West Port: Beer.

Grant, our friendly neighborhood Brewing Assistant.

Grant, our friendly neighborhood Brewing Assistant.

From Punakaiki we drove North to Takaka, via Grey Mouth and West Port – home of the West Coast Brewing company. Breweries had sort of become “Rob’s thing” by this point in the trip, and West Coast was one on the list that we had read about in Lonely Planet – our travel Bible.

At the West Coast Brewing Company, we tried 13 different beers and chatted with Grant, the Assistant Brewer. His job description of “good company provider” and “fellow taster” made him a fabulous host, and we ended up hanging out at the Brewery for over two hours chatting, asking Grant beer questions he couldn’t confidently answer, and watching Rob and Pete slowly get drunk with every new sample. They ended up finishing most of my/Dani’s flight (she being the designated driver, myself not a big drinker). I love trying the beer, but I’m a quality-over-quantity type of gal.

With the giggliing boys in the back seat as our new source of entertainment, we happily continued our journey up to Takaka. Unfortunately, we ended up going campsite hunting since our original DOC site plan fell through. The DOC site (with room for 890 campers!) was completely full – which, forgetting we were in high season, didn’t anticipate.