Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Stoke, the new beer in town.

I was initially wondering how I was going to make this not sound like a press release. Now, I figure that should be easy, given that the only background info this beer that I can find is an "article" on the stuff website. A quick peruse of the first paragraphs tells me that particular article is going to be a waste of time. Which is pity, because the beer most certainly isn't. Or at least, the one that I have tried isn't. Ever noticed how reviewers tend to go on about Reinheitsgebot, as if anyone who actually cares about beer isn't painfully aware of them (admittedly, probably because reviewers and marketers tend to go on about them). Pretty much all decent brewers I imagine, are paying some degree of attention to them, it's not really a point of difference anymore. It's a baseline, but it's still possible to make a crap beer with them, the skill of the brewer and the actual recipe are more important.

And the McCashin family, who are brew Stoke, appear to know their stuff. As everyone will soon be well aware (due to reviewers and marketers going on about it), they are the ones who created Macs beer, before selling it to Lion Breweries were it went seriously downhill - even though it got a little better in recent years with the introduction of Brewjolauis and Hop Rocker. The weekend past, I had the opportunity of trying the Stoke Gold. Well worth it people. A dollar or two more expensive than Macs and worth every penny. A good solid body to the flavor. Which admittedly doesn't tell you much. This isn't a review though, it's a recommendation. As in, go and try some. Next payday I'll be popping down to the Kingsland Liquor Center to grab myself a six pack of the Stoke Amber.

I have to admit to becoming ever more satisfied with the state of beer in NZ. The big boys can put out a decent drop when they try i.e. Macs Hop Rocker - even though most of the rest of the Macs range is worth steering well clear of. More to the point, we're getting some decent smaller breweries that are putting out good beer that isn't to hard to find. The Tuatara brewery has been putting out some fine brews, particularly the IPA and the Helles Lager. I just hope they concentrate on promoting the fine beers they currently brew rather than continually bring new ones out. And if the other Stoke beers are as good as Gold, this coming summer should be a fine one.

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