#219 Moa – Noir

Name: Noir
Brewery: Moa Brewery (Blenheim, NZ)
Style: American Dark Lager
ABV: 5.5%
Source: Clooney restaurant (Akl)

Remember ages ago I was nagging at people to vote for Beer for a Year so that I could win that Concrete Playground blog awards thingee?

Yes, well, thank you again for voting, because last week I finally got my prize and it was completely A-W-E-S-O-M-E.

Josh Scott (Moa founder) took me and five friends out to Clooney for dinner, which is an iconic Auckland restaurant that reminds me of American Psycho. I mean that in  good way. There were no hookers or murders that I was aware of, just dim, elegant decor, and complicated dishes with bizarre and brilliant flavour combinations (for example, my entree was Carbonated Gazpacho, strawberry, mozzarella, white balsamic & olive grissini – so 80’s yet so wonderful.)

In all honesty I was feeling a little bit funny about going to this dinner because as I have said in the past – not so much on here but on twitter/facebook/real life – some of Moa’s advertising rubs me up the wrong way.

[To briefly elaborate] While the aim of advertising is to connect with an audience, I find that Moa’s advertising does the opposite for me – putting up a wall of fancy and occasionally offensive one-liners between me and the beer itself. This is probably only because I’m a beer nerd, but instead of witty slogans I want to see the faces behind the brand, and to feel like they care more about making good beer than good money. I never got that sense of intimacy or passion from Moa’s advertising.

Anyway, I really do sound like an ungrateful brat (they took me to Clooney for christsake!) but the point is that it was great to finally break down that wall of Moa Mystery and meet Josh.

Despite being suspiciously fit, Josh really is a big beer nerd as well as a genuinely nice guy. It was cool to talk with him about his favorite beers (he loves Yeastie Boys), brews they’ll be releasing this year, and plans for the future (no way is he planning to sell Moa, he said). Without putting too fine a point on it, I did express my feelings about Moa’s advertising, and tried to explain why I thought a lot of people in the beer community didn’t like it. I got the impression that he didn’t like the idea of offending anyone, but he stays out of that marketing stuff. Not his bag.

Anyway, we actually didn’t end up doing a Moa tasting because of a mix-up with the nights and the restaurant not having the full range there, but I did have a Moa Noir before dinner.  It was easy-drinking, tasting mostly of chocolaty, roasty malt with a little hop bitterness at the finish. I much preferred the Imperial Stout that my brother and sister had… But as it was 10.5% and I was trying to behave, I resisted.

Thanks again to Moa for the incredible dinner, specifically Josh and Catherine who had to put up with me and my rowdy five pals, Concrete Playground for orchestrating the whole thing, and all you lovely people who voted. I’m really glad I got the opportunity to meet a face behind Moa, and that some of my own suppositions were proved wrong as a result. I’ll go on to whinge about their advertising as long as the current tone continues – but I won’t ever say they’re not passionate about beer.

Published in: on March 19, 2012 at 6:56 pm  Comments (5)