Experts share their favourite holiday tipples around the barbie

Andy Deuchars:

Head brewer, Renaissance Brewing Company

When he's not winning awards, Andy Deuchars of the New Zealand 2013 Champion Brewery Renaissance Brewing Company in Marlborough, has some wise words on barbecue skills. The brewery is also the AIBA International champion small brewery and won awards for its Enlightenment Black, the RIPA wheat beer.

The brew I'm favouring this summer is: The Enlightenment Great Punkin spiced ale, our take on an American pumpkin ale. Too many folk drink only a few manly bland and boring styles of beer, and beer has so much more to offer. This is something a bit different and out of the ordinary. I prefer a beer that makes you think and is a flavour experience, a beer that is a conversation-starter and makes you question your concept of beer. Spiced pumpkin ale is kind of like a pumpkin pie in a glass. It has great flavours and is fun to drink during the holidays.


Best served in: A glass, usually a goblet-shaped one to concentrate the aromas. But it is also fun to drink from a frosted pewter tankard or a drinking horn just to be a bit different. I don't prefer a big head on my beer, this probably goes back to my Scottish upbringing - more head means less beer and a big head of foam does not do it for me, so I give a very gentle pour down the angled side of the glass.

And goes best with what sort of food: Holiday food, turkey or ham or venison sausages, anything with a bold flavour that can stand up to the spice and not be overwhelmed. Or even a nice dessert like creme brulee.

My formula for a successful barbecue is: Lots of fire. A good barbecue to me has a small number of friends and family and lots of meat and marinades. I like to stand at the barbecue with a few mates and grill the heck out of everything - steaks, sausages and veges. I don't like too many at the barbecue with me, only the inner circle, but those there all get a hand in. It's heaps more fun that way.

My dream barbecue machine is: Big, with lots of flame and several zones for different cooking and warming needs. I prefer ones that have a lid so you can get a bit more smoky flavour or keep a bit of residual heat to keep the food at temperature.

The best barbecue guests are: Close friends who bring something they have worked on so we can cook it together. However, one should never barge in on another man's grill unless invited.

My never-fail barbecue recipe: I like to use soy-based marinades, maybe with a bit of mustard and whatever I can find in the kitchen. Oyster sauce is always nice in it too. I never seem to make the same one twice and just do things as the mood strikes. Hey, it is just a barbecue, not some complex exotic dish.