Hutton’s shearwater is an extraordinary bird
The shearwater (aka Puffinus huttoni/Puff-hutti/P-hutti) spends most of its life at sea off Australia, coming ashore in the breeding season to nest. Nothing extraordinary there. But Hutton’s shearwater doesn’t breed on the nearest beach. No – every Puff-hutti starts life 1000m up in the alpine tussock high in the Kaikoura mountains.
This weather-beaten shingle pile was unwanted by other animals and was a safe place to raise big fat chicks. But the seabird smorgasbord was discovered by feral pigs and stoats. So the birds are in trouble and the Hutton’s Shearwater Charitable Trust is relocating them to nesting boxes on the Kaikoura coast.
This unique sea/alpine bird is now celebrated by the second beer in ParrotDog’s RareBird series.
Puffinus huttoni sour ale (5.1%) is a Lactobaccillus-soured ale aged on boysenberries.
Puffinus huttoni was launched last month at GABs. It appeared at the SOBA Winter Ales Festival last week, where it had a mixed reception, probably because it confused pallettes soothed by so many heavy winter warmers.
It's bright pink, and the berry sweetness contrasts with the sourness. Don't come looking for malt or hops, but do come looking for a refreshing drink with an acidity to cut through fatty food. Try it with spicy Chinese food like orange beef or - heaven forbid! - try it with muttonbird.
Unlike the tough little P-hutti, Puffinus huttoni sour ale will not be around for long. RareBirds are one-off batches – miss this release and you miss out forever. Puffinus huttoni is available right now in 650ml bottles, exclusively from the ParrotDog cellar door. Keep watch here for more details next week.
Review bottle provided by ParrotDog. Cheers!