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  • Desert Island Beers #59: Josh Scott, New Zealand

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    September 28th, 2012DavidMayhallDesert Island Beers

    Meet Josh Scott, founder and Executive Brewer of Moa Brewery of Blenheim, Marlborough, New Zealand. Founded by Josh in 2004, Moa began with a focus on brewing super premium beers – and that’s exactly what they have done since, as for the second year running Moa recently chalked up the biggest medal haul of any brewery at the Asian Beer Awards, with one gold, two silver and four bronze medals.

    Their beers and ciders are fastidiously handcrafted with traditional brewing methods and rounded off through the use of wine making techniques, including barrel ageing, bottle fermentation and conditioning.

    Josh brewed his first beer in an old shed out the back of his father’s Marlborough vineyard in 1987. It wasn’t very good and technically, because he was only 13 at the time it also wasn’t very legal. But that single event set the course for the next 20 years of his life. The very next day (officially, five years later when Josh was of legal drinking age which in New Zealand is 18) Josh and some mates from school (who were officially also all 18 years of age, even though they were still in Third Form) set about finding out everything they could about the biology and chemistry of brewing. No small feat in 1987 as the Internet hadn’t been invented, school libraries didn’t really cater to their needs and none of them could drive to a library that possibly could.

    Josh Scott Moa Brewing

    What followed was 15 years of trial and error, where Josh learnt the trade at the feet of some of the world’s most well regarded traditional brewers. Until finally in 2004 he felt comfortable enough to produce a beer that people wouldn’t actually mind paying for and established Moa Brewery.

    A Moa was a giant bird (up to 12 feet high) that use to roam New Zealand. It was hunted out by the first Maori inhabitants some 600 years ago and Josh decided to name the brewery after this giant bird because the Maori hunters known as the ‘Moa Hunters’ lived not too far from the breweries location. There were also a lot of Moa bones found close to the brewery itself.

    Since establishment Moa has become a staple beer at festivals worldwide, won the respect and loyalty of connoisseurs from Europe to the Americas and the brewery is currently one of the largest New Zealand beer exporters to the United States. Moa Beer also recently took over as the official beer of New Zealand’s 2012 Olympic teams and it’s packaging won gold at this year’s Brew NZ Awards.

    The Beers

    Hi Josh and welcome to our Desert Island! Which beers are you bringing with you to the island, and why?

    1. Sierra Nevada Brewing Company – Sierra Nevada Pale Ale – (Chico, California, U.S.A. 5.6%)
      This was my first craft beer experience and now my “go to” beer whenever I’m in the US.
    2. Brasserie Dupont – Saison Dupont Vieille Provision ( Tourpes-Leuze, Belgium – 6.5%)
      I love these farm brewery styles. Spicy, thirst quenching and bottled conditioned, so I wont have to worry about aged beer.
    3. Moa Brewing Company – Moa St Josephs Tripel – (Blenheim, New Zealand – 9.5%)
      Not only does it have a 9.5% ABV kick, but also its full of estery aromas and smooth palate, and it’d be great if the weather was a little cooler.
    4. Cantillon – Cantillon Rosé De Gambrinus – (Brussels, Belgium -5.0%)
      I have to take a lambic. A great beer to sip on alone. Best thing is if pirates ever rob me, chances are they won’t like this beer and will leave it for me.
    5. Tuatara Brewing Company – Tuatara APA (Aotearoa Pale Ale) – (Reikorangi, Waikanae, New Zealand – 5.8%)
      I’m going to need a hop bomb, so why not have one full of powerful and aromatic New Zealand hops.

    And which beer of those five would you rescue from the waves if a beer hungry tsunami hit?

    “Moa St Josephs. Big flavor and aroma, which can be enjoyed in hot weather or cold, sip or sculled.”

    Moa St Kosephs

    Moa Brewery NZ

    Saison Dupont

    The Meal

    You can also take one meal to go with your beers, what would it be?
    “Smoked Hapuka (Grouper). Not a last supper, but a dish that would go fairly well with most of the beers. Neutral enough to not dominate any beer, but the texture and light smokiness would accentuate volatiles in each beer.”

    The Books

    You might be waiting a long time on your lonesome on the desert island, so we will automatically allow you a few books to keep your mind busy. You can pick between two beer books and two tomes: ‘The Brewmaster’s Table: Discovering the Pleasures of Real Beer with Real Food’ by Garrett Oliver, or ‘Beer’ by Michael Jackson; plus The Bible, or another appropriate religious or philosophical work.

    “1. “Brew Like a Monk”, Stan Hieronymus

    2. “Brewing” Michael Lewis

    And a non-beery book?

    “1. “The New Zealand wars” , James Cowan

    2. “History of New Zealand” Michael King”

    The record

    You have a CD/mp3/long player but you can only take one album. Choose wisely!

    “Patea Maori Club, Poi E Anniversary Edition.”

    The Luxury Item

    And finally, what luxury item would help make your stay on the island bearable?

    “A pair of goggles.”

    Thanks Josh!

    This article is a collaboration with All Gates Brewery as part of our Desert Island Beers series.

    DavidMayhall

    After gaining a qualification in micro brewing David Mayhall founded All Gates Brewery with local licensee Ian Thorpe in 2006 and its first pub was the multi award winning The Anvil in Dorning Street, Wigan. All Gates re-established brewing in Wigan town centre after a near forty year absence. They run a five barrel brew kit, employ seven people and have seven pubs across the North West. David and Mark run the Desert Island Beers project and publish the interviews at Real Ale Reviews and the All Gates Brewery blog.

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