Posts Tagged ‘Bitter’

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Mac’s goes full circle

November 28, 2009

In disappointing news this week, Lion have announced that they will be closing the Mac’s Shed 22 brewery on the Wellington waterfront (Press releases here and here). The brewery has apparently served its purpose in allowing Mac’s to still be marketed as craft beer and is now costing too much – I guess it’s what you expect when an iconic craft brand is purchased by one of the big breweries. Anyway, can you please stop all the ‘crafty’ marketing and definitely stop calling Mac’s Gold ‘all malt’ when it now appears to be watered down with sugar – that’s false advertising! The Mac’s brand and beers have done a lot for beer culture in NZ and in many way it’s great that they have taken things to the masses but for me it’s probably now moved too far away from what I found appealing in the first place.

In far more positive news – The McCashin’s who started Mac’s but sold the brand to Lion in 1999 are back up and running in the original Stoke brewery which they maintained ownership of (see this Nelson Mail article for more info). The brewery was originally the Rochdale cider plant and this is now back in production and one of several beverages being produced. The brewery shop is now open and I popped in today to check it out – while no beer is yet being produced (beer is listed on their website so watch this space), you can fill your own riggers of locally brewed Founder’s or Golden Bear selections, as well as Rochdale Cider. I picked up Golden Bear’s Best Bitter which was rather tasty.

I was also given a sample of a new beverage called Fruté, which is cider mixed with real fruit. This isn’t something I’d usually be into but it’s very nice and possibly way too easy to drink on a hot day (though the tartness from the cider kicks in at the end). I not very good with obligation-free samples so I had to purchase some. Other products include the recently purchased 26000 Vodka (flashy website but bloody frustrating and not particularly useful) and Palaeo water. It’s really good to see the brewery up and running again and I wish them all the best.

If you’re in Nelson don’t forget next weeks Beer Fête – Saturday 5th Dec, 5 – 10.30pm. The list of participating breweries is here and the Dead Good Beer Events website is here.

 

Today’s clip is nearly 7 minutes long and isn’t even a proper video but it’s too bad because this is one of the best songs ever:

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Beer Review: Townshend Old House ESB

May 15, 2009

Well, it’s Friday night and I’ve had a Pilsner craving all day (the taste, not the alcohol in case you were wondering). I was looking forward to a fresh NZ example with tasty crystal malt and lots of tasty, smelly hops but decided to take advice from this article in the Marlborough Express (no by-line) and pick up a can of Radeberger Pilsner. Tasted a bit watery at first but as I worked my way through it, I was very satisfied.

Anyway, onto the Old House ESB from Rosedale’s Townshend Brewery (inland from Motueka).

Style: Extra Special Bitter, 5% abv, 500ml bottle

Traditionally I haven’t been much of a connoisseur of British real ales (something about not living in England) so it’s great that Townshend have focused on this style and it is served in the traditional way in two local pubs – the Freehouse and the Moutere Inn. I first tried this a few weeks ago off beer engine / hand pump at the Free House and was blown away. So naturally when I saw it in the bottle at the local Supermarket (the range is pretty much on permanent discount at Fresh Choice Nelson) I had to get one.

The aroma from the bottle was fruity vinegar and then almost mushroom like when pouring into my pint glass – I was starting to worry a bit – however, the first taste was amazing (definitely nothing wrong with brew). The taste is sweet malt – the comparison that came to mind was that fudge slice yo momma used to make from malt biscuits, butter, sultanas and chocolate icing, and in this case she also dropped in her stash of bubblegum. This beer is all about the quaffable smooth malt but there is also a nice balance of bitterness. The aroma remains slightly vinegary – as in a fruit chutney with a touch of smelly socks someone wore on their armpits thrown in (I promise to tone down my future reviews).

If I gave beer scores this would be 10/10. Not sure how widely available this is but you must try it – now!

What Friday night review of an English ale by Townshend Brewery would be complete with without a song by The Who: