Waikato - The Land of Cheese, Honey & Beer!!

As you may know, we like to think Sweetree honey is a true reflection of Waikato's varied flora and locations.  Much like a great wine reflects the terroir of where the grapes have grown, Sweetree Honey’s different varieties reflect the area and season the bees worked their magic.  When you taste our different honeys it's like wine tasting, each one has it's own flavour profile, aroma and texture.  So what about pairing our honey with other special foods?

We are lucky in the Waikato to have such a great variety of high quality producers!  In our opinion, two of the best are Meyer Cheese & Good George Brewery, both Waikato awarding winning producers.  Meyer cheese is New Zealand’s best quality hand made Gouda cheese, they make a variety of Gouda cheeses the traditional way, and it's divine!   Good George beers and ciders are definitely not bland, full of chemicals, mass-produced or boring! They believe that exploring and drinking beer should be enjoyable, simple and really rewarding. 

We recently had a relaxing and fun afternoon at Good Neighbour Brew Bar (in Rototuna) with the team from Meyer Cheese and Good George, pairing our products together.  We thought it would be a great way of finding those special and different flavour nuances coming through for each of our products.

We found some really great matches! Here's our very favourite pairings

CheeseHoneyBeer / Cider
AmsterdammerMarokopa SpringWhite Ale
Cumin GoudaMarokopa SummerSparkling
Marokopa SummerWhite Ale
Marokopa ManukaCider
Fenugreek GoudaFour Brothers ReserveCider
Marokopa SummerCider
Marokopa ManukaIPA
Tasty GoudaMarokopa ManukaIPA
Vintage GoudaMarokopa ManukaAmber Ale
Horsham Downs CountryAmber Ale
Garlic & ChivesKirikiriroaIPA
Cracked PepperMarokopa SummerAmber Ale

Come down to the Good Neighbour Degustation Dinner on Thurs 24th Sept and try great Waikato food using some of these combinations!! 


​ Here’s some tasting notes from each of the food types mentioned above

Sweetree Honey's:

 Marokopa Spring:  This is a thick buttery honey which tastes like beeswax, clover and sea spray with a salted toffee apple aftertaste.

Marokopa Summer: Think of the beach!  This honey tastes like grapefruit, wildflowers with a blueberry, hokey pokey with dark chocolate and burnt sugar aftertaste.

Marokopa Manuka:  This season’s Manuka has a dried raisins and pineapple flavour with fresh pear and baby carrot and a fresh plum aftertaste.

Four Brothers Reserve:  A soft buttery honey with a butterscotch taste with touches of pinenut and citrus.

Horsham Downs Country: Much like a sweet fruit liquor, with the perfect balance of sweet and sour – think verjuice.

Hakarimata:  Think dried prunes, ripe home grown banana, this honey has a deep dark caramel taste leading into butterscotch.

Kirikiriroa:  Think of a summer picnic! This honey tastes of caramel, lemon pith with a vanilla Crème brûlée aftertaste.

Meyer Cheese's: 

Amsterdammer: Named after the popular city in Holland this cheese has a higher moisture content so has a slightly creamier texture and mild acidic tone which is a result of the increased moisture levels.

Tasty Gouda: Tasty Gouda is aged for about 9 months, at this age it still retains its smooth creamy texture but has started to develop that sharp bite and full bodied flavour which aged Gouda’s are famous for.

Vintage Gouda: The name says it all. Crumbly parmesan like texture and a bite like no other, this cheese has what most cheese lovers want a strong full bodied flavour with Bite. After eating it lingers on the palate for quite some time.

Cumin Gouda: Even though Cumin is an Indian spice cumin Gouda is an extremely tradition Dutch cheese. Early spice traders from India set out for Europe and the spices were quickly found to be used in the Cheeses. Not only was the flavour really good but it also added a nutritional value to a travel ready product.

Cracked Pepper: For those who love pepper, try it! Cracked Pepper Gouda is made from cracked whole black and white pepper corns, hand mixed and aged for about 8 weeks.

Fenugreek Gouda: This cheese has an excellent aroma! The seeds give off a sweet smell which is evident once cutting open the cheese. The taste is also mild, sweet and nutty.

Garlic & Chives: For those who love Garlic, this Gouda is packed with Garlic to give it a good strong flavour. The chives not only make the cheese look good but round off the sharpness of the garlic so you still enjoy the taste of cheese.

Good George Beer's & Cider:

White Ale:  A crafty blend of New Zealand botanicals gives this wheat ale a subtle, spicy kick against the backdrop of sweet navel orange. It’s always summer somewhere in Waikato, the perfect everyday drop.

Amber Ale:  Brewed with a classic English bitter in mind. This beer is about rich, caramel malts, balanced with a dash of colonial hops. The Hard Workers beer, we’ll let you have a couple.

IPA:  Inspired by the wave of punchy new world hops. A lovely soft malt backbone is balanced perfectly with juicy, mouth-coating hoppy GOODness & a smooth lingering bitterness.

Cider:  A GOOD cider should balance fruity succulence with subtle tartness. We reckon we've hit it on the nose. Bursting on the palate with white-wine sweetness, the finish is crisp, dry & refreshing. Lip-smackingly drinkable.Why don’t you try some combinations yourself?!

About Good Neighbour

Good Neighbour Brew Bar, in Rototuna, is where the local brewing of fine beer & cider is quietly celebrated with the company and conversation of the people who love to drink it. It is the coming together of great hospitality and the craft of brewing good beer & cider.

Good Neighbour prides itself on sourcing locally made produce with the emphasis on selecting only the freshest ingredients. The menu includes a range of hand crafted pizzas, smoked meats and fresh foods. The on-site micro brewery produces specialty beers only for consumption at Good Neighbour while the other beers and ciders are delivered fresh daily from the local Good George Brewery in Frankton.

They are cycle friendly, beer friendly and people friendly too. Drop in for a casual drink in the garden bar, a meal or share a pizza with friends. Their upstairs bar and balcony is a great place to hang out or hire for your next party or event.


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