The Waipu-based McLeod’s have gone from an underground, cult favourite to a must-have for beer fans. Their Pizza Barn – the brewery is based out the back – is a real hot-spot. Following last year’s success in these awards, they have two beers in the Top 30 and two more Highly Commended. This IPA is almost jammy at first sip – a chewy, sweet, orange marmalade sweetness. That gives way to a gradual unfolding of oily pine resin and grapefruit pith, combining to create a long, dry finish. “Well-made, well-balanced; great beer – would drink again”, was the judges’ summary.
A bold, hoppy IPA is tailor-made for fried food, pizza, burgers, sausages etc. But the lovely malt notes in this want something more sophisticated, such as veal schnitzel with mashed spuds and green beans in butter.