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Kiwi Craft Beer Christmas

5th Jan 2011

After 2 Christmas’ with my Australian ‘family’ it was time to head back to New Zealand for a Kiwi Christmas. Heading home it was great to open the fridge to find a richness of beer for enjoying and celebrating the Christmas festivities!

The first beer I was handed on Christmas Eve was an Epic Portamarillio- a porter style beer fermented in Tamarillo (tree tomatoes) and smoked over Pohutakawa wood chips – a true Kiwi Christmas brew considering that the Pohutakawa tree is known as the New Zealand Christmas tree. This easy drinking brew, a joint venture between Epic and Dogfish Head Brewery based in Delaware, United States, really set the standard for Christmas. Next up and in a slightly strange order was the Tuatara Hefe. This is a fantastic drop brewed by the boys based in Wellington who are fast on the move (having been in the fast 50 growing businesses in NZ for the last couple of years). The beer was very refreshing, light and easy to drink with hints of banana and clove.

Christmas Day unleashed a beautiful day, true to Hawkes Bayweather, with Epic Pale Ale, Monteiths Golden and Mac’s Gold all supped as we basked in the sun and warmth while opening presents and playing croquet. One other beer I tasted with great interest was the ‘Stoke Amber’ from McCashin’s Brewery. The Stoke range is the latest brewing venture by the McCashin family, who originally created the ‘Mac’s’ range of beers before they were bought by Lion Nathan. Their range includes the Gold, Amber and Dark. The Amber was great to drink with a hints of honey and a smooth mouth feel.

 A fantastic beery Christmas!