Sawmill are the second Kiwi craft brewery to come to market with a zero ABV beer, after Bach Brewing’s All Day Non-Alcoholic IPA. Sawmill’s Bare Beer is a completely different beast (and yes, it is possible to have great variation in these products … they don’t have to be boring old Euro-lagers!). Sawmill have gone for a hoppy pale ale and they’ve done a great job with the ferment and the hop character. This is like a refined and more flavourful variation on Brew Dog’s Nanny State. Sawmill are rightly proud of the process, using a full fermentation, rather than reverse osmosis of a finished beer. They used a lot of speciality malts that are by nature poorly fermentable and hit that wort with their lowest-attenuating English Ale yeast. Lots of low alpha hops bring good bitterness and some hop oils to help with the mouthfeel. One thing they are up front about is that it’s well under the legal limit for a ‘no-alcohol’ beer in New Zealand, which is <1.15 per cent ABV. They hope to get closer to the 0.5 per cent mark in future iterations and I’m told this one is around 0.7 or 0.8 per cent.  It’s a kind of compromise they were happy to make to get a superior flavour profile from a  fuller fermentation. The end result is a perfect thirst-quencher with a punchy bitterness and some delicate citrus-pine hop notes.

Two shots and a pint: How the NZ beer industry joined the Covid health response

There are many ways to encourage Kiwis to embrace science and get vaccinated — but perhaps none quite as delicious and refreshing as these. Vera Alves reports In the “before times”, a beer label wasn’t a place where you’d expect to find a public health statement. But...

Volstead Lupulin Block West Coast IPA

A new release from Christchurch’s IPA specialists, the Volstead Trading Company this 6.5 per cent IPA is fueled by American Sultana and Chinook hops. The aroma brings bright grapefruit citrus, zesty orange peel and spice over an expressive malt richness.  The palate...

Searchlight’s Skater Grrrl label takes top prize

A pair of skateboarders trumped magical animals and Satan to give Queenstown’s Searchlight Brewing top prize in the annual GABS Label Design Awards. The winning entry was designed by Mikaela Merrilees, of Meraki Design Studio.

Deep Creek make splash with fruited sours

Deep Creek are the first New Zealand brewery to launch a range of beers with fruit added post-fermentation, a practice which has resulted in exploding cans in other parts of the world.

Garage Project 10 Triple Hazy IPA

A big birthday requires a big beer and in this case Garage Project have delivered a monster! Fresh off their win at the 2021 NZ Beer Guild Awards, New Zealand’s Champion Large Brewery of the year has produced a triple hazy IPA celebrating 10 years in the brew...

Capital Diary – October: The Level 2 Effect

Alert level 2 dinking in Welly this October meant event cancellations continued, while table service created a more European approach to beer drinking. Getting a pint on a Friday night became more of a challenge, with booking tables a new trick to learn. There was,...