The Wellington on a Plate food festival is in full swing here. There are various events on, along with lunch and dinner offers at various restaurants and a ‘Burger Wellington’ competition to find the best burger in town. One of our local pubs, The Sprig and Fern, is hosting a ‘beer and pie’ tasting session during the festival, featuring 5 pies from Siggy’s Pies matched with 4 beers and 1 cider from Sprig and Fern’s portfolio of craft beers and ciders brewed in Nelson.
So as a treat for Sunday lunch, we headed down into Thorndon for a tasting. Starting from the left, we had Tasman Lager paired with a kumara and coconut pie. The beer was a really well flavoured, quite strong lager, which was probably my favourite of the five. The pie was quite full of flavour, and you could distinguish the coconut and kumara quite clearly. Next up was the Best Bitter and that classic Kiwi favourite, a mince and cheese pie. The beer is like an English bitter, and has a lovely toffee flavour to it. This was Karl’s favourite pie, full of minced beef with just the right amount of cheese. Number three was an excellent combination of porter with a chocolate, chilli and beef pie. I’m not a great fan of porter or of too much chilli, but the smoky, subtle flavours of the beer went so well with the rich and spicy pie. A real winning combination in my opinion.
By this point in the proceedings, I was already feeling decidedly full, but there were still two more pies to go The fourth beer to be tasted was Doppelbock, a full bodied German-style strong, dark lager (8.0% ABV!). The accompanying pie was steak and Doppelbock, and which was one of the best steak pies I’ve had in ages, as well as probably my favourite pie of the day. Finally, there was a crisp apple cider along with a pork, apple and cider pie (the same cider as we were drinking), a perfect match of refreshing cider with a full flavoured and fruity pie.
We were so full by the end that it was quite an effort to walk up the hill home. A fun and different lunch and well worth trying if you like pies and beer and are in Wellington. The “Pie and Beer Spectacular” cost $40 and is available all through Wellington on a Plate which ends on 31st August.