Inspired by the first beer ever to be brewed in New Zealand, by Captain James Cook in 1773, the Mussel Inn version is a red brown all malt beer flavoured with the freshly picked tips of the Manuka tree and locally grown New Zealand organic hop varieties.
The only one out of 240 New Zealand beers to rate 10 out of 10 in Keith Stewarts book ‘The complete guide to New Zealand Beer’. Also featured in ‘Best – a New Zealand compendium’. . A typical comment – this one from John Thompson and he should know.
A very distinctive beer with notes of ginger and rose oil which sometimes gives the perception of a slight sweetness although the beer is fermented dry. Long known for it’s medicinal qualities by the native Maori population of New Zealand, manuka’s high anti oxidant properties are also to be found in Captain Cooker manuka beer.
And the relevance of the pig?
As was normal on early voyages of discovery to new lands, Captain Cook released several pigs on his arrival. The untouched forests of New Zealand proved to be most attractive to these pigs and it wasn’t long before they had spread throughout the land. Great for the pigs – not so great for our forests. These unique pigs are now commonly known as “Captain Cookers” – and likewise, the Captain Cooker manuka beer is commonly referred to simply as “The Pig”.
Pig hunting has long been a great New Zealand past time, taking good keen men (and women) and hardy hounds to the most inaccessible nooks and crannies of what remains of our wildest jungles. Now you too can hunt ‘the pig’. With a little determination and a little perservarance you never know – you just might get lucky!