[TASTING TUESDAY] 140211 – Sky Sports Grill – Part 1

Sky Sports Grill it seems is the forgotten cousin on the craft beer sense in Auckland. It has the most taps. 60 taps, 40 different beers. 30 of them craft. No where has more craft beers on tap in Auckland.

With much thought, maybe it is when people think about it as a destination, the sports bar theme jumps to mind first.

When you arrive for the first time you might actually think there are more TV’s than their are beer taps. (the reflective mirror panels on the ceiling give an impression there are more TV’s than there really are.)




If you love your sport and your craft beer, then this place is heaven.

If not, you may still be in heaven with a great selection of craft beer, there is an outdoor (ish) area where you are away from the AV overload.

Located in the Viaduct Basin, it is the only place that really offers a choice of beer beyond the large brewery tied bars and restaurants that line the water front.

To the beers I tried today. There was no way I was going to try all 30 different craft beers in one go, so this is Part 1 of my posts about Sky Sports Grill.




Schippers Geezer 4.4% abv. a honey/grainy aroma, flavour was underwhelming but seemed balanced, the questions is a Golden Ale the same as a NZ Draught? Looking for something cold and thirst quenching?

ParrotDog Bitter Bitch – one of the better examples I have had of this beer. It seems well made, balanced and clean. The hop character seems to be dull, maybe it is just end of seasons hops losing their pop. In pretty good condition.

Tuatara Pils – better/fresher than the one had at Corner Bar last week. Found out that this one was delivered direct from the brewery. This batch seemed to lack the expected hop intensity in the aroma and flavour. Overall good.

Black Sands IPA – note to self “contact brewer and advise of problems” IPA’s have hop character. Hop notes in this were vegetal.

Panhead APA – very impressive perfumy aroma, the flavour didn’t deliver as much intensity but would definitely drink a pint of this. Odd character I noted as it slightly warmed was it had a pencil shavings character in the finish (this might just be me), only had this once before in the Bach Brewing Hopsmacker, I’m going to put it down to Riwaka hops until I can work out what the common factor is. Don’t get me wrong both of these beers are excellent examples of how great New Zealand craft beer can be.

Stoke Biscuit Lager – Vienna Lager. which biscuit is it? I am going to say it is a little ANZAC. This beer doesn’t have more than a caramelly sweetness. Nothing wrong with it, just a bit underwhelming if you are looking for flavour in your beer.

Speights – I wanted to try New Zealand’s number 1 selling beer. It had been a very long time, and it will be a long time before I try it again. It is sad to think so many people chose to drink this. They obviously don’t know any better, having never tried anything with flavour. All I got was a fermentation stink (aroma is too nice of a word to describe this character), beyond the yeasty note there was a sweetness guessing from priming, and no perceiveable bitterness, then again my taste buds probably can’t detect anything below 20 IBU. Technically very well made. The shareholders will be happy.

Kereru Woodfired Toasted Coconut Stout – end of the keg, but one of the best coconut flavoured beers I have ever had. I will be looking out for another chance to try a pint of this if I get a chance.

Kronenburg 1664 – this was terrible, why would anyone want to drink this. It had notes of cider, apple, pears, a belgian yeast fermentation. If this was 9%-12% abv and I was drinking a tripple, then these characters I could live with. A 5% lager, not so much.


A selection of snacks from the menu

  • Wings, 1kg for $20. That is a lot of wings and they are great. Could do with extra hot sauce, but maybe that is just me.

  • Jalapeno Poppers – Awesome BBQ sauce, the cheese filling overwhelmed the pepper

  • Salt & Pepper Squid – fair, seemed like they came from a freezer bag and deep fried.








  • Nachoes – the bowl they came in made it hard to access all the toppings for getting a good mix on your chip. Pretty good. Guessing the green squiggles was Avocado. Always nice to see jalapeños.

Next time will try the burger. They looked incredible coming out, and the size was huge. So if you buy and pint and can get one of these for $10, that will be a win.









So what is cool, and what don’t you know about Sky Sports Grill

  • booths, I love a booth.
  • lots of TV’s &; lot of sports (if you like TV’s. I don’t like them in bars as they distract me)
  • toilets smell good and look clean
  • everyday 5pm -7pm Happy Hour – 5 craft beers on special
  • Monday – “All You Can Eat Chicken Wings” $20
  • Everyday – Buy a pint get a burger for $10

Overall the selection of craft beer and quality was worth making the effort to visit and drink beer there. There are specials on every day, and the value on the food for what you get is really good.

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