Mushrooms don't often make their way into beer. But next month a few hundred bottles of truffle beer will be hitting the shelves of an Auckland gourmet food store.
Sabato are bringing in the Italian Giuliano Tartufi truffle beer as a special Christmas treat.
Sabato cheesemonger Calum Hodgson said the 4.8 per cent bitter beer has fragrant truffle aromatics with a hint of the truffle flavour. He said it is important that the truffle doesn't overpower the beverage.
"The barley, malt and hop needs to shine through otherwise it'll be a big truffle aroma but wouldn't have any nuance to it.
"The label itself is pretty pumping too."
Hodgson said the director and sales manager tried the brew while visiting their truffle supplier in Italy. They loved it and ordered 300-400 bottles which will be sold from Sabato, a few bars and supermarkets. Hodgson believes this is the first truffle beer to be imported into the country.
The beer will be sold at $23.50 for a 330ml bottle. While it's the most expensive beer in Sabato, Hodgson said it's nothing compared to Westvleteren from Belgium which goes for around $120 a bottle when bought at a bar.
Hodgson thinks the truffle beer will do well as it makes a fun gift, has a degree of esteem and people generally like aromatics.
It will be sold alongside truffle chips. The crisps sold out in three weeks last year, Hodgson said.
"We were surprised how crazy people went about the truffle chips.
"They just got smashed."
Weird Kiwi beers
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• Fork Brewin use kina roe and pinot noir must to make their Kinot Noi
• Nelson-based Horsebox infuse the world's second hottest chilli, the scotch bonnet to make a super spicy pilsner called Horse-Bonnet
• Garage Project have been blending white and red wine with their beers for four years
• Hakanoa's add a lime and chilli twist to their ginger beer