Beer #298 - Sunshine / Black Biere du Garde

Beer #298 - W/C 2 November 2020

BREWERY // The aptly named Sunshine Brewery is based in Gisborne and is the first in New Zealand to see the Sun. When surfers Geoff Logan and Gerry Maude started brewing in 1989, virtually all of the beer being drunk in New Zealand came from the duopoly of Lion and DB. Gisborne Gold was their flagship beer, a 4% lager with Saaz and Green Bullet hops, and it quickly acquired a legion of fans launching a "craft beer revolution in Wellington" in the 1990s according to Michael Donaldson. Geoff & Gerry sold the brewery in 2013 to an enthusiastic bunch of wine folk who have brought the brewery bang up to date. The past few years have seen lots of changes with new branding, a new state of the art brewhouse and a new brewery manager - Dave Huff (formerly of Hallertau). Their brewery, bar and taproom is just a couple of blocks from Waikanae Beach, be sure to stop in when you pass through on your summer road trip.

BEER // Bière de Garde translates to 'beer for keeping' and the history of the style is the same as its Belgian & English cousins the Saison and the Stock Ale. Farmers would brew beer in the cooler months to store for and drink through Summer. Bière de Gardes are generally malt forward, sweet and relatively high in alcohol (compared to other farmhouse ales). Brewer Dave decided to create his own unique take on the style with additional layers of complexity by incorporating some dark malts in the recipe and aging the beer in pinot noir barrels from Framingham winery. The result is smooth with oak notes from the barrel. The combination of chocolate, berry and biscuit notes makes for a very satisfying and more-ish beer.

BREWERY // Sunshine
BEER // Black Biere du Garde
ORIGIN // Gisborne
ABV // 6%
TEMPERATURE // Cellar Temp. 11-14C
FOOD MATCH // Cassoulet. Coq du Bière. Garibaldi Biscuits. Madeleine
VESSEL // Tulip. Big Wine Glass