Waikato brew for sum­mer

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

Waikato has a new beer and it’s been given the thumbs up.

Wil­lie’s Pale Ale is an off­shoot of the dis­trict’s sta­ple Waikato Draught beer.

It could be seen as Lion try­ing to dip its paws into the craft beer mar­ket but Lion beer am­bas­sador Kurt Gross says its more about of­fer­ing its loyal Waikato Draught beer drinkers some­thing dif­fer­ent.

‘‘It’s not try­ing to be a craft beer,’’ he said.

‘‘Al­though it’s batch brewed us­ing all nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ents, the same as all of our beers we do ... it’s a re­ward for Waikato stal­warts, we brewed it just for them.’’

The beer is a lim­ited edi­tion for sale only in the Waikato re­gion and over sum­mer.

Mr Gross doubted it would be a shock to Waikato Draught drinkers as he de­scribed it as an ‘‘ easy drink­ing, sum­mer beer ... us­ing lighter malts with a more hopped char­ac­ter to freshen it up’’.

‘‘It’s a nice sub­tle aroma, with a bit more bit­ter­ness than the draught,’’ he said.

The Waikato Times roped in a few beer drinkers for a re­laxed tast­ing ses­sion on Mon­day. Hamil­ton mu­si­cian and staunch Waikato Draught drinker Colin Wil­liams said it ‘‘tastes pretty much like Waikato with more of a hoppy flavour’’.

‘‘It’s not as sweet as Waikato (Draught),’’ he said. ‘‘It tastes good.’’

Waikato Times busi­ness and mar­ket­ing an­a­lyst Owen May­all, who is Waikato born and bred, was also im­pressed with the new beer.

‘‘I think it’s a bit dif­fer­ent, it’s prob­a­bly a bit smoother. I quite like it.’’

Mr May­all said he likes to try new beers but has al­ways been fond of a Waikato Draught.

It had been about a year since Waikato Times mar­ket­ing ex­ec­u­tive Sam Davenport had tried a Waikato Draught but he was im­pressed with the new flavour.

‘‘It’s not of­fen­sive is it ... I would prob­a­bly buy it.’’

Mr Gross said sales of the beer had been strong so far and prov­ing pop­u­lar with drinkers.

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