Day 16 – Beers of Auckland – Baroona

Beers of Auckland Advent Calendar 2014
DAY 16 – Baroona by Waiheke Island Brewery

 TAP: BaroonaGlass Baroona
BREWED: Waiheke Island Brewery

ABV: 5.0%

Its been a couple of years since I’ve had a Baroona on tap, and it has definitely been a very long time since I first tried it. I can’t remember exactly when I first tried it, as it was the late 1990’s sometime. It’s hard to believe that its been nearly 18 years since Waiheke Island Brewery started making beer (1997).

Baroona is named after the ferry that use to service Waiheke Island.

The beer is brewed to a Kolsch style (loosely) as it has noticeable citrus hop notes. Thinking about this beer, brings me back to similar thoughts I had about Galbraith’s recently. Here is another vanguard of the craft brewing movement, that I feel has been unrecognised by the new wave of craft beer drinkers hitting the market these days.

The beer/brewery has been at a disadvantage by its isolation of the island, a handful of different owners and brewers over the years. Alan Knight, the original brewer and again the current brewer, even though he brewed in close to one million different breweries in the first five minutes of his brewing career before arriving here, seems to have stuck around on Waiheke Island for the duration of this brewery.

Alan Knight Waiheke Island BreweryIt’s funny how the talk right now is getting back to session beers, after a several years of the hops arms race where beers just got bigger and hoppier. Sorry, now back to the beer. Baroona is a great everyday, go to, flavourful beer at 5% abv (i.e not a big scary resinous double imperial IPA). It is light and fruit, well-balanced, with a clean finish. No real lingering bitterness or resinous hop character. Kind of like a NZ hopped Kolsch (or we could say golden ale) style. You must try it on the island when you are there (or if you hurry you can try it on tap at Number 1 Queen Street, before you hop on the ferry).

The only thing I’d say about today’s batch was I got a little spicy, clove like note which I’d put down to fermentation rather than from the hops. It wasn’t offensive, and most people aren’t likely to notice it. Fresh from the brewery is best. Get over there this summer.

I drank this beer at Number 1 Queen Street. This is the first beer I’ve ever drink here. I have been passed it several times, but never think to pop in. I think it might be the lack of signage. It looks kind of like a little glasshouse with a bunch of outdoor seating and umbrellas. Nothing wrong with that, when it is a sunny day (can’t wait to see one of those again). If I was a ferry/bus commuter I’d probably stop in  to have a glass of something different. They have four rotating craft beer taps.

They recently got a an off license so you can buy beer to take away (on the ferry?). Plus they are doing swappa crates of six growlers. We also talked about doing a market day on site with three or four local craft brewers. Details to follow.

I got to taste some Mash Tun Crackers today. Nice.

Craft Beer in Auckland

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