New Caledonian Beer Tasting
Longtime readers might remember our Mexican beer tasting in 2011 with SV Bella Star. We haven’t sailed to any countries that make enough different types of beer to make a tasting worthwhile since. New Caledonia is the first place since Mexico that we’ve sailed to where I saw more than 2 or 3 types of beer on the shelves that were made in the country.
I bought 8 beers and invited the crews of Dream Time and Bella Vita over for a beer tasting. The first beer tasting was interrupted by a squall which sent everyone scurrying for their vessels to make sure ports were shut and anchors well set. Safety first! The second part of the beer tasting happened a little over a week later.
Based purely on labels I arranged the beers from light/fruity, through light, to dark…or at least as dark as the beers. I (Livia) poured the beers and so was the only once influenced by the label or logo.
With 5 tasters on board, and our pirate themed tasting sheets in hand, for you dear reader, we diligently made our way through this most difficult task ;)
There was a fair bit of consensus and in the end the rank ordering was:
1) Number 1 Extra Malt
2) Manta Intense
Tied for 3) Hinano/Manta Gold
5) Number 1 Zest
6) Number 1
7) Manta Citron (last by a good margin)
We were all fairly shocked that a beer with the words “extra malt” could be our favorite. You might notice that Hinano, a French Polynesian beer, is in the mix. That is because it is also brewed and bottled for local consumption in New Caledonia under the supervision of Brasserie de Tahiti. You’ll also notice that three of the beers are made by Manta and three are made by Number 1. Not as much diversity as 8 beers might sound like at first glance.
A very, very big thank you to Charity and to Jamie & Rose, whose liquid motivation made this possible!