1171 Coatesville Riverhead Highway, Riverhead
Beer. It’s definitely a kiwi summer word, and boutique breweries are becoming very popular with the New Zealand public. So when a childhood friend of the husband’s recently visited, we decided to venture out west to New Zealand’s first brewbar and restaurant – Hallertau.
Riverhead is only 20 mins from the centre of the city, and the new SH16 Northwestern motorway extension makes getting there a breeze. Mid week, the place was surprisingly busy, with a fun and festive atmosphere.
There was only one choice for the blokes when ordering their beverage – the Tasting Paddle. This included a line up of five brews; the Luxe (Kolsch Beer) – 4.5%, Statesman (Pale Ale) – 5.3%, Copper Tart (Red Ale) – 4.2%, Granny Smith Apple Cider (5.1%) and Minimus (a guest beer) – 3.8%. Our very efficient waiter talked us through each of the beers, and answered our questions.
The wine list highlighted which beverages are produced and/or grown locally, as well as if the producer is family owned. This made the wine selection a far more interesting read. The girls decided on the delightfully refreshing Pukeko Grove Feijoa Sparkling Wine, which is also created on-site.
Our Cobb Bread arrived warm and tasty, with flavoursome spreads, including garlic and rocket pesto.
Our guests enjoyed a Free Range Chicken Schnitzel with chorizo casserole, and a wholesome dish of Snapper accompanied by a vibrant salad.
I received a huge bowl of pumpkin risotto, topped with and interesting combination of apple fritters, local pecorino, wild watercress and rocket salsa. The sweetness of the apple complimented the pumpkin and made for a very delicious meal. It was a large dish, but the men folk at the table were happy to assist me in finishing it.
The husband’s BBQ Lamb Shank was massive. It was beautifully cooked, “thoroughly delicious”, and apparently a great match with his range of beers.
Top Tip: The tasting paddles take up lots of room, so make sure you are seated at a large table if you are planning to order this to accompany your meal.
In a nutshell: A fun-filled food and beer (or wine) experience.