Warkworth-based 8-Wired have brought some stunning – and sometimes out-there – beers to this competition in recent years including their funky Cucumber Hippy and vibrant Wild Feijoa Ale. But brewer Soren Eriksen is a pioneer when it comes to big, dark beers like this Imperial Stout, which was a groundbreaker when first released. It’s a decadently gorgeous imperial stout which will soothe your senses. Chocolate, dates, leather and licorice coupled with a fortified wine’s satin intensity. Rich and warming – this is your classic by-the-fire sharing beer.
A booming imperial stout will handle most foods in the same way as a rich red wine such as Shiraz. Steak with mushroom sauce is ideal. And making this into a spider with a scoop of ice cream dropped in the glass as dessert.