Whilst on a visit to the South Melbourne markets, I happened across a little NZ beer called Mata. Apparently meaning rawness, freshness or edge, Mata delivers three beers in its range, namely the “palate cleansing, spritzy fruit ale” Feijoa, the Manuka: a “smooth, clean tasting golden coloured ale, edged with a hint of NZ’s native manuka honey” and the Artesian which, sadly I was unable to get my hands on.
The Feijoa was not really up my alley, if I’m honest. Its rather bitter initial impression is balanced by a slight sweetness on the finish, however for me the bitterness is the dominant player. I must admit that I am not usually a fan of ‘fruity’ beers, so someone who is may find this a rather palatable drop.
Which brings me to the Manuka. Amazingly aromatic on the nose with the distinct manuka honey standing up and saying: “hey you, manuka here!”. The palate is clean and crisp, reminiscent of a good ale, with a nicely rounded manuka honey aftertaste. Definitely my favourite of the two.
So, not a bad effort from the team at Mata. Definitely worth a try. Check them out here.