Dux Brewing Co – Nor’wester (Stong Pale Ale)

My second of three Christchurch beer reviews, is one that comes from the heart of Christchurch. The Dux De Lux is a Christchurch institution. It’s Vege pizzas and beers are well known to all who have spent time in the city. I decided on this one this week because there has been another Christchurch institution on people’s minds… the Nor’wester has been blowing. Normally it only brings warm windy weather, but this week it’s whipping up a lot of dust. Not exactly what the city needs at the moment but it’s  namesake brew promises to “remove dust and remedy dryness”.


The Basics

Like last week (and next week’s), I picked this up at Purvis Beer in Richmond. It comes in a nice big 500ml bottle but you can also drink it on draught at the Dux. It’s also picked itself up a couple of awards .

It’s a nice strong ale at 6.5%.

How does it look?

The label depicts a sunset over the Port Hills, and is a very New Zealand looking label. Is hard to define what a “New Zealand” look is… but if it reminds you of an L&P ad, then it’s probably it.

The beer itself is a lovely deep copper. It’s a beautiful looking beer and the head is surprisingly white, offering a pleasant contrast. Rather like the Southern Alps after a spring snow.


How does it smell /taste?

It has a slight but not overpowering hop smell.

The taste is slightly bitter and acidic, however not at all in a bad way. It lingers on the palate for a while and there is a slight aftertaste of ginger to go along with the hop bitterness. It’s deceptively lively once you let the aftertaste settle in and I find it to be really well balanced.

When should I drink it?

The first time I tried this was a few years ago at the Dux itself and it went down a treat with a pizza.  If you are in Christchurch, then take a lazy afternoon looking round the Arts Centre and reward yourself with a pizza and some Nor’Wester on tap. It’ll definitely wash away any dust that may still lingering around the city.


Unlike it’s namesake wind, the beer is enjoyable and balanced. It looks lovely in the glass and is very drinkable. The bitter and acidic flavours work well together. Being 6.5% and in a 500ml, a few of these might just send you a little crazy… so maybe it does have some things in common with the wind.

I rate it; 3.5 L&P ads.

Meanwhile, here are the latest earthquake updates for anyone interested: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10710482.


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