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MOA CELEBRATES A DECADE OF CRAFT BREWING WITH NEW LIMITED EDITION MOA DECADE SAISON

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Production on a special one-off brew to celebrate ten years in the game is about to get underway at Moa Brewing Company’s Marlborough home.

In true craft beer style, only 100, three-litre jeraboams of the Moa Decade Saison will be released and Moa are rewarding those who bought a stake in the country’s only locally listed brewery by offering them first crack at it.

“Exceptionally rare is one of our mottos,” says Moa Brewing Company founder Josh Scott, “but the new Moa Decade Saison is more than rare. Getting your hands on one will be only slightly easier than finding a real life Moa.”

It will be brewed, bottled and then cellared in Marlborough to allow the bottle conditioning process to work its magic.

Saison is a style of beer from the farmhouses of French-speaking Belgium. It was originally brewed for field workers during autumn and winter as a light, refreshing ale. We reckon our own version will be a bloody good drop and we should be looking to pop the top off our first one sometime in August,” Scott says.

Sales will be strictly limited to one per person and offered to the public subject to availability.

“We will be giving our shareholders the first option on all limited edition beers and besides providing a great investment to them, it’s our way of saying thanks,” says Scott.

A beer to celebrate ten years in business had better be worth drinking and Scott says plenty of love has been put into it.

“We’ve come a long way since the days of me brewing my own beer out the back of the old man’s vineyard.”

Moa Decade Saison promises to be fruity, spicy and food-friendly, so be sure to have friends over to enjoy the experience over dinner, or sit at home and drink it selfishly all by yourself.

FOUR MORE YEARS – MOA RUGBY BEER

Unlike most of New Zealand who went straight to the drinks cabinet to toast New Zealand’s rugby win, your dedicated Moa team headed down to the shop floor to brew up a celebratory batch they’re calling the ‘Four More Years’ beer.

The Four More Years beer is brewed like a Moa Imperial Stout, infused with Guatemala coffee beans, then added to French barriques for extended maturation.

Moa founder Josh Scott says the beer was not only inspired by the All Blacks’ triumph over the French but also looks ahead to future ABs’ wins at the 2015 World Cup.

“Because the next World Cup is in the UK, we thought a stout was fitting. Plus, it’s big and black like our team – and at 10.11% ABV, it packs a punch equivalent to Jerome Kaino in a crash tackle.

“Given we had France over a barrel, the French barriques are appropriate, and the coffee is a nod to the fact Kiwis will all be getting up early or staying up late to watch the next Cup in 2015.”

Josh says Moa selected the coffee beans after a cupping (tasting) session with boutique Marlborough roasting company CPR Coffee.

“As with beer, there’s a huge difference between good and bad coffee beans. Our cupping session not only helped turn us into proper coffee snobs but, more importantly, it ensured we got the finest quality beans that best fitted our beer.

“The Guatemala beans were chosen because of their low bitterness levels, high aromatics, chocolate aromas and low oil content.”

The Four More Years beer will be lovingly stored in the Moa cellar until 2015, when it will be bottled in 500 750ml bottles, as well as 1.5 litre Magnums, 3 litre Jeroboams and – to ensure there’s plenty to go around at the victory party – 6 litre Methusalahs.

Moa plans to design and unveil the label in 2015, with each bottle numbered and signed by Josh Scott and Moa master brewer David Nicholls.

Fans will have to wait until at least 2013 to place their order… although bribes will be accepted in advance for a place on the waiting list.

MOA ‘FOUR MORE YEARS’ NOTES

Style: French oak aged and Guatemala coffee infused imperial stout.

Tasting notes:

Big robust beer. Like a gutsy red wine. Rich dark roasted malt and leather characters, all infused with a delicate coffee aroma that exudes a typical freshly roasted coffee and handmade chocolate flavour.

10.11% Alc.

MOA TEN YEAR BEER

Moa says: DON’T DRINK FOR A DECADE

Moa has launched its latest rare “collector’s edition” beer – but we urge people not, under any circumstances, to drink it.

Well, for the next decade at least.

The Moa Ten Year Beer is a barrel-aged cherry lambic made in a unique traditional Belgium style. Just 180 specially labelled bottles have been produced, and Moa founder Josh Scott says those lucky enough to get their hands on a bottle should take their hands off the bottle and put it into a cellar, pronto.

“Our Ten Year Beer already tastes great, but the complex nature of the brew means that it’s designed to taste best after a decade of cellar aging.

“Traditionally Belgian lambics have been cellared for a few years – however some of these old-style lambics can also be quite sour.  We’ve crafted our Ten Year Beer to be a little easier on the palate, albeit without substituting on the quality or heritage… but good things take time.”

Josh adds, “Most drinkers probably aren’t used to thinking of beer as something to be cellared. Just treat it like a fine Central Otago Pinot Noir and you’ll be alright.

“Or think of it as the ideal gift for your eight-year old son – after a decade of cellaring it’ll be ready to drink on his 18th birthday”.

The Ten Year Beer has been fermented as a tripel ale, then poured into French oak puncheons with Marlborough cherries stuffed in the barrel. Wild yeast is added and it is left to slowly ferment and age over 10 months.

Josh says, “The use of wild yeast plays an important role in making this beer so amazing – but it’s a risky business, and if mishandled it can easily contaminate vineyards, for example. Luckily, especially considering my dad’s vineyard is across the road, we got away with it this time.”

The end product pours strawberry golden and has powerful aromas of cherries and dried herbs. The oak and cherries integrate over time and the base characters of banana and butterscotch are evident at the end of the palate.

Just 180 collectable 750ml bottles of the Moa Ten Year Beer have been created, RRP $30. Regional Wines and Spirits in Wellington, www.beerstore.co.nz each have 60 bottles; Castle MacAdam Wines in Dunedin, New World Blenheim, Fresh Choice Richmond and Fresh Choice Merivale have just 12 bottles per store. Get one while stocks last – but for god’s sake, don’t bloody drink it.