The Champion Beer at the 2021 Brewers Guild Awards pours black and heavily opaque for its lighter 5.9 per cent ABV, with exceptionally tight and creamy coffee-tan head, which may well be a result of its time stored under higher carbonation.  The nose deftly touches all the porter notes of roasted malt, toffee, chocolate and coffee, with a distinct fresh cream aroma despite the absence of lactose.  The hops integrate perfectly, adding a spice and dried fruit character that holds the whole aroma beautifully aloft. The palate starts off rich with sweet roasted malt and stone fruit, before pivoting around almost completely into an arresting black coffee bitterness, with drying smoke and flinty minerality which wind together into the earthy finish.  Full bodied but effortlessly nimble, classic and yet mysterious.  Despite being ‘just’ a porter, Unforgiven takes that one brush and paints a masterpiece in black.

Bootleg burning their own path

When Omicron started its sweep of the country, the Bootleg Sessions were born: music gigs at the brewery’s Matangi base limited to 100 people with all the proceeds going to the musicians.

Taranaki’s booming beer scene

Taranaki breweries have been shining bright at recent awards so we take a trip around the mountain to find the region’s best beer

Good George win Smith’s IPA Challenge — again

Good George has won the Smith’s NZ IPA Challenge in Queenstown for the second year in a row with their Haze of Glory.

Haiku Beer Vol 4

In volume four of his beer Haiku series, Stephen Gallagher takes us from Atlanta to Wanaka for some poetic beers.

Bootleg T-Straight Burnout Stout 

Bootleg T Straight Burnout Smokey Stout is tremendous winter drinking, and a superb match for rich and savoury comfort food. 

A year on from beer’s #metoo reckoning what’s changed

A year on from beer’s #metoo reckoning what action has been taken to make our beer community a safer and more inclusive one?