Beer blogger puts taste buds to the test
Devout beer drinker Alice Galletly has tried so many unusual brews that almost nothing can catch her off guard.
The 30-year-old Ponsonby resident has even tried an ale brewed with a whole rooster carcass in it, produced by Wellington brewery Garage Project.
The experience served her well as one of 18 judges in the 2017 New World Beer & Cider Awards, the results of which will be announced at the beginning of April.
Galletly joined commercial brewers, sensory analysts, and hop experts to debate over 2500 glasses of beer and cider across 12 categories.
Galletly had her first taste of beer when she was 14, after sneaking a brew from her parent’s fridge.
She didn’t like the taste of beer at all until she discovered craft beer a decade later at her first time attending Wellington beer festival Beervana.
‘‘It blew my mind to discover how many different ways it was possible for beer to taste - that it could be salty, smoky or sour,’’ Galletly said.
A few of years later, she started her blog Beer For a Year where she drank and wrote about a different beer every day for a year.
‘‘By the end of that I was completely hooked.’’
She loved the endless possibilities of beer flavours, the freedom brewers had to experiment and the creativity that often came through, she said.
Galletly took her love for beer to another level last year in her first time as a beer judge in the 2016 New World Cider Awards. She sat at a table with experienced brewers and analysed more than 100 beers a day.
She was one of four female judges on the panel.
Galletly said judges generally looked at appearance, aroma, flavour, mouth feel and balance.
They also looked for any faults like infections, oxidisation, or funny off-favours that shouldn’t be there.
‘‘Balance is important, it’s something you don’t really notice unless it’s off. But a well-balanced beer, provided it also smells and tastes good, is one you’re going to enjoy from the first sip to the last. And then want another.’’
While she can’t quite pick a favourite beer, right now while holidaying in Fiji, she said she loved Fiji’s Vonu lager because it’s brewed locally.
Galletly tasted her first beer when she was 14 years old, and admits she didn’t like it.