The conditions in Sydney were perfect for another jaunt on the harbour on the MV Pastime. Cap’n Ferg took us another scenic trip and we were able to get up close and personal with some more of Sydney’s inner harbour rock forms and get a perspective only possible by boat. Middle Head is in the harbour, but lies latitudinally between North and South heads. It features wonderfully eroded cliffs which have a multitude of colours, as well as some man made stone lookouts designed to protect Sydney from invasion. On the north side of Middle Head is one of Sydney’s 3 nude beaches – Cobblers Beach. Whilst it was cloudless, sunny day it was still a brisk 17 degrees. That didn’t deter some hardcore nudists from getting out and about.
The weather was perfect for a couple of dark beers. I’ve had this stubbie of Coedo Shikkoku sitting in the fridge for some time. Coedo is a beer that you tend to buy only one of – based on the price of a case, as can be seen in the attached. $154 – $164 a case is steep in anyone’s language. Still, I’m happy to part with $6.99 for a stubbie of Shikkoku. This is categorised as a Schwarzbier – and is a delicious yeasty dark drop. If it wasn’t from Japan, I’d swear the brewer stirred this repeatedly with a spoon coated in Vegemite. A beautiful black colour, Shikkoku is named for Japan’s black lacquer work. I wish this stuff would turn up in Japanese restaurants.
Next up was a bottle of Moa Imperial Stout. You can’t really call a bottle of beer that has a champagne style cork in it a stubbie. This is an absolute corker (pardon the pun). Part of this beer’s charms is its texture. It is sleeky smooth and almost oily – but in a good way. Then there’s the richness of the taste – plenty of coffee and liqueur, but that said it carries its beefy 10.2% alcohol really well. Thank heavens I wasn’t driving. The colour is as black as lights out in an underground cave and the head was like a flat white coffee with not much milk. This is a really special beer and perfect for an after dinner drink (if you haven’t gone hard early). Thank heavens I wasn’t driving the boat.
I came back to Oz declaring “this is the most amazing craft beer I have ever had”. Much to my disappointment, there are very few places in Oz that stock Moa. How are these guys going to allow my Aussie friends to indulge in their amazing beers?
This is no longer an unanswered question. Just like the 30,000 NZers who arrive to live in Australia every year, Moa has arrived on these shores. Kiwisinoz was fortunate enough to attend the Moa – Sip and Sample tasting afternoon run by Beer Cartel on Feb 11th. This was an unforgettable afternoon let me tell you folks!
Devon Tong from Moa was in attendance to explain the intricate details of each variety to the fortunate group of 20 people who were lucky enough to secure a ticket.
Five Moa varieties were tasted as we learnt about the journey of Moa in its short life to date. Interestingly the founder is Josh Scott, son of the very famous (in NZ!) Allan Scott. Allan Scott is a very popular Marlborough winery. You can imagine the tension between father and son when son declared his intention to open a brewery in NZ’s most famous wine growing region………
The five varieties tasted were:
- Moa Original
- Moa Pale Ale
- Moa Methode
- Moa Blanc
- Moa Noir
This correspondent had a huge session the night before so decided to drive to the tasting – SHOCKING ERROR OF JUDGEMENT!
I could only sample each one with a quarter of a glass. Each and every one of the five were sensational. They were each accompanied by the most appropriate food to complement the drop. Personal favourite was the dark beer – Moa Noir. The strong chocolate taste and aroma made this a sensational teaser. It went down a treat with the chocolate brownie. This would be a great finisher after a big meal.
It would not be appropriate to review each and every one of the five Moa beers here, I need to have more than a couple of sips to fully embrace these beers. So I purchased a mixed 6 pack to enjoy.
At the end of the tasting, a raffle was drawn with the winner taking home a 1500ml bottle of Moa Methode. And the lucky winner is……..kiwisinoz. Yes, I am now the proud owner of this monstrous bottle. I’d need a rather large brown paper bag to sneak this one past the officials on the ferry – could look dodgy.
Moa has been fortunate to secure the latest Local Taphouse “Tap Takeover”. This will be held in Sydney on 21 March and Melbourne on the 20th March. Be sure to get your Moa fix at these sessions.
Moa, the giant bird has been extinct for hundreds of year, but the beer has just begun its life, and now it’s available in Oz.