craft beer version 3.0

A late arrival in my tasting rundown of this year’s Brewers Guild Awards trophy winners, in this case champion Dark Lager.  Late maybe, but this one arrived in style, contained within a leviathan one litre can.  Just cracking it open was strangely daunting. Aromas of malt biscuits and bush honey, with toasted whole grain bread in the background along with a fruity and faintly herbal hoppiness.  The palate leans drier than the rich nose would suggest, with clean but robust malt character up front and a cleansing hop bitterness further in.  Big and chewy at first, but gradually drying into the long finish to end with a touch of flinty minerality and just a thread of smoke.  An immensely satisfying dark lager that compacts many layers of flavour into its extremely mild 4.8 per cent ABV like only dark beer can.

Craft Beer Version 3.0 — What’s The Future

I was in my local coffee spot buying beans when a friend stopped to say gidday. “What’s new in craft beer?” he asked. When I paused for just a moment, he replied for me: “Nothing, right?” One thing craft beer has always done is change things. Its early ethos was...

The Beer Project Summer Roadie

The Beer Project was conceived in July 2009 as a two-year project to document the 50-odd breweries in New Zealand. Obviously, I missed my deadline, not photographing my 50th brewery, Mata, until 2017. And now, the number of breweries has risen to over 200, which at my...

Two Thumb Green Bullet Fresh Hop English IPA

For as much as I’m a champion of fresh hop beers, I’ll be the first to admit they tend to fall into a pretty staid and narrow group of styles.  There’s always good ones and bad ones, but the field itself is typically composed of modern IPAs and pilsners sporting fresh...

Double Vision’s Fresh Hop Triple Treat

Double Vision Brewing are taking fresh hop season to a new level, with a triple treat of collectible, glow-in-the-dark cans, designed to be drunk in a specific order and preferably while reading the companion comic strip. In recent years, DVB have two produced two...

Brothers Beer Gamma Daydream

Fresh hop season is upon us, and with it, Fresh Hop Watch 2024 begins… Feedback from Nelson indicates an exceptional growing season, so I’m expecting big things from this year's releases.  While the best fresh hop beers tend to appear toward the end of the season, the...

Southfarthing Girdly Fine Grain Amber Ale

I was recently brought back a souvenir from a trip to Hobbiton, and uniquely amongst souvenirs, this one was perfect.  A bottle from the range of beers (and ciders) served at that living monument to the Lord of the Rings movie, and crafted to evoke the same quaintly...