Friday, 1 May 2009

Brand new beer

Last night I was drinking the freshest beer in a pub in Wellington. I know because Dion Page, one of the brewers of Tuatara’s latest drop said so.

He also said that they move slowly – like a tuatara – and they haven’t released a beer in seven years. This latest is a cracker. (No, actually, it’s a beer.)

It’s called Tuatara Helles which is apparently a German style of beer that is very easy to drink. I find it to be so.

It seems that some people find Pilsners too bitter and hoppy (I’ve yet to find a beer that is too hoppy, but that’s just me) so the chaps at Tuatara have presented them with this sweeter, brighter version, which is described by the Malthouse staff as ‘more commercial’ but not in a bad way.

Made with New Zealand-grown Hallertau and Saaz hops, Tuatara Helles makes good use of what are termed the noble hops – I love that expression and I love the aroma they give off. Dion tells an amusing anecdote about trying to add them at just the right moment but being foiled by a gust of wind and a boiling geyser - I guess you had to be there.

The beer has ‘a decent burst of early malt sweetness and then late crispness for balance’ – so says Neil Miller and he knows about these things. I thought it has a slight flavour of banana bubblegum, but again, that could just be me.

It is light gold in colour and so clear as to look like it has nothing to hide. However, Dion warns that although it purports to be 5% abv, it is considerably more than that. He won’t say how much more.

We’re driving home, so we have to regrettably leave the beer behind, hopefully for another day (unless it all gets drunk, which is possible). I could go a session on that stuff. Cheers!

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