Beer! It does a body good!
Don't believe me? Read on!
If you are like me all your life, when it comes to Soft Drinks, and even the, um, not so soft drinks, you have always had a healthy
This curiosity led you to eventually sample representatives of drinks other than the familiar, from small Boutique American Labels, to many not made in the US of A. ;-D
As the years go by, and you begin to think that you may be finally running out of new drinks to try, you find yourself alone on some local mountain top, or sandy beach, somewhere, proclaiming to all the world, at the top of your lungs...
I could have had a
Well, have faith!
There ARE more beers on this earth, Beer Lover,
Than are found in your local Trader Joes, or Cost Plus World Market. ;-D
TaaKawa Indigenous Ale, of Aotearoa, is New Zealand's First Indigenous Beverage, and is produced by a small, 5 1/2 year old, company with the mission to develop and market a unique range of beverages derived from New Zealand's indigenous herbs and spices.
Simon Burney & Bruce Smith are the Founders of Waituna Brewing Co.
The beer produced has a golden color, with a smooth and slightly sweet taste, according to the website, and those who have tried it, including a friend, who sent me a flier that got me interested in checking out the website.
The Kawakawa plant traditional used by Maori, and thrives in the Aotearoa climate and is readily available all year round.
It is apparently used by Maori and Pakeha, and many indigenous peoples in the Pacific Islands as a very special healing herb.
According to the flier my friend, Randy Eady, of Glider Rider Bikes, and Seat and Feet (Seen here performing some hands on work in Florida), sent me the plant is both an external, and internal remedy, you can bathe in it, and drink it as well, hence the idea for developing it into a beer, according to beer making standards set up in New Zealand.
Chewing the leaves is said to alleviate toothaches, and drinking the juice of the plant is said to purify the blood, help alleviate digestive complaints, chest troubles, high/low/blood pressure, asthma, and even....wait for it...constipation!
The natives use the leaves, and bark in the healing of wounds, ulcers, skin diseaes, eye inflamation, scalds, and burns.
My friend also sent me a description of how the beer is apparently made, that was sent to him by Simon:
"The people trying TaaKawa maybe interested in how it is made.
Every Kawakawa leaf is picked,fresh from the forests of Aotearoa, by hand, the day before brewing.
The leaves selected by myself and whanau (family) are also inspected for bird stain and other contamination before being put in the sack and sent by refridgerated truck overnight to Auckland.
The next morning, at the Brewery they are put through a chaffer, finely dessicating the leaf, immediately before placing in the brew for the final few minutes of boiling.
A bit different, perhaps, from how they brew Coors.
The effectiveness of the Kawakawa is boosted by the saliva the insects leave around the holes that they chew in the leaves."
But forget all that! The IMPORANT thing to know is that it can be used to make tea, and BEER!!!
Can what YOUR favorite beer is made of do any of the things this plant can?
Some in New Zealand, when asked, might say, drinking this beer (Shown, here, on a well deserved vacation in Florida, with a native instrument called a Digeridoo, for Randy's "Taakawa Toot and Taste!") is good for what ales you, pun intended, um, hee, hee! ;-D
The website, itself, last updated in 2007, is an interesting place to visit (Here's hoping they begin to update it more often!), with a mission statement, and History Page, and an interesting article about Boutique Breweries in New Zealand, on the Events Page.
The Photo Gallery Page shows you what the leaves of the plant look like, shows a 4 bottle pack of the beer, and a shopping mall billboard, among a small collection of images.
The Tasters Comments Page doesn't seem to be working at the moment: Whether that's because of a technical glitch, or because the company is just too modest to share the tons of testimonials from satisfied customers, is unclear. ;-D
The few comments in the Guestbook, while favorable, are an indication that few Beer Buffs have discovered the website yet, and since the beer seems to only have made it as far as Japan (I tried Googling for it in Southern California, and found nothing!), the only folks outside the country who get a crack at tasting the beer, are tourists or, I suppose, people who can get cases safely sent to them in the mails. ;-D
Visit the website, and if you have a chance, try the beer!
If all goes according to plan, thanks to my friend, I may be able to celebrate my 50th Birthday next March, a couple of weeks late, with a taste of the stuff and, if I do, this post will be updated!