Picture the following scene: summer sunshine, mountainous background, the Pacific Ocean roaring to the shore and a great little town called Kaikoura. The beach, the heat and the very cool breeze reminded me of my hometown of Perth. To boot, the hostel owner was also a Perthie. All that was missing was a can of Emu Bitter. My youth came crashing back, barbecues with beer in hand, people yarning about the way of the world under the star-filled night sky.
Kaikoura is still in the Canterbury region of New Zealand and I didn’t try many beers here. The local Canterbury Draught might’ve done the job if given the chance. The Christchurch boutique brews weren’t quite up to scratch, however, I must give the Twisted Hop a special mention for producing very tasty beers.
From Kaikoura, we’ll catch a train through the northern Marlborough region (famous for its wine, of course) before heading back to the North Island. We won’t visit the town of Blenheim, but it’s there that much of the great wine and the not so well-known great beer is produced. Moa is a brand I’ve tried and is worth a look, but yesterday the Renaissance Brewing Company happened to find its way into my supermarket basket. Ah beer at the supermarket, when will Australia learn?
Like many of his beer brothers before him, the Perfection Pale Ale is served in its 500mL bottle. Not quite the king brown of Australia, but the prince of power nonetheless. I’ve talked ad nauseum about the hoppy beers in this country and this is just another beast of the species. The rich amber colour, the nutty maltiness and then the hop-infused finish results in a tantalising ale. I consumed this on a sunny afternoon (not long after waking from a kip) and it was so easy-drinking and flavoursome without knocking me over.
Name: Perfection Pale Ale
Brewery: Renaissance Brewing Company
Location: Blenheim, New Zealand