What You Missed When Crafty Ladies Met Moa Brewing

Made in New Zealand

Those Crafty Ladies at the Highland Tap and Burger are always up to something. For their latest gathering, they welcomed Tony Little (pictured above), North American Rep for Moa Brewing Company in New Zealand, for the monthly beer tasting. The ladies learned a lot.

Moa Brewing was founded in 2003 by Josh Scott, a member of the Scott wine making family on New Zealand’s South Island. Scott grew up in the middle of New Zealand’s prime grape growing and wine making region. Somewhere along the way, Josh developed a taste for beer and would spend long hours perfecting the beers that would be made by the brewery. The name comes from an animal, the ancient Moa, an extinct giant dinosaur bird indigenous to the area. Some of Josh’s first taste tasters were Moa archeologists at a nearby dig site.
The first thing the Crafty Ladies noticed was the beautiful bottles that hold Moa beer. Tall and engraved, Moa beer is bottled much like wine, a tribute to Josh’s wine making background. The bottles tell people that this is no ordinary beer, but something worth drinking for special occasions. Beers from Moa’s Reserve Collection are even corked.
The first beer of the evening was Moa’s Breakfast Beer. Beer for breakfast? What a great idea! This wheat beer was made with native cherry extract and taste light, fruity and delicious. Tony said New Zealanders enjoy drinking it with blueberry pancakes. Although New Zealanders don’t make a habit of drinking alcohol first thing in the morning, Tony did say the beer really is made to drink for breakfast, hardy and bread-like with a little fruit.
The second beer was part of Moa’s Reserve collection. The Blanc Evolution was an effervescent and bubbly wine with a scent like sweet bread. Again harking back to the wine region, Moa used Champaign yeast to ferment this beer. This light witbier was well received by the Crafty Ladies.
The third beer was the Pale Ale, a dark amber colored beer with a hoppy and floral scent. The Pale Ale used both Cascade and Nelson Sauvin hops. Nelson Sauvin hops are grown in New Zealand and, as the country’s best hops, were a source of pride to New Zealanders.
Next up is the Imperial Stout which was aged in French oak barrels for three months. The barrels once held French pinot wines. This strong and highly hopped beer clocks in at over 100 IBUs. However, the beer still held a stout flavor without the hops completely overwhelming it.
The final beer for the evening was the St. Joseph’s Belgian Tripel, which is currently on tap at the Highland Tap and Burger. This beer was very mellow and citrusy with a buttery texture and hop finish. An unfiltered light golden beer, St. Josephs was one of the brewery’s first beers and had won 10 awards including “Best in Show” at the Asian Beer Festival beating out over 400 other beers. Tony said this beer was special to founder Josh because it was the first beer he made that his mother, a master vinter, actually liked. He knew he was on the right track when he received her approval so Josh named the beer after his mother’s church.
Moa Beer can be found at Mondo Vino Highland Wine and Spirits at 3601 W. 32nd Ave. in Denver.

Tags: Beer, Education, Food
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