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In Memory of Barry Newman
Barry Newman passed away Saturday 25th August. He died peacefully with his wife Leonie and his daughter Marina by his side.
Barry was nominated for the Morton Coutts trophy at this year's Awards by Shane Morley (Steam Brewing). Here's his recollections of a true pioneer and legend of our industry.
Shakespeare Tavern Brewery
The brewery at the Shakespeare was set up in 1986. At that time the only breweries were Lion and DB; Macs in Nelson producing a range of beers; Jamie Jamison in Porirua operating a small brewery selling PET in the local market; and Stocken (sp?) in Henderson with a Robert Morten plant and packaging line. Newbegin were about to start up in Onehunga. Strongcroft in Petone followed later I think as did a brewpub in Tauranga.
Shakespeare was definitely innovative and ahead of it’s time. Overseas the first pub breweries had just started to appear in Australia with the Sail and Anchor in Freemantle in 1984 but there were few of them and most closed. The Shakespeare has continued to operate to this day.
The Shakespeare was owned by Peter Barraclough, who put in the brewery to create a point of difference for the pub. He was a loyal DB customer and continued to keep DB on tap and drink it himself.
Barry Newman was recruited as the Brewer after the first brewer (also called Barry) quit before the brewery was completed. I think Malcolm Cheadle, the architect on the pub refit, recommended Barry for the job. Barry had previously been ‘sly grogging’ (to use his term), brewing and selling beer without a licence.
The Shakes differentiated itself from many who would come later and attempt to compete on price. An early T-shirt had the slogan ‘twice the price but thrice as nice’. I don’t know if the selling price was twice that of DB but they certainly were out to produce beers that stood out. The only exception was possible the rather mainstream Barraclough lager, the only beer without a Shakespearean name.
The beers were an innovation in the NZ market at that time. Barry started making complex, hoppy bitter beers. There was nothing on the market like King Lear when he released it.
Barry also experimented with some unusual ingredients. His chestnut beer was a standout, with fruity aromatic characters reminiscent of aroma hops from the nuts.
Barry also travelled to Japan and Vanuatu to assist with startup of brewpubs using the same equipment as the Shakespeare.
Barry and the Shakespeare were an important part of the growth of craft brewing in NZ, most if not all aspiring brewery startups would have visited the Shakespeare.
Barry made a huge contribution to the industry we admire today.
We honour his memory and our thoughts are with his family in this difficult time.
Thanks to NZBrewer's Flickr stream for the photo of Barry and Michael Jackson in 1999.