Yes, we get a few of the same old questions time and again. Hopefully this will answer a few for you, and you can think of new and exciting ones to ask us directly.
What if I don't like your online course - what's your return policy?
There is a free sample online to try before you buy here. If for some reason you can't download once you've purchased, we'll fix that for you.
What's your in-person course returns policy?
We encourage you to return as often as possible with as many new friends as you have, assuming you are all well behaved. Bookings essential, so book now to avoid disappointment.
We've had universally positive feedback from our courses. We expect you to have fun while you learn, and we'll do our best to entertain while we educate.
Do you ship overseas and to P.O. boxes?
We’ll ship your package anywhere that can accept deliveries, and are lawful to do so.
Do you have customer service?
Of course! We also reserve the right to ignore idiots and not-very-nice people, life is just too short to pander to that sort of stuff*. If you have a concern you want to share with us, please let us know, we'll try to sort it out.
(*sorry, we can't solve stupidity or personality disorders - some would say brewers create those. We do our best to encourage responsible endulgence).
So, are your brews actually any good?
According to all our family, friends, and a lot of acquaintances, yes.
We've tested our wines with international experts, our biggest compliments are from those in the wine industry in Napa Valley, California USA, and a sommelier from a Michelin star restaurant in France, "Oui, zis wine iz good!".
We've even fooled wine snobs with our persimmon wine before revealing it wasn't 'of the vine'. Take that wine snobs! You liked it, go-on, admit it!
Will your brews make me go blind?
Not unless you splash it in your eyes, or are severely diabetic! We don't add any alcohol to our brews, what we make is 100% naturally produced ethanol (not methanol - that's what causes blindness). Our brews tend to be very sweet however, so diabetics... you know what I'm talking about. I'm no doctor, so use your best judgement about consumption.
Is it hard to make?
Well, that depends. Can you cook a meal from actual ingredients like real vegetables and grains, without opening a packet of something? If so, you'll find it a cinch. If you've never walked into a kitchen before, well, you'll probably struggle with getting the stove to warm up (hint, it isn't the fridge), so practice boiling an egg or rice first before brewing something.
How long does brewing take?
That depends on a number of factors, such as how long does it take to prepare fruit (chopping, juicing etc), how much you are making, how much sugar you use, what kind of yeast you use, what your room temperature is, and what other ingredients you are using. We generally fit it in around other things we do in a day.
Honey Mead, especially made with Manuaka honey, takes about 15 minutes to make, then takes ages to ferment into mead at 20% honey to water - it was the better part of a year until it could be bottled, and the flavour improves every year it's in the bottle. Cheats Cider takes one minute to make, 2 weeks to brew and can be drunk straight away, but it's better with bottle time of 6 months or more.
For non-alcoholic drinks, Fruit fizz takes about 4 days to ferment, and can be drunk 2 days after bottling. Kombucha takes about 2-3 weeks to ferment, and can be enjoyed straight away.
If you are thinking of brewing something for a special occasion, think well ahead, or change the menu to suit the time available.
What am I paying for if it's easy to do?
Ingredients, our expertise (i.e. what we've learned from our mistakes), cleaning, storage time while brewing, bottling (which does take a while) more cleaning, labelling, more storage, packaging, distribution, marketing, invoicing, accounting, licencing, tax, a living wage, video production, website administration, and a whole bunch more boring stuff that has nothing to do with brewing and a whole lot to do with running a business. Overheads, baby, overheads.
Can I buy wine from you?
Not yet. We are in the process of obtaining our liquor licence and sorting all the tax stuff to do with selling alcohol. Once we have that, we'd be happy to sell you the good stuff. In the meantime, we can sell non-alcoholic beverages and courses, because we don't sell you the alcohol, only proto-alcohol or the knowledge to make it.
Where are you based?
We are based in Judgeford, a tiny dot on the map between Lower Hutt and Porirua, in the Wellington Region of New Zealand.
Will you come to me to do a course?
Perhaps. We are more than happy to discuss course costs and logistics - there is a lot of equipment required for a good course, so if you already have it, that could work. We also have a farm to run, so extended absences are not usually practical, so make it worth our while, farm animals need babysitters.