2102 was the year of craft beer—the year when craft beer was everywhere. Even in Lion Breweries’s portfolio.
So what was my own personal 12 beers of 2012—beers I noticed1—beers with a summery tinge2—beers above and beyond my usual favourites3—beers I’ll be making a special point to track down and consumer over the summer?
- Harrington’s ‘Rogue Hop’
'An organic pilsener, this surprisingly hoppy pilsener is perfect for summer. Seen about in a few shops now in surprisingly affordable slabs. And if you’re visiting Christchurch, visit the brewery and load up some riggers to take home in your spare suitcase. I know I have.
- Garage Project’s ‘Day of the Dead’
Why would you add chilli to a porter? You’d only ask that question before you’ve had one of these. The one exception to the rule that beer only has four ingredients.
- Yeastie Boys’s ‘Rex Attitude’
A beer that truly grows on you, in every sense. In 2012 it finally made itself indispensable.
- Little Creatures Pale Ale
While bumptious NZ beers tried the extremes, Little Creatures kept making damn fine well-crafted pale ale. And in 2012, with Lion acquiring the company, you can suddenly find it in every good bottle store in the country. And even some of the bad ones.
- Epic ‘Message in a Bottle’
If this is truly a recipe from days gone by, as the advertising argues, then it’s easy to see the days went by very well indeed. Hard to get, but worth the effort.
- Epic ‘Zythos’
Another bumptious beer by the Hop Hooligan. I recently made the mistake of drinking an Epic Pale Ale straight after one of these. There are few other beers that can make an Epic Pale Ale taste ordinary. This is one.
- Emerson’s ‘Bookbinder’
I discovered the perfectly-crafted session beer, and it is called Bookbinder. Well-tested now over several sessions (hic) I have hopes that with Emerson going mainstream you might soon find this everywhere. (One can hope.)
- Hallertau ‘Statesman’
This is an old favourite I’m gratefully discovering on tap around the traps—most notably at Ponsonby’s Golden Dawn. So good it makes you want to suffer Ponsonby to enjoy it—or better yet, to drive to Riverhead to drink it straight from the brewery’s mouth.
- Mountain Goat India Pale Ale
One I enjoyed in Melbourne this year.
- Feral Brewery’s ‘Hop Hog’
Another Australian, the name says it all.
- 8 Wired ‘Fresh Hop Wired’
Wow. The original hard-to-find-but-worth-the-effort.
- Leigh Sawmill ‘The Doctor’
A flavourful fellow, I predict generous helpings fresh from the brewery door will adorn our Christmas table this year. And moisten much of the after-match. We will, after all, be just down the road…
Cheers, and what are your 12 beers of Christmas, 2o12?
1. Some for the first time, some I just noticed properly this time.
2. By which I means beers with a summery tinge that taste like beer. Which excludes your DB Summer Ale.
3. Take a bow Epic Pale Ale, Galbraith’s Resurrection, anything else by Renaissance or Three Boys…