Posts Tagged ‘ beer ’

Mac’s Ginger Beer & Green Apple… drinks are delicious!

green-apple-straightIn my (somewhat cynical) eye’s Mac’s can do no wrong. They have put out a string of very nice beer, they don’t feel the need to use preservatives and they’re advertising is clever.

Their latest products – non-alcoholic – are Ginger Beer and Green Apple.

The Ginger Beer is really like “your mother used to make it” in fact it’s a bit like the last batch of home brew stuff I made (except mine had alcohol in it – great for young nephews and nieces). It’s not as sweet and fizzy as Bundaburg Ginger Beer. It’s ‘clean’ and refreshing on ice with with a slice of lime. I also noticed that even left until the next day opened it was still fizzy so it must still have the natural yeast busy working away in it – so it is authentic.

The Green Apple drink is really nice too. Not sweet or cloying. It makes as great mixer – as winter suddenly arrived over the weekend and cool drinks are not required, but alcoholic ones are.

Try this…

  • Martini Glass (or similar)
  • Bottle of Mac’s Green Apple
  • Roses Lime Juice ‘concentrate’
  • Bacardi (or vodka if you don’t have white rum)
  • Some ice

Pour a couple of shots of rum into glass onto about three or four ice cubes, if it’s been a tough day, add a couple more.

A dash of lime, if you have fresh limes then use those.

The pour over the Mac’s Green Apple juice… ahhhhh! Knock that back and make another one.

I know what you’re thinking. The ice will dilute the drink, and yes it will. But unless you’re organised and have everything pre-chilled, then this is the only way to do it. Whatever you do, do not try mixing this all in a shaker (thus being able to strain out the ice), that is, unless you what to make a green apple fire extinguisher, and wiping it off the walls is a pain… a mate told me that could happen, I’d never be so stupid.

Next time your’e in the supermarket check these two latest Mac’s additions, well worth it!



Courage Beer ad a master stroke

Courage Beer’s ad in the UK is an advertising master stroke. Either was it was destined to be a winner especially when you take into account the predictable reactions from silly politically correct people.

In a rather silly ruling by the British Advertising Standards Authority they have guaranteed the ad’s viral success on the internet (I wouldn’t be posting this otherwise) a mildly funny ad about the perennial “does this make my bum look big” gag, will now be a highly successful advertising for their beer, far more so than probabaly originally intented and completely undermining the decision by the ASA that the ad promoted drinking and suggested that drinking the half glass of beer on the floor would give the guy the courage to tell the truth.

In real life the beer would probably have little effect on the lad, it was probably his first one of the evening.

Cheers to the silly tossers who complained, and cheers to the British ASA. I guess Courage Beers are delighted as this has now brought them international attention to their brand which they could never have afforded previously.


Great White

Macs have been putting out some interesting beers recently, one of the more recent being the ‘Great White’.

For those of you still drinking ‘lager’ you are missing out on a whole world out there that doesn’t revolve around fizzy canned crap.

Macs don’t put any preservatives in their beer, preservative 202 being a sulphate that some people (including me) get an allergic reaction to that blocks up the sinuses. This leads to nasty headaches the next day and comments about not being able to handle a few drinks. Why beer and wine brewers (the Aussies seem to think this ingredient is compulsory) put preservatives in their alcohol is beyond me. It perhaps shows lack of confidence in the level of consumption of their product – if it isn’t going to be drunk in six months then surely they have a serious problem with the markets attitude to their product?

Being able to have a couple of beers with dinner without having a cracking headache and blocked nose the next day would be nice, and it is a relatively common complaint. Beer never used to have preservatives in it, it didn’t need to have a shelf life of three years. Finally some companies are waking up to this, Macs being one of them.

If you have never tried ‘Witbier’ or White Beer -then here’s a chance to try something that isn’t lager. Wheat beer is brewed in the bottle and so there is a little bit of sediment in the bottom that you need to swirl around and pour into the glass. Wheat Beer is light, clean and refreshing, slightly sweeter than Lager although that is probably the wrong description and it shouldn’t put you off. Neither should the ‘tasting notes’ on the back of the bottle which are obviously a bit of a piss take, but which some people might take seriously and Macs might just be a bit too clever here with their marketing – it doesn’t taste like bubblegum!

The only downside is the bottle and a bit small, because this beer is so easy to drink you’ll find one isn’t enough. This beer doesn’t have to be chugged back with blackened BBQ, it goes well with white meat dishes and isn’t too bad with curry although that kills the taste a bit.

It’s a nice one after you’ve spent the afternoon in the garden, poured into a chilled glass with some bread and cheese and things like those massive olives from Australia, it goes down a treat!

Most supermarkets have it at about $14-15 a half dozen, although every week there seem to be promos on so you can pick it up cheaper. It’s as good as any of the the native German wheat beers which are about twice the price.

Stupidity file…


Brewer Lion Nathan has been forced to scrap a series of TV commercials in Australia launching a green beer after it emerged that a deer had been killed so it could be filmed on a barbecue for final scenes in the ads.

In a move that could only be called politically correct self flagellation Lion pulled an ad before it even made it on air because the producers went direct to a farmer (rather than an abattoir) to get a deer carcass… Apparently this breached company guidelines on treatment of animals. Wow, political correctness has been so drummed into us companies are self censoring.

Maybe the Chinese aren’t the only ones being brainwashed!


I’ll admit that I do go to Hallertau quite a bit. If you live out on the West Coast of Auckland pleasant bars are limited. There are a few establishments selling cheap tap beer with the decor consisting of cheap sticky carpet, and the ambience derived from the flashing lights from pokey machines… not really the sort of place to go and relax or take a date too.

That’s why when Hallertau appeared a while back it was a god send for the refugees from Aucklanders who have settled the north west, fleeing the clutter and noise of the city.

It’s interesting how a comfortable ambience is created, and it’s obviously more difficult than it looks because so many places fail miserably. Hallertau seems to have struck a happy medium between being a bar and a restaurant. The actual building itself is sparse – concrete floors and high ceilings, but through colour and lighting they have created something that manages to be cosy and intimate during the winter – cool and breezy during the summer

Hallertau’s main draw is the beer, they have four permanent attractions – brewed in house and available on tap, plus seasonal beers (currently a Manuka Saison – a Belgium Ale with a distinctive honey flavour) and guest beers. There’s a good wine list and an array of fruit wines which are also made in house.

There’s a great selection of small plates, a bit like tapas, that are perfect when you are just going in for a drink and need to line the stomach.

The main menu of the restaurant is small but has an interesting depth and changes constantly. I had braised pork belly with kumara mash and spinach, juicy and melting in the mouth, there was also duck on a huge ravioli of truffle and mushroom. The food is beautifully presented, and has always been good. Beer matches are suggested in the menu.

Hallertau is consistently good, it isn’t too flashy or pretentious (well it is compared to what is available out west, but not by Auckland standards), the service is polite and attentive, the menu interesting. 

Hallertau is a great place to go to for a beer and light lunch if you’ve been out to the beach (but if you don’t need an excuse it’s worth the drive if you enjoy real beer). Check out the lounge next to the restaurant where you can settle down with a group of friends in the huge sofa’s in front of the fire and pick over one of the huge plate of tapas and a tasting paddle with all four beers.