ORA NEW ZEALAND ALE
Ora Craft Brewery was founded by two brothers Justin Newton and Daniel Kereama, they have a passion for creating a uniquely New Zealand Ale from the native Kawakawa plant, this is their story.
The brothers have decided to share this amazing beer with the world, bringing the old world in touch with the new world of today, intertwining generations from the past with current generations and those of the future.
One of the highlights of this journey is when we enter the native forest of New Zealand and begin picking the kawakawa , the sight of fantail birds flying around us, almost playing a game with us...absolutely priceless.
Thanks to family, the hard work was already complete, the brothers just had to create a brand and share it with the world. Easy huh? Well not quite easy, but the journey to get there has been fun, a bit stressful, a little blood has been spilt, a bit of sweat, and yes, a few tears along the way.
Ora is brewed to an old fashioned recipe with loving devotion and profound respect for tradition. This and the indigenous herb kawakawa are responsible for its smooth texture, the golden colour, the distinctive and slightly sweet taste. Kawakawa is a popular spice harvested by hand from New Zealand’s native forest.
Kawakawa has strong spiritual connections for Maori, and a special place in rongoa, traditional Maori medicine. It is said to purify the blood and cleanse the liver. The leaves are heart-shaped, so it is said to be good for the heart also. In order to use the plant permission was needed from tribal elders. Kawakawa is harvested following tikunga (Maori custom) and includes saying a karakia (prayer) before entering the forest.
In Ora Ale, kawakawa partly replaces hops. This gives the beer its delightful refreshing, naturally smooth accent. Moreover, the beer foams less because of kawakawa, which enhances drinking pleasure.
Ora Ale is not just a normal beer, it represents the rich heritage of the age-old Maori culture. The ingredient kawakawa, an indigenous plant that particularly grows around the gigantic Kauri trees, in the primeval forests New Zealand, has played a very important role in Maori culture, both spiritual as well as medicinal.
The spiritual strength the Maoris adhere to kawakawa was large and manifested itself in countless affairs: birth, death, baptism, marital ceremonies, the blessing of food, a Marae or a waka and even with conception, as a bringer of good fortune underneath the marital sheets or pillow.
Kawakawa occupied a prominent place in herbal medicine as well, the Maoris nevertheless employed kawakawa for many things. For instance as a treatment for injuries, bruises, abscesses, blisters, warts, pimples, eczema and other skin diseases. Even arthritis, rheumatism and impotence were said to be cured when using kawakawa. James Cook had observed its use as a remedy against sexually transmitted diseases in 1770.
In addition, kawakawa was used to treat bladder and stomach symptoms, toothache and sore throats, kidney problems, colds, bronchitis, asthma and even leprosy and cancer. Kawakawa was said to be good for the heart, liver and blood vessels, strengthen the immune system, improve digestion, and enhance the ability to concentrate. That’s why during wars, kawakawa was eaten by soldiers on the frontlines, who, beside the physical benefits, could use the spiritual effects as well.
Kawakawa is family of the Piper plant, to which black pepper also belongs. Next to its spiritual power and many-sided employments, kawakawa is used as a spice in the kitchen as well.
THE BREWING PROCESS
The execution is highly precise and in fact sophisticated. It requires a series of steps, to make
a good brew. It has to go through the phases of Malting, Milling, Mashing, Lautering,
Boiling, Fermenting, Conditioning, Filtering, and Packaging.
Here, the conversion from carbohydrates to dextrin, and maltose takes place. The grain is used as the raw material is usually barley. Barley as a cereal can be preserved for a long time after harvesting, and it is the malted barley that gives Beer its characteristic color and taste.
This process converts the starches released during the malting stage, into sugars that can be fermented.
.05 Boiling and Hopping
Boiling the wort, ensures its sterility, and thus prevents a lot of infections. Hops and kawakawa are added during this stage of boiling. Kawakawa and hops are used to add flavour and aroma, and to balance the sweetness of the malt.
Fermented beer contains suspended particles, lacks sufficient carbonation, lacks taste and aroma, and is less stable. Conditioning reduces the levels of these undesirable compounds to produce a more finished product. Our beer is conditioned for a month.
Packaging is putting the beer into the bottles. One of the most important things in packaging is to exclude oxygen away from the beer.
The malt is then mixed with water, to complete the conversion of starches in the grain to sugar. After that the grain is milled to create the proper consistency to the malt.
The liquid containing the sugar extracted during mashing is now separated from the grains. It is then generally termed as wort.
The yeast is now added and the beer is fermented. The yeast breaks down the sugars extracted from the malt to form alcohol and CO2.
Filtration helps to remove excess of the yeast and any solids, like hops or grain particles, remaining in the beer. Filtering is the process which produces the clear, bright and stable Beer.
All that's left to do is chill and enjoy!
If you'd like to know more about Ora, have comments or suggestions, or for wholesale and distribution enquiries, please drop us a message here...