Today’s New Zealand beer is considered one of the most hopped, and some of the hops used are unique and found only in this country.
The history of New Zealand beer is intimately connected to Australian brewing. As much as the histories of the two countries are closely linked. The big concern Lion Natan Limited, which unites the brewers of New Zealand and Australia, was created in the middle of the 19th century (to be more exact – in 1859) exactly by the brewer from New Zealand – Natan Lyon.
Steinlager – the best beer of New Zealand
The most popular drink in New Zealand is beer and its particular brand – Steinlager. This lager not only occupies 90% of the domestic market, but is also actively exported.
The Steinlager appeared in 1957 when the local Minister of Finance Arnold Nordmeyer, threatening to reduce the international importation of beer, ordered the brewers of New Zealand to invent an “international” style of beer to fill the niche from imports and in time to start importing it. Lion Natan Limited brewery produced Steinecker beer (the name was chosen after the company whose equipment was used in brewing it). In 1962, the name was changed to Steinlager, as it was associated with Heineken.
In 1973 Steinlager began to be exported to the US, interestingly, sales in the US increased significantly when American consultants suggested the company change the color of the bottles from dark brown to green.
Steinlager have been and continue to be produced at various times:
- Steinlager Blue
- Steinlager Pure
- Steinlager Premium Light
- Steinlager Super Cold
- Steinlager Edge
- Steinlager Classic
- Steinlager Tokio Dry
The Steinlager Classic has won international awards – in 1977 the Steinlager won the Les Amis du Vin Award, the most prestigious beer award in the world. Steinlager Classic repeated this success in 1978, 1979 and 1980.
Steinlager Classic has a strong hop flavor of freshly cut green grass and full flavor provided by local Green Bullet hops grown specifically for this purpose in Nelson. “The body of the Steinlager Classic beer is perfectly balanced with a dry, palpable contour and clear clean bitterness.
Steinlager is active in sponsoring major New Zealand sports teams, sponsoring the New Zealand rugby team, and is a current sponsor of rugby teams from the United States and also maintains a yacht that represents the country in the America’s Cup race.
The beer history of New Zealand is not as long and rich as in Europe, there are no permanent major beer festivals with a long history, but in the capital Wellington, as well as in other cities, large-scale festivals are regularly organized, where everyone can try hundreds of different varieties of beer. Besides, the New Year is celebrated here in summer, and it is of course customary to celebrate it with the local beer, not with a glass of champagne.