12 May 2015 - Best Beer HQ

Craft beer review: Sawmill 12 Gauge

Craft beer review: Sawmill 12 Gauge

ABV: 6.5%

Bottle: This 500ml bottle of 12 Gauge lager by Sawmill Brewery in New Zealand is why you mustn’t ever judge a beer by its label. It may look fairly unassuming on the outside, but inside is a monster lager waiting to get out and devour lesser beers.

Blurb on the bottle: A strong, full bodied lager with boisterous tropical fruit aromas, bright golden colour, and a whack of hops to finish.

At the Sawmill Brewery we make beer we want to drink – beer that is clean and flavoursome and straight up. We raise our glasses to the independent thinkers, rascals and raconteurs around us because that’s how it goes up here in Leigh, a place that has always drawn the resourceful and creative. And that’s why we love it.

Tastes like: In the immortal words of Admiral Ackbar: it’s a trap!

This surprisingly complex lager tastes like an ambush in my mouth. I was expecting yet another dull and lifeless lager – instead, I was bowled over by this beer’s full-bodied richness, fruity aroma, and lip-smacking finish. Sawmill Brewery has certainly packed in the hoops for this style of beer.

The 12 Gauge is warming like a good old-fashioned ale, yet pours a clear golden colour, with a sweet white head (about 1cm) that sticks to the side of the glass.

It’s moments like this that I’m so very happy about the craft beer revolution in New Zealand, because there’s more flavour in one teaspoon of this beer than in litres and litres of most mainstream lagers.

Is it the best beer ever? This beer is so good that it makes me want to go swimming… in an Olympic-sized swimming pool filled only with 12 Gauge craft beer by Sawmill Brewery.

This is surely one of the best lagers from a NZ craft brewery that I’ve ever had. Internationally, it stacks up pretty well, too. I highly recommend it.

What else should I drink? Sawmill’s bottles of craft pilsner and pale ale are very nice, so check them out if you can. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for another good lager, I’ve been drinking a fair bit of Samuel Adam’s Boston Lager lately, which is a good beer.

Craft Beer New Zealand / review /