Date Reviewed: 24 January 2013
Bottle size: 500ml
Alcohol content: 5.8%
Price: $8 (NZ dollars)

Forget the All Blacks. Don’t go and see the Hobbit. Proudly New Zealand in origin from the name of the brewery (Tuatara: a lizard native to New Zealand) to the name of the beer (Aotearoa: the Maori name for New Zealand), this has got to be one of the best reasons for living in this country. Anticipation was high during pouring, especially for Dan who had a Road to Damascus experience when first tasting Tuatara’s other APA a few years ago. That beer was their American Pale Ale. When they couldn’t source the US hops they needed to brew it, the clever guys at Tuatara adapted the recipe and used four different types of NZ hops. Aotearoa Pale Ale is the result; and it’s a beauty. ‘A real summer beer’ is how Stevo described it. It’s definitely all about the hops with this one – a BIG, well rounded and complex mouthful with a distinct alcohol kick in the nicely dry and bitter finish. I can’t help but think of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc as both that wine and this beer are examples of a uniquely New Zealand style of drink. And I couldn’t imagine anyone not liking this. If you live outside of NZ and manage to get your hands on some, try doing this – drink 3 or 4 APA’s then try pronouncing the Tuatara brewery address as it appears on the back label: Akatarawa Road, Reikorangi. Easy.

DAN SAYS: Possibly the perfect beer.

STEVO SAYS: If this beer was a sexy New Zealander it would be Anna Hutchinson.