#122 Founders – Fair Maiden Ale

Founders Fair Maiden Ale Name: Fair Maiden Ale
Brewery: Founders (Nelson, New Zealand)
Style: Pale Ale
ABV: 5%
Source: Founders Brewery

For my last day in Craft Beer Heaven I left the Moutere Inn (dragged myself away, more like) and headed for Picton.

Because there is nothing at all to do in Picton, I stopped along the way and went to Founders Brewery in Nelson. There’s a lot to do in Nelson if you’re a beer nerd and, on reflection, I should have booked in a whole week in the region rather than a few measly hours.

Founders Brewery is located inside a ridiculously cute replica historic village, which feels so much like a period film set that you half expect to find the head brewer is played by Colin Firth.

The head brewer is actually John Duncan though, and he was there helping out in the cafe and talking to people about the beers, which was nice. So many breweries you go to you can’t even see the brewery from the cellar door, so I always appreciate it when things are a bit more relaxed and personal.

I tried all 6 of the beers they had on tap, and my favourite of these was the Fair Maiden Ale. I actually had a bit of a beer geek moment when I sniffed it, because for the first time ever I actually recognised the hop smell as being NZ Cascade. That might not sound terribly exciting, but these little developments prove just how easy it is to learn about beer. All you have to do is drink it!

So this one had a very fresh NZ Cascade aroma, which I think is passionfruity and citrussy (and totally different from the US version).

On the palate those hop flavours were rounded out with caramel sweetness and quite a full body from the malt, with a spicy and bitter hoppy finish. It was well-balanced, tasty and quaffable.

On another note entirely – I just wanted to say thank you so much to everyone who voted for Beer For a Year on the Concrete Playground blog awards. It won, which means I owe you all a beer!

PS – just kidding. I’m broke from my time in CBH. Sorry.

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Published in: on December 11, 2011 at 9:09 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Congrats! Now you can put “Award Winning Blogger” on your business card and perhaps win a free lunch at that place down the road.

    I’m very intrigued by this talk of NZ Cascade. US Cascade is my second favourite hop (Amarillo, my favourite, is an unfortunate victim of TGAHS), to the point where if Cascade is mentioned at all about a beer, I must try it.

    • I think NZ Cascade is delicious – it’s what I used in my first two homebrews – but personally I don’t really see much resemblance with the US version. It seems less grapefruity and more ‘fruity’ in general, and has a little peppery spiciness that I don’t get from the US one. I dunno though, others might think otherwise…


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