Tu Meke is a word from the Maori people; native to New Zealand and it means “something good” or literally translated to “too much”. Simply put, it’s a fitting description of the collaboration beer brewed by Steel & Oak and Strange Fellows. I was gifted this lovely saison and of course was over the moon to try it. This is the Vancouver Craft Beer Week 2016 collaboration beer and it’s a pretty big deal in these parts. But don’t fret, this beer is available in select liquor stores in a 650 ml bomber bottle.
On my first sip I was wowed by the insane tropical punch of flavors from the New Zealand hops. Now it’s not the hop punch you get from an IPA- its more gentle, refined almost. The citrus and berry come through and it ends on a deliciously subtle peppery note. I found this beer had quite a distinctive mouth feel; it was mellow and smooth, not super funky. I was enjoying it on a very hot afternoon in the sun, and it complimented the beer perfect. It poured a deep yellow with a big fluffy head that quickly dissipated leaving a slightly floral tangy aroma.
We chose to drink Tu Meke accompanied with a simple cheese plate with mild, white cheeses and french bread. I didn’t want anything to come between me and this beer on my palette and thoroughly enjoyed every sip.
Now what makes this beer even more special, is the true spirit it was made in. Tu Meke was brewed at Steel & Oak with brewers from Strange Fellows, hops were donated by Brew Culture and Canada Malting donated the malt. Finally, proceeds from the sale of this saison go to Music Heals– VCBW official charity of 2016. That’s reason alone to try this beer…but damn, it tastes fine too.