Once again the New Zealand trip let me bear witness to all these different beers by Mike’s Brewery and I was keen to go straight to the source! Using my bounty hunter skills I tracked my target down to their Brewery at 487 Mokau Road, Urenui in Taranaki. The backdrop is gorgeous and the setting outside is kingly with oversized heavy wooden tables and chairs. I chatted to the friendly gentlemen there and enquired about the beers. I was told they have won many awards in New Zealand and was gasping to try some. I had the tough choice of picking four beers out of their range on tap and here are my thoughts below:
Mike’s Taranaki Hefeweizen Cloudy (THC) 5.5%
Like the weather on the day the clarity is cloudy. It had a pale honey colour that seemed to leave a nice lace on the glass. Flavour was a sweet wheat taste that came off light and easy to drink. I would even say it had a biscuit taste to it leading me to the conclusion that it would be great as a substitute for cereal in the morning! The hops used are of the Wakatu variety. I think this would go well with sausage, cheeses and mild tasting fruits.
Mikes Hobson Choice
This is an English bitter style beer. I thought this would sing to my hallowed roots back in Mother England but not quite my cup of tea. I found it quite hoppy with a reprieve of honey flavour attempting to balance it. A deep amber colour did show which looked great but this beer was not enough to for me to get homesick.
Mikes Organic Ale 4%
It is a mild dark ale which makes a great session ale for those with the darker persuasion. The body is quite light and silky so good if you don’t want something too heavy or you’re a novice wanting to explore the dark side of the beer spectrum. There are flavours of toffee and nuts which would go well with a stew, red meat or even a nice heavy pudding. This uses the mixture of Pacific Gem, Green Bullet and Wakatu hops.
Mikes Vanilla chocolate porter (VCP) 8%
This is my favourite of the sample. A beer with great vanilla bean flavours cruising on top of a chocolate/coffee highway. In the glass it had a nice rich colour and went down very smooth. The mixture of the coffee, chocolate and vanilla gives it a nice overall flavour and keeps it interesting enough. The bitterness is low and also the carbonation level is low. Hops used are Pacific Jade, Green Bullet and Wakatu. The body is creamy and full and would be great company to some sweet desserts like pancakes, French toast and crepes.
So overall they offer a great selection a nice place to sample some great Kiwi beers. If you are in the Taranaki area these guys are open Monday – Sunday 10am until 5pm.
They have merchandise on offer also and the friendly staff will definitely make you feel welcome!