Posts Tagged ‘Pubs’


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.


Eternal Sunshine of the Puritanical Mind

June 17, 2009

Eric Crampton has the latest on his fisking of the BERL research being used by the Law Commission to recommend an increase in excise duty. Along with researcher Matt Burgess, Eric provides a comprehensive re-working of BERL’s figures, the way it should be done. Those boys deserve a pint. There’s also a discussion thread on the issue at Kiwiblog (Warning: includes some comments along the lines of ‘I would love to just ban alcohol altogether’).

Tomorrow night on TVNZ 7 you can watch a Made in NZ documentary called Great Kiwi Pubs. The blurb reads: They’ve been plagued by fire, chastised by puritans, and neutered by prohibition but a few of the Good Ol’ Kiwi Pubs are still standing.’ Thursday 18 June, 10:10 pm


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 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.


New Pubs on the Block: The Free House, Nelson

May 5, 2009


In what is likely to be an infrequent feature, I bring you – New Pubs on the Block – reviews of new pubs just round the corner from work. However, with two new pubs in the last 12 months – lets hope the trend continues.

From the team who brought us the Nelson Beer Fetes and Marchfests comes the Free House – based on the UK concept of a pub not tied to any one brewery. A somewhat novel concept here in NZ given the propensity to be contracted to one of the big two breweries.

The pub is tucked away in the former Dutch Reform church on Collingwood St painted in attractive new colours. I’ve been into a pub in former church when in the UK which left me with a feeling that that I was displeasing God by drinking in a former house of his. The Free House is quite a different style pub though and feels a lot like relaxing in someone’s living room or a small public hall.

The interior is quite simple yet has some interesting character such as the multi-colour beer tabs and large bug sculptures that long-time Nelsonians will remember from former iconic cafe – Chez Eelco.

On tap you will find a changing selection of the best NZ craft beers from the likes of The Mussel Inn, The Twisted Hop, Emerson’s and Founder’s. Plus this is the only place in town to find genuine real ale from the likes of Townshend on hand pump. Obviously there is a price to pay for this quality but as a place to go for one or two pints – it’s ideal.

One thing that might seem odd at first is the lack of any background music leaving the focus firmly on conversation. Only problem might be the acoustics – it was packed on Friday evening and I lost my voice trying to be heard.

There is also a nice outdoor area with plenty and seating and even a covered bikestand.