As the name suggests, Monteiths Original Ale was one of their first beers on the market, way back in 1868. When we popped into their brewery on the west coast town of Greymouth in New Zealand I decided to review this beer in favour of some others in their large range (I would highly recommend trying their Festive Fruits Ale if you like Christmas cake and want to try something different).
If you do find yourself staying over in Greymouth, my advice would be to spend as long as possible in the Monteiths Brewery (AKA the whole time you spend in the town). They have a great range (15+), great atmosphere, and knowledgeable staff, but the remainder of the town is devoid of anything to do, save for a nice sunset.
The beer itself was very good. It smells very strong and grainy, and is dark brown in colour with a small amount of head. It doesn’t taste very strong when it first goes into the mouth, but it has a deep and very piney aftertaste. It’s drunk cold, but I got the feeling that if had at room temperature, like many English ales, that it would taste great also (though I would be happy to stand corrected if it turned out to be bland and tasteless).
It may not please all people as it is very heavy in its flavour, but nonetheless the Original Ale is a good, well balanced beer. Whilst their beers aren’t as well known as their ciders here in Australia (which were raging in popularity this summer), it’s only a matter of time before their whole range travels across the Tasman and into our pubs and bottleshops. We may not like to acknowledge our cousins from New Zealand, but this is a good drop.
Drunk: off tap