The Sunday Stat attack no. 24 – New Zealand (3rd April 2022)

This week we’re travelling to one of the furthest points from the UK – New Zealand. Although we think of New Zealand and Australia as the Antipodes, that’s not actually true – New Zealand is actually on the opposite side of the world from Spain (and a bit of Morocco and Portugal).

It’s famous for stunning scenery, round brown fuzzy fruit, round brown fuzzy birds, rugby, having 6 sheep to every person, more stunning scenery. the Lord of the Rings sets, overpriced “health” honey, Edmund Hilary, the slightly terrifying Haka, inventing lunatic “sports” (such as bungee jumping and zorbing), and finally (I can’t emphasize this enough) really stunning scenery.

For us in the beer world, New Zealand is possibly best known for producing amazing and innovative hops – most famously the opinion-dividing Nelson Sauvin, but also Montueka, Waimea, Riwaka and many others.

You’d have thought that their hops and remoteness would have made New Zealand a hotbed of local craft beers – but sadly the locals still seem to go for the industrial stuff (although at least it’s locally produced industrial stuff). Lion Nathan & DB apparently account for almost 90% of local sales between them (and are both now owned by large foreign conglomerates).

That’s not to say there isn’t an excellent, thriving, growing craft beer sector – there very much is. Yeastie Boys, 8 Wired and Cassels are widely available in the UK, and as well as them there are a further 196 active breweries to go at (along with 4 meaderies and 25 cideries).

The top NZ brews on Ratebeer are dominated by Garage Project:

Garage Project Mutiny on the Bounty
Garage Project Chocolate Beer
Garage Project Cockswain’s Courage Double Barrelled Edition
|8 Wired iStout
Garage Project / Trillium Hāpi Sessions Vol. 1: Aro Street
Garage Project / Other Half Hāpi Sessions Vol. 3: No Dreams Til Brooklyn

The top beer places (if you’re lucky enough to be able to get there) are:
Hashigo Zake
Pomeroy’s Old Brewery Inn
Little Beer Quarter

The top raters of New Zealand beer are @explosivedog, @beer-yum and @Samtzu, all of whom are still active on the site. @beer-yum and @Samtzu are both still rating, so may soon become the top raters from New Zealand, a title currently held by @kiwianer who sadly no longer seems to be with us. You’ll need a healthy 180 rates to join these folks in the NZ top 50.

So what are your Kiwi vital (and not so vital) stats and stories?

PS. This will my last stat attack for a little while. I won’t be around for the next couple of weeks, and you’ll be glad to know that the mightiest of fish is thankfully returning to fill the gap. Thanks @BlackHaddock for stepping in.

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#5 most rated country with 288. 3.33 Average

Rated a beer from 14/16 Regions, place ratings from 9/16

My Rating Avg
Parrotdog Rarebird Moa 4.1
Beer Baroness / Behemoth Gurly Churly 4
8 Wired iStout 3.9
Garage Project Cabbages and Kings 3.9
Epic / Steam 10 Years 1000 Celebration Ale 3.9

Our whole trip to NZ was amazing. Looking up stuff for this is making me want to finally sort all my trip photos and do our post trip photo album! :slight_smile:

  • Goldings Free Dive and its kitschy nerdy decor along with great service was a highlight.
  • Pomeroys brought out a tray of cheese and warm bread for everyone. I think it was here that the owner had spent some time in Canada? I forget now.
  • Our LOTR tour in Queenstown with our guide “Badger” was pretty amazing. We forded a river in a 4X4, had hot drinks in the forest, lunch at a pub and ore.
  • Rugby matches in Dunedin and Christchurch.
  • The longest walk of my life - 32km or so on the Abel Tasman trail.
  • The best bread and chocolate cake ever at lunch on our kayaking tour (certainly not influenced by the fact that I was cold and hungry! :smiley: )
  • I loved Air New Zealand - best entertainment system I have had on a flight despite the god awful headphones.
  • Mabel got an empty seat beside her both ways between California and Auckland, meanwhile I got the dodgiest two people ever in my row on the return flight. (One was clearly hungover/ill, and the other had some kind of OCD twitch).
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Have 67 rates from New Zealand. My highest rating on 4.3 is Three Wise Birds Scenic Reserve 2013 Vintage

Only briefly set foot on New Zealand soil during a stopover in Auckland on a flight from the States to Sydney. Have an English friend from Uni days that has settled in Wellington so may yet get to do a proper visit on day. Always have been a fan New Zealand bands such as the Bats & other Flying Nun label bands. And the cider scene in New Zealand looks interesting with quite afew good producers (have rated Peckhams, Zeffer, Three Wise Birds, Abel & Morningcider - Beer Shop has cans of Morningcider in the UK: www.beershophq.uk/)

There are 25 active cideries in New Zealand, with the most entries by Redwood Old Mout Ciders (DB - Heineken Asia Pacific) on 21 - they make the Old Mout fruit ciders which are commonly found all over the UK.

The top 5 raters for New Zealand Ciders and Cideries are:

New ZealandCider Ratings

New ZealandCideries

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New Zealand is my 17th highest rated county and the first on the list I’ve never visited. I currently have 55 rates with 1 more in the fridge. Average score is a respectable 3.19. I’ve managed to find 9 of their 16 regions so far and tasted beers from 17 breweries and 1 cidery (if Old Mout really counts). No stories to tell.

TOP BEERS

Although I’ve not set foot in the country I, like @jercraigs can highly recommend Air New Zealand. They were our preferred airline to Los Angeles when they ran a service from Heathrow, used them maybe four times before it stopped.

<*))))))><

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Well at least I am in double figures (just). But I wouldn’t be without the Yeastie Boys and Cassels & Sons. Top 3 says it all.

I have yet to meet anyone who does not rave about the landscape of New Zealand; my son has visited and loved it. But hell it’s a long way out of the way. But if the Garage Project comes to Nottingham I will look them up!

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It doesn’t because its made by Bulmers in Herefordshire. I did point this out in the relevant comments section in the forums but, strangely enough, no amendments were made.

New Zealand, not sure if I will ever have the pleasure to visit this remote country. My eldest daughter spent 6 months at the University of Otago in Dunedin in 2019. Luckily, beers from New Zealand are available here in Norway. I have 72 beers from 16 breweries. NZ heroes: Peter Jackson (Bad Taste, Braindead and The Lord of the Rings) and Temuera Morrison, hard drinking bad guy in “Once Were Warriors” one of the best movies from 1994!

I think this is one of the beers from the movie:
https://www.ratebeer.com/beer/db-double-brown/19820/
Rating at RB are divided in crap or world class :joy: :joy:

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we stumbled upon a graduation “parade” in Dunedin. (at least i think it was Dunedin), with all the graduates and their families walking through town.

Only 9 rates from 4 regions for me. A place I’m keen to visit someday for sure. My uncle is originally from New Zealand and my cousin (whom I’m not close with) lives there. When I was studying abroad in university in Australia my roommate took a trip over to NZ, I didn’t have enough room on credit card, he brought me back a rock he picked up while hiking which I still have oddly.

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Lots of breweries (and cideries) brew in multiple countries, lots of breweries don’t even brew in their home country at all. Given Old Mout still proclaims to be a NZ company (also) brewing in NZ there is no reason to stop considering them as from NZ.

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New Zealand is my 27th most rated country with 206 ratings from 44 breweries, high average of 3.05.

My highest rated beers are:

Epic Mosaic IPA 4.4 3.69 6/7/2013
Tuatara Hefeweizen 4.2 3.17 2/9/2006
Moa Festive IPA (Black Edition) 4.2 3.37 3/13/2018
Emerson’s APA 4.1 3.64 8/25/2005
Australis Romanov Baltic Stout 4.1 3.56 2/8/2006
Wanaka Beerworks Brewski 4.1 3.28 2/9/2006
Mussel Inn Monkey Puzzle 4.1 3.43 2/9/2006
Shakespeare Pucks Pixil(l)ation 4.1 3.2 2/10/2006
Epic Armageddon IPA 4.1 3.73 2/18/2011
Epic / Thornbridge Stout 4.1 3.42 3/7/2011
Moa St Josephs Tripel 4.1 3.42 3/13/2018

Most rated regions are:

New Zealand Regions (14/16) Average Count
Auckland 3.04 61
Wellington 3.12 28
Marlborough 3.59 22

Plenty of highly rated breweries (some have been taken over by bigger corps though):

Epic Brewing Company (NZ) Auckland 8 3.79
Moa Brewing Company Marlborough 13 3.62
Tuatara Brewing Company (DB - Heineken Asia Pacific) Wellington 8 3.54
Emerson’s Brewing Company (Lion Co. - Kirin Holdings) Otago 11 3.53
Pink Elephant Marlborough 5 3.42
The Mussel Inn Tasman 7 3.4
Shakespeare Tavern & Brewery Auckland 9 3.39

Still miss Northland and Waikato, shame on me for missing a tick in a region I’ve travelled through!

Visited New Zealand once in january 2006 - and yeah stunning scenery! Alongside Norway and Armenia offering some of the most gorgeous sceneries I ever been.
Back then I was reasonably fit - remember taking the boat out with my (now) wife in Marlbourough Straits and running 30km back. (Note to self, next time bring water - or beer).
Abel Tasman park was also thoroughly stunning, and the visit to the brewpub Mussel Inn that evening was absolutely lovely - one of my top brewpub experiences ever.

With all the good beer, pleasant climate and stunning nature it really is one of the best places to visit - sadly not exactly around the corner from northern Europe though.

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Yes, of course I’m aware of the obvious brewers such as Mikkeller brewing at de Proef. With Old Mout they are fully owned by Heineken, and with something like fruited cider I just find it hard to believe it retains any authenticity.

It really differs according to producer.

Strongbow made by Stassen in Belgium for the EU market, for example, is noticeably very different to UK Strongbow. It quite rightly is listed as a Belgian product, not UK.

Mikkeller visits de proef regularly, the recipes are largely all his and he is hands on with production techniques. I’m not sure Old Mouts founders do the same in Herefordshire.

Anyway, don’t want to get into a long discussion about this. Personally, I think like the Strongbow example above it should be listed as a Bulmers product.

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Apologies for falling behind on these fantastic Country Stat attacks… I’ve been lucky enough to visit the amazing NZ twice, it was one of the first countries visited when I started travelling back in '95, taking the Kiwi Experience around the country, many fuzzy memories mainly from the alcohol consumed not the years that have past!
My 2nd visit was coming on 20 years ago now, for 2 months arriving just before Christmas on a round the world trip. Great to spend time with travel friends & family.
Was into beer by this point so visited a few brewpubs & breweries… Galbraith’s in Auckland, Mussel Inn on Golden bay, Monteith’s on the West Coast & Harrington’s in Christchurch. All excellent fun, the latter I just showed up at the brewery & was given a tour and sampled a few pints by the owner himself!

My NZ beer stats have been boosted by friends & family bring back bottles - 29 rates, average of 3.34. 10/16 regions covered

Updated
8 Wired Saison Sauvin 3.9 3.73 4/4/2021
8 Wired iStout 3.8 3.98 1/10/2022
Tuatara Dubbel Barrel 3.7 3.54 5/7/2019
Coromandel Black Widow 3.7 3.09 1/10/2022
Renaissance Perfection Pale Ale 3.6 3.41 1/31/2021
Tuatara APA (2010-16) 3.6 3.6 2/18/2021 2/18/2021
Three Boys IPA 3.6 3.28 2/18/2021

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Wow. I am almost two months behind with these!!

My first wife was originally from New Zealand but we never went there together, and I’ve never made it myself since unfortunately. So NZ is always tinged with that little bit of melancholy for me. Beer stats are not too bad I guess: 30 beers making NZ 16th in countries. Beers come from 6 regions with Wellington & Auckland leading the pack with 12 and 11 respectively.

My top beers are generally easily available stuff:

In fact I’d say most of my NZ beers would fall into the easily available region: 8 each from 8 Wired and Yeastie Boys, followed by 3 from the drain pour experts Monteith’s and 2 each from Deep Creek, Cassels & Sons and Urbanaut. Only one from Old Mout thankfully… this was right after pubs opened again last year and most of my locals only carried Everards so I was desperate for a tick.

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