Beer #293 - Sunshine / Honey Tripel
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 // Tripels are to Belgians what IPAs are to Californians. First brewed by trappist monks, this unique style has become one of the most iconic and popular beer styles. The name refers to the amount of pilsner malt used in the brew - a Tripel uses thrice the amount of a Table Beer resulting in triple the alcohol and rich flavours. Traditionally Candi sugar (a sucrose that has undergone a Maillard reaction) is used for flavour and to elevate the ABV but Sunshine swapped it out for locally sourced Pauariki manuka honey. The honey gives this beer a distinct flavour and initial sweetness which gives way to a dry finish. Floral hops are also present alongside the characteristic spicy, fruity esters from the Belgian yeast.
BREWERY // Sunshine
BEER // Manuka Honey Belgian Tripel
ORIGIN // Gisborne
ABV // 8.5%
TEMPERATURE // Cool - around 10C
FOOD MATCH // Roasted Venison. Coconut Basil Curry. Caramelised Orange Cheesecake.
VESSEL // Tulip. Chalice