Nothing beats a taste of home. Especially when you’re a homesick Kiwi stuck in your house, so it’s an absolute treat when you get sent an entire box full of New Zealand beer (and cider) to sip from. [Disclaimer: The New Zealand Beer Collective sent me this selection, but all enthusing and random stories are all mine.]
When people think of New Zealand beers, they often default to the biggest breweries – and you will be (mostly lovingly) judged by your favourites. Since I was a teenage I’ve bought Tui, and as an adult discovered the malty delight of Monteiths Summer Ale, but the NZ Beer Collective introduced me to a whole rainbow of flavour by unique breweries. Without having to lose a day and catch several flights home.
They have special craft beers; from stouts (affogato, flatwhite) to sours (kiwifruit, lingonberry, passionfruit, watermelon & hibiscus) – and I am beyond curious about the ‘Lone Bee Sparkling Mead with Clover and Manuka Honey’. Something that I adore is their pure passion for delicious brews – it comes through every fibre of the team and in every event that they run.
Highlights from the box they sent me from their online shop selection (I asked for IPAs and ciders) include:
NZBC x Fierce Undefeated Champion 6% Nelson Sauvin IPA
This was so light and delectable – “the quintessential NZ Hop. Undefeated since 2000 thanks to its stunning aromas and flavours. Tropical notes of lychee and mango, and the ability to impart a cool climate white wine fruitiness.”
Urbanaut Core Mixed 4 Pack of New Zealand Beer
It includes the Williamsburg IPA (7.2%), The Mission APA (5.9%), Kingsland Pilsner (4.5%) and Brixton Pale Ale (4.4%). Four distinct beers from our core range on a world tour in your own home! We enjoyed all of these, as well as the…
Urbanaut Gastown 5.8% Red IPA
…slipped in additionally – I adore a malty ale, so the Urbanaut Gastown Red IPA was right down my street. It’s a “hop-driven favourite, with a malt profile to balance the high-alpha hop aroma and moderate bitterness. A rich ruby colour, indicating the complex partnership of four New Zealand and German malts which create a backbone of toffee, caramel and roasted flavours. Sought after American hops giving a citrus, grapefruit and lychee nose.” Scrumptious as a stand alone evening bevvie.
*From what I’ve seen on their website, the Red IPA only comes as part of one of their tasting packs. It’s totally worth it. Ps. how epic is the pack logo!?*
Deep Creek Undercurrent 5% NZ Hopped Pilsner
Undercurrent isn’t just a pretty drink (it’s GORGEOUS) this Pilsner has a light body, low bitterness and a balanced fruity New Zealand hop profile of Motueka and Kohatu. It’s the perfect session beer.
Deep Creek Lagerita 3.8% Lime Sour
Beer meets margarita! With Lagerita “Deep Creek have enhanced the natural zesty flavours of a traditional Gose style beer with additions of crushed dehydrated limes, bringing distinct lime freshness to the forefront. It’s oh, so, refreshing!
Bach Life Apple Cider
Crafted 100% from Granny Smith apples. Bach Life is a clean, crisp and refreshingly dry drop. “The epitome of a New Zealand summer session-able cider. Enjoy in the sun, with or without pants.” It was light and just perfect to sip on it’s own. I also presented a social media masterclass whilst sipping one; having a cocktail in hand is our brand for the fun, fact-packed classes and this went down an absolute treat. [Pronounced ‘batch’, Bach is a term Kiwis commonly use for a holiday home and it’s a vibe. Often located by the sea, river, lake or forest, baches are all about kicking back.]
Purple Rain Blackcurrant Cider
Brewed in my Dad’s town, sadly this was the last of the stock, so I’m not going to tease you. But it was delicious. Sorry.
Three Wise Birds Hometown Hero 5.5% Apple Cider with Feijoa
The Feijoa, is a delicios near-mythical citrus fruit to expats over here in the UK (native to Brazil, adopted by New Zealanders as as mascot, hunted for all over London by homesick Kiwis – I have a friend who I jokingly call my Feijoa dealer.) This cider features the unique juicy sweetness combined with the classic tart flavours of a Braeburn apple. It took me back to childhood days when I sold Feijoas off our old tree to our neighbours.
Of course even my phone was rocking a Kiwifuit skin. NZ REPRESENT.
In addition to stocking these flavours year round, they are spearheading New Zealand beer month each February, back for it’s 3rd iteration. This year they’re doing things a bit differently, moving events, promotions, fundraisers and competitions all online – keep an eye on their Facebook events for all the details!
I know I will be, New Zealand beer in hand…
What’s your favourite kind of beer?