Correction: The headline to this article in last week’s newsletter mistakenly referred to Renaissance instead of Moa. Our thanks go out to the eagle eyed readers who spotted the error and they can rest assured that the author has been suitably chastised for his rookie mistake. The article has been corrected and is republished this week for the record.
Moa Head Brewer David Nicholls has been very busy tinkering away at the Blenheim brewery. He has come up with three limited edition beers for summer: two on draught (Moa Checkpoint Charlie and Moa John Paul Grodziskie) and one in bottles (Moa Festive IPA).
The award-winning brewery has developed an ever-changing Special Reserve Programme. This means “new recipes are trialled, ancient recipes from plague times are resurrected, wild yeasts are experimented with, and techniques such as barrel fermenting and ageing are used.” Nicholls says “all beers are brewed using the finest natural ingredients with taste and the drinker’s experience the sole focus. In short, this is a brewer led program. No short cuts, no hidden agendas – just good beer.”
Here are the brewer’s notes on Moa John Paul Grodziskie:
Style: Oak Smoked Wheat Ale
Serving Glass: Pilsner Glass
Tasting Notes: Named after Pope John Paul II, Poland’s most famous son, the distinctive character of this Polish style wheat ale (also known as Grätzer) comes from 100% oak wood smoked wheat malt, true to style. Pale straw in colour and unfiltered, a light yeast haze is evident.
A pleasant smoke taste (without the ash tray astringency) is evident, and both hop aroma and bitterness (10 IBU) is low. Light in body, this beer is tart (not sour) from the wheat base but refreshing with an austere dryness. Light esters come through as the beer warms.
Here are the brewer’s notes on Moa Checkpoint Charlie:
Style: Berliner-Style Weisse
Serving Glass: Pilsner Glass
Tasting Notes: Named after the most famous crossing point between Cold War East and West Berlin, this German style wheat beer dubbed the ‘Champagne of the North’ by Napoleons’ troops is traditionally enjoyed with an accompanying syrup that can either be mixed directly into the beer or enjoyed separately.
Brewed with 50% wheat malt and 50% Pilsner malt, this beer is true to style having had two separate ferments (first a lactic acid bacteria ferment to develop acidity/sourness, then a German Ale yeast)and unfiltered.
A cloudiness should be evident from the yeast and bacteria, and with a pH of <3.5 it is very sour with big ester characters. Tropical fruit and tinned pineapple dominate with a creamy fullness that the sourness bites through. Bitterness is non-existent with 4 IBU and no hop character.
All Moa Special Reserve beers are limited edition small-run, single batch (1,200L) brewed beers
For more information, check out the Moa Special Reserve website. (http://www.moabeer.com/special-reserve-range#moa-special-reserve-program)