After leaving Nelson behind, we travelled to our second South Island, NZ destination: Greymouth. This was merely an intermediate stopover before heading further south to the glaciers, but we had a good time anyway. Our hostel had a bar and we chatted to the friendly owner over a few beers that night.
Another reason to visit Greymouth was the Monteith‘s Brewery. I’d been drinking Monteith’s beers since the North Island, so we thought we’d use the afternoon to do a brewery tour. One brewery isn’t that different from the next, so the tour experience is determined by the guide. And our guide sucked. He was about the suckiest guide that ever did suck. He had the personality of non-salted butter and he raced through the tour like he was trying to catch an episode of Matlock later on.
Nevertheless, we reached the bar and it was time for what you really pay your entry fee for - delightful beer. Monteith’s make a diverse range of beers and they are quite unique. They also make ciders (which seems to be a growing popular industry here) and they even have some that are kind of a mix between beer and cider. Weird you say? Bloody oath they are! But they go down smoother than Johnnie Walker Blue and have a distinct taste.
I tried them all, but my undoubted favourite was the Black Beer. Monteith’s use five different malts to make it (which we also tasted individually) and it’s a great beer. It doesn’t taste like a traditional stout, but I don’t think it’s meant to. The head is creamy and the coffee and chocolate flavours are abundant with a crisp finish. It doesn’t sit heavy in the guts and can quench your thirst as any good lager on a hot day.
Monteith’s label says West Coast, so maybe my beloved Eagles (Aussie Rules football) from Perth should start drinking it in preparation for what will be another ‘inglourious basterd’ season of mediocrity. If you’ve read my last two posts, you’ll quickly find out that I’m scathing when it comes sport, particularly in my own country.
Editor’s Note: Speight’s is another beer that goes by the tagline “Pride of the South,” however, a more apt name would be “Pure Mud of the South.”
Name: Monteith’s Black Beer
Brewery: Monteith’s Brewing Company
Location: Greymouth, New Zealand