SOBA, New Zealand’s consumer beer advocacy group, is excited about the April 1st release of Mac’s Brewjolais seasonal beer, and is looking to celebrate the event in style and en masse.

Mac’s Brewjolais is a beer which has been brewed annually by Lion Nathan at the old Mac’s Brewery in Wellington. It is brewed to celebrate the hop harvest, and uses freshly picked “wet” (undried) hops from Nelson late in the brewing process to impart their aromatic and distinctive notes to the finished beer. It’s a rare type of beer, and one that SOBA believes deserves recognition, particularly when brewed by one of NZ’s largest breweries who could be expected to opt for the ‘safer’ and more commercially viable styles of beer.

SOBA plans to show its appreciation for Brewjolais by organising a synchronised toast to Lion Nathan and the beer at all of the locations it will be served. SOBA members will descend upon the six Mac’s Brewbars around the country and raise a glass of the deliciously hoppy beverage to the brewers who make it, and the company which gives them the freedom to push the boundaries of beer a little.

The Mac’s brewery in Wellington where Brewjolais has been brewed is being closed down for economic reasons, with Lion Nathan citing higher costs involved in running the smaller scale brewery. This fact makes the 2010 release of Brewjolais bittersweet for beer lovers who fondly remember some of the excellent Mac’s beers to roll out of this brewery. While sad to see the brewery go, SOBA is optimistic that the beer will continue to be produced, and hopes its gesture will help convince Lion Nathan to continue production each year.

SOBA was formed in 2006 in order to increase awareness of and appreciation for flavourful crafted beers. The organisation is often perceived as “anti big brewer”, but in actuality is simply “pro good beer”.

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