Ok, ok, we're blowing our own trumpet here but bear with us, because this beer is actually extremely yum, we promise. Here's why the Metro team recommends Matchy Matchy, our salty, slightly sour gose collaboration with Urbanaut brewing. (Plus, don't forget you can vote for your favourite Matchy Matchy beer match, here.)
Metro editor Henry Oliver: A few months ago, I ate an enormous amount of food over a weekend at Wellington on a Plate. I ate festival exclusive dishes and went to festival events featuring international chefs making ‘their food’ but through the lens of local ingredients. So, it is with great authority that I can tell you, the unofficial local ingredients of 2019 (and probably 2020 too TBH) are kawakawa and horopito (See ya later kūmara ! GTFOH manuka honey!) and, what do you know, when we came up with some flavour ideas for Urbanaut to consider when making a Metro beer (sour, spice, sharp and summery), head brewer Bruce came back with the ingredients of the summer, horopito and kawakawa. Genius! And now that’s it's in my hands (after a solid but not excessive refrigeration), I can objectively say that Urbanaut has killed it. A+! Five spoons! 100 emoji! I genuinely love Matchy Matchy and would actually buy it if a couple of cans didn’t end up on my desk every few days. It is indeed slightly sour, slightly spicy, slightly salty, and entirely delicious. The beer of the summer IMO [Hey! That’s what I was going to say! - TN].
Metro food writer Jean Teng: The other day, my friend, a self-declared beer-hater, regaled me with tales of a weekend discovery that had her a little shook – gose. “How did I not know this existed?” she exclaimed, likening it to a nice summery cider. We both agree beer can make you feel gross, bloated and weighed down, filling you up with sad regret. Not gose, though. No way, jose.
I don’t know where she’s been, because gose has been the thing of the moment for craft brewers for a few years now, and been around for a couple hundred years before that, a sour beer that’s quite citrusy, pretty salty, and very refreshing. Crisp. Sharp. Immensely drinkable. And with horopito and kawakawa, Matchy Matchy is the whole package, really.
Which is to say, even if you usually hate beer, you might like this one. It’s been field tested.
Metro digital editor Tess Nichol: Back when I was an enormous craft beer snob in Wellington (look, there was a time in the not-so-distant past where being a liberal arts student who loved hops wasn’t entirely played out) I despised sour beer. I took one sip of some yuck concoction at Hashigo Zake and swore I’d never touch it again. Well, never say never because fast forward six years and I am in LOVE with Metro’s Matchy Matchy gose, which is light, absurdly refreshing, salty and rather sour.
Is it convenient I happen to love the beer my employer has funded the creation of? Yes, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. I even stole a bunch to drink at home (haha just kidding anyone in management reading this).
Beer is great but it’s undeniably heavy. Not this little cutie. Matchy Matchy is like if cider was sour instead of sweet, with a slight earthy kawakawa bitterness. You can smash a few on a summery afternoon and still have room for whatever BBQ atrocity your friend has cooked up on the Weber. Yum yum and drink up. Also the illustrations on the can are too cute! Nice one, Rob.
Metro art director Jess Allen: Pregnant. But it looks delicious. How good is that packaging? And it smells delicious too. Thanks to the aforementioned pregnancy, my senses are extra heightened at the moment, so I have a particularly good nose for it.
Metro writer Alex Blackwood: To my mind (or taste buds), Matchy Matchy is the beer equivalent of a crunchy pickle that had been brewed in lemon and brine instead of dill and vinegar. It’s tart, tangy and salty - all flavours that mean this beer absolutely lends itself to being a beverage match, but it is also somehow creamy as well as having a zingy freshness. I actually took a sip and said “oooh so crisp”, like I was in some kind of beer commercial.
Finally, this mini-novel and ode to Matchy Matchy, from editorial director (aka the boss of all of the above people), Ben Fahy: Whenever I look at my children, I think to myself: they really are so much better than other people’s children. And so it is with beer. When you’ve made it yourself* (*sort of), it just tastes better. But that doesn’t mean those who haven’t had a hand in its creation can’t enjoy this triumph, this gripping romp, this tour de force of a beer that came about as the result of an unholy union between Metro and Urbanaut.
I’ve tasted plenty of beer in my time and while I have the palate of an old dish sponge and would almost certainly fail a blind taste test involving any kind of food or drink, I know what I like (I think). I didn’t like the sips of my dad’s DB Draught when I was a young boy; I didn’t like NZ Lager during my days at Otago University; and I didn’t like the Speight’s that someone had dropped a cigarette butt into.
But I did like refreshing beers when it was hot, dark beers that tasted like bacon when it was cold and, more recently, as I increasingly sought out more interesting brews, high-percentage, typically quite expensive hoppy numbers at pretty much any time (‘grass clipping beer’, as my dad likes to call it).
Over the past few years, I’ve also developed a taste for sour beers as they tended to create that satisfying, tongue-on-the-roof-of-the-mouth-after-a-sip ‘nyetccchhhh’ that I so desperately craved when my thirst needed slaking. And, as an extremely objective journalist who vehemently disagrees with the criticisms of journalistic objectivity made by the likes of Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky, I can objectively say that Matchy Matchy is the best beer that’s ever been made.
When it goes on sale, I predict it will be akin to the Great Lewis Road Creamery Chocolate Milk Run of 2014. Given the objective quality of this beer, New Zealanders will presumably be fighting each other in the aisles in an effort to get hold of this precious elixir and driving across town to find other supplies if they miss out. While both options are probably worth it, due to the beer being so amazing, these activities are not to be encouraged because assault is illegal and the burning of fossil fuels is a major cause of climate change.
Some say Metro and Urbanaut’s Matchy Matchy is like drinking your favourite magazine. Others say it’s like a summer breeze on a winter’s day. Others still say it’s like a party in your mouth, and this particular party is full of expensive ice sculptures, exotic animals walking around with trays of delicious food on their backs and remarkable performances by the world’s most talented and beautiful musicians. And I would agree with all of those remarkably accurate similes.
And what a label! Stunning food-related artistry of the highest order by Robert Wallace that has somehow managed to capture the joy and suffering of the human condition and, at the same time, the comedy value of big googly eyes.
Look out, other beers, because this beer is coming for you and it’s going to open a can of delicious, refreshing, aromatic and limited gose with horopito and kawakawa right in your tasteless faces. Get it while it’s hot, metaphorically speaking.
READ MORE: Vote for your favourite Urbanaut x Metro beer match