My May Favourite Finds are a little different to usual – they are basically a combination of New Zealand and beer! Given the month I have had it’s hard to fit much else in, and they are a pretty great combination too! I’d love to hear about your May favourite finds too!
New Zealand Time
The highlight of not only my month, but of quite some time, was getting to make use of the travel bubble and head back to New Zealand. We timed the trip to be there for my Nana’s 85th birthday, and I felt very lucky, and incredibly happy, that we could do it. It was mostly 9 days of pottering about, spending time with family and eating plenty of nana’s afghan biscuits, which was an excellent combination.
We headed up to Christchurch for a day, which we try and do regularly to have a wander, and see how the rebuilding work is going. It’s safe to say a lot had happened since I was last there, including a lot more cafes and an indoor market right in the city centre. It was an excellent spot for lunch, that’s for sure.
We also spent an afternoon up at my aunt & uncle’s farm, which is always one of my favourite places to visit when back with mum’s family. As well as the usual frolic with some sheep (well, I tried frolicking, they mostly ran away), I also got to take the combine harvester out for a spin.
Given some of my previous (mis)adventures on the farm as a kid – including an incident involving a motorbike and a clothesline – I was amazed I was trusted to sit in the drivers seat, but it sure was fun to drive! Sure, we might not have gone above about 3km/hr, but still!
I’m so glad I was able to do this trip, and I certainly no longer take it for granted that I can just pop over to see my family like I used to. I won’t be leaving it too long before my next trip I don’t think!
New Zealand beer
I’ve long been a fan of kiwi beer after being introduced to lots of great breweries by my cousins. It was made even stronger by the last time I was in Wellington, where the beer scene is absolutely top notch. So, it would have been silly to not take advantage to my access! Garage Project made a strong appearance as always, as did an excellent Parrot Dog Hazy IPAs.
One beer that I didn’t drink in New Zealand, but brought home with me was this Garage Project pickle beer. The second I saw it was released I tried to get some as a friend and I have a long history of pickle flavoured things. It was impossible to find, so when I spotted one (yes, just one!) can in New Zealand I knew it was coming home with me. It was as excellent as hoped!
Fix & Fogg
The other thing I always try and pick up when I’m in New Zealand is some Fix & Fogg deliciousness. Usually I get one (or more) of their peanut butters but this time I decided to bring home a giant jar of their Everything Butter, as well as some of the creamy Cashew Butter. The Everything Butter is particularly excellent – it’s such a great combo of flavours and I have been loving it on toast or stirred through my oats. Seriously delicious. I only wish I could have brought more flavours home – they do a Granola Butter that I reckon I’ll be picking up next time!
Good Beer Week
The last of my May Favourite Finds brings us back to Melbourne with the always excellent Good Beer Week. I was in New Zealand for the first weekend of festivities, but still managed to fit in a couple of excellent events. The main one was a plant based dinner at Beer Deluxe in conjunction with 3 Ravens Brewery which was absolutely top notch.
We were served six courses of food, each highlighting a different vegetable, which were served with a matching beer, plus one to start and finish the night. It’s safe to say we didn’t leave hungry, or feeling like we hadn’t tried enough beers!
We got to hear from both the head chef and the brewer throughout the night which I really enjoyed. It was great to hear about all the work, thinking, experimenting and skill that went into both the food and the beers, including matching them to each other. It was an excellent event, and these kinds of dinners are always my highlight of Good Beer Week.