Experts share their favourite holiday tipples around the barbie

The brew I'm favouring this summer is:

Mussell Inn Lean Lamb Sour Ale, because it is perfect. The sour ale is an under-appreciated class of beer in New Zealand and Mussell Inn knocks it off with aplomb. Not too weird.

Best served in: A glass. Take it easy because these Belgian styles are pretty fizzy!

And goes best with what sort of food: Mussels, of course.


My formula for a successful barbecue is: Charcoal cooking for a big crowd. Good cuts (eye fillet) cooked fast and rested at 50C for ages. I have also been playing around with a slow-cooked whole bolar. Smoke it over charcoal and cherry wood and then slow cook at 65C for two days. It is still pink but all collagen just collapses into meat goodness. Wicked.

My dream barbecue machine is: The Primo Charcoal barbecue. I bought the small one which is great for everyday but for entertaining that would be unreal.

The best barbecue guests: Bring the stuff I didn't even think of preparing. That primo potato salad, that touch of green or the homemade condiments that push the meal up to the next level.

My never-fail barbecue recipe: Eye fillet, seared on each surface and cooked on a hot barbecue for 10 minutes and rested for an eternity in a cool oven.

Paul Croucher, Croucher Brewing, Rotorua

Paul Croucher and Nigel Gregory's mid-life crisis in 2004 has resulted in the award-winning Rotorua-based craft brewery, Croucher Brewing. The pair's bar, Brew, also scooped gongs for outstanding bar and outstanding bartender in Rotorua's hospitality awards.