Dunedin was not somewhere that was on our original itinerary because you can’t go everywhere when visiting a country. Well you can, but not at the pace I like to travel. Leaving the picturesque mountains of Fiordland for a bigger town was not a bad idea at all. How’s the South Island summer you might ask? Well I have two words for it and it rhymes with ‘truckin’ pit.’ Although we’ve been quite lucky with rain (but not of late), there haven’t been too many days where the sun has made its presence felt and I don’t think we’ve even come close to day above 30 degrees Celsius.
So you can’t control the weather, but you can control the beer that you drink. We first came across Emerson’s way back in the first week in Auckland. Andrea loves pilsners and was recommended their version at a pub there. She raved about it, but I was too busy (and stubborn) to try it.
“But it tastes great!” she cried emphatically.
“Nah, that’s alright. I’ll stick with my choice,” was my response.
She drank it a few more times after that and I finally gave it a go. My original reluctance was that it was classed as a ’premium organic lager.’ I was sceptical and a snob, but the error of my ways has fast been rectified by my beer choices in the last few weeks. Beer is beer: organic, systematic or hydromatic. Why it could be greased lightning!
Pilsner is very hit and miss for me. Sometimes it’s understated and lacking a slap in the face. But Emerson’s is up there with the very best that I’ve tried. You can smell the hops as soon as you crack a bottle, the malty flavour remains on your tongue as you drink, and the finish is like a dessert all on its own. It’s really truckin’ good!
The label says that it’s traditionally fined using isinglass - a fish product. I don’t know if this is the secret ingredient, but the next time you’re in the supermarket, look for isinglass and spread it on some bread; it may just be the next big thing!
Name: Emerson’s Pilsner
Brewery: The Emerson Brewing Company
Location: Dunedin, New Zealand