Winner of the ‘Barrel & Wood Aged’ category at the 2021 Brewers Guild Awards.  Aged for 14 months in NZ whisky barrels, quite possibly the world’s rarest wood, Kereru Amberine is a Belgian-style quad with an oak-aged twist rarely seen in European examples.  Burnt sugar, vanilla and toasted coconut on the nose, with butterscotch and even mysterious stewed rhubarb hiding further in.  Sumptuously full-bodied while remaining deft on the palate; initial buttery richness rapidly mobilises into more burnt sugar, then refreshing cola and drying oak tannin into the finish.  Magnificently full-flavoured, yet carrying that lightness of step that only long months of barrel maturation can provide.  Hard cheese and sharing (it’s 12 per cent ABV) is mandatory.

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.

Craftwork Good Lord Abbey Tripel

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

Boneface Big Unit Hazy Double IPA

The Unit from Boneface in Upper Hutt was one of the first all New Zealand-hopped hazy IPAs, and it remains one of the best. This souped-up version promises to be twice as nice.  Passionfruit, gooseberry, grapefruit and rockmelon all crowd around the nose, giving a...

Robinsons Trooper English IPA

Christmas time ... when the novelty beers come out to play, and invariably find their way to me from family members who have some vague idea that I’m supposed to be ‘the beer guy’ but very little else in the way of actual beer savvy.  The pick of the bunch this year? ...

8 Wired Hopwired Pacific Sunrise Edition

If you want an example of how hop selection can change a beer compared 8 Wired’s Pacific Sunrise version of Hopwired with the original. It’s a “Sliding Doors” beer.

Burkes Brewing Unforgiven Porter

Despite being ‘just’ a porter, Burkes Brewing Unforgiven takes that one brush and paints a masterpiece in black.