Waikato brew for summer
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.