#FreshHopNZ15 – Auckland 2015

fresh hop brewers from aucklandPRESS RELEASE – 23 April 2015

Freshhop is back for its second year, the brewers of Auckland learnt a considerable amount last year with our first Freshhop in 2014. Now they are using the lessons learnt and this year they are brewing using two varieties of Hops; Motueka and Sauvin.

In 2014 they used Waimea, this year Auckland Beer Lovers get the chance to try something new with not one but two new hops. These delicious beverages will be found on tap around the Craft Beer Bars in the Auckland Region.

The big difference between Freshhop beers and other beers is that the hops are picked fresh and brewed with as soon as possible. Hops are picked in the morning in Nelson then taken to a site for field heat to be taken out of them. They are then placed in a chilled truck and driven to Auckland as fast as legally permitted to keep them as fresh as possible. The truck is met by a group of eager brewers who take their hops immediately to their breweries to plunge them into their barley worts they have created and at the end they have a Freshhop beer.

If you can envisage the difference in cooking between using Fresh Coriander vs. Dried Coriander you are getting the gist of it. The Freshhop beer has more natural resins, more aroma and more flavour.

Many of the beers are designed to allow the hops to be the main aroma and flavour component of the beer. This is a unique once in a year opportunity to use the Hops as fresh as they can be and it is not a tasting opportunity to be missed by anyone who likes the greatest beverage of all…Beer!

There will be Eleven Auckland Brewers creating twelve different beers. These will be released on the 23rd of April in Nineteen bars across the Auckland region from Warkworth to Manakau and across to Riverhead. We shall be inviting the public to register with us and vote on which beer they liked the most and will go into a draw to win some great brewery gear from the brewers.

An Awards Function is scheduled at 16 Tun in Wynyard Quarter on Friday 1st May to announce the winners to the public, brewers and bars. Award categories covering best beer (people’s choice) and best activation/promotion by a craft beer bar on the theme of Freshhop Beers.

In the meantime get on to www.freshhop.co.nz

Twitter: @freshhopnz15

Rate My Craft Beer Bar

After some reflection of last weeks heavy hitting articles, I have done some thinking and come up with a new idea.  Firstly you should read the following articles to get the background on why and how things have changed.

Wasted by Andy Crouch

How the craft-beer movement abandoned Jim Koch (and his beloved Sam Adams).

“Staring at the beer menu, Koch began to criticize the selection. More than half of it, he said, wasn’t worthy of being served—inadvertently insulting the establishment’s owner, who unbeknownst to Koch was sitting next to him. Then Koch interrogated the beer manager about the offerings. Unsatisfied with the answers, Koch complained about the beers so intensely that an employee at the bar teared up. Koch rose from his seat and walked into the keg room, where he started checking freshness dates on his competitors’ kegs.”

Sam Adams and Why We Need To Stop Listening to Hipsters

“Stop giving power to these trolls. They know nothing, they do nothing, and pretty soon they won’t be able to buy your shit anymore when the trust fund runs out. The best part of Jamie’s quote from above is “Right now, it’s about what is shiny and new.” Right now. That’s the key insight here: all of this is temporary. That doesn’t make it any less annoying or infuriating when I’m stuck sitting next to five dude-bros at a bar who ordered a flight and can’t figure out which is the IPA and which is the stout but are still totally beer geeks, bro. It doesn’t make it any less annoying to see an eyeroll when I send a beer back for having an off-flavor that fuck you, yes I can detect, because I’m not so fuckhead 21-year-old from Emerson having his first brown ale.”

What’s the difference between craft beer snobs and Kopparberg drinkers?

“Craft beer, whatever you want to call it, has gone mainstream. Now, it’s growing up and maturing, and it already has several generations of brewers. Without the pioneers, the rest wouldn’t be here today. And while today’s newbies push the envelope ever further – which is what they should be doing – the bigger, older breweries are getting better at what they do, building bigger names, and providing a bridge between the mainstream and the cutting edge. If you simply reject their achievements and their vital contemporary role in favour of what’s new this week, whatever that is, you’re not interested in authenticity and story at all. You’re just following the latest fad among your peer group. And that makes you no more discerning, no cooler, no edgier, than the guy pouring his strawberry and lime flavoured ‘cider’ over ice.

Pete Brown and Luke Nicholas
Pete Brown & Luke Nicholas, drinking a UK brewed Epic Pale Ale on tap at JD Wetherspoons in 2009

There are many interesting points in the above articles, as well as their comments (worth reading the comments). The Jim Koch piece could come across as a little “boohoo, poor me no one wants to stocks my beer, yet I’m a billionaire”. Then again there is a good point about the quality of beer on tap. Sometimes quality comes behind, what’s new these days.

What’s great this week, is going to be old next week, and no one wants to drink it. It has become a treadmill of endless new beers. This is a fractal  as we travel down the long tail. As the market becomes more and more segmented. As more and more new brands enter the market they will get a smaller and smaller percentage of market share. Occasionally the odd new beer will raise above the rest, but mostly the new beers will not get more market share than the beers before them.

Sorry that is a bit deep, but it is just what I am thinking right now.

Maybe there is a way to put this new beer craze into perspective. How about a rating on craft beer bars, based on the beers they have on tap. (This is a work in progress and there needs to be given some thought for anomalies that may come up such as brand new beers with no ratings to work with).

If there is a score for each craft beer bar in a city, and people make their decision on which bar to go to based on their score, then does this force bars into stocking more of the better beers rather than the whats new beers?

Here are some examples from Auckland. The list of beers on tap were taken from TapHunter on the afternoon of Tuesday 13th January.

My Bar – SCORE = 3.53

Garage Project Orange Sunshine – 3.47
Mikes Organic Taranaki -3.86
Tuatara Helles – 3.34
Zeffer Cider – 3.45

The Lumsden FreehouseSCORE = 3.59

BrewDog Dead Pony Club3.625
Epic – Imp3.945
Golden Eagle Citradel3.525
Good George Doris Plum3.686
Guinness Draught3.825
Hawkes Bay Ginger Fusion3.848
Hawkes Bay Pilsner3.071
Kereru Karengose3.392
Lakeman Lahar3.603
Liberty Citra Junior3.875
Mikes Organic Thc3.455
Moa Checkpoint Charlie3.382
Newmarket Nude 0
North End Fieldway APA3.47
Sawmill 12 Gauge3.587

Vultures LaneSCORE = 3.72

8 Wired C4 Double Coffee Brown Ale3.873
Behemoth Hop & Hay3.548
Funk Estate Sophisticuffs3.657
Golden Eagle Coalface Stout3.816
Good George Any Time Pale Ale3.93
Good George Kiwi Sour3.825
Good George Nitro Stout3.752
Guinness Draught Nitro3.825
Hop Federation Brown Ale3.554
Lakeman Hairy Hop3.474
Lakeman Taupo Pale Ale3.857
Liberty Citra Junior3.875
North End Amber3.551
Ranga Alcoholic Ginger Beer0
Sawmill Sticky Bandits3.938
Townshend Old House ESB3.758
Yeastie Boys Man At The Back3.361

So the above has potential as an idea for a phone app. If the taps were kept up to date using a service like Taphunter, and then information was pulled in from one or all the beer rating sites (Untappd, RateBeer, BeerAdvocate), and an algorithm applied then you could get a live list of the best beer bar in the city based on the beers they have on tap.

This potentially changes the way that bars stock beers. It moves things from whats new to what is the best range of beers on a particular day.

Food for thought.

Discuss below or join the discussion on Facebook

Day 12 – Beers of Auckland – Epic 1991 IPA

Beers of Auckland Advent Calendar 2014
DAY 12 – 1991 IPA by Epic Brewing Company

1991 Tap BadgeTAP: 1991 IPA

BREWED: Steam Brewing Company

ABV: 6.0%

I’d like to invite you to come and taste this beer with me at The Lumsden Freehouse today. It is being released for the first time at Epic’s 9th Birthday Party, starting at lunchtime.

Why 1991?

This beer is made with all USA grown ingredients (malt, hops and yeast). This is the first time I’ve had the opportunity in NZ to do this. Cryer Malt imported some US grown malt which we have used to make this beer.

The recipe was design as a hat tip to the moment in time where I had my lifes path changed by having a craft beer epiphany, which has ultimately lead me to making this beer.

In 1991 I was at university in California, and got my first taste of craft beer (this happened to be Sierra Nevada and it was first drunk in Chico).

The beer captures the light pale ale style that has influenced me, my beer tastes, and the way I like to brew. It is pretty simple, with the hop flavour being driven by old school aroma hops – Cascade & Centennial . 6% abv and 40 IBU. Intended as a light floral easy tasting summer pale ale (from Epic).

This beer will only be available on tap over the summer. (No bottles). So enjoy it when you see it. (and there will be some available in Australia in the New Year)

One of my favorite songs while living in California, was “Epic” by Faith No More (link NSFW, use headphones). I’ve wondered for years if this song and this influential time in my life, was the reason for the naming of Epic Brewing Company.

Some video highlights from last years 8th Birthday Party at The Lumsden



Here is another fun reason to come to our 9th Birthday party on Friday at The Lumsden Freehouse. The magnificent Giapo has created us some "Lupulingus Zabaione" </p> <p>What is Zabaione? (YUM!)<br /> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZabaioneHere is another fun reason to come to our 9th Birthday party on Friday at The Lumsden Freehouse. The magnificent Giapo has created us some “Lupulingus Zabaione”

What is Zabaione? (YUM!)

This limited edition T-shirt is only available for pre-order till 15th December. We will only be doing a single print run of this commemorative Epic 9th Birthday T-shirt. Please add size in comment box when paying.






The front has the shields from each of the new beers brewed in 2014.
*2014 – Imperium Stout
*Spider Pig – Loves Bacon
*Lightening Bolt – Lupulingus
*Unicorn – Mosaic OTP
*Imp – IMP
*42 – Apocalypse BIPA
*Chillies – Carolina Amber Ale
*’91 – 1991 IPA (new release for 9th Birthday)

The back lists all the beers we brewed in 2014, in order of release.

Epic Culley's Matador Pie from Green Meadow BeefWe also have THE “Matador” pies from Green Meadows Beef. The pie is made with Epic Imperium Stout, and Culleys Habanero Sauce‪ #‎hotandtasty‬


Craft Beer in Auckland

#craftbeer, #auckland, #newzealand, #lumsdenfreehouse #epic9 #adventcalendar

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




Day 9 – Beers of Auckland – Jokers Wild

Beers of Auckland Advent Calendar 2014
DAY 9 – Jokers Wild by Laughing Bones

Jokers Wild Laughing BonesTAP: Jokers Wild
BREWED: Brothers Beer

ABV: 6.6%
IBU: ?
HOPS: Amarillo & Simcoe

Last week when I was talking to John Morawski (owner/brewer of Laughing Bones and previously of Brewery Britomart) at The Lumsden Freehouse he said his new beer would be on tap at Sky Sports Grill, so I headed down today.

An observation I have made is it is hard to gather much information about some of these beers I am trying from the people selling them. (Not your fault Ben, you obviously hadn’t been told). Maybe there is an opportunity for brewers to spend some time with bar staff and educate them about the beer, and leave some support material for them to refer back to.

I just did a little online searching and found the label.

Jokers WildThe label promises  a lot of late hops. I found the aroma offered a malty caramel character, but not alot of hops. The colour was a beautiful bright copper. It makes me happy to see brewers taking pride in the presentation of their beer. The flavour has a sweetness from some crystal malts, a hint of nuttiness, and it is well-balanced with the bitterness.  There is a presence of hops in the mid palate and a lingering hoppiness on the finish.

One of the cool things about this beer is it truly is very local, travelling less than a kilometre from where it was brewed. Just up the road at Brothers Beer. Try it now while it is fresh.

Something that did pop into my mind was 6.6% alc/vol, and then thought I’ve already tried on of these. 3D IPA is also 6.6% alc/vol.

O-I White Burgundy tastingOnce again I am late to posting my beer of the day and that was because I was out late attending the O-I New Zealand White Burgundy Tasting with Bob Campbell MW. It was more to see how the event was run, rather than my interest in White Burgundy. The angle was to see if something could be created for the brewing industry along a similar format.




IMG_1287 IMG_1281 IMG_1285 IMG_1279 (hey and way can’t I reorient my images anymore on WP?). (this page still some reworking)

#craftbeer #auckland #newzealand

Craft Beer in Auckland

Day 3 – Beers of Auckland – Hot Water Brewing Barley Wine

LumsdenAs I think about how to track down Auckland brewed craft beer on tap I am finding it not as easy as I thought. Tonight I attended an event at The Lumsden and found that they have a South Island tap takeover. (pretty cool story. Evan the owner of the Lumsden Freehouse, headed to the South Island, rented a re-location Camper Van for $5 a day, and spent a week traveling around the South Island visiting craft breweries and picking up kegs, and putting them in the back of the camper van. The trip was called Lumsden to Lumsden. Check out their twitter, follow them if you aren’t. If you live in Auckland you should visit the Lumsden right now as there are beers from the South Island you won’t see in Auckland again on tap).

So I arrive and find there aren’t any beers on tap. Boo. (well boo for this Advent Calendar Boo, not for the cool selection of beers we don’t normally see here in Auckland).  Next I check out the bottled beer list. All I see is Epic (I have this as back up beer for the days I really get stuck on the Advent Calendar), Liberty & Hallertau also, but it is my plan to visit them and drink from the Fountain. I am recommended Behemoth and Schippers but the bartender can’t confirm where the beer was brewed, and I said I need to know it is brewed in Auckland.

I am now digging deep, I nearly consider getting a Steinlager Pure (the 102 metre dive could be an interesting angle) but can’t bring myself to do it. I ask for a Boundary Road Brewery Flying Fortress, with a screwed up face and probably funny sounding voice. They say we sold the last bottle a couple of days of go. I have a big sigh of relief. I am still stuck though. Oh no, what am I going to do?? Damn it, I’ll have a Hallertau #3. This isn’t the beer I wanted to review from Hallertau. I made some notes, but my evening continued on. Not happy.

I caught up with heaps of great beer industry people. Including John Morawski and asked him what beers from Laughing Bones I could try and where I could try them. I was a little confused when I assumed his beers would be on at Brothers Beer where he brews his beer, but he said they don’t stock them. He did say that his beer would be on again at Sky Sports Grill in the next couple of days.

Dave Kurth Fashion
Dave Kurth with an amazing Westport hand knitted jersey on

Dave Kurth from Hot Water Brewing Company was there and for some reason he was the lucky brewer tonight, as one of the South Island kegs ran out and his Kauri Pale Ale was put on and was tasting as good as I have ever tasted it. (quick get to the Lumsden ASAP to try some). It is always a pleasure to catch up with Dave, as I am assured of receiving some form of verbal abuse or teasing. (Love you Dave, and you make great beer, pity no one realises that yet)

Finally I catch up with Joseph Wood from Liberty Brewing Company, who turns up late. I was planning to head to Riverhead this evening to spectate at the Oyster 100 Club, but couldn’t bare driving out there and back to the Lumsden in the Auckland traffic. Joseph ate 101 Oyster in an hour and a half, and then drove to the city (with his lovely wife Christina). First thing I do is to run over and punch him in the guts. Yes he was in a distressed state and I believe he has actually eaten that many oysters. What a legend. Must also give a shout to The Plow, Dave Huff and Tom Madams from Cryer Malt, all of who ate 100 Oysters as well. Seems like an odd and difficult way to get a free tshirt. Eat $100 of oysters. Steve, you own the company, just buy a tshirt, and avoid the gastric distress. I am interested in hearing about how all four of you feel tomorrow morning.

OK, getting to the point of Day 3 of Beer of Auckland Advent Calendar. It was less than a perfect situation, so I have stretched my definition of Auckland, to Greater Auckland and included Whenuakite. Joe comes out (outside was a lovely evening with a moon getting close to full, slightly cool, a few clouds and the light getting low and dusky) with a can of the Hot Water Brewing Company 2014 Barley Wine. BOOM. That is the beer. (Cheers Joe for giving me the other half of the can)

So I had to revert to a can!?

Beers of Auckland Advent Calendar 2014
Hot Water Brewing Barley WineDAY 3 – 2014 Barley Wine by Hot Water Brewing Company

CAN: 2014 Barley Wine (355ml, 12 oz, can. I don’t know why)
BREWED: Hot Water Brewing Company
ABV: 9.5%
IBU: ??
HOPS: ??
AWARDS: Gold – 2014 NZ Beer Awards

Barley Wines are not that easy to make, and really hard to sell, especially in this country. Only a small handful of breweries make them. Dave made a couple of Barley Wines while brewing at West Coast Brewing Company, which were pretty nice. But he has really nailed it on this batch. I would call out that this is currently the best Barley Wine in New Zealand. (go on show me a better one. this did just win Gold).

Aroma is rich and malty, with a slight grain huskiness when cold but as it warms there is more caramel and toffee notes. The flavour is sweet but not cloying like some barley wines, notes of toffee and raisins, fruitiness, and barley sugars. The finish seems dry and light , with a bitter edge, but after a couple of mouthfuls this lighter finish actually makes the beer more drinkable than what one would expect from a Barley Wine.

So after a nearly traumatic evening not knowing what I was going to write about I ended up with a special treat, and even got to spend some time with the brewer. You never know what craft brewer you will meet in a craft beer bar in Auckland.

#craftbeer #auckland #newzealand

Craft Beer in Auckland

New Beer Events and New Epic Beers

Its been a while since I have talked about what’s coming up and there seems to be a few things worth checking out. Pencil these dates in.

Darkest Days 201413 June – Epic Imperium launch – The Lumsden

20 June – Hop Zombie & Hot Zombie release – Brew on Quay, Auckland
20 June – Darkest Days – Malthouse (including Epic Imperium on hand pump), Wellington

23 June – Epic Hop Zombie 2014 & Hot Zombie official release to market (and probably bottled Apocalypse Black IPA)

24 June – Epic Beer Dinner – Pomeroy’s, Christchurch

28 June – Winter BREWS Out West – blanc, Henderson, Auckland

4 July – Independence Day, Brew on Quay, Auckland

12 July – City of Ales – SOBA Auckland

18 July – West Coast IPA Challenge – Malthouse (Epic brewed a new Imperial IPA for this), Wellington

31 July – 3 August – The Food Show, Auckland

22-23 August – Beervana – Wellington

blanc winter brews out west

city of ales 14


BREWER – Dave Kurth – Hot Water Brewing

I caught up with Dave Kurth and had a chat about some “beer stuff” over lunch. It was my first opportunity to try his new range of beers he is making at Hot Water Brewing.

2014-02-25 11.44.47-1 A nice range of beers in can. One of the few craft brewers canning. The super star of the range, and one of the best beers I have had this year is the Kauri Falls Pale Ale. Could be a contender as one of those beers that captures the “New Zealand beer style” Wonderful NZ hop character, without it being too aggressive, balanced with a solid malt base.

2014-02-25 11.45.13

2014-02-25 11.45.26

2014-02-25 11.55.58

2014-02-25 13.13.57 The Lumsden Freehouse Nachos have gotten even better. Love the jalapeno’s.

Dave is possibly one of the most under appreciated brewers in the country. I’m expecting that this new opportunity will really see him shine. If you get a chance you should head out and see him at Hot Water Brewing, you can stay the night as they have accommodation on site.

Here is a little background about Dave from NZ Craft Beer TV

And some video


Today was exceptionally busy.

Started the day with trialling out our new still, and distilled some Message in a Bottle. Unfortunately we ended up with a few cases left over, after its best before date. So we can’t sell it anymore. Even though it is tasting as good as it ever has. So I thought it might be a bit of fun to make some spirit out of it.

Then I had the privilege of meeting and having lunch with Richard Shirtcliffe the new CEO from Tuatara Brewing Company. What a great guy, and so super positive about craft beer and also New Zealand. I am excited to have Richard as part of the craft brewing industry in New Zealand.

I asked the waitress what the most popular item on the menu was, she said the steak sandwich so I had it. It was average to fair, I did find the small steak pieces a bit chewy. Overall a little dry, could have used some mayo or sauce.

OK Lumsden what is the idea of having an amazing “Build Your Own Salad” that no one knows or talks about? This is incredible and its only $9, I am totally trying this next time.

You get to build your salad from the ground up.

It looks incredible.

Stop keeping this a secret.

On returning to the office, it was time to bottle a couple of batches of beer, that were trial recipes from the ePICO Brewery. One was an Old Ale and other a small beer.

The Epic Team as usual loves to get involved and learn and experience new stuff with brewing and beer. I ended up just being the guy taking photos.

Next we had a meeting with our friends from Culley’s (makers of chilli sauces)

They have just produced a new hot sauce, their hottest yet. This time using the hottest chillies in the world “Carolina Reapers”

We said a sauce that hot needs a cold beer to put out the fire. So we have brewed something up, a one off limited release beer to go with this limited release hot sauce.

Our new beer is Epic Carolina. It is an Amber Ale 7.2% abv, Hopped with Centennial and Chinook (sorry Niels)

No we didn’t use any chillies in making it. It is to help put out the fire.

The launch party is from 5pm on Friday 14th February at Brew on Quay. There will be tastings of the beer and hot sauce. There will also be a hot wings eat competition.

We also have a date for Hamilton at House – 20 Feb.

There will be other dates and locations announced next week where we will be turning up and tasting the hot sauce and beer.

After the Carolina meeting I did an ageing tasting on the most current batches of our Epic Pale Ale. Just to make sure the aroma and flavour in each of the batches in stock are holding up OK. 330ml batches are all good. I am going to revisit the 500ml again on Friday just to double check, with the brewsheet in hand. One seems to be a little low on aroma, so need to work out what was done differently. But nothing you should worry about.

(I was told I should blog about doing these tastings)

End of the day, we did some tasting of the new hot sauce and some beer. It went well. These are some crazy hot chillies. I took a half of the Carolina Reaper in the photo and just touched it to my tongue (didn’t eat any) and it burned like crazy, lasted like 15 minutes. Just a touch, man thats some hot stuff.

Yes and we had some BBQ’ed bacon, because that is how we roll.

Some times things just happen. It started with “hey the purple of your dress is the same as the Armageddon label” and ended up as an Armageddon bottle Angel.

[TASTING TUESDAY] 140128 – The Lumsden Freehouse

After my blog post about  New Beers Everywhere, But Buyers Beware which also linked to Dodgy brews bringing industry into disrepute by Geoff Griggs and The Emperor’s New Suds by Greig McGill, I thought I would do something about it.

I thought it might be useful to go to the local craft beer bars, and taste the beers. Not only taste the beers but actually arrange to taste the beers on tap with the staff that work at the bars.

So today I started with The Lumsden Freehouse. I rocked up at 11am, had a handful of staff, and just tasted our way through the taps.

First question I asked “have the beers been pulled through” answer wasn’t the best start from the guy on duty, but at least it was a good learning.

(edit: it is important that a bar pulls through at least the beer in the beer line from the tap to where the cooling ends, as this beer will had sat warm overnight, and wont be in the best condition. Plus it will also create extra foaming when pouring the first beer of the day as the gas will have broken out of solution.)

Ginger Fusion – from Hawkes Bay Independent Breweries,  aroma ginger and lemon/orange, flavour is very sweet, a difficult pint for me, but might be good as a mixer for a cocktail.
Cool Beans – from Laughing Bones (brewed at Brothers Beer by John Morawski, ex Britomart Brewery). 5.25% abvThe beer is obviously coffee beans in the aroma, and the flavour is like cold plunger coffee. Good clean beer, well balanced. Reminds me of when I have drunk Youngs Chocolate Stout. Aroma and flavour start off big, but fade away as you work your way down the pint as your palate gets use to the intense flavour, in this case the coffee.
White Lady – from Ben Middlemiss Brewing (not sure where Ben is brewing at the moment, so if someone wants to add that info below thanks). This is a pretty nice Wit Beer, 4.5% abv, makes it easy to drink, nice aroma of coriander, and citrus (more lemon then orange peel), the body feels very full, maybe a little lighter would increase drinkablity, but not to say this isn’t a nice beer.
Guinness – Lion Breweries 4% abv (I thought it was 4.2%, then again it has been a long time since I have had a try, then again it did use to be 4.9%) The bar staff passed on a story from a punter that says that it is Steinlager with roast malt extract added. It did use to be that, and it could be again. It had an aroma that just seemed to be grainy with fermentation/yeasty notes, the flavour was more washed out than I remembered it with a slight burnt toast note.
HBIB Pilsner – Hawkes Bay Independent Breweries, 5% abv very pale colour, the very slightest hint of hops on the aroma, light body, hop bitterness a little astringent, and some what sweet finish, but overall, an OK beer.
Sawmill Saison – sweet alcoholic aroma, on the palate the alcohol was quite hot, it was 8% abv, the bitterness/ hops came across a bit sharp and astringent.
Old Speckled Hen – 5.2% abv for some reason I remembered this being lower in alcohol, and therefore watery. This beer for what it was, seemed OK, the caramel character was dominate, with a hint of English hops.
Electric India – Brew Dog – 7.2% abv, because it was on tap and had come from Scotland, my expectations were low for this as I had had other Brew Dog beers in NZ when they first arrive and they were in shockingly bad condition. When I smelt this it was like “WOW”. It was in great condition. It was big spicy Belgian yeast character, and some nice IPA hopping. Overall a pretty cool beer, in good condition. This is worth a try before it runs out.
Hallertau #4 – a Dark Lager (Schwarzbier) 5.1% is not the most interesting beer in the world, but this is a pretty cool, and tasty example of the style. Actually it is one of the beast batches I have tried of this beer from Hallertau (wonder if it is from the new Brewery?) Flavours of toasty dark/black malts, and dry finish.
Sawmill Crystal Wheat – 4.5% abv Diacetyl/smokey ash like notes in finish
Epic Armageddon IPA – 6.66% abv very hoppy aroma and flavour
Liberty Oh Brother – 5.1% abv hoppy Pale Ale, sweatness from hops accentuated from drinking after Armageddon. Good beer though.
Mustang Ale – 4% abv at only $1 per pint less than Armageddon and no real flavour other than priming sugar (sugar added back to the beer to give some body, and sweetness) maybe a little from the caramel that is added for the colour too, it surprises me people would bother drinking this at $9 a pint. Then again maybe they only drink it when it is on special at $6 at Happy Hour.

A pretty good selection of bottled craft and imported beers, incase you have tried everything on tap


A fantastic selection of Bourbon. Love to know all the places in New Zealand with a better list than this



Totally Insane Wings

If you like it hot, then you have to try the Hot Wings.

You have to sign a disclaimer to eat them and they serve them with safety gear on.



The Nachos are on par with some of the best Nachos I’ve had in New Zealand. Plenty of beans, meat, jalapenos. Maybe a little more cheese would be nice.

So for New Zealand I’ll give it a 9.5/10

Jalapeno Poppers – second place I have found these. The other place is Hallertau.

A few other cool things to know about the Lumsden.

  • get your cell phone charged
  • get free WiFi, you need to tell the staff a funny joke to get the password, the dirtier the better
  • there are assortment of board games on the tables inside
  • there is chalk on the tables outside and each table is a blackboard
  • when it is cold in the winter months, there are free blankets and hot water bottles so you can still sit outside
  • free popcorn

Comments and Discussion about this blog post

** I am hating on Blogger, I might have to look at another blogging platform as the positioning of images are not easy. Maybe I just have to learn how to do this better.