Lion Red

Waikato Draught

Canterbury Draught

This beer is brewed in New Zealand, though Wards brewery is no more, and this is now a brand of the giant Lion-Nathan group from Australia. It pours quite a deep, rich golden colour with a moderate white head. It has some nutty, toasty notes on top of crisp hops and a slightly sweetcorn aroma. There is a fruitiness too, in an not unattractive profile. On the palate it is malty and quite rich, with a nice hint of sweetness and full body, with creamy, mouthfilling flavours and a long, smooth finish with red fruits, moderate hoppy bite and plenty of sweet malt. Purchased in New Zealand. 4.0% ABV


     - Steinlager Pils

Brewed by the giant Australian corporation Lion Nathan, the label claims "New Zealand's Finest" and "World's Best Lager", suggesting an element of delusion somewhere in the marketing department. Having said that, this is not a bad lager by any means, even though it may be unfashionable to say so. It pours pale yellow/gold with a puffy white head. On the nose it is fairly clean, with a touch of sweet corn, a little bit of malt, and the merest whiff of grassy, nettly hops (New Zealand Bullet hops are used). It is mouthfilling and quite rich and sweet as it strikes the palate, with a nice supporting cushion of malt and a dry, apple and citrus acidity that freshens up the finish. Not the best in the world bu a long shot, but not a bad lager. 5.0% ABV



     - Internacional Premium

     - Internacional Speciality


     - Gold Medal Ale
Now brewed by giant Lion-Nathan, this well-respected south island beer from Dunedin pours a light ruby/amber colour with fine white head. It has a gently malty nose, with a bit of depth and a soft, generous hoppy character. On the palate it is very sippable, with a nicely balanced style, but no real bite or complexity. Decent session stuff, and very drinkable, but doesn't get me particularly excited. 4.0% ABV

     - Old Dark Malt Ale
This beer pours a very dark chocolate brown colour with a thick, milky, toffee-coloured head. On the nose notes of liquorice and roasted coffee, with a touch of malted biscuit and fudge. On the palate it is the creamy, chocolate and sweet fudge notes that immediately dominate, with a sweet, thick texture flooding the palate. Bitter espresso and chicory notes start to emerge, and there is a warmth and richness about this that sits nicely with the sweetening malt and nice burnt and background hop character to make for a rounded, well-balanced stout-style beer. 4.0% ABV


     - 1812 India Pale Ale
This Pale Ale from the Dunedin-based Emerson’s craft brewery is fined with Isinglass but not filtered, and pours a gently hazy toffee colour with a moderate to thin off-white head. It has delicious aromas of sour cherries, cooking toffee and all sorts of hessian and herbal nuances. On the palate it has a delicious complexity, with terrific sour bruised apple fruit, a touch of toffee and a fine lemony acidity that hones and lengthens the finish. There’s a lovely hoppy, oily bite too in a terrific beer with a creamy body but crisp, mouthwatering bittersweet finish that keeps it very fresh and moresih. Purchased in New Zealand 5.0% ABV

     - Maris Gold
This beer is brewed with Maris Otter pale malt imported from England and aromatic Saaz and Cascade hops. It pours a coppery orange colour with a good, fluffy white head. The nose offers immediate aromas of orange and caramel - in fact it is the most orangey beer I think I've ever had. On the palate it is medium bodied and refreshing, with plenty of citrussy flavours and a nice hoppy bitterness adding a herbal, nettly edge. There is malt too, and a cushion of richness emerges in the finish, but it stays clean and very drinkable. Purchased in New Zealand 4.5% ABV


     - Hopsmacker Pale Ale
Pours a cloudy caramel colour with a thick, creamy head. Quite a malty tone to the nose, with a creamy quality and background of toffee. Lots of fruit too, suggesting red apples and plums. On the palate this is quite crisp and refreshing, with a superb hop bitterness that races across the tongue. The mid palate has plenty of racy, citrussy fruit, and the finish reveals more of that toasty, waming malt chatracter, but this is all about mellow, bittersweet flavours in a creamy, mouthfilling beer. Purchased in New Zealand 5.0% ABV

     - Wheat Beer
Limburg claims a "unique" yeast and finest German wheat malt for this beer, brewed with Styrian Goldings hops. Pours a lovely pale, golden yellow, cloudy colour with a thin white head that disippates quickly. Aromas of caramel and orange, with a distinct herbal character and lots of juicy, fruity aromas. Wheaty, slightly clove-tinged background. On the palate smooth and mouthfilling, with excellent grainy texture and a dry, citrus and spice fruit quality. Lovely clean finish, with crisp acidity and a mellow but effective bite of hops. Purchased in New Zealand 5.0% ABV,

Moa Brewing Co.

     - Premium Lager
Winemaker Josh Scott of Allan Scott winery in Marlborough takes his beer very seriously and has recently opened a commercial micro-brewery and taken on a full-time Czech brewer to consolidate his Moa brand, which started out as a hobby. These are Champagne method beers, made with Champagne yeast for secondary fermentation in bottles, in racks a la Champagne that need to be "riddled" by hand. It has a fine citrussy nose, with estery, quite herbal aromas. Fine lemony palate and terrific zest. There is a nettly quality, with quite good bitterness and late-hopping with plenty of good hop qualities and lovely long, cool finish. A little bit of sweetness comes through. 5.5% ABV


     - Black Beer
This beer is jet black in colour, and has a thick, dense cappuccino-coloured head. On the nose there are aromas of espresso and a dark, but quite crisp, charcoal-edged black chocolate. On the palate it is smooth and thick-textured, with a very nice black chocolate and chicory-tinged bitterness. It has hints of sweetness in the initial attack, but the mid-palate and finish stay very savoury, and really quite crisp, with touches of liquorice and charcoal biscuit, and really quite a long finish. A nice beer: much lighter than a stout, but with good dark flavours. 5.2% ABV

     - Dry Kilned Celtic Beer
This beer from Monteith's is claimed to be an ‘Irish-style ale’. It has a ruby red with colour with tan hues and quite a fine head, that disippates quite quickly. Lovely malty, lightly spicy aromas. Fine mouthfeel, with good weight and a bitterness coming through with good green, leafy hop flavours and that undercurrent of caramel and plummy, rich, quite berry-like fruit. An enjoyable beer this. Purchased in New Zealand. 4.4% ABV

     - Radler Bier
Labeled as a ‘Zesty Bier’, this beer is brewed to full strength then has natural lemon juice added before bottling. It pours a pale to medium gold colour, with a thin white head. The nose is unfortunately very shandy-like, with a dominant lemon aroma and just a background of hoppy, nettly notes. On the palate it has real zest and a very tangy, intense lemony streak that somewhat overpowers the beer. There is a hint of sweetening malt, and a streak of green, herbal hop character that adds definite interest, but this is a beer in a distinct style that some will like more than others. Purchased in New Zealand. 4.5% ABV,


     - East India Pale Ale
Tui's East India Pale Ale comes in a stubby bottle and pours an amber colour with a fairly thin off-white head. It has a little malt on the nose, and a suggestion of red fruits (berries and plums), but all rather subdued. On the palate it becomes quite creamy and mouth-filling, with an initial edge of sweetness. That sweet quality persists, though some fruity notes and a touch of raisiny character comes through. Malt is moderate, and hops are too, in a beer that is very pleasant to sip and would make a decent session drink. 4.0% ABV


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