Top Ten New Zealand Beers

Top Beers of 2005 recently compiled a list of New Zealand’s ten best beers based on results at 2005 beer contests. The results were interesting and controversial – someone even posted a comment (a Mr Peter Creswell of Not PC fame in fact).

I thought it might be amusing in these slow news days to post my own top ten list of commercially available New Zealand beer based on my tasting experiences over the course of 2005.

It is – as is usual for me – in reverse order Miss World-style starting with the honourable mentions. There were three beers that went agonizingly close to making the list but fell just short. In other words, they did much better than Craig McMillan.

Honourable Mention #3 – Invercargill Biman – Novel curry companion beer with a hint of mango.

Honourable Mention #2 – Tuatara IPA – big, fruity and a firm favourite on tap.

Honourable Mention #1 – Mac’s Wicked Blonde – easy to drink yet full flavoured from bottle or tap.

Now for the top ten New Zealand beers of 2005 as judged by me.

#10 – Twisted Hop Challenger – Genuine real ale from a genuine real ale pub.

#9 – Mussel Inn Monkey Puzzle – A hefty Trappist inspired offering which has layers.

#8 – Limburg Pilsner – Simple yet beautiful – a lot like the brewer really.

#7 – Brew Moon Hophead IPA – An intriguing real beer which continues to improve.

#6 – Galbraith’s Resurrection – Strong yet beguiling Trappist inspired libation.

#5 – Moa – Hard to classify but a joy to drink – the champagne of beers.

#4 – Dux de Lux Nor’Wester – I shall never tire of this brilliant brew from the Dux.

#3 – Three Boys Pilsner – stunning debut from a new brewery with balance to die for.

#2 – Emerson’s APA – not as wild as the first run but still bursting with American hop goodness.

#1 – Cock and Bull Monks Habit – Massively full and fresh – a hophead’s dream beer.

Unlike most competitions, correspondence can be entered into either in the comments box below or by email at neil dot miller at beerwriter dot co dot nz.

7 thoughts on “Top Ten New Zealand Beers”

  1. mate. I wish that I was in NZ to at least try all of these beers in no particular order. 🙂I will need to be refreshed by these intensively when I am back from Blighty!

  2. Good Lord, I need to get out more. I’m a 39 yr old kiwi, lived whole life in Godzone, consider myself accomplished p*sshead, BUT…have never heard of, much less tried, any of your top 10 brews!I think I need to start drinking more…

  3. It’s a very subjective list.Notable Omissions:Shakespeare BreweryBennetts BreweryCock n Bull Deep ObsessionMike’s MildGisborne GoldLimberg WeissbierWBC Cheeky AmarilloPink ElephantCock n Bull Dark StarGalbraith’s PorterCan I suggest that you perhaps rate ALL beers so that you can logically arrive at the top 10? It’s not fair to have just 10 top beers (have to rub it in to the Aussies … who wouldn’t have 10 beers worthy of being “top 10”.

  4. Absolutely subjective of course. Mind you, the scientific top ten on the real beer site had Export Gold on it so there are pluses and minuses…I have tried all of the beers you have mentioned (except for Obsession) and there are a number of excellent beers in there (particularly Gisbourne Gold, Cheeky Amarillo and some of the Pink Elephant range).My list almost certinaly reflects my preference for strong and very hoppy beers.

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