Tuesday, June 16, 2009

How a Beer Geek Kills Three Hours in South Dunedin

Several days ago I found myself faced with what seemed an impossible task. I had just finished conducting an in-store tasting at the pack n’ save in South Dunedin and had three hours to kill before heading to the All Blacks rugby test against France. Naturally, my first thought was to find a spot to enjoy a few beers. I quickly realized, however, that I did not know where to find a decent beer in south d. What I did know, was that the Dunedin Malt House homebrew shop was just a short walk away and figured someone there might have information on a pub.

The answer I received upon inquiring about a pub was a glass of Invercargill honey pilsner. Not exactly what I was expecting, or searching for, but a nice drop nonetheless (I won’t post a formal review but the pilsner had a wonderful biscuit-like quality on the tongue with a hint of residual sweetness from the honey). I did not find any information on a pub, but I left having also tasted a lovely one-year-old SN Bigfoot clone, and with an appetite

I put beer drinking on hold long enough to have a kabob, and while eating, I met two travelers from Montana who joined me for dinner. Eventually we did find a pub, I had a very large bottle of Speights, after which I parted ways with my temporary companions and headed to the stadium. After the rugby match, I realized that I learned two things from my strange experience.

First, that things usually have a way of working out, although sometimes not in a way you could ever predict. The second thing I learned is that mass-produced beer in New Zealand is actually not that bad. The Speights I drank at the pub, and the Steinlager I enjoyed form a strange plastic bottle at the ruby match were both decent beers. They were nothing insanely tasty, but easy drinking: good for larger than average consumption. I would venture to say that New Zealand has an edge on the states in that respect, in that the equivalent mass-produced options in the states are flavorless and frequently riddled with off-flavors.

More serious beer reviews to follow in the next week.

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