Beer Is Good – Speight’s Gold Medal Ale

Speight's_GMA_caseI saw this the last time I rode my bike to Foodland for Wernesgruener. I forgot about it until I saw it pop up in the Foodland sale ad today, so I did a little online research. The official Speight’s NZ site indicated it was not sold on the USDM because of some issue with registering the name. Was Hawaii not part of the USA again? It was a twelve pack, which worried me a little – if it was just a six pack and it sucked, it wouldn’t be too bad to finish – suffering through twelve bad beers would bite! My apprehension stemmed from having tasted Steinlager, the only other beer from Aotearoa available here that I know of. The weather was terrible when I came through the Wilson Tunnel, so I headed straight over to Foodland to grab some.

Speight's_GMA_frontSpeight's_GMA_colorAfter dinner I popped one open. I was glad that there would be no suffering. This was the good stuff! True to its name, this Auckland, New Zealand brewed beer was a good, world-class ale – nothing like that green-bottle pils-like fluid. Poured into a glass, the color was clear honey amber, a little darker than a golden ale or lager, but lighter than a pale ale. The aroma was slightly musty and yeasty. The carbonation was light – just enough to form a light, loose head that quickly dissipated and give rise to an occasional bubble afterwards. The initial taste was crisp and mildly bitter. There was no hoppy sweetness or floweriness, but there was a very light fruitiness. The initial bitter faded to a malty middle that evenly subsided into the finish. It really did just slowly disappear – there were no weird aftertastes that creeped out. The flavor was simple and uncomplicated, but definitely not boring or ordinary. I found this ale to be refreshing and easy to drink – so easy in fact that it was gone by the time I finished taking the pictures for this post!

3.9% ABV

Available on the USDM starting in 2009. Imported by Paradise Beverages, Waipahu, Hawaii, USA

$12 USD on sale + HI5 deposit fees and sales tax, regularly about $16 for the twelve pack


3 out of 4 drunken monkeys


1 Response to “Beer Is Good – Speight’s Gold Medal Ale”

  • Picked up a case myself tonight with the introductory price at Foodland. Oh my, like yours and the other review I read, this is indeed a very nicely drinkable beer. In fact I think I’m going to grab a second one now, BRB…. No single strong taste, a very nicely balanced beer, a bit on the “karakuchi”/dry side making it refreshingly clean, and a good bitter note. Nice nutty aftertaste. Definite thumbs up, proving that there is good stuff from down south, that they’re not hoarding it for themselves.

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