Don Kavanagh is the editor of Thirst magazine.
I find myself in the strange position, at the moment, of feeling vaguely homesick for a place that isn't really my home.
The place in question is New Zealand, which is my home in the sense that I've been living here and having my pocket picked by IRD for the last 16 years.
But in a larger sense it isn't home. It isn't the place I was born and raised and it certainly isn't the place where I first started out the path to being a drinks writer.
That place is a small town in Ireland, a place I have had a love-hate relationship with. In other words, I loved myself and the town hated me for that.
But what has me worried as I prepare to venture off "home" is that I'm afraid I'll miss things while I'm away. How badly will I miss having easy access to the best of New Zealand wines? How badly will I miss being able to pop into Prego for a decent meal on a Tuesday evening? And how on earth am I going to get over the absence of The Corner Store, Galbraith's and the Clare Inn in my life?
Certainly my home has more pubs per capita - 43 pubs for 6000 people. For a similar ratio here we'd need 10,033 in Auckland alone - but they are depressingly similar. Full of odd, knuckle-dragging oafs wearing checked shirts, slurping pints and leering at passing women.
Very much like Feilding, in fact.
Thankfully, I won't be away for long. It's a sobering feeling realising you are actually in love with the place where you live, believe me.
Tuatara Hefe, RRP is $3.50 per 330ml bottle, and $18.99 per six-pack.
A good wheat beer, cloudy but bright, like the sun through clouds. Has usual banana and bubblegum aromas, but with an intriguing clove hit underneath. The sweetness is left on the nose, too, with a drying effect on the palate that removes any cloying notes and leaves a lovely fruit-driven finish.
Hallertau Stuntman, $19.95
Has a chariot on the label and you'll feel as though your palate has been run over after a few sips. Huge hop influence, all citrus zest and pine needles, but with a grunty malt hit to back it up. It's hugely strong and expensive, but who cares? It's also a truly great beer.