In lockdown, I got more deliveries in five weeks than I would normally get in a year, and that’s because I had this sudden realisation that if I wasn’t going out and buying beer, it might suddenly cease to exist, and I was not prepared to take that risk.
While the courier made light work of bringing beers from his vehicle and up to the front steps of my Lower Hutt home, it got me thinking about what would happen if I could only have five beers to drink for the rest of my life.
I felt like I did more admin working through this than I normally would for my day job. I put on my thinking cap, I started looking through all the beers I had checked in on Untappd since I began my beer drinking adventure in 2013, and compiled this list while enjoying a beer or two, or three…
BEER ONE: Behemoth Brewing Company – Snow Mexican. Maple Syrup Imperial Stout.
On the first Saturday session of Beervana 2018, I’d already been treated to many decedent and delightful drops of beer – but with just one sip of this, my wife and I looked at each other and I damn near shed a tear.
It felt like Andrew Child’s brewing process was just to trick everyone and actually just pour maple syrup in to a keg!
With a 9% ABV, this boozy imperial stout is an absolute treat. It’s the dessert beer humans don’t deserve, but absolutely enjoyable and something that still tugs on my heart strings.
BEER TWO: Bach Brewing – Whitsunday Blonde IPA.
I’ve always been fond of the cool Kiwiana artwork on the labels from Bach Brewing, and I pick them out of a supermarket line-up just based on that.
So when I took this one home one day, I felt like I won the lottery.
Such a full on, hoppy witbier that created a gorgeous soft yellow colour in the glass.
It’s a beer you can have every day throughout summer and not get sick of, and also has a dry characteristic which meant the hops lingered on my tongue after every sip.
BEER THREE: Hawkes Bay Brewing Co – Crushed Peach Bomb
I’m being cheeky and sneaking this one in here, because it absolutely deserves a spot. My dad loves Golden Queen peaches, and honestly, this felt like drinking a fruit juice.
It’s thick, a deep gold colour, and smells like summer.
It’s one of those beverages that you can’t just have one of. The flavour is so strong and with every mouthful it makes you want to pick the glass up and have more. If you’ve never had the privilege of this beer, you’re truly missing out.
BEER FOUR: Ballast Point Brewing Company – Manta Ray. Double IPA.
The only non-New Zealand beer in my line-up, but this would also be one of my top five international breweries as they always deliver the goods.
This beer is full on, but without that sneaky bite. Strong and bold, and holds its flavour ‘til the last drop.
Whether you taste tangerine, melon, or a slight pine pinch, you’ll be impressed.
BEER FIVE: Speight’s Distinction Ale.
I’ve always had a soft spot for this brew. Yes, I know, it’s not really a beer you thought would make this list, but I can’t leave it out.
This amber ale hits me with its full malty sweetness. Every sip seems to generate more of a caramelly, butterscotch linger. A smooth mouth-feel, and finishes off with a slight hop bite that makes me believe this beer will always be a reliable drop, no matter the occasion.