#62 Waiheke Island Brewery – Matiatia Malt Beer

Waiheke Island Brewery Matiatia Malt BeerName: Matiatia Malt Beer
Brewery: Waiheke Island Brewery
Style: English Strong Ale
ABV: 7.5%
Source: Waiheke Island Brewery

On Sunday I woke up feeling fresh, miraculously hangover-free, and ready to seize the day. And what better way to seize it, I thought, than to visit a brewery?

By noon I was at Wild on Waiheke, which is a ‘multi-activity venue’ encompassing the Waiheke Island Brewery, a vineyard, a cafe, and (why not), laser clay bird shooting.

While shooting lasers was obviously tempting, I maintained my focus and went straight for the beer. For $8 I got to try the four different brews on offer, which together looked like this:

Waiheke Island Brewery beers

And because I’ve realised beer without food is my downfall (also because I really like cheese) we got this as well.

Mmmmm cheeeeeese....

First in line was a wheat beer, which was extremely bananarish (yes, it’s my blog and I can make up words), with a tart finish. The second was the pale ale, which I wrote about on Saturday but actually it tasted much better at the brewery. The fourth (I’ll get to the third in a minute) was a ‘dark ale’ – a porter I suppose, with the most fantastic aroma of caramel and dark chocolate. I didn’t think the taste quite lived up to it’s decadent smell, but I’d still order this again just to stick my nose in the glass.

I think the most interesting and my favourite was the third – the Matiatia Malt Beer. It smelled of toffee, fruit salad (especially banana) and chocolate, and tasted similar but with more espresso and bitter roasty malt at the finish.

After the tastings I got my Nosy Parker on and asked the owner Rob to show me the brewery, which was housed in a garage out the back. He cheerfully obliged, and I took a crappy picture on my phone:

And then I got my obligatory cheesy shot behind the taps:

Apologies to the man in this picture for posting a photo of you with your eyes closed. It was the only one I had.

And after that I decided my day had officially been seized, and went home to have a nap.


Published in: on October 10, 2011 at 11:10 am  Leave a Comment  

#61 Waiheke Island Brewery – Baroona Original

Waiheke Island Baroona Original Name: Baroona Original
Brewery: Waiheke Island Brewery (Waiheke Island, New Zealand)
Style: Pale Ale
ABV:  4.7%
Source: Molly Malone’s, Waiheke Island.

I just got back from a weekend at my all-time favourite place in the world, Waiheke Island. I won’t brag too much about how sunny and enjoyable it was, but I will say that if you live in New Zealand and you haven’t been there yet then for God’s sake do it.

I’ll keep this short because I have two posts on Waiheke Island Brewery beers to write, and the second involves an actual visit to the brewery so should be more comprehensive. And by comprehensive I mean it will probably have a photo of me at the brewery in it.

I had this yesterday on tap at the island’s Molly Malone’s. According to the bottle and the tap, the Baroona Original is a Pale Ale, but the Breweries website classifies it as a kolsch beer. What? I don’t really know what a kolsch beer is (some kind of German style), but it tasted like a pale ale to me.

This seemed to me to be just a pretty standard, drinkable pale ale. I didn’t get a lot of aroma from it, except maybe some very faint citrus, and a distinct smell of… well, beer. It was medium-sweet with a drying finish, but could have used a bit more bitterness, I thought.


I went back today to the brewery and had it again, and found it to be a lot tastier this time. It had a stronger aroma of honey and orange peel, and generally just tasted better all-round. Obviously there’s something to be said for having beer fresh from the brewery, but also, at Molly’s it had been too cold.

In conclusion… This beer isn’t going to win any awards for originality, but it’s the right kind of beer for Waiheke Island. By that I mean – after going for a swim at Little Oneroa in the middle of the afternoon, then sweating my way up the hill to the bach, I’d be bloody grateful to find one of these waiting for me in the fridge.

Published in: on October 9, 2011 at 7:23 pm  Leave a Comment