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Hi folks

I've pencilled in Colin Paige to host our "Great White v Hoegaarden" taste off. Colin is away on the first Tuesday of the month, so we're going with the second Tuesday of June - that's June 10th. It will be at 5.30pm in the staff bar at Shed 22 (Mac's brewer on the waterfront). We can retire to the main bar afterwards, for the usual SOBA catch up.

As I've previously noted: these two beers have, respectively, just picked up the champion Wit Bier status in the second largest and largest beer competitions in the world.

There may be a limit on numbers and a charge for this event (we'll keep it as low as possible - just enough to cover some beer). I'm just waiting to get some details back from Colin. In the meantime, please email me on stu@soba.org.nz, if you would like to attend. I'll start a list and it is first in, first served (preference to new or existing SOBA members, if we have to go that far).

So, to confirm: 5.30pm, 10th June 2008 @ Shed 22 - The Great White Beer Taste-Off.

Slainte mhath

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Further to this post, I can confirm cost at $10 per head, which will cover 4-5 beers each.

We've set a limit of 30 people - there are still places left but they probably won't last long. Email me on stu@soba.org.nz to book you place.

Hi Stu

I am in Wellinton from 20-23 May (now), for a course. I was hoping to catch up for a beer with any Wellington members. Give me a txt or call on 021 707749.


I've given SOBA members enough time to get in and there are still a couple of places left for this. It's open to anyone now...
Hoegaarden overcame the away ground disadvantage to narrowly beat Great
White, in what must be the most important head to head they have had in
the last year. Both beers scored very well overall: Hoegaarden receiving
gold medal and Great White a silver, according to Australian International
Beer Award scoring standards (17-20 = gold). The final scores: Hoegaarden
17.4 beats Great White 16.5.

Some comments from the two beers -
· Classic. Close to perfect (20/20).
· Spot on, definitive coriander and orange peel character (20/20).
· Outstanding representation of the style (19/20).
· Sessionable but tired (18/20).
· Too tart (18/20).
· Too sweet. A little old? Esters and and spice overpower (15/20).
· Too many strong aromas and flavour overpower drinkability (14/20).

Great White:
· Noticeable esters (20/20) [this person wrote nothing else but
there were a lot of ticks!]
· Excellent beer, to style (20/20).
· Accomplished, mellow (19.5/20).
· Perhaps a little too much mouthfeel and fruit, however a nice
cleansing aftertaste (18/20).
· A good representation of the style but a bit weak in up front
flavour (15/20).
· Hints of Mac's log Burner on thee nose - a bit high in clove
(15/20) [nb. Log burner used the same yeast, interestingly].
· Too little character on palate (15/20).

Each beer had three or four tasters who picked up faults. For Hoegaarden
it seemed to be that the beer was tired tasting, let through too much DMS,
or that the look and the smell of the beer didn't quite carry through to
the mouth. For Great White it was that the beer was too subdued, had a
slightly damp smell, or that it didn't look as good (cleared too quickly
and lacking the expected dense moussy head).

One interesting discussion that seemed to take place on different sides of
the room, at the very same time, was how the result could well have been
quite different if the judging had been based on a full pint rather than
the "sniff and sip" method. Hoegaarden had all the showy qualities people
expected in a Wit but Great White may well have won the day in a
"drinkability" battle.

Thanks again to Mac's for hosting the tasting. Especially to Ally Clem,
who took over from Colin Paige at very late notice and put on a great
showing, against the toughest of SOBA audiences, at his first tasting (he
even went as far as putting the SOBA logo on the judging sheets - very
nice touch). Ally gave us an excellent insight into how much trial and
tribulation had gone into developing Great White over the last 18 months.

The only bad news on the night was that the Brewjolais was all gone. To
those who didn't get it while it was on - what were you thinking?

Until next time -when we can perhaps repeat the taste off on draught -
slainte mhath
Intersting result Stu, considering Great White is one of my favourite beers at the moment. I was waiting with anticipation, the result.
If it is one of your favourite beers, keep drinking it. It's pretty good value, I reckon.
It's excellent value, along with Hop rocker, I think they are both excellent beers at outstanding value. I think we briefly discussed that at our meeting?
Yep, we did and I agree. Mac's have certainly put some pressure on the smaller craft breweries over the last few years. They're producing good quality beer at a very competitive price.

To be honest, I prefer Great White even if the price was the same as Hoegaarden. It has a nice mealy, wheaty character that I like and isn't so sweet or overtly aromatic. I am probably in the minority there. I'm not a huge wheat beer drinker but probably prefer a wit to a hefe (I do quite like the German styles dark and strong though).


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