Tuesday, May 3, 2011

CT Column 23/03/2011: Autumn's Calling

AUTUMN in Wellington tends to arrive first with a thud in the form of an icy southerly front followed by a relapse into ‘Indian summer’ and then an inevitable descent into winter. Unlike the majority of the population I relish autumn as it marks the start of the cooler months which I far prefer to the muggy heat of summer and the windy fury of spring.
For me the start of autumn is always marked by the release of Emerson’s Taieri George. Taieri George is brewed by Richard Emerson each year to honour his father George who helped to set up the historic Taieri Gorge railway which stretches into Otago from Dunedin. Taieri George is a spiced dark ale that combines cinnamon, nutmeg and organic clover honey with a range of dark biscuity malts and the Emerson’s house yeast to create a distinctly spicy and complex beer that is often compared to hot cross buns. This year’s vintage is particularly floral, a character that perhaps stems from the honey, with a well integrated spiced character and a suggestion of cola alongside the characteristic hot cross bun effect. The beer matches well with hot cross buns but is excellent alongside a spicy Moroccan Tagine, a perfect match for cool autumnal nights.
Another beer that I often find myself drinking as the weather turns is Fullers 1845. Fullers brew a range of fruity and malt accented ales on the road to Heathrow airport in London. 1845 is a rich tangy strong ale that combines toasty caramel malt flavours and a ‘sherbety’ marmalade accented yeast note with an earthy English hop character. The result makes a fantastic accompaniment to roast lamb, slow cooked beef, or a nice sharp traditional English cheddar.
And finally on the topic of autumn beers Founders will have a limited release autumn ale available on the taps around town at the start of next month.

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