Lager, lager, lager; VB-drinking rugby fan takes on five Kiwi craft breweries

Herald reporter and beer aficionado Belinda Feek is on a mission – to sample as many fine summer brews as possible and educate her sceptical mate Kevin along the way. Welcome to day one: lager.

While there are a plethora of Kiwi craft breweries, what do those who’ve hardly ever tried the stuff actually think of it?

Having been a fan of craft brews for about 15 years or so, my opinion doesn’t really count.

However, I was keen to carry out some sort of unscientific study and work out if they think craft beer is worth all the hype.

So, I wrangle in my VB – Victoria Bitter – drinking mate of mine, Kevin Holmes, who’s forever dubbed craft beer as “overpriced homebrew” or that he could run his lawnmower on it.

Should be an interesting time.

The plan? Get five Kiwi breweries on board and try five of their beers.

So, we parked up on the deck of his Raglan property on a steaming hot Saturday and set about solving the world’s problems – aka, trying some beers.

Fortunately, the good guys and gals at Lakeman Brewing, Taupō; Garage Project, Wellington; McLeod’s Brewing, Waipu; Behemoth Brewing, Auckland and Good George Brewing, Hamilton were all prepared to take part in the “experiment”.

Throughout this week, we’re going to try five different styles and rate them out of 5.

Today, it’s all about the lager.

Lakeman – Lager – 5 per cent

Pitched as a good match with fish and chips, according to the brewer.

Kevin – “Would be a nice one to sit watching the sun go down over the lake. It’s not too malty, nice tangy taste, hint of lemon.” 4.5/5

Belinda – “Easy drinker, light and refreshing. A great one after mowing the lawns.” 4/5

Garage Project – Beer – 4.8 per cent

A Czech lager that’s an easy pair with almost any food, particularly something with heat.

Kevin – “Very smooth, tasty, and thirst-quenching.” 4/5

Belinda – “Slightly malty, subtle bitterness. A good one for those wanting to step away from their traditional lager.” 4/5

McLeod's Brewery – Longboarder Lager – 5 per cent

McLeod’s flagship beer and 2017 “best lager” at NZ Brewers Guild of NZ Awards

Kevin – “I liked it. Smooth and tasty. Would go well with some seafood.” 4.5/5

Belinda – “Slightly bitter finish, you can taste the maltiness. Great taste.” 4/5

Good George Brewing – Pilsner – 5 per cent

Looks light and golden and has aromas of citrus, herbs, and straws.

Kevin – “Has that wow factor – is smooth and tasty, very refreshing. Nice summer drink.” 5/5

Belinda – “Nice and light, pretty inoffensive. Comes in a massive 946ml bottle, too, bonus.” 4/5

Behemoth Brewing – Half Way Down Lager – 4.5 per cent

An ode to that good ole Kiwi song about that good ole Auckland road

Kevin – “I’d travel the whole length of Dominion Rd to get a taste of this. Loved it.” 5/5

Belinda – “It’s just so smooth. I’m not a big lager drinker but this is a goodie.” 4.5/5

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