Saturday, February 5, 2011

CT Column 19/01/2011 : Beer from the wilderness

I’ve become reacquainted with a beer that has been out forging its own stylistic path for the best part of the last decade. Moa Methode is a very original beer which starts its life as a zesty fruity New Zealand style pilsner before it is bottled with an addition of priming sugar and champagne yeast, the alchemy that then occurs in the bottle turns it into something completely unique. When champagne yeasts are used in beers and ciders they create spicy fruity aromas and flavours that are reminiscent of the character you might expect to find in Belgian ales. When young, Moa Methode is brimming with aromas of tropical fruit with a hint of Christmas spice and rich nutty malt, as the beer ages it becomes drier and more peppery and spicy.
The Moa brewery was developed by Josh Scott, son of Marlborough winery owner Allan Scott, and has always used wine making methods in the production of its beers. It’s easy to see where the inspiration came for using the champagne style bottle conditioning process on the Moa beers. While the brewery has long used the contacts of its sister wine company to gain access to export markets a recent investment of both money and expertise from Geoff Ross, the man originally behind 42 Below Vodka, is sure to catapult the brand to a new level.
Moa Methode is available in both its bottle fermented incarnation and in a champagne yeast free keg version offering the drinker to opportunity to compare the two and taste exactly what effect the yeast has. Look out for keg Moa Methode at Bar Edward, Pollux, Regional Wines and Wellington’s newest beer outlet The Hop Garden. The Hop Garden is the latest venture of James Henderson, the man who brought good beer to Newtown in the form of Bar Edward. Situated in the funky premises that used to house the Greek Taverna in Pirie St, The Hop Garden will be offering a great range of local and imported craft beers, a relaxed atmosphere and some great beer friendly food. Most importantly to me it will be exactly 350m from my office. The Hop Garden will be open from Friday 21 January.
See you there!

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