Metro's made a beer (with the help of our good friends at Urbanaut)! To celebrate, a bunch of Auckland's best restaurants have matched it with a special dish - vote for your favourite below. Metro's editorial director Ben Fahy explains the how and why our Matchy Matchy beer came to be.
About this time last year, Metro editor Henry Oliver and I met with Bruce Turner, one of the co-founders of Urbanaut and self-described ‘brew lord’, to talk about the possibility of combining forces and creating a limited edition Metro beer. Mostly we did it so we could hold numerous meetings in a brewery. But we also did it because we wanted to bring the Metro brand to life in a new and interesting way.
With both parties keen, we then had to decide what would be special about it. Collaborations are a dime a dozen these days, so we needed a hook. We talked about making a beer that tasted like Auckland (car fumes? Unaffordable housing? Phil Goff?); we talked about creating three different beers, similar to Urbanaut’s recently launched and very clever Beer Blenders, that were meant to be consumed like a starter/main/dessert; we talked about chucking in some leftovers and making an environmentally-friendly beer; we talked about making a Christmas beer, featuring kiwifruit, pav and chocolate sprinkles … The world was our oyster stout. But in the end, we put all those ideas in the bottom drawer (there’s always next year) and, given Metro’s focus on showcasing the best (and sometimes worst) of Auckland and Urbanaut’s role in lubricating city life, we decided to get restaurants and readers involved as well, in a similar fashion to Burger on a Plate in Wellington.
We wanted to make a beer that went well with the Auckland summer but had a bit more oomph than a lager, so, after a few more high-level strategic meetings/beer tastings, we settled on a horopito & kawakawa gose, a lightly salted, slightly sour, very refreshing beer. We then asked a range of restaurants from across the food spectrum that served Urbanaut to create dishes to match it.
We christened our beer Matchy Matchy, called on the illustration skills of regular Metro contributor Robert Wallace, AKA Parallel Teeth, to create a suitably eye-catching label and, like expectant parents, waited patiently for our baby’s due date, rubbing our bellies in anticipation. That date has come and now we need Metro readers to vote for their favourite match from the following options:
Umu Pizza, Kingsland: ‘The number 6’. House-made lamb merguez sausage with harissa, feta, mozzarella and minty herb yoghurt.
La Fuente: Snickel Lane – Spiced Monk fish Taco with caper, fennel, coriander and chipotle aioli.
Ramen Takara (Ponsonby and Browns Bay): Tori Shio Ramen with grilled chicken charsiu, house pickled vegetables and homemade noodles in a delicate clear broth with a subtle hint of shrimp and burnt leek oil.
Satya Chai Lounge (Karangahape Rd and Sandringham): Kurryaage Fried Chicken
Food Truck Garage (City Works store only): Hauhake lamb burger with kawakawa pesto, tamarillo jam and gruyere on a kumara brioche bun.
We want you to go to these places. Buy some delicious, collaborative, refreshing and interesting limited-edition beer. Order their special dishes. Then vote for the best matchy matchy on the poll above. The winning restaurant will receive a load of Matchy Matchy beer, fawning coverage in the next issue of Metro and on this very website, and a warm internal glow. The beer will be exclusive to the participating restaurants until 21 November and diners will have the month to vote for their favourite match.
For those of you who prefer beer on its own, from mid-November you’ll also be able to find Matchy Matchy on tap and in cans at many of the places Urbanaut is sold, including the cellar door in Morningside.