When I arrived in New Zealand 15 years ago, I hit the road to Milford Sound, one of the must-see wilderness areas of New Zealand. I was amazed by the frozen waterfalls, the rugged wilderness, and the truly epic panoramas. I didn’t mind that I was freezing in my little Corolla, behind 100’s of other vehicles, including a massive row of tour buses. It was so worth it and will be forever etched in my mind!
Last Thursday, I had a similar experience. I drove down an unsealed road and saw some of the most breathtaking scenery I had ever witnessed. Waterfalls were bursting down rock faces, leaving misty white streaks along the mountainside. Water seemed to poor out of every crevice, while jagged mountain peaks still held fast to last winter’s snow. Ancient trees stood their ground, wrapped in thick shrouds of lichen.
Unlike Milford Sound, I only encountered 1 vehicle (a logging truck) on the undulating, 64 kilometre road dubbed the ‘Tree to Sea Highway’. And unlike Milford, most locals don’t even know about Tahsis, let alone throngs of tourists with smartphones or backpackers with their noses permanently embedded in their copy of the Lonely Planet.
This is a place for dreamers.
How did I arrive here? Last year I connected with an old mate of mine, Troy, from Vancouver Island. He was interested in our beer projects and told me about this incredible place on the west coast. We drove out last year and I was enraptured. A new project, the Tahsis Farm Project, kicked off last October with the purchase of a seaside wilderness property.
Since then, Outlier Cartel has been working with Tahsis Farm to set up a destination brewery on this remote outpost on the Canadian Pacific coast. There’s a lot of work to be done. As I write, my entire body is aching from swinging a 12 pound sledgehammer, the most manual work I can remember doing since I was a teenager. However, I look at my thorn-pierced and blistered hands with pride, knowing we are building something special here.
Outlier Cartel and The Tahsis Farm complement each other fully: Outlier is a gypsy brewery that can move its skills anywhere around the world, Tahsis Farm is locally grounded organisation that plans to be a self sustaining community – welcoming skilled people of any nation, gender or creed to take part of their project.
Keep living your dreams, we are doing the best to live ours! – The Outlier Cartel Team.