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.

Liberty Juice Bro Hazy Pale Ale

With more citrus than the marmalade factory, this new hazy pale ale (5.2 per cent ABV) from Liberty Brewing goes right to the top of my summer six-pack list.   Bursting with tangerine, mandarin and sweet passionfruit flavours — Joe and the team have taken the best...

Lakeman goes lakeside in Taupō

Lakeman brewery has put aside the idea of a farm-based taproom and opened a waterfront pub in Taupō, called Jimmy Coops — named for brewery owner James Cooper.

Wellington’s original craft brewpub turns 10

When it opened 10 years Fork & Brewer redefined the idea of a brewpub in Wellington, being the first in a wave of new establishments

Abandoned Hazy Pale Ale

Mark Gower has found a go-to summer fridge filler with Abandoned Brewery’s smashable hazy pale ale.

Panhead Sandman Hazy Pale Ale

Just released in six-packs, the strikingly packaged Sandman makes a new addition to the Panhead core range.  Super fresh and juicy aromas of pineapple, passionfruit and melon on the nose.  Delightfully refreshing on the palate, with more tropical and crisp white fruit...

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...