One of the effects of having been a colonial power are the ties that remain in place after the trappings of Empire have been cut away. These ties take many forms, and inform our history, society, economy and culture more than we know.
Take New Zealand. We are taught that Britain conquered Everest. One of our finest post-War achievements, but the first man up, Sir Edmund Hillary, was a Kiwi. When we come down to breakfast in the morning chances are that 'Britain's Favourite Butter' on our breakfast table 'Has The Anchor Sign'. The list goes on: John Walker, Jonah Lomu freight-training Tony Underwood, Goodbye Pork Pie, the Haka, the Lord Of The Rings films that meant people didn't have to watch the Ralph Bakshi version. Shine a light on a corner of our own econo-socio-cultural experience, and there's a bit of Kiwi there, too.
And there's a Kiwi who has made a big splash in UK brewing. Kelly Ryan at Thornbridge has been in the vanguard of the New Brewing in the UK, setting an example with his peers and colleagues at a handful of young breweries, which is changing the craft beer landscape.
But now Kelly has decided it's time to return to New Zealand. In a few short weeks, he'll clean out the mash tun for the last time, put the cat out and lock the doors. He'll be missed but with the World Of Beer shrinking rapidly, we expect to sample the fruits of his labours in his homeland.
Good luck, Kelly and don't forget to leave the recipe book behind...