The Top Ten Beers of 2009 – According to Neil Miller

In what is quickly becoming an annual tradition, I have compiled a list of my top ten New Zealand beers of the year. It appeared first in the Wellingtonian newspaper and is titled “Top Ten Beers of 2009“:

December is the time that columnists reflect on the preceding year and make the traditional spurious “best of” lists. This column is no exception. Here then are my ten best beers of 2009 with last year’s rankings shown in brackets. The list clearly reflects my taste for big hoppy beers but, while they may be hard to find, every beer is well worth trying.

Hoppy New Year!

Best of Beer

My first Wellingtonian beer column for 2008 is about the Very Best of 2007. It covers my top ten New Zealand beers for the year as well as awards for the best Wellington bars and bottle stores.

As is becoming traditional in this column, I have compiled a list of my favorite New Zealand beers of 2007. There is no pretension these are necessarily the “best”, they are simply the beers I enjoyed the most last year.

Glass Tip – The Wellingtonian newspaper for permission to republish here

An early front runner for best beer writing of 2008 has to be this offering about Hofbrau from Aaron Watson:

I first saw it two years ago in a restaurant, a tap with a large HB emblazoned on it and the word Hofbrau. Immediately, I thought of David Hasselhoff. But I didn’t let that put me off and bravely ordered a stein. Like David, it was light tan and had a big head.

Glass Tip – The Capital Times

Final Salient Columns for 2007

Here are the final two Salient columns for the year. The first is my own personal beer awards for the best and worst of 2007:

Beers I wrote about too much this year
Flame – least deserving cult since Social Credit.
Mash – though it was the first ever beer review to mention Chuck Norris.
Budweiser – so many words on so little flavour.

The absolute last column compiled some highlights from the year:

There were many memorable metaphors including “the [Mount Street Café] balcony is nominally smoke-free but I saw more smoke there than the J-Day organizing committee watching a Bob Marley marathon” and “just like an emo’s poetry, beers tend to get darker in winter”. In this post-world cup world, the joke about “telling students where to drink can be a bit like telling the French how to surrender – it can feel just a little redundant” does not work.

The Best of New Zealand – Epic Pale Ale – Best Beer

We have so much to be proud of in New Zealand, but you might be forgiven sometimes for thinking that our main pastoral industry was tall-poppy lopping. So here, with a wide-ranging but by no means exhaustive list, the Listener happily celebrates the best of New Zealand – and invites you, the reader, to celebrate, too, with your own contributions.

The full text of this article appears in the NZ Listener
(August 4-10 2007), on sale now.


The full text will be available online on Aug 25, 2007.

See the comments about Best Beer – Epic Pale Ale