Day 11 – Beers of Auckland – Endless Summer Pilsner

Beers of Auckland Advent Calendar 2014
DAY 11 – Endless Summer Pilsner by Shakespeare Tavern


Shakespeare Endless Summer PilsnerTAP: Endless Summer Pilsner

BREWED: On Site – Shakespeare Tavern

ABV: 4.2%
Today it was my intention to try Baroona from Waiheke Brewery, but it wasn’t on tap when I got to No 1 Queen Street (saving this for next week now). Next venue the Shakespeare.

I haven’t been to the Shakespeare since previous brewer Barry Newman passed away a few years ago. No one really talks about the Shakespeare anymore, so it has kind of been forgotten in my mind.

I had a quick small sample of the three beers brewed on site. I decided to get a glass of the Pilsner. It did remind me a lot of the beer that Barry use to brew. The quality of it seemed pretty good, but the hops aren’t as intense as I remember. It was bright, and looked good in the glass. The aroma was low. The beer has a slight grainy sweetness and good balance and cleanness. The lingering hop flavour though slight is pleasant. I’d happily drink another glass of this beer if I happened to be in the Shakespeare.

Ron MJ and Barry
Ron Urlich (previous owner), Michael Jackson (beer writer) and Barry Newman (previous brewer, RIP) 1999.

Barry’s passing was a loss to the local Auckland and greater NZ craft brewing industry. I think of him like our Richard Watkins, when he was at the Wig & Pen in Canberra. He always had something secret, fun, strong and interesting tucked down in the cellar. He won many awards, and made many inspiring beers.

Since it was lunch time I thought I better get a quick bite. I thought compare apples with apples, so I had the burger. OMG. This burger was $11.95 compared to the Galbraith burger the day before at $18.90. I can tell you I got more than twice the joy from eating the Galbraith burger. The Shakespeare burger – had the bun previously been frozen, or was it just old, as it was dried out and crumbly. There was extra lettuce, but the tomato looked like it had been precision cut with a laser it was so thin. Patty was not good. Amount of chips wasn’t very generous, then again it was a $11.95 meal in the CBD. The chips also tasted like they had been cooked in dirty oil. The only reason I thought about that was because yesterday a comment was made about how the Galbraith chips tasted amazing and must have been cooked in clean oil. The tomato sauce may not have ever been in contact with a tomato, it seemed just like red sugar sauce and flavourless

The over all feel of the place seemed tired and distant from its craft brewing roots. As I was sitting at the bar a guy came out of the pokies and asked for another glass of chardonnay.

DB has always had a connection with this brewpub as they helped set it up originally. Now you have to ask the question why does this place even have a brewery anymore. I am sure it is cheaper to buy beer in from DB than to make it. The beers on offer aren’t really that interesting, and not markedly different from the DB beers.

Based on this experience, where the beer wasn’t bad or interesting, I can’t come up with any compelling reason why you should visit, unless you are walking past and just curious to check it out. There is some great history in the building, but unfortunately the walls can’t talk.

They do have Tanqueray 10, which makes a lovely martini or G&T.

 

Craft Beer in Auckland

#craftbeer, #auckland, #newzealand, #shakespeare #adventcalendar

These links might help you find out what is on tap around Auckland

https://twitter.com/TapHunterAKLD
http://auckland.taphunter.com/location/
https://twitter.com/NowPouringAKL

Day 10 – Beers of Auckland – Bob Hudson Bitter

Beers of Auckland Advent Calendar 2014
DAY 10 – Bob Hudson Bitter by Galbraith’s Alehouse

IMG_1305TAP: Bob Hudson Bitter
BREWED: On Site – Galbraith’s Alehouse

ABV: 4.0%

It’s been a while since I’ve been to Galbraith’s Alehouse.

I had a glass  (Colonial size 425ml, I’m guessing this is vs Imperial size) of Bob Hudson Bitter. It was exactly as I remembered it. Perfect balance of malt and hops. This has to be the original Auckland craft beer pint you can session on.

From the cask this beer is  lovely and clear, and presents with good foam. The rich juicy malt and hop flavours are seamless, yet flavourful. There is a bitterness which you don’t notice without looking for it. And the bitterness lingers in a way that it creates the desire to have another mouthful.

A really great beer, which put a smile on my face.

Galbraith's BurgerIt has been even longer since I have had a meal at Galbraith’s. Something they have always done well is the food. (sorry still not got the turning of the images sorted out yet).

Today though I was seriously impressed. I think I might have had the best burger I have ever had in a restaurant in New Zealand. It was simple, and had all the basic fixings, but the flavour and the ratio of meat/bun/fixings just was magic. This was on par with some of the best burgers I have ever tasting (burgers from the land of the burger, USA).

Just go and try it for yourself. It might have been a little situational, and the other feel good feelings I was having around a great beer might have helped too.

I had a sip of the session IPA Redemption  4.0%. That is a face full of hops. I’d say I will be heading back here again very soon to try the rest of the beers. (also had a little sip of Epic IMP too, which is currently on tap there, and it was a taste of big ripe nectarines)

Mr Sam Williamson you are doing a very excellent job on brewing the beers I tasted, and I hope Mr Galbraith is proud of your workmanship.

Glass of Bob Hudson Best Bitter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inside Galbraith's Alehouse

 

 

 

 

 

 

Presented by Luke Nicholas of Sparging Magazine
This little picture frame can be seen in the entrance at Galbraith’s. It was presented in 1999 by Luke Nicholas of Sparging Magazine

 

Craft Beer in Auckland

#craftbeer, #auckland, #newzealand, #galbraiths #adventcalendar

 

These links might help you find out what is on tap around Auckland

https://twitter.com/TapHunterAKLD
http://auckland.taphunter.com/location/
https://twitter.com/NowPouringAKL

 

Day 8 – Beers of Auckland – Hallertau #3

Beers of Auckland Advent Calendar 2014
DAY 8 – #3 by Hallertau

Hallertau #3BOTTLE: Hallertau #3
BREWED: The Beer Fountain
ABV: 4.2%
IBU: 4 (I don’t actually know, but its pretty low)
HOPS: not many, if any

I had this the other night at the Lumsden Freehouse, but decided not to write about it as I didn’t think I could be very positive about it. It was not that there was anything technically wrong with the beer, it was just so incredibly underwhelming.

It’s pretty much a version of a New Zealand Draught style beer. Which is incredibly underwhelming. It seems as though the big brewers perfected a commodity they called beer, and convinced several generation of men in New Zealand that this was what beer tastes like. Now men have forgotten what beer tastes like, and are scared to try real beer (currently referred to as #craftbeer . This term will revert back to beer at some point in the future, and what is referred to as beer now, will then be known as #industrialbeer ). Experiencing aroma and taste can be a real shock, but can also be very satisfying.  That’s why you have those senses.

Well word got back to Stephen Plowman at Hallertau (thanks Joseph ;-)), and he dropped me a quick  email today. The email basically said he agreed with my comments, and the beer is boring and doesn’t sell that well. The good news was that he has already redesigned the recipe, and will be brewing it soon. So expect some exciting changes to the #3. I’m looking forward to trying it.

Craft Beer in Auckland

#craftbeer, #auckland, #newzealand, #hallertau, #adventcalendar

https://vine.co/v/OrrZ6lJb0qX/embed/simple

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Day 4 – Beers of Auckland – Pale Pat Supreme

Last night at the Lumsden Freehouse, I was talking with Phil Dale from Beertique, and we discussed doing a tasting of his new imported beers which have just arrived. I said why not tomorrow morning? So this morning Phil turns up with some beers for us to taste. The first one we tasted was Pale Pat Supreme from Brew Mountain (yes Beertique have started distributing some of the newer start-up craft brewers). “WOW” Totally took me by surprise.

Beers of Auckland Advent Calendar 2014
DAY 4 – Pale Pat Supreme by Brew Mountain

Pale Pat SupremeBOTTLE: Pale Pat Supreme 330ml
BREWED: Liberty Brewing Company (The Beer Fountain)
ABV: 4.6%
The aroma is totally New Zealand hops, big and bright but not punchy and in your face. Just right. Memories of Mash Up came flooding back. The balance of this beer is pure class. I immediately call this one of the best beers I have tried this year, and give it a 5/5 on Untappd. The malt and hop are really gentle yet obvious, big and satisfying. The balance is incredible. It comes across as having plenty of hop flavour, but delivered in a delicate balanced marriage with the malt. Absolute finesse.

I thought this beer was from Taranaki. Well it generally is, but they recently got some help from ex-Taranaki based super brewer Joseph “101 oysters in my belly” Wood of Liberty Brewing. (Therefore this batch is actually brewed in Auckland, and it makes the Beers of Auckland Advent Calendar).

I was going to write something about Kelly Ryan another super brewer (who I’ve had the privilege of working with in the past) and his contribution to Brew Mountain. Or maybe a photo of Kelly and Liam while on tour in the US earlier this year (what goes on tour boys, right?). Or Shannon. But no. Just get your hands on this beer, and read the articles below.

Great work guys, keep it up. I know once people get a taste of this beer they will be buying heaps more if it.

 

Some background articles: 

Brew Mountain Guys Shannon and LiamBrew Mountain brewery on swift climb to success – 1 Dec 2014

Just six months after it began, Brew Mountain, a small brewery founded by Liam Tranter and brothers Shannon and Kelly Ryan, has expanded its product range to include bottles of its first and most popular beer, Pale Pat Supreme.

The ascent of Brew Mountain – 10 Jun 2014

One of the boxing writers referred to him at the time as “pale Pat supreme with the choir boy looks”

Many titles, many roles for boxing stalwart (Pat Ryan) – 18 Oct 2013

Ryan, who represented New Zealand at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich

#craftbeer #auckland #newzealand

Craft Beer in Auckland

Day 2 – Beers of Auckland – 3D IPA Isthmus Brewing

Beers of Auckland Advent Calendar 2014
DAY 2 – 3D IPA by Isthmus Brewing Company

isthmus 3d ipaTAP: Sky Sports Grill
BREWED: Deep Creek Brewing Company
ABV: 6.6%
IBU: 80 (wow, was surprised it was so high, very well balance, and perceived much lower)
HOPS: Pacific Jade, Simcoe, Amarillo, Citra, Columbus, Centennial, NZ Cascade
AWARDS: Bronze, BGNZ Awards 2014

The beer presented pretty well, mostly bright but maybe a little haze, but could have been the condensation (OK it wasn’t, very slight haze). Lovely hoppy aroma, which I found was driven by the Centennial hops, with floral and berry fruit notes. The flavour has a hoppy/berry fruit sweetness and a nutty/caramel malt not. There is a candy like alcohol sweetness in the finish. Over all a pretty fun beer which reminded me a little of Armageddon IPA, but with more malt and a fuller body. There was some suggestion that the beer is starting to get on a little, but worth a try if you find it.

“Isthmus Brewing is a small Auckland craft beer company and collaboration between two passionate beer geeks, Matt Littlejohn and Hamish Ward. They are both professional scientists and the company grew out of home brewing together while both working at an Auckland biotech company. Hamish has now moved on to being Deep Creek’s head brewer, and Matt now works as a research scientist at the Uni of Auckland. They contract brew through Deep Creek though own our own fermenters out there.

(Sorry I forgot to find out why its called 3D)

Open for suggestions on how to make these notes/reviews more fun.
**What do you want to know about?
***What would make you head out and try it these beers?

 

#craftbeer #auckland #newzealand

Craft Beer in Auckland

How Many Breweries in Auckland
http://www.luke.co.nz/2014/08/how-many-breweries-in-auckland/

Day 1 – Beers of Auckland Advent Calendar 2014

Beer Advent CalIt’s that time of year and the countdown is on for Christmas. I had a thought about Beer Advent Calendars, which then led me to thinking about maybe reviewing a beer a day till Christmas. I needed a theme, so I have come up with the “Beers of Auckland Advent Calendar 2014”. I am planning on tasting at least one beer from each Auckland based craft brewery. Brewed in Auckland, Drink in Auckland.

New Zealand’s biggest city has been slow to the game when it comes to craft beer, but things are moving in the right direction, and at an ever-increasing pace.

DAY 1 – BEACHSTONE by Bach Brewing Company

Bach Brewing BeachstoneTAP: Sky Sports Grill
BREWED: Steam Brewing Company
ABV: 4.8%
IBU: 30+ (perceived closer to 40 IBU, but could be from the dry finish)
HOPS: Pacific Jade, Pacifica, Riwaka, Motueka and Nelson Sauvin

The use of these hops is obvious when you smell and taste the beer. It has a real NZ hop, tropical fruit and citrus aroma and upfront flavour. In the finish the hops evolve into a herbal grassyness which only NZ hops can do. The bitterness is for grown ups, and might make regular “green bottled lager” drinkers cry a little, and cower in the corner.

With the punchy hops, there is a solid and juicy malt base (from the Bohemian Pilsner and Vienna malt) that carries the bitterness to the end.

When drinking this I thought of Emerson’s and Tuatara Pilsners, both which have historically had the serious NZ hops driving their flavours. As of recently though both have left me less than satisfied and not meeting expectations. Beachstone looks as though it has the ability to pick up the baton. Great example of a New Zealand Pilsner.

OTHER STUFF:

Today I also tasted the Sawmill Brewery (sorry not counting them as from Auckland) Hefeweizen, tasting amazing (at Sky Sports Grill) and the best I have ever had it. Perfect banana and clove character. The yeast load was a bit high, but probably worth drinking through it if you love Hefewezien’s

New BAC level of 0.05 came into law today. If the message is don’t drive if you have had a drink, then maybe the change should have been to have a zero tolerance for alcohol. It seems like a great opportunity for the media to add value and share some facts, backed with science about the effects of alcohol, and understanding how to work out your limits. Is going to dinner and having a couple of glasses of wine OK with your meal? Is scare-mongering more effective over the long-term vs education using facts and science?

#craftbeer #auckland #newzealand

Craft Beer in Auckland