It’s happening, everyone!! The moment we’ve all been waiting for for the entirety of 2020. THE HOLIDAYS. And it’s an understatement to say if there was ever a time in the history of humankind where we all deserved a beer, this would definitely be one of those moments.
So whilst you’re planning your summer of doing absolutely sweet FA, have a trawl through our picks of these Kiwi beers, which we’ve paired perfectly with those particular days in which we collectively kick back as a nation - the stat holidays. (Or as the we colloquially like to call them, "The Stats".)
Then hop out to the cellar door, brewery website, Liquorland or any other Good Beer retailer, and grab these beers. Stat.
Christmas Day - Hop Federation’s Cray Cray Gose
Christmas Day calls for special holiday kai, and if you’re lucky, that may see a fair bit of kaimoana cross your table. But if you don’t have a crayfish on hand (sadly, the global pandemic did nothing to dampen export-driven price points), grab a rigger of Hop Federation’s Cray Cray Gose (4.4%). Poured at Beervana 2020 alongside Kono’s crayfish cheese rolls, prepped by the inimitable Martin Bosley, this beer went, well, a bit cray with festival punters. This gose is light enough to carry the delicious umami notes from the cray shells. Does that briny saltiness come from the scarlet armour of the koura or is it the brackish personality of the Gose? Who knows? Just get it down your gullet.
Boxing Day - Duncan’s Raspberry Ripple Ice Cream Sour
You’ve stuffed your face, and, frankly, you’re now a python, basking in the sun on a five-day digestion bender. You need a light, refreshing, piquant pick-me-up to get you back on the leftovers wagon. Duncan’s Brewery's Raspberry Ripple 5% Ice Cream Sour is a dessert-style sour, brewed with vanilla and lactose sugar to offset the delicious tartness of raspberries. Reminiscent of those late avo summer meanders down to the corner dairy in your jandals for a good old Tip Top berry swirl ice cream. Except all you have to do for this is meander to your fridge - happily, the exact distance you’d readily travel, post-Xmas feasting.
New Year’s Eve (Technically, not a stat holiday, but it’s a biggie.) - Sawmill Brewery’s Vintage Ale 2020
Not everything to come out of 2020 was an utter shitshow. In the aftermath of a brewery fire in October 2019, immediately followed by a global pandemic, Matakana’s Sawmill Brewery did it a little tougher than most. However, it was back on its proverbial feet this year, stronger than ever - and just to show it had no hard feelings against 2020, Sawmill released its Vintage Ale 2020 (8%), a dry and spicy Saison with fruity yeast character and citrus aroma. So like Sawmill Brewery, we reckon you dust yourself off, show 2020 who’s boss, and kick it to the curb with this bold, beery tribute to the year that put 2016 in its corner (remember when we thought losing a line-up of our favourite celebs was the worst that could happen? Mems).
New Year’s Day - Urbanaut Brewing’s Coconut Hazy IPA + Queen Pineapple Sour
If you don’t know that Urbanaut loves to throw a good party, then you really need to get yourself to one. At Beervana 2020, they were true to type - they came, they brought the lit up dancefloor, we danced. Whilst we got lit on the lit up dancefloor, Urbanaut launched its new Beer Blender range - the 80s cocktail-influenced combo of Coconut Hazy IPA (6%) and Queen Pineapple Sour (4%) conquered the crowds and raised the roof. So when the clock hits midnight, and NYE rolls into 2021, don’t even think about tucking yourself into bed. Take a leaf out of the official Urbanaut party guide, and don’t bother going. Instead: “Separate the cans, blend contents of both together, and you'll feel like you're sipping on a Piña Colada, poolside, watching the sun come up!”
Waitangi Day - Double Vision’s Juice Cinda
Whatever your political persuasion, you cannot deny that Jacinda Ardern saved our arses in 2020. Thanks to her leadership, clear communication and message of kindness (alongside public health poster boy, Dr. Ashley Bloomfield - heart eyes!!), she pulled us all together to collectively stomp out Covid-19 before it became “a thing” on our fair shores. As a result, we’re the envy of the world, and can go out and enjoy these summer holidays freely. Hence, why our Waitangi Day pick is Double Vision’s post-lockdown ode to our PM, Juice Cinda Hazy NZ IPA (6.7%). Loaded with Aotearoa hops: the Nelson Sauvin brings that gooseberry and white wine fruitiness, Wai-iti adds fresh lime and stone fruit, and Riwaka reps the South Island dank with floral and citrus, this is En-Zed in a can. Supporting local, indeed.
We hope you have a wonderful, safe, restful Christmas, beer friends! Drink responsibly and happily, and we look forward to doing this all over again in 2021! (We mean Beervana - NOT 2020!