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.

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