthday weekend saw us enjoying a stunningly beautiful weekend in the Mackenzie country.

We had been invited by Simon & Priscilla Cameron, from Ben Ohau station, to support the inaugural  “Hops & Hooves” which was an inaugural craft beer & food show at the Twizel Events Centre on the Saturday night. It was a real community event with both locals and Twizel holiday makers enjoying the high country hospitality. 

My wife Brigitte had packed up the car with all the product and display kit and after a 2 hour drive (from Geraldine) we set up our stand and prepped food samples for the evening event.  As I carted trolley loads of sauces and syrups into the hall I thought my wife had been overly optimistic as to how much we would sell!  But as the evening wore on we made it our mission to ensure that every one of the 350 ticket holders would leave with at least 2 bottles of our new sauces!  And I think we must have come close, with the Chipotle Sauce selling out and the 9 spice BBQ Jerk Sauce coming a close second! 

Michael sampling sauces at Hops and Hooves

We mixed up the Rhubarb Raspberry & Rosehip with sparkling water and it was also very popular.  By 10pm we were packing up and everyone was helping everyone else, it really was a great community effort. And by midnight we were back at Ben Ohau Station reflecting on a successful evening over a quiet whisky. 

The next day dawned very cold & crisp & white but a hearty breakfast got us fuelled for a day of maintenance at our family batch on the shores of Lake Ohau.  We had much to do before 4pm when the sun dropped below the mountains and an icy chill invaded the air. 

Lake Ohau

But what a stunning day, looking up the lake to Glen Mary with Mt Cook peeping over the tops, the mountains serene and glistening white, everywhere you looked. Then a 2 hour drive back home with just a brief stop to pick up a freshly filleted salmon for dinner – yum!  What a rewarding weekend, a bit of work and a bit of play in a generous high country community in New Zealand’s most beautiful playground.

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