Moa Noir Dark Lager – Moa Brewing (Marlborough, New Zealand) 

Moa Noir Dark Lager (no longer in production) – Moa Brewing Company, 5% ABV – 750 ml., (Marlborough, New Zealand)

on the front-left label:

“Moa Noir is a traditionally brewed European style dark lager with an abundance of distinct aromas and flavours. Chocolate and richly roasted coffee beans dominate the senses with a full flavoured palate, giving Moa Noir a long smooth finish. A perfect beer for the changing of seasons.”

Visual: (cellared for 4 years). Hefty quality bottle, aluminum foil wrapped, twisty steel cap, real cork. Pours dark cola brown with a smallish 1mm dissipating head, a thin micro layer of retention, scattered sporadic streams.

Nose: cocoa light roast grainy barley malt, toffee undertones. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: crisp, slight tanginess

Mid-palate: wet cork, background mild sour, (lvl-2-sweetness), grainy dry roasted barley malt,

Finish: mild coffee bean exhale, dry cocoa

Summary: There’s a bit of cork flavour as well a background sourish note that distracts from the roasted malt experience. Overall the body and dark notes are good, but it seems acidic notes aren’t quite in harmony. Decent, but not great.

Blanc Evolution – Moa Brewing (Marlborough, New Zealand)


  • My Rating: C+

Blanc Evolution – Moa Brewing, 6.2% ABV – 375ml, (Marlborough, New Zealand)

On the front-side label:

“Moa Blanc Evolution is bottle fermented in the Belgian-style with a small amount of coriander added during its extended maturation time giving it a unique spiciness. Described as a rich, mouth-filling beer, it’s really a true wheat lover’s beer and a staple of the Moa Reserve range. ”

  • Style: Witbier
  • Taste: Tangy med-sour wheat malt pineapple/peach coriander dry
  • Where I got it : Legacy
  • How much: $6 (after 10% off) – 375ml., August 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: Composite corked. Pours almost clear pale orange with virtually no head but lots of very hard to see steady streams.

Nose: wheaty citrus malts, pineapple, peach. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: crisp sweet malts

Mid-palate: tangy, medium sour, (lvl-4)-sweetness, (main) wheat malts, hints of pineapple, hints of peach

Finish: coriander dryness, dry fruity malt finsh.

Summary: Pretty straightforward with a good body and texture. It could be better visually.

Methode Pilsener – Moa Brewing (Marlborough, New Zealand)


  • My Rating: B

Methode Pilsener – Moa Brewing, 5% ABV – 750ml, (Marlborough, New Zealand)

On the front-side label:

“Moa Methode is bottle fermented and conditioned to give a natural, more consistent carbonation and flavour. Due to the natural brewing process of Methode Moa, a light, beneficial sediment will remain. This sediment protects the beer from premature aging and leaves full, slightly spicy characters on the palate.”

  • Style: Pilsener
  • Taste: Barley malt fizzy yeasty bread
  • Where I got it : Legacy
  • How much: $10 (after 10% off) – 750ml., August 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: Elegantly foil wrapped and corked, very classy. Pours clear golden pale yellow with a nice-sized foamy head, a good layer of retention, sticky lacing, a plethora of activity.

Nose: some sweet barley malt, but otherwise not much (lvl-1)-pungency

Attack: super crisp, incoming barley + bitter hops

Mid-palate: fizzy-airy mouthfeel, (lvl-4)-sweetness, (MAIN) barley malts, yeasty, bready, grassy

Finish: subtle soft bitter hops, gentle pronounced bitter hopped finish.

Summary: Good body for a pilsener, nice mouthfeel and balanced flavours.

St Josephs Belgian Tripel – Moa Brewing (Marlborough, New Zealand)


  • My Rating: C+

St Josephs Belgian Tripel – Moa Brewing, 9.5% ABV – 375ml, (Marlborough, New Zealand)

On the front-side label:

“Bottle fermented & Conditioned.

Moa St Josephs is brewed in the traditional style of a classic Belgian Tripel. Strong spice and clove characters create complex flavours and aromas which are heightened by its extended bottle conditioning, with a combination of malt and candy sugars complimenting the high alcohol content produced by the Belgian ale yeast. Best served at 8°C in a goblet after gently rolling the bottle to distribute the sediment signature. ”

  • Style: (Belgian-style) Tripel
  • Taste: Citrusy sweet acidic tangy sour light floral malts
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek
  • How much: $6 (after 10% off) – 375ml., July 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Visual: Pours cloudy pale golden orange with suspended floaties, disappointingly no head upon popping the cork, almost no activity, and very thin ringed retention

Nose: very faint chamomile malts, with just a hint of fishiness (lvl-2)-pungency

Attack: almost flat, incoming sourness

Mid-palate: (lvl-7)-fruity citrusy sweetness, champagne vinegar medium sourness, (MAIN) lemon citrus malts, hints of florals + grapefruit

Finish: curd-like residual sweetness, subtle soft mild bitter hopped finish.

Summary: The flavour profile is quite unique and good for a Belgian-style tripel – Balanced citrus with subtle florals and a spot-on sweetness. It’s a shame that it’s vastly undercarbonated – it drinks almost flat with zero crispness.

Moa Pale Ale – Moa Brewing (Marlborough, New Zealand)


  • My Rating: B+

Moa Pale Ale – Moa Brewing, 5% ABV – 750ml, (Marlborough, New Zealand)

On the front-side label:

“Bottle fermented & Conditioned.

Moa Pale Ale is a New Zealand take on a popular North American beer style. Using famous Cascade and Nelson Sauvin hops, the dominant features in this beer are unique to New Zealand and the Moa bottle conditioned brewing method. Its hoppy strength displays powerful floral, citrus and tropical notes, and like its northern cousins is a beer best enjoyed just below room temperature.”

  • Style: (American-style) Pale Ale
  • Taste: crisp/fizzy-incoming bitter peel -> citrus/grapefruit/peach -> grapefruit bitter hoppy finish.
  • Where I got it : Firefly
  • How much: $9 (after 10% off) – 750ml., Sept 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes!

Visual: “Beer for Olympians” printed on the side along with 3 awards. Gorgeous bottle, cork, foil wrap, and sub-$10 price make this one very enticing. Pours cloudy hazy orange with an enormous lasting fluffy head and abundant CO2 activity.


Nose: orange citrus sweet malts with a hoppy backdrop. Extremely citrus. (7)-aromatic strength.

Attack: crisp fizzy-creamy

Mid-palate: tingly, citrus (6)-sweetness (MAIN) orange citrus, grapefruit, malt (HINT) peach

Finish: grapefruit sharp (7)-bitter hops, grassy bitter hop finish.

Summary: Overall very solid – price, packaging, substance. (Note: all numbers above are on a 10-point scale, with 1 being weak and 10 being the strongest)