Tuesday, February 12, 2013


I didn't do any beer exploration in Auckland.  However, while walking around the downtown core one day, I stumbled across this beautiful old post office...

...which is now a Belgian Beer Cafe (a New Zealand chain of pubs).  Belgian beer is anything but cheap in NZ, so at first I was skeptical.  (Though the New World supermarket chain has been blowing out 750 mL bottles of La Trappe Tripel, Dubbel and Quadrupel for $7.00-$8.50 NZD, which is an amazing deal.)

But then I saw it was 1/2 price mussel day - and I still hadn't had any of New Zealand's famous green-lipped mussels.  Well, twist my arm.  The mussels were big and flavourful without being fishy, and served with bacon and shallots in a witbier cream sauce. Nice.

The cafe was having trouble replenishing its stock after the Christmas vacation rush (understandable, given that Belgium is on the other side of the globe), and several beers were unavailable.  So I went with a Kwak - not a particularly good pairing with mussels, but a comforting warmer for a cloudy day.

Mrs. Hoplog-approved

Not bad surroundings at all.

People in BC, be happy that you've recently been able to get some Westvleteren 12 for what some would consider reasonable prices.  Check out how much 330 mL (minus sediment) costs at the Belgian Beer Cafe:

That's about $86 CDN at present exchange rates.  Gulp.

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