Hi My Food Trail readers, it’s Mr Food Trail (aka hubby) making an appearance again! It’s been a long time since my first blog post but don’t worry, I’ve been helping wifey (aka April) eat all this time! Those of you who know me, will know I love my beer, so when wifey received an invitation to sample and learn about Moa Beer, a range of quality craft beers at the Local Taphouse in St Kilda, I was excited to say the least. Those of you who know wifey, will know she doesn’t drink beer so she agreed to go on the premise I was to write the blog post.
The Local Taphouse holds a beer club night on the third Tuesday of every month to sample and discuss great and rare beers. The night we went, they were showcasing Moa Beer from Marlborough NZ. It was a “total tap takeover” with all 20 taps at the Local Taphouse pouring different Moa craft beers (including some special one off brews).
Funny advertising signs from Moa Beer
Named after the extinct flightless bird similar to an emu (but about twice the size!), Moa Beer was founded by former wine maker Josh Scott in 2003. Josh’s philosophy is to brew the kinds of beers he likes to drink, with an emphasis on quality over quantity. He also uses some interesting techniques such as bottle conditioning, ageing some beers in wine barrels, use of wine yeast instead of beer yeast and even adding mussels to their stout!
Listening to founder Josh Scott talk about Moa Beer
Justin and Devon (Australian Team at Moa Beer) with Josh Scott
Unfortunately I didn’t try all of the beers (I had to work the next day), but along with Agnes & Mr Off the Spork, we gave it a fair crack! Here’s a run down of the ones I tried and the tasting notes:
Moa – Breakfast 5.5%
Fruit lager/European-style Breakfast beer aimed at the female market. Cherry on the nose and sherbet on the palate. Light bodied and really refreshing. The best fruit beer I’ve tasted by far.
Moa – Pale Ale 5.5%
US Pale Ale style using Cascade and Nelson Sauvin hops. Citrus, lychee notes with a very dry hoppy finish. This one wasn’t bad at all.
Moa – St Josephs 9.5%
Trappist style, similar to Leffe blonde but better in my opinion! Strong clove and spice flavours, but beautifully balanced and smooth despite the high alcohol volume. You wouldn’t know this beer is 9.5% (until you try to stand up!). Absolute winner.
Moa – Imperial Stout 10.2%
Aged in Pinot Noir barrels from central Otago, displays coffee and mocha characters but also some sweet clove and spice notes. Big and bold, but unbelievably smooth. One of my favourites!
Moa Breakfast beer, Moa Pale Ale, Moa St Joseph’s & Moa Imperial Stout
Moa – Ranga 5% (one off brew)
Ginger beer with almost a slight Turkish delight aroma and plenty of spiciness. This was one of the “one off” brews – I won’t lose any sleep if they decide not to do it again.
Moa – Blanc Evolution 6.2%
Belgian Witbier style with a slight fruity aroma and a crisp refreshing finish. A small amount of coriander added during maturation gives it a unique spiciness. I don’t usually like Witbiers, but liked this one.
Moa – Five Hop 6.2%
English style bitter brewed with NZ grown hops, with subtle hint of oak from the use of Gewurztraminer barrels. Extremely hoppy and bitter, not really my cup of tea.
Moa – Noir 5.5%
Munich Dunkel style, beautiful chocolate and roasted coffee beans on offer here, with a long, smooth and balanced finish. Great beer if you’re after something full of flavour, but not as heavy as a stout. Really liked this.
Moa – Muscle Stout 5.5% (one off brew)
Stout made with NZ green lip mussels. Apparently they cook ‘em up after they’ve done their bit for the beer and are great eating! Unique smokey flavoured stout and you can taste the minerally mussel flavour too. Nice to try something different, but not something I’d order again in a hurry!
Moa – Everyday Pale Ale 5%
Pale ale – nice, clean and approachable. Not too hoppy or malty. Didn’t think much of this one, but my palate was in sensation overload by this stage!
Moa – Marzen 5.5% (one off brew)
Marzen style with a red hue and roast caramel aroma. Also detected some mint and spice. As above, my palate was cactus so I’m not sure whether I liked this one.
Moa beers & more beers
So 11 beers later, I can safely say I’m impressed by Moa Beer. They are beautifully structured and balanced, yet unique within each style. My favourites were the Noir, the St Josephs and the Imperial Stout.
They’re just starting to enter the Australian market so are only available at smaller specialty stores at the moment, but I’m sure they’ll expand as beer lovers discover them. Wifey wants me to add about how cool the champagne look-a-like bottles are!
LEFT: Cool Moa Beer bottles
RIGHT: They also make ciders which wifey really liked
Check out www.moabeer.com for more details about their range and stockists.
Cheers & Beers,
Mr Food Trail
Mr Food Trail and wifey attended the Moa Beer Tap Takeover as guests of Moa Beer.