Harrington’s Breweries – a selection box

A quick post to look at one of the breweries encountered during this year’s trip to New Zealand. I was very happy to find this selection box of Harrington’s ales in Countdown in Rotorua. We were stocking up on some provisions for the next leg of our road trip, and a handy box of ales was just the job.

Let’s take a quick tour through the box. The Wobbly Boot Porter was full of chocolate deliciousness and the best one in this selection box.

This Rogue Hop Pilsner was a tasty pils but really needs loads more of those rogue hops.

The Pig & Whistle Mild was another piece of chocolatey deliciousness, with just a hint of smoke somewhere in the mix.

The Ngahere Gold lager was one of the best lagers that I have ever tasted, very interesting balance of flavours and full of hops. High strength lagers tend to get tarred with the “Special Brew” brush, and this was certainly not like that.

Next up we have the East Indies lager, which suggests that this will be a hoppy beast. Sadly not, as out of all of them, this is the one that needs the most hops adding.

The final beer, not pictured separately, was the Classy Red Session IPA. With a name like that, you really have to deliver a big hit of hops. Err, no. Red? Yes. Session? Just about. IPA? No. Needs more hops. And then some more hops. And put some more hops in just in case.

All in all, a good selection box, and a safe bet if you find yourself in a New Zealand supermarket looking for some good beer.

2 Mile Bay Sailing & Watersports Centre Cafe, Taupo

This will be a rather short and sweet post. Today we were riding around (part of) Lake Taupo. I say part of, because it’s 100 miles to ride round the whole thing. We decided to stick to just 20 miles. The information about the cycle trails gives the impression that they are rammed full of cafes and bars and places to eat. This is not the case. There are loads in Taupo itself, where the trails start. Within the first mile or so there are some options. But as soon as you get to Two Mile Bay (the distance to which is given in kilometres) your options dry up. So if you’ve cycled past it, say six miles past it, you’ve got to cycle another six miles to get back and have some lunch.

Luckily, when you get back the 2 Mile Bay Sailing & Watersports Centre Cafe is open and serving food all day, so you can get a ham and cheese toastie and a good view at the same time. Although it did take quite a while to arrive, and this wasn’t a busy time. In fact we were the only customers because of the time.

Anyway, it was very tasty and very welcome after our earlier fruitless searches for something to eat. They also have a pizza oven on site, which is always a pleasing sight. A great place to stop for a snack on a cycle ride. And you can also hire a boat to go sailing, how many cafes can you say that about?