Cracker little pale ale from across the ditch

THE town of Greymouth, population 10,000, is situated on the spectacular west coast of New Zealand's South Island.

Never having set foot on the South Island, I had to consult Dr Google to tell you a bit about Greymouth and district.

It is apparently surrounded by snow-capped mountains, rugged cliffs, glaciers, beaches, happy people, quaint villages, fine dining and extreme sporting pursuits.

If you look at tourism information for any other town in New Zealand, you will quickly find that all those attractions mean, well, that the town is in the South Island where everywhere apparently has snow-capped mountains etc...

What would really stand out over there is a place in the middle of about two million square kilometres of red sand, but that of course would make it in Australia. So, I hear you ask, why mention Greymouth at all? Well, it is the beer.

One of the better things that Greymouth does is be the home of Monteith's Brewery.

Now, Monteith's has been turning out small batch beers for more than 150 years, and I have to say they have pretty much mastered their craft.

The brewery produces a large range of brews, from porters and stouts to ciders, pilsners and lagers, and, of most relevance to this column a rather fine pale ale. In fact, Pointers Pale Ale is a cracker.

Hugh the Neighbour and I enjoyed a couple recently and both enjoyed the hoppy crispness, balanced malts and Goldilocks-style just right bitterness.

It holds a head well, is a golden colour in the glass, and has a lovely floral citrus nose.

Neither over-hopped, like some of the American Pale Ales, nor with the bitter aftertaste of some Australian examples of the style, this beer will appeal to a wide range of drinkers from the craft beer connoisseur to those looking to try a beer with more complexity then the household names from the majors.

Honestly, neither HTN nor I could finds anything much to complain about - which I must confess has not been the experience with some other beers from across the ditch.

I reckon this beer is worthy of a place in any Australian fridge.

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