Travelling opens the mind to a number of different experiences, and trying new beers is certainly one of them. On a recent trip to New Zealand, I’d developed a hard-earned thirst (cue famous Australian beer tune) after a long day rafting and hiking in the tourist mecca of Queenstown. Thankfully, the solution lay waiting in a pub just around the corner from where we were staying – Speights Gold Medal Ale. This is no light, summer lager, but rather a meaty, hairs-on-your-chest ale.
First impressions were good – a deep orange colour, and a strong smell of pines on the nose. The beer was nice on the tongue even though it was very fizzy, before washing down into a piney aftertaste, with a hint of smoke. Given that we came across streams a number of times on our trip which we could drink straight out of, it was unsurprisingly a very clean, pleasurable beer to drink.
Whilst it’s not a fashionable, light summer lager, Speights have developed a nice ale (though I’d contest the gold medal statement). My knowledge of New Zealand beers is not deep enough to make a strong assessment of where it would sit in the overall pecking order, but I’d say it would fall somewhere on the middle ground. Folk of the South Island may beg to differ, however, given its reputation as the “pride of the south”.
Drunk: off tap