Winner of the ‘British Ale’ Category at the 2021 Brewers Guild Awards, Emerson’s Bookbinder actually predates the Guild itself, which was set-up (with Richard Emerson as a driving force) 15 years.  Twenty-five years is a long time for anything, but 25 years in the world of craft beer might as well be forever.  Yet that’s how long Bookbinder has been on the market, and still winning awards to this day.  Softly fragrant on the nose, with chewy malt and keenly floral hop aroma, with dried apricot, earth and spice in support.  Despite the diminutive 3.4 per cent abv, the palate bursts with flavour.  Light toffee malt tinged with more dried fruit and floral lift, with medium body, firm bitterness and surprisingly long finish.  What Bookbinder really nails is the perfect balance and integration between malt, hop and yeast expression that is the hallmark of the best British ales. Here’s to another 25 years.

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.