Two beers from NZ today. Boundary Road Brewery in Auckland has recently been bought out by Asahi and makes a weird combination of macros, beers under licence for giants like Kingfisher and Tuborg and some interesting looking craft beers. Unfortunately, BotF’s first experience of a Boundary Road Beer, was a bottle of NZ Pure. It looked underwhelming, but if I see something in a bottlo that I haven’t tried, then I’ll get it. Fortunately, I only bought one. The website description gives you an indication – “subdued malt backbone overlaid with a subtle hop character” – a copywriter’s best attempt to say we’ve stripped all flavour out of this one. Purely forgettable.
It’s a shame, because it looks like Boundary Road has a sense of humour, which can go well with beer. Their craft beer range looks distinct and amusingly named (Bouncing Czech for a Pilsner). They’ve also amusingly taken aim at Monteiths, who have tried to trademark Radler. This move by Monteiths has caused a degree of controversy in the beer world. Some argue it is like trademarking the word lager, but apparently the trademark only applies in New Zealand. It seems like heaps of trouble to go to for what is effectively a shandy.
Speaking of Montheiths, they’ve named their latest beer – Sparkling Ale. This is kind of ironic, because there is an Australian beer that is quite iconic with a similar name – Cooper’s Sparkling Ale. Fellow BotF correspondent, illiards has heard the view expressed that Cooper’s Sparkling Ale is so unique that it deserves its own style. Beer Advocate, which is a reasonable authority on these matters, doesn’t have it separately listed. @Untappd, which is rapidly developing a massive database, also doesn’t feature Sparkling Ale as a style. If Cooper’s Sparkling Ale is the benchmark of a style – then Monteiths is so far removed it is misappropriating the name “Sparkling Ale”. Yeah – it is an ale, it has bubbles – but that is where the similarity ends. It’s novelty begins and ends with its 500ml bottle – but that is it. It is a macro and not a distinctive beer – unlike its namesake.