#341 Emerson’s – Weissbier

Emerson's Weissbier Name: Weissbier 
Brewery: Emerson’s (Dunedin, NZ)
Style: Weissbier
ABV: 5%
Source: Ponsonby Liquor King

Yum. Yum. YUMThis stuff is delicious!

Not that I should be surprised – I’ve never had a bad drop from Emerson’s  – but you know it’s not like me to get crazy with my formatting  over a wheat beer. Usually I say something along the lines of: “It would probably be nice if it was summer and also you were dying of thirst in a dessert,” but not this time.

This didn’t taste like any old Weissbier to me – instead it was like a slice of still-warm banana cake, gone slightly crispy and toffeeish at the edges.


On the nose I got gooey ripe banana (something that gives me the creeps in real life but here it worked), caramel, candied sugar and warm wintery spices. In the mouth it was sweet and spicy, with more banana, yeast, a hint of lemony tartness and a dry finish.

I’ve never thought of a wheat beer as being a good winter warmer before, but because of the spicyness, the dessert-like aromas and the relatively full body, that’s exactly what this was.

In other news, you might have noticed that I’m getting very very close to finishing this blog! While I still have a back-log of beers that I have drunk but not yet written about, I still have 16 more beers to find. If anyone has suggestions of beers that are brilliant, not yet blogged and available in Auckland, please help a blogger out and let me know. Thanks!

Published in: on July 23, 2012 at 11:01 am  Comments (5)  

#318 Paulaner – Hefe-Weissbier

Palaner Hefe-WeissbierName: Hefe-Weissbier
Brewery: Paulaner (Munich, Germany)
Style: German Hefeweizen
ABV:  5.6%
Source: Ella (Akl)

Maybe it was the mood lighting, the soft music or the truffle oil in my dinner, but something had me feeling extra friendly towards this wheat beer.

I had it a couple of weeks ago at Ella – a cosy little European restaurant on Ponsonby Rd – because it was the only beer on the menu I hadn’t blogged. I wasn’t expecting to like it, I said I’d just have a few sips and give it to Finn, but in the end I hogged the whole thing.

The aroma was good – bold zesty notes of lemon and banana, spices and bready yeast, and in the mouth it was moderately sweet with a really lovely mouthfeel. Creamier and smoother than most wheat beers I’ve tried, with low carbonation and slightly tart dry finish.

What did you do Paulaner? Slip me an upper? I’m supposed to rag on wheat beers yet I can’t think of a bad word to say.

Well played, Paul. Well played.

Published in: on July 9, 2012 at 8:14 pm  Comments (1)  

#294 Richard Jack – Identity Crises

Richard Jack's Identity CrisesName: Identity Crises
Brewery: Richard Jack (homebrew)
Style: Wheat/Fruit Beer
ABV: 5%
Source: Richard Jack

Hey guys, remember how in the last post I was saying that I’m starting to think I might actually like wheat beers, and how it’s making me question everything I ever thought I knew and my own place in the universe and stuff? Well now look. Another wheat beer that I really liked and it’s called… Identity Crises.

Dun dunnnnn.

I think Richard  – who you may remember from such Beer For a Year posts as #287 – Figaro –  named it as such because it’s a Raspberry Wheat brewed in the American Style with English Yeast  (now that’s a beer that’s going to need therapy), but it’s also very befitting of my own personal wheat journey.

Now, I’m in a rush as I have heaps of posts to catch up on, so I’m just going to be lazy and post a photo of my notes:

Sorry to a) cut corners and b) force you to decipher my handwriting, which never actually developed after I turned 12 and started using computers instead of pens, but so many beers and so little time. Another great beer Richard, thank you!

Published in: on June 12, 2012 at 9:15 pm  Comments (1)  

#293 Estrella Damm – Inedit

Estrella Dramm Inedit Name: Inedit
Brewery: Estrella Damm (Barcelona, Spain)
Style: Witbier
ABV: 4.8%
Source: Dad

I had this bottle of Estrella Dramm last week at one of my favourite restaurants in Auckland – Spicy Joint on Dominion Rd. Dad actually bought this along with a whole bunch of beers I’d never had before, but this was the only one that I drank while not in a state of chilli-induced hallucination.

You know what? I liked it. I actually did. I probably wouldn’t have given a Spanish wheat beer so much as a second glance on the shelf if I’d picked the beers myself, nor would I have thought cold pig’s ears could be a taste sensation – but I was proved wrong that night on both counts.

I  enjoyed it because it had the bits I like in a witbier – aromas of bread, orange and coriander as well as a delicate floral perfume – without that wet paper taste I seem to find in most wheat beers. In the mouth it was dry with fine bubbles, a bit like champagne, a little bitter and a little sweet.

Don’t worry guys, I am not going to use that “pretty fly for a wheat guy” again (although I sorta did by bringing it up), because I’ve realized that I can’t really claim that I don’t like wheat beer anymore. Ever since that amazing watermelon wheat, I don’t know where I stand on the issue. Dude , I don’t even know who I am anymore. Which leads me perfectly to the next beer…

Published in: on June 12, 2012 at 8:13 pm  Comments (1)  

#283 White Rabbit – White Ale

Name: White Ale
Brewery: White Rabbit (Healesville, Australia)
Style: Witbier
Source: Grampians liquor store
ABV: 4.5%

Hey you guys, I thought I’d shake things up a bit and do another ‘Pros and Cons’ based post, which has everything to do with keeping the blog phresh and nothing at all to do with trying to get through a bunch of posts in one evening while simultaneously getting drunk on Barley Wine. Here goes!


  • Cool label
  • Brewery name refers to Alice in Wonderland AKA me
  • Made in a place called Healesville so presumably has medicinal properties
  • Nice zingy, citrusy aroma. Not too much of that banana clovey stuff
  • Tastes lemony with a little tartness at finish
  • Pretty fly for a white guy (I know I know, I used that joke before, but dang it if it wasn’t funny twice)
  • A wheat beer
  • Did not get rid of my cold despite alleged medicinal properties
  • Not really packing any punches on the flavour front
  • Mouthfeel a bit thin
  • It was raining and cold (Not the beer’s fault but it didn’t do it any favours.)

Overall I thought it was one of the better wheat beers I’ve blogged, but I wouldn’t go chasing it down a rabbit hole (Ha Ha) unless I was really hot and thirsty.

Published in: on May 29, 2012 at 9:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

#279 Red Duck – White Garden

I can’t find the photo I took! But I pinky swear I drank one.

Name: White Garden
Brewery: Red Duck
Style: Fruit Beer/Wheat Beer
ABV: 4.1%
Source: Grampians Grape Escape Festival

Just a very quick post as I’ve been writing all day and my fingers are going to fall off. No anecdotes or bad jokes, straight into it!

This is one of the beers that I bought from the Red Duck stand at the Grampians a couple of weeks ago. It’s a white beer made with raspberry and rhubarb jam which (like the watermelon wheat) I wasn’t super enthusiastic about drinking.

Actually though, I thought it was quite a charming, interesting little beer. The aroma was the best part – raspberries, with a little rhubarb, vanilla and turkish delight. In the mouth those flavours didn’t translate quite so strongly, but there was a pleasing dry tartness which sort of made up for it. Yes, I decided, this beer is my jam.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I think the Red Duck brewery is one to watch. Unfortunately they are one of the smallest microbreweries in Australia so I don’t expect to see their beer here any time soon, but if you ever find yourself in a place called Camberdown, VIC – hell, if you’re ever in Melbourne and you fancy a drive – I’d go to the brewery and check them out.

Published in: on May 22, 2012 at 8:31 pm  Comments (1)  

#275 Feral – Watermelon Warhead

Name: Watermelon Warhead
Brewery: Feral Brewing Co. (Swan Valley, WA)
Style: Berliner Weisse
ABV: 2.9%
Source:  GABS

If you haven’t read the post before this one, please kindly go and do so that you’re not all lost and confused.


OK, now that you’re up to speed I can continue on the GABS commentary. As I was saying, One of my  favorite beers of the weekend (second only to Gunnamatta) was the last thing I would have expected to like: a 2.9% watermelon wheat.

Doesn’t that sound like something I would hate? I pictured a watery, fruity wheat beer – the kind of thing a more careless brewery might label “one for the girls”. But in fact, it had serious ‘tude. It was dry and crisp and wonderfully sour, with this beautiful fresh watermelon flavour that didn’t dominate the whole thing. I threw a lot of strong stuff at my tastebuds that day – chilli, sarsaparilla, all manner of hops – but even after all that this one held it’s own, like a palate-cleansing lemon sorbet.

Other beers I really liked from that session were the True South Coconut Porter, Mountain Goat Spiced Red Saison, and the Resistance IRA. No doubt there were dozens of other beers that I would have loved on their own, but in a marathon tasting session like this it’s generally the biggger/more unusual ones that stand out.

Thank you to GABS and all the volunteers for such a great weekend, to Ollee and Dan for being excellent dates, and to my lovely mum for buying the flights as a birthday present. Same again next year?


Published in: on May 19, 2012 at 1:57 pm  Comments (7)  

#245 Emerson’s – Weizenbock

Name: Hefe-Weizenbier Weizenbock
Brewery: Emerson’s Brewery (Dunedin, Auckland)
Style: Weizenbock
ABV: 6.3%
Source: Waiheke Fruit & Veg

I’m feeling slightly frazzled today. It’s partly Post Birthday Blues – the trauma that comes from knowing it’s a full 364 days before I can take the day off work, eat three lavish meals in a day, drink 17% beer and reasonably expect my boyfriend to carry me to bed when I’m too drunk from said beer – but it’s also realizing that I’m a full 9 days behind on my blog.

That doesn’t mean I get to drink 9 beers either, it just means I need to write 9 posts – a thought which makes me want to cry/drink/throw in the towel. But! I’m not going to do that. I’m just going to write 9 quite possibly crappy posts and move on.

So naturally the Dunkel wasn’t my birthday beer, it was the beer I drank 9 days ago.
It was a sweet, dark delicious thing, with aromas of banoffie pie (banana, caramel, even the cream), chocolate, christmassy spices and bready yeast. In the mouth it was velvety smooth, full-bodied and with just a hint of bitterness at the finish. It say I don’t like wheat beers, but boy did I like this.

One down. Eight to go. Who knew beer could cause so much stress!?

Published in: on April 19, 2012 at 8:30 pm  Comments (3)  

#230 Wanaka Beerworks – Lady

Name: The Lady
Brewery: Wanaka Beerworks
Style: Cherry wheat beer
ABV: 5.5%
Source: Victoria Park new World

I have never in my life bought a porn magazine, but now I think I might know what it feels like to do so.

I lingered around the beer fridge at Vic Park New World for a good five minutes before I finally plucked up the courage to pick this beer off the shelf.

I mean how pathetically predictable, I thought. The small blonde girl buying a cherry wheat beer called ‘Lady’. The beer with the picture of the peroxide-blonde on the front, seductively biting into a cherry.

“I don’t usually do this!” I wanted to say to the shoppers around me. “It’s just for research, honest!”

It’s probably not what Wanaka Beerworks had in mind when they came up with the idea for this beer. Instead they probably pictured girls in high-heels and pink dresses flocking to it on the shelf, exclaiming “Finally! A beer that’s made for me.”

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with marketing beer towards women. Just give us a bit more credit for Christ’s sake. “A wheat based cherry beer for the ladies with enough punch to please the gents too”, it says on the bottle. Why is it just men that want punch? Why does our beer have to be pink? Why not make us an Imperial Stout,  an IPA, or a Saison? Anything but cherry wheat!

Despite my irritation at the sexist assumption of what a Lady should drink, I really wanted to forget all that for a moment and review this beer fairly. I enlisted the help of my two sister’s, and didn’t tell them what I thought about the marketing until after we’d all tasted it.

We all thought it was OK, but nothing special. It didn’t taste obviously of cherries, but they gave a burst of sweetness and tartness at the forefront which I quite liked.  I was pleased it was dry and not overly sweet as I had expected, but it was one-dimensional. The flavour didn’t develop, the finish was flabby like most wheat beer is, and there was no real aftertaste.

Nearly all the ladies in my life drink beer, and they drink the same styles as the men I know. Many like bolshy IPAs best, others prefer stouts, and a few like me can’t make up their minds. The point is not that women don’t like wheat beer, it’s that we like all sorts of beer just like men do.

I don’t mean to be overly precious about this, it’s just frustrating that beers specifically marketed at women usually have some novelty feature, Like they’re low carb, or made with fruit, or in a dainty tiny bottle. And sometimes, when they’re really going for it, they do all three! Gahhhh….. 

Published in: on March 28, 2012 at 6:59 pm  Comments (5)  

#200 Mt Froth – AWPA

Mt Froth Wheat Ale Name: American Wheat Pale Ale
Brewery: Mt Froth Brewing Co. (Wanaka, NZ)
Style: Wheat Ale
ABV: 4%
Source: Mt Froth Brewing Co.

Here we go again with the hoppy wheat beer!

I’ve had bit of a wheat revelation in the past couple of weeks, thanks to 8 Wired and Mt Froth introducing me to ‘wheat ales’ which were neither hefeweizen nor witbier, and did not, by definition, taste like dishwater.

This one – a homebrew that Dave sent me months ago – was an easy summer quaffer.

It had some citrus and tropical fruit hops on the nose, a smooth, light mouthfeel and a gently bitter finish. When I was drinking it I wished it had a shade more oomph, but I didn’t realize then that it was only 4%. (There really is only so much oomph you can have with a 4% beer, which makes making really tasty low-alcohol beers tricky.)

This was another solid brew from Dave, and a fine way to mark my reaching the 200 mark. Did I mention I reached the 200 mark? Cause yeah. I did. Only uh… 165 to go.

Published in: on February 27, 2012 at 9:33 pm  Leave a Comment