This one is for all you Kiwis that read the blog (I have no idea if you exist, but if you do, this is for you).
About 5 years ago, my brother did a semester abroad in New Zealand. Somehow, my girlfriend, Lindsey, and I both managed to con our parents into sending us to go visit him. Since we were under 21, this provided us with two weeks of legally being able to drink. This also allowed us to try some of the local beer. Apart from all of the "export" beers which is apparently kiwi for "terrible", there were actually some very tasty beers. In the end, I would say that two different brands stuck out above the rest. The first was Monteith's. You could find this brand everywhere, and they actually made some great beers. My favorite was their black lager, shown below.
It didn't hurt that those pitcher were something like 3 Kiwi dollars.
Where Monteith's was good and easy to find, Moa was better and very difficult to find. I came to really enjoy the brand, so whenever I see a new one, I snatch it up. Here are two that I recently found: Moa 5 Hop Ale, and Moa Breakfast Ale.
The 5 Hop Ale is brewed as an English IPA, but where the Americans overhop their IPAs, it appears the Kiwis like to over malt theirs. Not that it was bad. It was a very pleasant beer and very easy to drink. I also couldn't taste a bit of the alcohol in it (6.2% ABV). It was subtle and nice, but not something that will really impress you. The Breakfast Ale is a wheat beer that has a distinct fruitiness that complements the malt very well. In fact, it was a little too well. I felt like I was eating one of those cereals that has the freeze dried fruit in it. I preferred the 5 hop ale, but the breakfast beer was good for what it is intended, a light, refreshing, afternoon/morning beer.
If you want me to look at a particular beer, drink, place, or have anything to say to me, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find me on Facebook and Twitter (@ofmonksandmalts). You can also buy my pictures here: http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/robert-rizzolo.html.