It's definitely that time of year. Last week, Stu from SOBA presented his 2007 beer picks. This week, Neil Miller from RealBeer hands out some accolades of his own in the way of NZ's best beers, and the best bars in which to drink them.
Beers of the Year
10. Hallertau Stuntman – ludicrously strong, a glass of delicious stupidity
9. Moa Original – still a startlingly different very rare beer
8. Three Boys IPA – balance, flavor and now consistency
7. Galbraith’s Burton Pale Ale – I only ever had one pint of this and it ruled
6. Limburg Czechmate Pilsner – not big, just brilliant
5. Cock and Bull Monk’s Habit – decadent, complex, good for the soul
4. Dux de Lox Nor’easter – why is Ginger Tom in a bottle ahead of this nectar?
3. Epic Mayhem – strong, punchy, aromatic, this is hophead heaven
2. Emerson’s Organic Pilsner – the best this fine beer has ever tasted
1. Epic Pale Ale – full of flavour with vast reservoirs of drinkability, my beer of the year.
This list clearly reflects my preference for hoppy beers and, in many cases, strong beers too. The bottom line is that it comes down to personal taste. I know Stu’s list would look very different. I shudder to think what would be on PC’s list…
Auckland: Galbraith’s – When the usually wine-focused Metro magazine says a brewpub is Auckland’s bar of the year (by which they mean New Zealand’s bar of the year), it is pretty clear Galbraith’s has universal appeal. Outstanding beer and food in a funky venue.
Wellington: Malthouse – With its beer list passing the 140 mark, this is the Capital’s mecca for beer lovers. The selection and service are outstanding. Beware of implausibly handsome Scotsmen.
Christchurch: Twisted Hop – Expanding to meet demand, this fine English-style brewpub is rightly popular with ex-pats and locals. Real ale and black pudding are hard to beat. Personally, I’m loving the informal competition between the Hop and Galbraith’s to see which can provide the best pork pie in New Zealand. I’m already a volunteer judge.
Dunedin: Inch Bar – A bar which simply should not work but is absolutely brilliant. You can spend hours marvelling at how much beer can be served from the country’s smallest bar. Watch out for the appearance of the sacred handpump, and Richard Emerson on his bicycle.
This is sadly the last Beer O’Clock for 2007 from me. Even though the most read and most searched Beer O’Clock column was about the Heineken mini-keg, I’d still like to wish all readers a decadent yet safe festive season, and recommend against the product within.