#115 Mussel Inn – Captain Cooker

Name: Captain Cooker
Brewery: Mussel Inn (Onekaka, New Zealand)
Style: Herbed/Spiced Beer
ABV: 4%
Source: The Depot

So it’s Sunday morning, and due to unforeseen  circumstances which may or may not be related to the amount of beer I’ve consumed in the last few days, I am only just now getting around to writing up Thursday’s beer.

Of course, that means I also have Friday, Saturday and Sunday’s posts to write as well, so I’ll try not to go off on too many tangents.

I had this Captain Cooker at Depot on Thursday night (while eating the best fish tacos I’ve ever had in my life, I wish I could tell you abut them but that would be going off on a tangent), which the brewery describes as “A red brown beer flavoured with the freshly picked tips of the Manuka tree.”

The aroma was really interesting – lime, ginger, honey, and turkish delight (mum actually pointed out the Turkish Delight, she was spot on), and an unique sort of herbyness.

In the mouth – I must be honest here – my instant reaction was one of dislike. The problem was not really the beer, just that it reminded me a bit of the Monteith’s Summer Ale, for which I harbour an immense hatred. After a few more sips and a dissection of the malty sweetness, the strong rose flavour, the creamy mouthfeel and spicy bitter finish, I decided it really was quite a special beer, and not much like that over-spiced Monteiths crapola at all.

One of the coolest things about this beer (and I’ve only just realised this now),  is that it was brewed based on an original recipe for manuka beer that was recovered from Captain Cook’s diary about 10 years ago. I love it when beer throws me a surprise history lesson! If only there had been a beer-based history course at high school, I might just have got that A Bursary…

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Published in: on December 4, 2011 at 1:32 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I love Captain Cooker, and I love the Mussel Inn in the summer time. Being a foody and a lover of craft beer you really must make your way to Golden Bay and spend an evening sampling the Mussel Inn beers and food.

    Only thing with Captain Cooker… I have found that if I drink quite a bit of it in an evening I end up feeling a bit unusual the next day. Not quite sure why, but it may have something to do with the Manuka?

  2. Ow yeah I feel weird about Captain Cooker too. To me it feels like I’m drinking soap…

    But you’ve got to get to the Mussel Inn if you still have time in the Nelson Bays area. It’s probably the best brewpub in New Zealand!

  3. While I’ve had a couple of Monteith’s beers in my remote, uncelebrated past (it used to be really difficult to find good ales in NZ and Oz, which is my excuse and I’m sticking to it), I haven’t had their evil brew which you speak of. I discovered the Captain Cook’s whilst browsing the bottle list at Brew on Quay and really enjoyed it as something out of the ordinary. A lot of traditional or historic brews are pretty average or even unpalatable, but I love the CC’s. It does have that rose aroma which reminds of some of the stranger Indian products I’ve tried (including rose ice cream) and makes me think of soap, but the mouth feel is fantastic – very nitro, even though out of the bottle – and the rest of the beer more than makes up for it. Nicely chosen.


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