A bit of a disappointment this one. I remember the Monteith’s Summer Ale being a refreshing, shandy-like ale, that packed a bit of a punch. This ‘Pale Ale’ turned out to be pale in colour only.
I was surprised to see a very light straw-coloured ale pour from the bottle. This brew lacks the hops and character to be called a pale ale. I detected a slight hint of kumquat, but that’s about it. It would be fair to say that this wouldn’t even make a good lager. Must do better.
You learn something every day. This fresh, golden brew from the Monteith Brewery in Greymouth, NZ has an aroma of zingy lemon and fresh puppies. Upon tasting, the first thing that springs to mind is ‘shandy’. There certainly hints of lemonade and plenty of fizz, making an ideal drink on a hot summer’s day. So, ‘where’s the learning?’ I hear you ask. Well, I wasn’t really sure what a ‘Radler’ was and so I asked Dr Google, who in turn, referred me to Prof. Wikipedia. The good professor then informed me that a ‘radler’ “is a beer-based mixed drink (Bermischgetränk) with a long history in German-speaking regions. Consisting of a 1:1 or 3:2 mixture of various types of beer and German-style soda pop or lemonade“. Ergo a shandy.
However, if this really is shandy in sheep’s clothing, it’s a real good ‘un. Light, sweet and refreshing, it has an ABV of 5%. Could this be the world’s first 5% shandy? Ein uberbiermischgetränk, ja?
Okay, so here’s a change up, my first bru from New Zealand, Summer Ale by Moneith’s Brewing Co based in Greymouth. (Monteith’s sounds like someone with a lisp saying my son’s name). I was was only previously aware of their cider, so it was a pleasant surprise to find their Summer Ale.
Beautifully golden in colour, it has a sweet aroma similar to a bitter shandy. The taste is wonderfully refreshing, I get fresh ginger with a touch of lime. There’s sweetness with a ever-so slightly bitter finish. In fact, it reminds of an old fashioned Shandy Bass, a great summer drink for all ages. Monteith’s version is a surprising 5%, so beware! It slides down real smooth, but has a certain bite too. A true thirst quencher, Summer Ale exceeded my expectations and I look forward to sampling more from across the ditch.
Queue the music …… Summer lovin’, happened so fast ….