Posts Tagged ‘Beervana’

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Spring Fever

September 2, 2009

It’s time for a post after over a month off – I’ve basically been on a month long beer bender due to my birthday, a friend visiting from the USA and my bro home from overseas. You might think that would make for good beer blogging material but it turns out drinking beer is actually more fun than beer blogging.

While unfortunately I didn’t make it to last Weekends Beervana in Wellington, I can take comfort in the upcoming 7th Nelson Beer Fête. While my liver is currently resting, it is definitely in peak condition for this event. Which is just as well as there’s going to be quite a line up. The theme is ‘new to Nelson’ and will be featuring brews from Founders, Monkey Wizard, Brew Moon, 666, Arrow, Green Man, Mata and Invercargill.

Not to be missed in my opinion are Brew Moon’s Hophead IPA (had a bottle of this on Friday – packed full of smooth, sweet and spicy NZ Cascade hops); 666’s Gabriel & Roulette (been waiting to try a beer from this Marlborough brewer for a while – a showcase of NZ hops) and any of the five beers from Monkey Wizard (picked up some very nice Riggers from their Riwaka brewery earlier in the month). Plus, I’m sure all the other offerings will be top notch. Saturday 19th September @ Founders Park, 5 – 10:30pm.

And just in case you thought Nelsonians were missing out, The Moutere Inn is holding an Invergargill Brewery Showcase  from Friday 11th to Sunday 13th September. On tap will be the consistently excellent Biman, Pitch Black, Smokin’ Bishop, Stanley Green, Wasp and Nally’s Cider, plus possibly some bottles of Boysenbeery. Check out the Inn’s new website here.

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The wall of beer

July 10, 2009

Nelson, far from being a regional backwater is filled to the brim with all kinds of great beer – the only problem being, which beer to choose? In no place is the problem more acute than at the wall of beer at Fresh Choice, Collingwood St – conveniently located just round the block from work. Many a lunchtime and Friday evening have I spent at the wall, eyeballing all sorts of delicious looking bottles – the English Ales, the Belgians and just about every NZ craft beer known to man. Fresh Choice also do a beer tasting every Friday at 4pm, though unfortunately, I’m usually otherwise occupied with a little diversion called work.

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One solution I like is to simply to buy more beer. I’ve had a hop craving all day and so tonight, Pale Ale was always going to be on the menu. I went for the Dux Le Lux Nor’wester which I developed quite a taste for on my last trip to Christchurch. This is the first beer of theirs that I’ve tried in the bottle after many glasses on location in the Garden City. I’d have to favour beer fresh from keg but this was still an enjoyable brew despite the lack of foam – rich and dark, the strong 6.5% abv is certainly evident. There’s a full malty sweetness upfront, followed by an enjoyable hop bitterness. This beer is mainly about the malt and the caramel/toffee biscuit finish completes this beer as a fine example of a New Zealand Pale Ale.

Few things in life could be more luxurious than Dunkel Weiss or dark wheat beer. After trying Emerson’s example a few weeks ago, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to try Green Man’s new Choc Krystal Weiss. This is obviously an entrant in Wellington’s Beervanva coming up in August as this is advertised on the cap. Like Emerson’s, I assume the same yeast as their regular Hefe Weizen offering has been employed in this beer – therefore comparisons can be drawn. And while Emerson’s was a fine conventional example, Green Man – like some of their other beers – is somewhat off-the-beaten-track.

The aroma is chocolate-chip muffins, spice and then unusually, a whiff of olive brine! The beer pours with a lovely creamy head. I wasn’t quite sure if this beer was filtered as the name suggests and thought I spotted some yeast in the bottom of the bottle which I swished with the remaining beer and poured into my glass. If there was indeed yeast it was minimal. For the taste there is certainly banana but what sets this beer apart is the restrained sweetness – standing out is an enjoyable chocolaty dryness, plus a slightly tart savoury finish. And yes, that unusual seawater/olive brine aroma is also evident in the taste.

I’m not sure what the Beervana judges will make of this – probably imperfect by the manual but I found this to be a unique and enjoyable  beer, plus it challenged my previous perceptions of dark wheat beer.

Call the craft beer movement a bunch of sandal and beard wearing boffins, but I had to laugh at this Victoria Bitter ad:

Update: By way of comparison, I just saw this terrible 33 Export ad on TV:

(almost as bad as the Air NZ Bare Essentials safety video with the naked, toupee-wearing flight attendant)