Mac’s, the brewery which revitalized craft brewing in New Zealand was the brainchild of Terry McCashin, former All Black and farmer in 1981.
At that time New Zealand only had two breweries, Dominion and New Zealand Breweries. At last count Nelson, where Mac’s was born , has 11 breweries and 60,000 people. That’s one brewery per 5,454 people!
In 1991 the Mac’s brand was bought by Lion Nathan. The original brewery, McCashins, is still owned by Terry and his wife. Today’s offering is Mac’s Hop Rocker.
It is a golden pilsener (well not really a pilsener because it’s not from Plzen, rather it is a lager made in a pils style but I like this beer so I don’t want it associated with the nasty L.)
All the Mac’s brands are lagers in a variety of colours and this one pours a delicious golden colour with a big white fluffy head to the point where it looks like you could rest your head on it. When I took a deep whiff of this pilsner I got a big smell of stone fruit, mostly apricot.
The little bubbles quickly were engulfed by the head. On tasting the Hop Rocker I felt it was a little light on mouth feel, it didn’t really capture me as big or challenging beer in terms of flavour. It was very clean and didn’t leave a lot on the tongue after having a drink. Having a larger bucket of Nelson Sauvin hops to chuck in as a dry hop would certainly improve my verdict.
It certainly didn’t rock my hop based world! Having said that if you really wanted a hop hit you would be going with an IPA. It is quite crisp and was easily quaffable. Great for a session on a warm summers day.
Beer: Mac’s Hop Rocker
Brewery: Lion Nathan
Form: Brown glass stubbie 330ml