Viva Pairs The New World Beer & Cider Awards Top 30

We match eight craft brews from New World's Top 30 with an apt occasion

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The buzz: A pick-me-up at your favourite Thai restaurant

The brew: Urbanaut Miami Brut Lager

The brewery’s Miami Brut Lager is a dry, light beer with an airy mouthfeel, and unlike most lagers, it has flavour aplenty. “It’s very aromatic and hoppy so it pairs well with Asian dishes with lots of fresh herbs,” says Urbanaut co-founder Thomas Rowe, who also recommends trying it with flavoursome fish — think whole baked Thai-style snapper with basil and coriander.

The buzz: A pick-me-up at your favourite Thai restaurant

The brew: Zeffer Alcoholic Ginger Beer

The judges deemed this alcoholic ginger beer a flavoursome delight, with plenty of contained heat and spice from fermented ginger root. “It’s on the dry side as far as ginger beers go which makes it super refreshing rather than cloying like some of the sweeter ginger beers can be,” says head cider-maker Jody Scott. He recommends pairing it with Asian dishes with a ginger hit — pad thai is perfect.

The buzz: Sunday record session

The brew: Garage Project White Mischief

With a wake-you-up tang and cheeky can design, White Mischief by Garage Project is a light-hearted beer with fresh and sour flavours. “The great thing with sour beers is that you can get a lot of flavour without loads of alcohol,” explains Garage Project’s Jos Ruffell. With its sparkling acidity, wine-like zest and crisp palate-cleansing taste, it pairs well with a burger. And as far as music goes, Jos would pair White Mischief with The Strangler’s classic tune Peaches — a fitting choice for this salted white peach sour.

The buzz: Sunday record session

The brew: Baylands Brewery Sky Surfer

The upliftingly named Sky Surfer comes from Petone-based Baylands Brewery. “It’s pretty easy-going, with a really low bitterness and dry finish,” says founder founder Aidan Styles. Light and creamy with a subtle freshness, it’s an ale that Aidan would match with an 80s classic from Men At Work — cheers to that.

The buzz: Lamb roast on a rainy Sunday

The brew: Sawmill Brewery The Doctor

“Being clean, smooth and slightly sweet compared to a style like stout, the doppelbock pairs brilliantly with roast lamb,” says Kirsty McKay, one half of the duo behind Sawmill Brewery, explaining that it holds up to strong flavours. “Doppelbocks are a great beer to nurse — if you sit on a glass while you wait for the lamb to cook you will get more and more complexity out of it as it warms up a bit!”

The buzz: Lamb roast on a rainy Sunday

The brew: 8 Wired Brewing Wild Feijoa

This Wild Feijoa sour takes three years to make, and sells out quickly due to its ultra-limited nature. It’s all rather special, and makes the beer a sought-after brew that you’d do well to pair with an indulgent roast. “The acidity of the beer will work well with the fattiness and herbs on the lamb, and the beer easily has as much grunt and complexity as a heavy red wine,” founder Soren Eriksen explains. “Besides, if anything is more Kiwi than roast lamb, it would be the feijoa. Gotta be a match made in heaven!”

The buzz: Cheese, charcuterie and crafties

The brew: Deep Creek Aloha

Though full of flavour, sours are surprisingly adaptable. “They’re really good in all sorts of situations,” says Deep Creek’s Hamish Ward. The unique ability of sour beers to act as a palate cleanser makes them a particularly good bedfellow for winter food, and Aloha can rise to the challenge of hearty fare. “You want something rich to pair with it to cut through the flavour,” he says. If drinking it with a cheeseboard as we recommend, Hamish advises ensuring you include some blue cheese — explaining that Aloha is particularly good for creating harmony between acidity and fats.

The buzz: Cheese, charcuterie and crafties

The brew: Crooked Apple Cider

Also well-matched to a spread of fromage and cured meats is Crooked Apple Cider. With its tart flavour profile, creamy mouthfeel and light effervescence, Crooked Apple Cider aligns perfectly with the tastes and textures of a cheeseboard — not to mention the relaxed nature of such an occasion.


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New Zealand Herald

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