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March 5, 2007 | by  | in Opinion |
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The romantic image of lazing on a deck chair with your favourite beer was just a dream for most sun worshippers late last year. When the sun finally came out in February, summer activities could begin. Cricket teams suddenly remembered how to play, barbeques could be fired up instead of washed out and, most importantly, the beer began to flow.

Here are some beer recommendations which might make you look like you know something about what you are drinking this summer.

A new Auckland beer is Epic (5.2% alcohol). This enormously energetic beer is a burnished gold color and throws a punchy citrus nose. It has an immaculate balance between the rich malt body and lashings of summerfruit and citrus notes. It finishes with a lingering, almost oily, bitterness which sets you up for the next mouthful. The impish brewer admits to using a “shed load” of hops and says while others might consider that to be “insane”, he calls it “flavour”.

Local brew Tuatara Hefe (5%) will shake up your beer preconcep- tions. This cloudy German-style wheat beer (Hefeweizen) is a spritzy and quenching summer drink. This hazy golden beverage may challenge some with its classical aroma and flavours of banana, juicyfruit gum, vanilla and spicy cloves, but there are few beers more refreshing.

Starting life as a festival brew which proved too good to drop, Limburg Czechmate Pilsner (5%) is a classic Czech-style pilsner. Using authentic ingredients from the Czech Republic, this crystal clear pale beer has a dry, grassy and spicy nose. The full body is counteracted by a crisp and clean finish which makes it a most-drinkable drop.

The best of the freshly funkified Mac’s range is the Mac’s Hoprocker (5%). Brewed with tasty New Zealand hops (including the unique Nelson Sauvin), this rich golden beer has a fruity nose of orange, grapefruit and lime. It is full flavored with fruit and a long, dry finish.

Founder’s Tall Blonde (4.7%) is an organic and vegan-friendly drop from the historic Founder’s Brewery in Nelson. Made by a fifth-generation brewer, this pilsner complies with the world’s oldest food standard (Bavarian Beer Purity Laws of 1516) and one of the most modern (BIO-GROWNZ organic certification). This slightly cloudy beer has a fresh citrus nose with orange, feijoa and passionfruit flavours. Fresh and full-bodied, it has a strong citrus tang and delicious off-dry finish.

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