Beer #317 - Mata / Blondie

Beer #317 - W/C 15 March 2021

BREWERY // In 2005 Tammy Viitakangas returned to NZ after a beer filled OE with a desire to start her own brewery. She set up in beautiful Kawerau and 11 years later Mata Beer is still going strong with the help of mum- Gloria, dad- Jouni and uncles Timo & Esko. Tammy's Maori & Finnish heritage occasionally surfaces in Mata's beers such as Taniwha which is made with hangi-cooked kumara and the glorious Sahti which is inspired by the traditional Finnish drink made with juniper berries and rye malts. Mata's new brewery and taproom opened recently in sunny Whakatane and is a must-visit spot for your next visit to the Bay of Plenty.

BEER // Witbiers became popular in Belgium over 400 years ago. At that time Belgium was part of the Netherlands whose colonisation of the Spice Islands supplied local brewers with a variety of interesting flavours which their Reinheitsgebot-abiding German counterparts could not access. Witbiers were brewed with unmalted wheat which gave them a soft mouthfeel and ground coriander and bitter curaçao orange peel to result in a fragrant, soft and very refreshing beer. The huge rise of industrial lagers saw the last Witbier brewery close in the 1950's and the style died out. Fortunately for us, a local milkman named Pierre Celis missed the style so much he decided to start making it again and the rest is history. Mata's take on the style has the round body, slightly spicy esters and dry refreshing finish that is key to the style. Tammy put her own spin on it swapping the orange for fresh lemon zest a 'secret indigenous spice'. I'm looking forward to the lively chat in the NZ Beer Jerks Facebook group as we all try to figure out that spice...

BEER // Blondie
STYLE // Witbier
ORIGIN // Whakatane
ABV // 5%
TEMPERATURE // Cool - 9-12C
FOOD MATCH // Mushroom Pie. Seafood Risotto. Omelette with Sharp Apple & Goats Cheese. Hot and Spicy Spare Ribs
VESSEL // Tulip