Oooh look! It's the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro - a tropical paradise shimmering angelically under the benevolent gaze of Christ the Redeemer. Gasp! At the strangely familiar, yet unfamiliar, exotic visuals. Shriek! At the noisy, hyperactive and incredibly eager-to-please perpetual Carnaval of the city’s famed nightlife. Jabber in a Lewd fashion! At the tanned and oiled beauties lounging on the white sands of Ipanema Beach. Bellow like a mangled Grizzly Bear! As your nation’s finest athletes, their bodies and prowess honed to perfection through a combination of years of practice, the finest nutrition, and most advanced sports science, vanquish their competitors and cause world record after world record to tumble like a one legged war veteran at the scene of a tragic accident involving some loose ball bearings, a set of escalators and an edgy modern art sculpture made entirely from hundreds of freshly minted 12 inch dildos. Or something.
It's all a sham of course. Under its whorish exterior, the Rio Olympics hides a distinctly dystopian interior - cursed by the plagues by violent crime, corruption, political instability, environmental degradation and the Zika Virus. The Olympics itself, as everyone knows, is a fantastically grand festival of corruption foisted on the local population by shameless charlatans and conmen. Rather than being a boost for a country’s economy, as is often claimed in its official propaganda, the result is often no more than a giant financial millstone tied around a nations collective testicles for decades to come. Brazil, in other words, is completely doomed. I for one will be completely unsurprised when, in a few years, the combination of pollution, Zika and extreme poverty results in a race of hideously deformed mutant-rat people to rise up from Rio’s sewers and battle the last of the civilian population for Brazil's final glass of fresh water. ‘Despair! Despair!’ People will wail (in Portugese), ‘I wish we were dead!’ Probably.
In fact, it's all so dispiriting that's its enough to drive any sane person to suddenly collapse to their knees and attempt to bash their own brains out on a concrete step, or for those with slightly stiffer spines, to good old fashioned heavy drinking. Which brings me nicely to Moa Brewing Co’s Limited Release NZ Gold Medal Ale (5.4% ABV), kindly brewed in conjunction with the New Zealand Olympic team – Oh what’s that? You think those first couple of paragraphs are a bit overdone? Well it beats all that 'Comity of Nations' toss, okay? OKAY?! Okay then.
Back to Moa’s NZ Gold Ale.
Moa Brewing Co have been sponsors of the NZ Olympic Team since 2012 and have made good use of their tie-in this time round with a specially created Golden Ale, liberally hopped with NZ Motueka in all of its Fruity, Citrusy mojito-like glory. Motueka truly is a great hop. The generous bittering flavours are balanced by a combination of Vienna and Pilsner malt sweetness that carries a huge burst of rich honey and biscuit which have an almost dessert-like intensity. There are also hints of bubblegum and vanilla to please anyone with a sweet tooth and there’s no doubt that it will definitely appeal to the casual drinker. I’m not a big fan of overly malty beers because the sweetness can be used to mask faults, but that’s obviously not the intention here. The addition of a touch of wheat gives the beer a slightly hazy look to a very pretty straw gold appearance and it pours with a super fine head to finish. Which is nice!
Moa’s NZ Gold Ale is a beer that’s truly been created with a time and place in mind – sitting in the sun in Copacobana in your shorts and shades. It’s a pity then that the beer has to be released back in New Zealand in the depths of winter. This beer is best consumed from frosty glass in the heat of the tropics rather than the bleak and miserable twilight of the New Zealand winter. Hopefully Moa will keep a batch for our summer so we can enjoy it as it was meant to be. If not, then I suggest you squirrel away a few bottles in a dark place and rediscover them in warmer months. Just one complaint though: I know Moa’s founder Josh Scott comes from a winemaking background, but can we dispense with the silly champagne corks? They’re lame.
A generously malty beer with some delicious Mojito-tropical flavours. If you don’t dig malty beer then this might not be worth your time or cash but I recommend you try it for the shear variety of flavours. And if NZ does manage to win a gold medal in Rio then make sure you have one on standby to celebrate.
A generously bitter/malty beer with some delicious Mojito-tropical flavours. If you don’t dig malty beer then this might not be worth your time or cash but I recommend you try it for the shear variety of flavours. Pukka!