Best Beers of 2009

December 23, 2009

Another years almost up – it’s been a big year of beer for me so I thought I’d do the obligatory ‘best of’ list. I couldn’t really come up with a simple list of 10 or put them in any kind of order so here’s simply a list of the New Zealand beers that I enjoyed most (South to North):

  • Boysenbeery (Invercargill Brewery)
  • Emerson’s Pilsner (Emerson’s, Dunedin)
  • Emerson’s Weizenbock
  • Emerson’s Dunkelweiss
  • Brewski (Wanaka Beerworks)
  • Sauvin Pils (The Twisted Hop, Christchurch)
  • Challenger (The Twisted Hop)
  • The Rogue Hop (Harrington’s, Christchurch)
  • Porter (Three Boys Brewery, Christchurch)
  • Golden Ale (Three Boys)
  • Nor’Wester Strong Pale Ale (Dux Brewing Company, Christchurch & Queenstown)
  • Dakota Dark (Wigram Brewing Co, Christchurch)
  • Hophead IPA (Brewmoon, Amberly)
  • Fair Maiden (Founder’s, Nelson)
  • Fat Lip (Founder’s)
  • Cathcarts NTA (Townshend, Rosedale)
  • Old House ESB (Townshend)
  • Able Ale (Monkey Wizard Brewery, Riwaka)
  • Easter Bunny (The Mussel Inn, Onekaka)
  • Marlborough Pale Ale (Renaissance Brewing, Blenheim)
  • Märzen (Moa Brewing Company)
  • Gabriel (666 Brewing Co., Blenheim)
  • Pot Kettle Black (Yeastie Boys, Wellington (brewed by Invercargill Brewery))
  • Brewjolais (Mac’s Brewery, Wellington)
  • Solstice (Mac’s)
  • Hefe (Tuatara Breweries, Waikanae)
  • Mike’s Mild (White Cliffs / Mike’s Organic Brewery
  • Epic Pale Ale (Epic Brewing Company, Auckland)
  • Epic Armageddon

Everyone needs a number one however, and this goes without a doubt to Renaissance’s Marlborough Pale Ale – I’m pretty sure this is the best beer I’ve ever drunk. Weighting in at a hefty 8.5% abv and single-hopped with new NZ hop variety – Rakau – this is a stunning beer, displaying a great balance of American and NZ hop characteristics; chewy, puckering bitterness; and sweet, rich, toffee-ish malt. Please guys, if you’re reading this – you have to brew this again in 2010!

Have a great Christmas & a happy New Year!




  1. Happy new year Christian…. good list of beer there, even a couple that I’ve never tried! May 2010 prove to be even more productive.

    Here’s my Xmas song in return:

    Clainte mhath

  2. I meant “slainte mhath” of course…

  3. Cheers Stu,

    Hope 2010 is a productive year for Yeastie Boys also.

    It’s always hard coming up with lists like this – there are a lot of other great beers out there that I either didn’t get a chance to try or didn’t quite stand out in comparison to those above.

    Still hoping that some Nerdherder will show up in Nelson.

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