It’s that time of year and the countdown is on for Christmas. I had a thought about Beer Advent Calendars, which then led me to thinking about maybe reviewing a beer a day till Christmas. I needed a theme, so I have come up with the “Beers of Auckland Advent Calendar 2014”. I am planning on tasting at least one beer from each Auckland based craft brewery. Brewed in Auckland, Drink in Auckland.
New Zealand’s biggest city has been slow to the game when it comes to craft beer, but things are moving in the right direction, and at an ever-increasing pace.
TAP: Sky Sports Grill
BREWED: Steam Brewing Company
IBU: 30+ (perceived closer to 40 IBU, but could be from the dry finish)
HOPS: Pacific Jade, Pacifica, Riwaka, Motueka and Nelson Sauvin
The use of these hops is obvious when you smell and taste the beer. It has a real NZ hop, tropical fruit and citrus aroma and upfront flavour. In the finish the hops evolve into a herbal grassyness which only NZ hops can do. The bitterness is for grown ups, and might make regular “green bottled lager” drinkers cry a little, and cower in the corner.
With the punchy hops, there is a solid and juicy malt base (from the Bohemian Pilsner and Vienna malt) that carries the bitterness to the end.
When drinking this I thought of Emerson’s and Tuatara Pilsners, both which have historically had the serious NZ hops driving their flavours. As of recently though both have left me less than satisfied and not meeting expectations. Beachstone looks as though it has the ability to pick up the baton. Great example of a New Zealand Pilsner.
Today I also tasted the Sawmill Brewery (sorry not counting them as from Auckland) Hefeweizen, tasting amazing (at Sky Sports Grill) and the best I have ever had it. Perfect banana and clove character. The yeast load was a bit high, but probably worth drinking through it if you love Hefewezien’s
New BAC level of 0.05 came into law today. If the message is don’t drive if you have had a drink, then maybe the change should have been to have a zero tolerance for alcohol. It seems like a great opportunity for the media to add value and share some facts, backed with science about the effects of alcohol, and understanding how to work out your limits. Is going to dinner and having a couple of glasses of wine OK with your meal? Is scare-mongering more effective over the long-term vs education using facts and science?
#craftbeer #auckland #newzealand