“Our newest double IPA. A brightly tropical beer with a soft, smooth mouthfeel.”
Glassware: IPA glass.
Appearance: Super hazy almost milky straw yellow pour. It caps off with a thumb of puffy and well retained head which weaves a webbed lace trail down the glass.
Aroma: Dead set juice train! Tonnes of tropical fruits, orange citrus and pine are infused with that hallmark creamy lactose sweetness. Subtle grapefruit, frosty fruits, fresh herbs and rolled oats filling it out even further. Quite a hefty malt structure to it as well…hinting at doughy white bread and crackers. Superb!
Flavour: Nice transition from the nose…really focuses on the juicy orange, mango and pineapple with a bit of pithy grapefruit and rind finding its way through. Again that creaminess just mellows it all out. The use of spelt malt is genius as it emphasises some of that tangy citrus but also balances out the pithy finish with its somewhat earthy characteristics.
Mouthfeel: Creamy, husky and raw. It holds a good weight across the palate so they can afford to keep a low co2. Mild-moderate bitterness.
Overall: This is next level NEIPA. Such intense aroma and flavour yet so magnificently balanced. A real pleasure to drink.
“Halia is a farmhouse ale aged in wine barrels with whole peaches, resulting in bright, effervescent fruit notes in a soft, hazy body that finishes slightly tart and sweet with the pleasant character of ripe, juicy peaches. Literally meaning “remembrance of a loved one” in Hawaiian, Halia was brewed in memory of the dear friend of one of our brewers who loved peaches.”
Glassware: Stemmed tulip.
Appearance: Golden orange with a mild lacto haze. It forms a collar but the head immediately disappears.
Aroma: Smells amazing! It has that sweaty and vinegary base but it’s built up with a gorgeous fruit profile (mostly peach but also apricot and white grapes). Lots of zingy and acetic citrus, peppery spice and delicate oak tannins with a faint suggestion of fibrous grain husks buried deep. Really well layered with good complexity.
Flavour: Kind of has a bit of everything upfront. Some lactic acidity, bretty funk, hints of vinegar and barnyard and that subtle yet delicious injection of peach and other stonefruits. Woody spice, straw and other farmhouse adjuncts roll in to a somewhat musty and fruity finish full of apple, white plum and peach. Really good length on it.
Mouthfeel: Mineraly texture with a light sparkle. Moderate acidity and co2. Once again G.I hide a hefty AbV (7.7%) really well.
Overall: Another epic sour rounds out their 2017 BA Wild Ale series. Some absolute crackers i.e Lolita and this one with Gillian and Madame Rose lacking some of the finesse that the other two had. All in all this was a fine offering.
“CBS was born when we stumbled upon some bourbon barrels that had previously housed maple syrup. We opted to put the same base beer as KBS, an imperialized version of Breakfast Stout, in the maple barrels and, after one taste, we knew we had something special. Rich maple syrup, roasted coffee and velvety chocolate meld together in what can only be described as a transcendental drinking experience. You might notice that the label is missing a key, iconic element. You know, starts with “M” ends with “ountie.” It’s true – we did make the decision to remove the Mountie from CBS packaging out of respect for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.”
Appearance: Pitch black with a dark brown head emerging on top. It reduced to a collar with spotty lace sticking to the sides of the glass.
Aroma: The maple syrup sweetness is nowhere near as pronounced for this year’s vintage. In fact if we pitted the ’18 CBS against the ’18 KBS there wouldn’t be much distinction. Don’t get us wrong though it’s still a phenomenal aroma chock full of dark chocolate, coffee, molasses, charred malts, oak, subtle bourbon, earthy spice and vanilla.
Flavour: Once again…little trace of that ridiculously delicious maple syrup that was so abundant in the ’17 vintage. That’s the only downside though. The intense charred malts, coffee, dark chocolate, bourbon and oak fill up the mouth and carry through to the belly warming finish which offers lingering notes of vanilla, coffee and chocolate.
Mouthfeel: Velvety smooth and oh so elegant. The 11.7% AbV is so well hidden. Loving how it hits a crescendo then just mellows back out. Remarkable!
Overall: Yeah we’re pretty bummed about the lack of maple syrup but honestly the sheer brilliance of this stout makes up for it. You’re off the hook this year Founders but we wanna see more maple next year!
Glassware: Poured into a pint glass.
Appearance: typical NEIPA colour..complete dark yellow haze with a big 15mm white cloud of a head that hardly budges. Thick foam clinging to the glass as it recedes. Tiny carbonation seen at the base where it’s slightly transparent.
Aroma: Devine tropical fruit with a yeasty, spicy nose ubiquitous to good NEIPAs. Full of pineapple, passion fruit, mango and citrus fruit including orange and mandarin, alongside that white pepper spice hit and malted barley/wheats.
Flavour: not as fruity on the palate as the nose. Slightly subdued tropical fruit and a mixture of booze coming through and sweet malts. The use of the oats gives it a slightly nutty flavour. It’s a shame the fruit doesn’t shine more here. There is also a vegetable aspect to this..almost like cucumber?
Mouthfeel: certainly very smooth and luscious on the palate. Sits well at 6.7% alc vol. Drying on the palate and the bitterness is just right. Body is only moderate and it has good length. Carbonation low as you would expect for a good NEIPA.
Overall: It has been a long time between drinks for 8wired which used to be a favourite NZ Brewery. This is a tasty NEIPA. We feel a big more fruit boldness on the palate that matched the aroma would have clinched it for us.
“Come in Grape, Your Time is Up’ is a seasonal series based around the grape harvest. In fall we collaborate with various wineries to create beers that blur the lines between wine and beer. In this version we partnered up with Castoro Cellars from Paso Robles, CA and used late harvest Muscat grapes. We first created a blend of one year old lambic-inspired base beer, then let that beer sit on the grape juice and must for 8 weeks to go through a secondary fermentation.”
Glassware: Stemmed tulip.
Appearance: Cloudy light yellow to golden complexion with no head. Almost looks like a NEIPA!
Aroma: We can certainly get the muscat grapes. They offer that distinct raisiny character while notes of floral honey and this almost dessert wine-like sweetness can also be picked up. Really strong impressions of oak coming through. Maybe just a hint of lacto sourness with its candied lemon/lime and subtle vinegar. Intriguing!
Flavour: It’s like grape juice-infused slightly sour lemon soft drink…if there was such a thing! Not getting as much dominance from the muscat grapes – it presents as more of a vinous tartness with a bit of sweaty/manky funk. A bit of a peppery spice through the middle with either peach or melon (or both) forming the finish.
Mouthfeel: Fizzy and rather light on. It hides the 8.5% AbV incredibly well. Mild-moderate body. Matches this 30+ degree heat perfectly!
Overall: It’s one of those beers that passes muster but won’t be all that memorable. There’s a hefty price tag on it too! Not bad.
“Originally our GABS beer for 2018, it’s back again due to overwhelming demand! More of everything, smooth and deceptively drinkable. All our favourite big hitting tropical fruit hops, plus a mango addition for good measure. 9% ABV.”
Glassware: IPA glass.
Appearance: Turbid yellow/orange complexion with two fingers of well retained foam sitting atop. Healthy lace clings to the glass as we imbibe.
Aroma: Good and proper tropical fruit juice bomb. Everything from mango, pineapple, melon, peach, guava, lychee, apple and orange. It’s the whole fruit basket. Milder notes of apricot, pine, curry leaf and the most important of all…the Frosty Fruits! Brilliant aroma.
Flavour: Although the mango plays a big role there is a real focus on this tangy and zesty orange character upfront. Lovely suggestions of pine and herbal spice getting amongst it as well. Plenty of stonefruit and citrus developing late and setting up for an ultra dry and pithy finish.
Mouthfeel: Creamy and somewhat chewy. Even a tad chalky at times. Medium-full body. That 9% AbV is pretty well behaved for the most part.
Overall: If you thought the Bubble & Squeak was good then get on to this bad boy. Most probably one of the best Aussie NEIPA’s you’ll get your hands on. Superb.
“Double Dry Hopped version of our classic India Pale Ale. Full of flavour with a beautifully hoppy aroma. Hopped with a stunning blend of European, North American and New Zealand varieties.”
Glassware: IPA glass.
Appearance: Bright golden colour with a two finger crown which retains nicely and leaves a mess on the glass as it ebbs.
Aroma: The hops really shine on this one. Lots of fresh and green botanicals, pine needles, some dankness to it like rotting leaves and pine resin. Lovely fruit profile as well – mostly citrus driven but with touches of honeydew, kiwifruit and guava. Hardly any malt coming through…it’s definitely the hop show!
Flavour: Oh wow it comes on with real assertion. Grapefruit and orange peel along with some pine resins and herbal spice on entry. The mid carries the hop bitterness nicely through to the dry, bitter and herbal/grassy finish. Nice length to it as well.
Mouthfeel: Dry, bitter and resinous texture with a hint of warmth from the 6.8% AbV. 73 IBU and the palate feels every bit of it…especially in the finish. Medium body and Co2.
Overall: We rarely go for hoppy English IPA’s as they most often don’t get it right. This one is excluded though. Even with a tri-national hop bill it still hits those big punchy bitter notes with precision. Solid drop.
Glassware: Poured into a schooner glass.
Appearance: Minimally hazy light copper with a sudsy white 10mm head that fades quickly, leaving just moderate sized bubbles clinging around the rim of the glass. Mild carbonation seen rising slowly.
Aroma: More malt driven aroma here out of the glass. Juicy caramels, with a mixture of ripe tropical fruits, pine from the citra but out of the can it’s more heavily citrus flavours shining ie grapefruit. Of note..fresh grapefruit juice from Market Juice is added into the brew.
Flavour: Wow..upfront is the grapefruit juice used. It’s not overly acidic and tart but you get every bit of fresh grapefruit citrus on the palate. Bitterness is present but not overpowering (only 30 IBU). The malts sit behind the grapefruit giving it a sweetness but not sickly. We get pine, pithy citrus, and more grapefruit juice. It really is the dominant factor here. Everything else really is in the background. We lose most of the tropical aroma.
Mouthfeel: Alcohol vol of 7.4% and it’s impressively absent. Body is moderate only and has decent length mainly from grapefruit juice acidity/tartness. Carbonation is again mild. Bitterness from all the hops and grapefruit is surprisingly curtailed.
Overall: It doesn’t top our favourite from these guys (Matriarch) but the tart and juicy grapefruit is a nice addition for this IPA. It went down a treat and we would purchase again.
Glassware: Poured into a schooner glass.
Appearance: Pours a hazy pale yellow with a foamy 10-15mm white head that slowly fades over a minute, leaving just a sudsy rim around the glass. Solid carbonation here. Looks a touch thin at the bottom of the glass. Patchy lacing down the glass here and there.
Aroma: Definate wine hop aromas, grapes, lemon, crackers, and mild caramels. Traces of spice.
Flavour: Exactly what you expect from a NEIPA..curtailed bitterness with upfront smoothness. The juice from the reisling grapes gives it a wine like hit, like Nelson sauvin hops. This is the dominant feature and it’s amazing that only 2% of reisling grape juice was used. It’s not too sweet or sickly though..balanced well by a tartness or zing with background fizz on the tonsil. Again only very mild caramels here.
Mouthfeel: Sitting at 6.7% alc vol, it’s not in anyway that noticeable. There is slight velevtyness from the oats. It’s a bit light on the body, but the length retains really well on the palate. Despite initial observation of decent carbonation, it’s mild in the mouth allowing for big gulps. Sticky on the lips after a few gulps.
Overall: It’s a light version of a NEIPA. Nothing overall bold. We have had better NEIPAs from Mikkeller but we like the use of the reisling juice. Maybe a big bigger in the body and this would be even better.
“Double IPA brewed with Nelson hops.”
Glassware: IPA glass.
Appearance: Uber cloudy apple juice looking affair with a thumb of rocky white foam over the top. Healthy lace work as it ebbs.
Aroma: Holy moly this is the real deal. Juicy AF gooseberry, orange, mango, pineapple, passionfruit, dried apricot, grassy hop, white grapes and vines. Kind of has this fibrous character to it…a bit like dried grain husks. Pretty dank as well, resinous and green with a palm sugar sweetness. Ooph this is something else!
Flavour: Simply put: NEIPA heaven! It comes on with a silky smooth fusion of stonefruit, pine resins and this distinct “green” and or “botanical” quality that is synonymous with Nelson Sauvin hops. We’re tasting a hint of black pepper as it surges through the mid and finishes with an earthy herbal note that endures.
Mouthfeel: So creamy and inoffensive. Can someone tell us how they manage this at 8.5% AbV?! Low co2 and bitterness.
Overall: This truly is one of the best NEIPA’s we’ve had. The amount of aroma and flavour that’s crammed in with no harsh booze or bitterness is insurmountable. Recognition must go to the Nelson Sauvin hops too…love em or hate em they work so well with the style. Superb!
“Cologne style Ale. Crisp, delicate, easy drinking & very moreish, the original Zierholz Beer. This beer combines a delicate fruitiness derived from fresh European style hops grown in Nelson, New Zealand and a pure German Ale yeast strain from a brewpub in Cologne with an appetizing malt character created using premium malts from Bamberg in Bavaria. The German Ale is an excellent choice for having with lighter dishes such as seafoods and salads but also goes nicely with spicier dishes such as curries providing welcomed refreshment and palate cleansing properties.”
Appearance: Slightly pale gold with a thumb of white foam settling to a collar. Works a fine lace as we hook in.
Aroma: Classic European nose…herbal spicy hops, light florals, ginger beer and mild yeast esters underlined by a semi sweet honey malt. Loving that ultra subtle woodyness as well. Incredibly well balanced. One of the better Aussie Kolsch aromas that’s for sure.
Flavour: It’s interesting because at first there doesn’t seem to be much going on but once we scrape the surface we find it’s actually quite complex….in a delicate kind of way. Subtle yeasty notes upfront move in to a soft Noble hop bitterness midway. Grassy/spicy finish which goes the distance on the back palate.
Mouthfeel: Crisp, light and well rounded. Very crushable considering its unexpected complexity. 5.1% AbV.
Overall: A very satisfying Kolsch. This is our first crack at this Canberran brewery and we’ll certainly be seeking out more from them. Impressive.
“Vibrant passionfruit flavour with a refreshingly tart finish.”
Appearance: Pale yellow with the slightest orange tint. No head whatsoever although a constant stream of co2 surges to the surface.
Aroma: Smells bloody amazing. The passionfruit absolutely pops! The subtle undertones of mildly salty water, orange berocca, tangy mandarin and Kirk’s Pasito is hitting the spot on this 30+ degree afternoon. It smells that good we’re jumping straight in for a taste.
Flavour: Don’t think we’ve ever had a beer so scull-worthy! If we didn’t know any better we’d believe it’s a passionfruit flavoured soft drink. It’s got refreshing passionfruit tartness, tangy orange, light salinity and just a touch of sweetness to balance it all out. It begs for another sip.
Mouthfeel: Light and salty with a certain minerality. Vibrant, spritzy co2 and only weighing in at 4.2% AbV…reassuring its ridiculous session ability.
Overall: Move over Pasito and Passiona there’s a new can on the block! Dead set this is Green Beacons best beer. What a cracker!
“This Double IPA is fermented with a special Norwegian Farmhouse yeast strain called Kviek. Fermented in half the time and at temperatures in excess of 95 degrees that would cause normal yeast to produce off flavors, this DIPA features both flaked & malted wheat and a double dose of Citra, Loral, and Mosaic hops.”
Glassware: IPA glass.
Appearance: Turbid orange juice kind of affair. A thumb of white head assembles before settling to a fine overlay. Laced well.
Aroma: Slightly offbeat notes of mixed citrus, stonefruits, apricot, florals, wheated grains, white bready-esque malts and a hint of funky/spicy yeast. As it settles it really starts to take the shape of a good quality American NEIPA with that classic brekky juice character.
Flavour: There’s a bit of a tart lemon funk upfront along with undertones of floral hops, herbs and orange peel. Something slightly woody in there…hinting at spice and mustyness. It finishes dry and bitter with lingering grapefruit and orange peel on the rear.
Mouthfeel: Pretty approachable for 8.5% AbV. There’s a decent bitterness in the swallow and maybe just a bit of a soapy texture to it.
Overall: The upside for this beer is it’s super crafty and it’s fun. Most of that comes down to the Kviek yeast used which surely provides all those offbeat aromas and flavours we’ve touched on. It’s hard to say whether we actually liked it or not! It wasn’t bad….we’ll leave it at that.
“This is a very hop forward American style IPA. Brewed with Pale, Vienna, Munich and wheat malt for a solid base for all American hops, focusing mainly on the variety “Citra.” Citra hops are a relatively new variety introduced in 2008. It was bred as a hybrid of a number of different hops, including Hallertauer Mittelfrüh, U.S. Tettnanger, East Kent Golding, Bavarian, Brewers Gold, and other unknown hops.”
Glassware: IPA glass.
Appearance: Nice and clear bold amber pour with a sturdy two finger crown perched on top. Excellent retention and lacing as it ebbs.
Aroma: Although it’s not bursting with the typical Citra qualities it’s still a cracking aroma. We pick juicy wafts of orange citrus, grapefruit, pine and sweet tropical fruits along with a stronger than expected caramel malt backing which hints at subtle honey and apple juice. It all seems a little muted but we like what they’ve got going on.
Flavour: Unfortunately what we were hoping wouldn’t happen ended up happening…the lifted sweetness – albeit enjoyable – has kind of inhibited any hope of a fresh and punchy hit of Citra hops. The muffled citrus, pine and tropical fruits are there but they’re drowning in an enveloping malt sweetness. It does find a bit of hop bitterness through the mid and finish but it’s futile!
Mouthfeel: Smooth and completely inoffensive…which is quite remarkable considering its weight (8.2% AbV). 68 IBU and mild-medium body.
Overall: We believe age has had a negative impact on this beer. The best before date shows 10/5/19 so it isn’t what we’d call fresh. Real shame coz there’s loads of potential.
“Named in honor of Indiana-born astronaut Gus Grissom who lost his life in the pursuit of taking a man to the moon, this IPA is aggressively hopped with Australian Galaxy and American Mosaic hops.”
Appearance: Super cloudy light orange-ish colour. Two fingers of fluffy white foam forms and holds together nicely. Seeing healthy lace work as we indulge.
Aroma: Tonnes of orange citrus qualities – mostly rind and pectin with a hint of marmalade. Peach, white pepper, banana and apple really coming through…among other usual estery suspects. There’s a bit of funk to it, not overpowering though which is good…just a suggestion of wheated grains and farmyard to bring it home.
Flavour: Big impression of pithy orange peel, grapefruit and dry acetic bitterness on entry. Hints of white pepper and warming booze accentuating it even further. It continues with this relentless bitterness and practically finishes how it begins – dry, bitter and citric. Not a whole lot of depth on offer.
Mouthfeel: Pretty aggressive. Dry and bitter. 9% AbV so it’s quite prickly as well. Can’t find an IBU which is annoying coz we’d like to know!
Overall: Can’t say we’re fans of it. Our main gripe is this incessant dry and pithy bitterness that grabs a hold of the palate and just wrecks it. It’s like they needed to add a sweeter base malt to balance it out a bit. Had better.
“All Funked Up- Wild Series. Belgian ale aged in red wine barrels finished with Brettanomyces.”
Glassware: Stemmed tulip.
Appearance: Pecan to mahogany kind of affair with a loosely held finger of light tan foam atop. Some spotty lace sticking to the glass as we go.
Aroma: Surprisingly mild chocolate is one of the first to hit the olfactory’s…mixed with a dark fruity tang to make it all the more interesting. Yeasty spice and vinous tannins with a hint of oak following close behind. Really strikes us as more of a funky, barrel aged dubbel at this point. There’s some sourness but it’s more of a sweaty/barnyard funk if anything.
Flavour: Light tart red fruits and oak tannins build to bitter sweet chocolate, dry red wine and a sweaty/manky sourness early in the mid. Some earthy hop dryness kicks up toffee apple, subtle orange peel and a certain mustiness which moves in to a slightly fruity finish with subtle yeast esters and dark fruit sweetness on the rear.
Mouthfeel: Light on. Mild-medium body with low co2. Not a lot happening other than the unbelievably well hidden AbV (9%).
Overall: Can’t say we’re impressed by this. If you’re expecting a sour beer then prepare to be surprised. Expect more of a slightly funked up dark Belgian ale with more pronounced yeast character than sourness.
“Giant aromas of pineapple and tropical fruit jump from this enticingly complex double IPA. True to its name, this brew delivers a heavy smack of dry hops and a double dose of bitterness in the finish.”
Glassware: IPA glass.
Appearance: Cloudy orange body with a sturdy two finger crown. It holds together nicely and weaves a fine lace as it subsides.
Aroma: Hopsmack by name, Hopsmack by nature! The medley of tropical fruits, citrus and stonefruits are captivating. Oodles of pine and berries, some dankness, we get a kind of sugar-crust from it also…almost like palm sugar. Undertones of green fleshy fruit such as honeydew and kiwifruit here and there. Brilliant aroma, very well layered.
Flavour: Carries on from the nose with a big helping of American hops upfront. Grapefruit, orange, pine, tropical fruits, stonefruit, citrus rind and mild peppery spice converge on the palate. It hits a brawny bitterness midway which stretches out in to the dry, piney and citrusy finish. Really good length on show as well.
Mourhfeel: Super bitter (100 IBU), drying towards the finish. Moderate co2 and body. The 7.8% AbV was really well concealed.
Overall: Another impressive offering from TG here. What they’ve done really well is they’ve taken the big aggressive bitterness out of a West Coast IPA and applied it to a NEIPA. Kind of offers the best of both coasts!
“Imperial Brown Ale brewed with Vanilla and Coffee.”
Glassware: English pint.
Appearance: Virtually black but revealing a cola hue at the base of the glass. A thumb of tan foam emerges but eventually retreats to the rim with a wet lace drag running down.
Aroma: Intense coffee and vanilla get things underway. A rather sweet coffee though – surely a cold drip as opposed to fresh coffee beans. The vanilla works very well in tandem we must say. It’s also getting great support from the nutty malts, milk chocolate, lightly roasted malts and cocoa. Very alluring!
Flavour: Getting that delicious sweetness from the vanilla but more of a roasted bitterness from the coffee (making us question our comments on the aroma). Bitter sweet chocolate, cocoa and burnt toast definitely adding to that. Some hop bitterness developing late as it finishes dry and roasty with a mild boozy burn in the tail.
Mouthfeel: Has a good viscosity to it. Weighs in at 8.9% AbV so some warmth is to be expected. No IBU to be found…we’d love to know where it lands because it’s quite bitter.
Overall: We’d also love to know whether the brewers intended on this being a kind of spin off of an Affogato. It has the ingredients but it missed a trick if that’s what they were after. Either way it’s a cracking brown ale.
” ‘Kriek’ starts out as a blend of one year old lambic-inspired barrels, combined with a mix of frozen tart cherries at a rate around 2 lbs per gallon. After two months of secondary fermentation and maturation the beer is sent to bottles and kegs for conditioning.”
Glassware: Stemmed tulip.
Appearance: Hits the glass with a cloudy strawberry red. It forms a short cap on top which leaves spotty lace as it ebbs. Looks good!
Aroma: Heady notes of tart cherry, lactic sourness, lemon/lime juice, red berry sherbet, red wine vinegar and musty wine cellar. Oak and subtle wine tannins also getting amongst it. It has just that right amount of manky character to it as well. Smells fantastic!
Flavour: Ooph she certainly has some pucker! The sharp lacto sourness hits with ferocity then gradually softens enabling the acidic lemon, tart cherry, red wine vinegar and mild oak tannins to come through. The true cherry flavour presents midway and rolls in to a funky/manky finish with lingering tartness on the back end.
Mouthfeel: Sharp and acetic with lively co2. The 6.4% AbV adds a bit of warmth as well.
Overall: She’d certainly benefit from a few years in the cellar that’s for sure. To be fair it is the 2018 vintage so it’s still expectedly bitey. All in all though it’s a damn fine Kriek.