#120 Sprig & Fern – Harvest Pilsner

Name: Harvest Pilsner
Brewery: Sprig & Fern (aka Tasman Brewing Company, Nelson, New Zealand)
Style: Pilsner
ABV: 5%
Source: Alpine Lodge, St Arnaud

Day 2 in Craft Beer Heaven took me to St Arnaud, a place I had never even heard of before it flashed up on my GPS as I started to approach it.

I’m really really glad I went there though. It’s one of those ridiculously beautiful New Zealand towns that tourists come half way around the world to see, but Aucklanders might never visit unless – well, unless it flashed up on their GPS as they started to approach it.

This, along with the Sprig & Fern Porter, was on tap at the Alpine Lodge – which was the only licensed accommodation in town and therefore the obvious place to stay.

When I sniffed it – and I’m not being funny – all I could think of were these grape-flavoured chewing gum balls that came in a little box from Japan. It’s probably not exactly what the brewer had in mind, but I swear the resemblance was uncanny.

Once I started drinking it the grape gum disappeared (which proves it was probably a figment of my imagination), and was replaced with more normal New Zealand hop flavours – zesty citrus and passionfruit, and also – I’m pretty sure – cooked rice.

In the mouth it was crisp and clean, crying out for a hot summer’s day and a sizzling barbequed steak to accompany it. But even there in the cosy lodge, with lamb shanks and rain falling steadily on the ducks outside, it seemed just the thing.

So there you go – a beautiful alpine town that I never knew existed (although my geography is rubbish – there are probably loads), and finally a lager I like. Craft Beer Heaven is full of surprises.

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Published in: on December 8, 2011 at 10:33 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. If I ever smell those grape flavoured chewing gum balls I’m going to think “man, this smells like NZ pilsner”.

  2. You work for a travel magazine and you’re rubbish at geography? That doesn’t seem right….oh wait, I worked for a bridal magazine and hate weddings


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