I saw this one on Beer Ritz's list last time I did an order and had to go for it. Despite the only other beer I'd had from Arbor to date not being that successful I had heard great things about them and thought they warranted a second chance at least. The other reason was that Motueka (near Nelson on the south island of New Zealand) is a place with good memories for me; it's where I filled an ambition of mine to learn to skydive. I wasn't very good at it (although, clearly, not fatally bad) and skydiving is something I'm sure my wife is pretty glad I got out of my system. Along with the whole 'overdid watching Point Break as a kid' thing the holiday in New Zealand revolved a fair bit around wine and wineries. I'd not long started work at Oddbins and the bright, gooseberry fruit of NZ Sauvignon had grabbed me (and in my wine classes many novices since) and got me realising that there is no mysticism to describing flavours in wine (or beer or anything else) it's far more about practise, and enjoying the process. I started to learn the different flavours that come even within one grape variety, and learned that all NZ Sauvignon Blanc isn't just about super-ripeness and tropical fruit, indeed I preferred some with more restraint, with a citrus tang. So, Motueka the hop. Biased? Most probably, but there's nothing wrong with going into something hopeful of a good experience.
It's light, with an elderflower note on the nose. On the palate I got a touch of flour but lots of grapefruit and lime with a grassy finish. All in all a great quencher, and great to get all those lovely fresh hop flavours out of a beer at properly sessionable strength. Much as I love those moreish American style IPAs at 6%+ I think I could drink more of this without it hating me! It's got that old 'sunshine in a glass' thing that New World wines are so good at (even if in part they are trying to shake it off as an image). More citrussy than tropical; just as I like 'em.
4.0% abv. £2.75 (50cl) from Beer Ritz.