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Judge's pick: weird and wonderful

This year we have introduced some Weird and Wonderful into the judging mix.

In every judging event, there are beers and ciders that intrigue our judges, or spark animated discussions, and sometimes even polarise the judging tables. 
Not all of these make it through to the Top 30 or Highly Commended, but they are conversation-starters: unique beers with distinctive or unusual ingredients that stand out from the crowd. 
So, we thought it was time to showcase beers that push boundaries and take the category into new and adventurous directions.
These may not be for everybody but amongst our mixed six selection, everybody will find something that they like and will want to talk about and share with friends.
Available at selected stores only.

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Canyon Cucumber & Watermelon Sour

Taking a cue from a refreshing summer drinks, this lightly salted sour beer from Queenstown's Canyon Brewing delivers just what it says with fragrant cucumber and a hint of watermelon juice and a lick of salt. Refreshing and frisky.

McLeod's Far North Chili Pils

An iconic beer, brewed with Northland-grown chilies from Kaitaia Fire. It's got a lovely chili hit on the nose and the chili heat is noticeable but not overpowering, adding a distinctive layer of flavour that marries nicely with the hops. The perfect beer for tending a BBQ.

Duncan's Passionfruit & Lime Ripple Ice Cream Sour

Duncan’s in Paraparaumu are the industry leader in ice cream sours: super-fruity, creamy beers designed to resemble your favourite icecream. Made with large doses of vanilla and lactose for the sweet creaminess, this is not sour at all, with the judges describing it as a “vanilla and passionfruit bomb”

Urbanaut Toasted Marshmallow Imperial Stout

Auckland-based Urbanaut have perfected a range of high-ABV beers that come in 250ml cans. This is a 10% that does exactly what it says on the cute tin, massive doses of vanilla and chocolate combined to create the precise feeling of eating (or rather drinking) toasted marshmallows.

Canyon Farmhand Foraged Elderflower Saison

A uniquely all-New Zealand beer from the Southland-grown hops, Cardrona honey, handpicked elderflower and dogrose as well as Froth Tech's recently discovered native yeast called Wilding. It's perfumed, delicate and drinkable.