A late arrival in my tasting rundown of this year’s Brewers Guild Awards trophy winners, in this case champion Dark Lager.  Late maybe, but this one arrived in style, contained within a leviathan one litre can.  Just cracking it open was strangely daunting. Aromas of malt biscuits and bush honey, with toasted whole grain bread in the background along with a fruity and faintly herbal hoppiness.  The palate leans drier than the rich nose would suggest, with clean but robust malt character up front and a cleansing hop bitterness further in.  Big and chewy at first, but gradually drying into the long finish to end with a touch of flinty minerality and just a thread of smoke.  An immensely satisfying dark lager that compacts many layers of flavour into its extremely mild 4.8 per cent ABV like only dark beer can.

Three Boys Gas NZIPA

Three Boys Gas NZIPA was originally brewed as a collaboration with Burkes and took third place at the 2021 Smiths IPA challenge.  Now Three Boys have got it into cans for a wider release in their Brewers Reserve series.

State of the Hazy Nation Revisited

Luke Nicholas talks about what makes a great hazy IPA and why he believes so many people are falling in love with them.

Issue 60 Summer 2021-22

A road trip to Tekapo to find New Zealand’s best beer, a trip to Waiheke to discover Alibi, the Champion Exhibitor at the Brewers Guild Awards. Plus New Zealand’s Beer Hall of Fame, Small Gods, the state of the hazy nation, and breweries cranking out bike beers.

Editor’s choice: 10 best beer moments of 2021

It's been a long time since I tried to do a list of "best" beers of a year. It's just too damn hard to sort great beers into some kind of ranking order.   I'm more fond of the memorable beers. Occasions. Moments when whatever I was drinking made me stop and really...

Capital Diary December — Festive Bevvies

December beer drinking kicked off with the Summerstock festival where 31 Wellington venues each showcased a summer beer brewed by a NZ craft brewer. The festival lasted a week and I managed to get a taste of 13 before they sold out. The standouts for me were: Brew...

Craftwork Good Lord Abbey Tripel

From Oamaru’s Belgian style maestros, Craftwork, Good Lord is an unusual bottle-conditioned Tripel.