Monday, 14 July 2008

Top 5 New Zealand Beers

In tribute to my Kiwi friend Hugo who is back in the Antipodes, why not a post on New Zealand's best beers?

According to an ad-heavy "top five" list of New Zealand beers I found on Digg, the best Kiwi brews are:
  1. Speight's Gold Medal Ale
  2. Steinlager
  3. Monteith's Golden
  4. Mac's Gold
  5. and Lion Red
While I have personally never had the opportunity to travel to New Zealand or try any of these beers, I checked the listings on BeerAdvocate and tried to put together a list that may reflect a bit more quality. While there are not too many reviews to go by, there is one clear stand-out brewery: Emerson's. Of the BA "top seven," Emerson's produces the top four, so I've culled out a few to make a more diverse top five:
  1. Emerson's Oatmeal Stout (A-)
  2. Emerson's APA (A-)
  3. Moa Noir Dark Lager (B+)
  4. Monteith's Black (B)
  5. Limburg Wit (B)
Have any of the New Zealanders reading this had the opportunity to try any of the beers in the latter list? How do they stack up against the former?

Another NZ friend writes in:
I'm a big fan of Emerson's APA, Monteiths in all its glory, and Mac's Gold. Emerson's and Monteiths are true chest-beatingly patrioticly know-you're-at-home beers, with full flavour. Mac's is lighter, served ice-cold and very refreshing (you can get it and Steinlager at GBK). Steinlager is a good drop, one of a few NZ beers that regularly makes it off shore, and that is because it has European qualities - a bit like a Heineken. Lion Red=Rubbish - watch "Once were warriors" and you will find out the kind of people who drink Lion Red. I think you will always find fans of Speights, being the Dunedin student favourite, but it doesn't stack up next to the big three- Emerson's Monteiths and Mac's. Yum, I want some!

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