Brother's Day beer

Venusian Pale Ale by Garage Project is light year's from Monteith's Summer Ale.
Cameron Burnell

Venusian Pale Ale by Garage Project is light year's from Monteith's Summer Ale.


My plans for a Mother's Day beer column went out the window when I realised today, May 6, was my brother's birthday.

If you want a Mother's Day column you can find one here: but this year I'm going to do Brother's Day.

Back in the early 1990s Tim and I were regular consumers of the Mac's range, particular Black Mac, which was probably the most sophisticated set of beers you could regularly lay your hands in those days. But in 2004 Tim played a role in starting my craft beer journey. On a trip home from Australia, I visited him in Christchurch and he offered me a Monteith's Summer Ale. It was the beer that woke me up to the wider flavour possibilities on offer in New Zealand and it seemed light years ahead of anything I was drinking in Australia.

Tim and his family now live in Perth, and I'm back here, so in the spirit of that Summer Ale awakening, I figured it was time to return the favour and give him a taste of what he's missing in New Zealand.

Call it the birthday six-pack. I might even send him one, if he's lucky.

Garage Project Venusian Pale Ale: This riffs off the Monteith's Summer Ale theme in as much as it has coriander in it. But there the similarities end. Lemongrass, kaffir lime and grapefruit zest combine to create an other-worldly pale ale with just the right zing.

Yeastie Boys Pot Kettle Black: A Black Mac it is not… but this hoppy porter ticks all the boxes for this time of year when the weather flutters between the last languid days of summer and nights pulling in. A bit of dark, comforting roast malt with a lick of hops.

Emerson's Pilsner: If that Summer Ale was the signpost to a different beer future, the Road to Damascus moment for me came with Emerson's Pilsner – and it's also a hat-tip to our days flatting together in Dunedin in the 1980s.

Epic Stone Hammer: Tim plays guitar in a pub rock band called the Stone Frogs (that's Tim on the left in the Facebook post below) so it was either going to be Epic Stone Hammer IPA or Mussel Inn's Freckled Frog Feijoa Cider – or perhaps the two combined in a snakebite? Nah, take the Stone Hammer, a juicy fruit IPA.

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Harrington's Big John Special Reserve: I can still remember the day Tim told me about this new brewery in Christchurch called Harrington's. We'd often fill riggers down at the brewery and enjoy the challenge of a Big John.

Wigram Czar Munchner Dunkel: For a few years we lived at the Wigram air force base in Christchurch and as a result I've always been drawn to their airplane-themed beers. The Dunkel, which tastes a bit like a Chocolate Digestive biscuit is like a birthday cake beer. 

Happy Birthday bro!

 - Your Weekend

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