Posts Tagged ‘Emerson’s’

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It’s nearly Hoptober!

September 25, 2009

In the tradition of naming months after good causes – Rocktober, Movember – I though beer fans could refer to October as Hoptober. Those with some spare hops could even donate them to their local food bank. I’m sure some poor home brewer will be delighted to open their food parcel to find some tasty Super Alpha or Cascade hop pellets. Hoptober is still a week away however, so I’m going to fill this post with my week in review.

It’s been a good week for beer with the 7th Nelson beer Fête, though I’ll admit I was feeling a bit jaded on Sunday morning after upgrading from the standard half to a full pint glass, not eating enough and almost being overwhelmed by Marmalade-esque New Zealand hops.

Hangover reading material of the week: The New Yorker talks to Dogfish Head. An excellent Sunday morning read.

Bargain of the week: After dutifully collecting 15 stamps – one for every $20 I’ve spent, I got my $5 discount at Bin Inn (the only place to buy specialist home brew supplies in Nelson). Wow – that’s almost 1.7% discount if you spend exact multiples of $20 each time. Thanks.

Conspiracy of the week: This is the second week I’ve craved Brew Moon’s Hophead IPA but someone or something just doesn’t want me to have it. I looked forward to having a pint at the beer Fête – I did,  but it really didn’t taste anything like it – lots of banana and no Cascade. Maybe they got the taps mixed up? So this week I thought I could make up for it with a Friday bottle from the Supermarket. But no, after being in stock for several weeks it’s now all gone!

Great beer of the week: Founders Show Hopper at the beer Fête – they ran out early but put on another keg just in time for my last beer. Wow, what an amazing, unique and intensely  hoppy beer – it smelt just like a certain herb I may or may not have encountered before I discovered the superior cousin Humulus Lupulus.

Overrated beer of the week: Emerson’s Bookbinder. NZ craft beer drinkers adore this beer – I don’t get it!  I get the idea of a mild session beer but this just doesn’t light my fire. I may be drawn and quartered by my beer loving brethren but so be it.

Food of the week: Narrowly beating Monday’s Tempura Prawn Sushi was the Cornish Pasty I had at the beer  Fête – I haven’t had one of these simple, yet delicious pastries for years. It’s a shame I only had one, had I spent more money on food instead of beer I might have felt better at the end of the night.

Taunt of the week: “Got a bottle of 120 min IPA. Last one in shop” – Brother and new resident of Boulder, Colorado.

Quote of the week: “Barrrrrrrrffffffffff, arrhhhhhkkkkk, brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrffff ” – me conversing with the toilet after the beer Fête.

Song of the week:

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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)

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I see a darkness

July 8, 2009

In case you didn’t notice it’s now the middle of winter (though I have to admit the last two days in Nelson have been pretty perfect) and that of course means – dark beer!

This weekend the Moutere Inn are holding ‘The Dark Side’ – a dark and winter beer showcase. This will of course bring up the common problem I experience in pubs these days – which beers to choose? On tap will be:

  • Emerson’s Brewers Reserve
  • Emerson’s London Porter
  • Yeastie Boys Pot Kettle Black
  • Three Boys Oyster Stout
  • Harrington’s Wintertide
  • Moa’s Winter Ale
  • Green Man Strong
  • Plus local regulars – Townshend’s No. 9 Stout and ESB (a personal favourite) on hand pump.

Think I’ll have to try the slightly infamous Pot Kettle Black (hoppy and dark) and Oyster Stout (with real Bluff Oysters).

Another winter treat just out is Mac’s Solstice Winter Beer which I managed to sample this evening at The Vic Brewbar.

The appealing label is matched by an equaling appealing brew from a mixture of Pale, Vienna, caramalt, Dark Crystal and Chocolate malts resulting in a rich, nutty, aroma and taste with hints of Chocolate. Balancing this nicely is spice and bitterness from a mix of Southern Cross and Fuggles hops, plus something extra special in the form of the peppery native plant – Horopito. A fine, well balanced ale perfect for winter.

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Organic Showcase at the Moutere Inn

May 12, 2009

One of my favourite things to do in Nelson is to go for a drive around the Bay – the inland Moutere Highway is particularly nice and greatly enhanced by the historic Moutere Inn being under new ownership and now serving an extensive range of NZ’s best craft beers on tap. More info about the current selection of beers can be found here on the Realbeer.co.nz forum.

This coming Friday 15th – Sunday 17th May the Inn is having an Organic Beer Showcase featuring:

Emerson’s Pilsner
Green Man Dark Mild
West Coast Green Fern
Founder’s Fair Maiden
Harrington’s Rogue Hop
Whitecliffs Mike’s Mild

I feel a Sunday drive coming on – Moutere is particularly beautiful in autumn.

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2 line beer reviews

May 8, 2009

Now that Twit-er has shortened everyone’s attention span it’s acceptable to write in the minimalist style, which suits me well because I’m lazy.

Went to the Free House tonight and had the best beer of all – free beer. So here’s the quick reviews:

Tuatara Hefe: Aroma and taste – banana chips, yum. Spend ages trying to liken the aftertaste of a Hefeweizen to something, still none the wiser.

Emerson’s Pilsner: Front runner for NZ’s best beer. Amazing hops. Taste likes Marmalade after eating a Dolmade.

Founder’s Fat Lip: brewed for Marchfest. Not sure it’s it’s widely available. Damn, what a great beer – best Founder’s brew I’ve tried. Rich maltly taste like Ryvita crispbreads, balanced perfectly against fresh and tasty Nelson hops.

All great beers – it’s a hard life.