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Meet the brewer: Sam Whitney – Heyday

26 Mar 2019

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With his made-from-scratch mentality, Heyday’s Sam Whitney took his hobby of brewing beer and turned it into a successful brew pub in the heart of Wellington’s Cuba St.

Heyday’s brewer Sam Whitney moved to Wellington, New Zealand nine years ago from California, and to him, Wellington is home.

“I love Wellington. The city has a great community of people, and it gets better every year,” says Sam.

After 15 years working as a chef across multiple states, Sam was exposed to high quality beer while working at 21st Amendment Brewery as the Chef. As a devotee to making the likes of bread, pasta and cheese from scratch, it didn’t take long for Sam to start tagging along with his homebrewing friends.

Following a bit of practice, Sam was quickly snapped up by Mike Neilson from Panhead - with Sam marking the first hire outside of the immediate family. He can also be credited as a helping hand in producing the beloved Supercharger – brewing well over 700 batches.

Heyday’s doors opened at the top of Cuba St December 2017, and it’s quickly become an institution for Wellingtonians and visitors alike.

“We wanted to create a fun, and welcoming neighbourhood public space. We are dedicated to delicious fresh beer, and simple, tasty food you can share, and enjoy with your friends.”

Sam finds inspiration in brewer-related podcasts and blogs, as well as cookbooks and his background as a chef.

“I’m also inspired by the brewing community in Wellington. The community is supportive and we all tend to help each other out – I’ve had incredible help from Kerry Gray at HUSK, and Kelly Ryan from Fork and Brewer.  

Sam says one of his most innovative, and fun beers has been his take on the ‘S’mores Stout’.

“To make my S’mores stout, I made marshmellows from scratch and then toasted it with a crème brulee torch. I added in graham crackers and cocoa, and it came out as an 8 per cent beer.”

You can find Heyday at 264 Cuba St.


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