Category Archives: IPA’s

Garage Project X The Veil ‘Hapi Sessions’ Hazy IPA

Rating:

“The Hāpi Sessions, this year a series of ‘pen pal’ collaborations with breweries at the top of their game, each beer showcasing a different hop forward style in a playful ‘freestyle’ interpretation of one of the beers that helped to make each brewery famous.Groundbreaking brewery The Veil, from Richmond Virginia, brings the new normal, with a huge smooth mouthfeel from 50% oats, oat flour and Citra in the boil and a lavish dry hop of US Sabro and harvest fresh Riwaka from Freestyle hop farm.”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Sandy pastel yellow with a murky haze. It forms a sturdy two finger head which holds together nicely. Leaving a set of rings on the glass as we go.

Aroma: We know the description “smooth” is normally applied to texture or flavour but this aroma actually smells smooth. Strong hints of hop oils, weed and spicy herbals, resin, pink grapefruit, tangerine and mixed citrus with more subtle touches of stonefruit, pine needle and coconut in support. Creamy oats and doughy white bread filling it out.

Flavour: Good damn that’s good. A wave of juicy tropical and stone fruits wash over. Orange citrus, lime and grapefruit also poking through. The smooth textural oats provide a lovely balance. Gets real weedy and resinous late in the piece…herbal spice, pine and candied lime in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth as silk. Literally coats the whole palate. Finely carbonated, medium body. 8% ABV…where is it?!

Overall: Outstanding drop. We’ve been lucky enough to try Veil beers on a few different occasions and each time we were blown away so it’s no surprise that once they teamed up with GP that they produced anything less. Brilliant.

Alefarm ‘Sparrows’ Double Hazy IPA

“Flying around the warehouse and landing gently on the floor is Sparrows, the latest addition to our DIPA range.⁣⁣ Sparrows is bringing with it 8.2% ABV and a dry-hop bill that reads Citra, Citra BBC, Ekuanot and Topaz, making for a hop-forward drinking experience with lots of fruit character in the aftertaste. Perfect for an easy-going Sunday in the sun.⁣⁣ We hope you’ll enjoy this beer as much as we do. Cheers, friends!⁣⁣”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Super hazy pastel orange with two fingers of fluffy white head. Excellent retention and tonnes of lace as it ebbs.

Aroma: Proper fruit basket although there’s one scent that does stand out…and that’s a rich scent of papaya/paw paw. Behind and around it are mango, peach, pineapple, mixed citrus, lychee, guava, fresh herbs, sappy pine resin and subtle spice. It has this distinct creaminess to it…wouldn’t say lactose it’s more like oats and coconut. Loving it.

Flavour: It holds on to the creamy and sweet buttery papaya/paw paw but Citra certainly comes in to the fold. Pithy citrus and pine cut through the fleshy sweetness of the stonefruits nicely. Some herbals and spicy resin getting amongst it as it finishes fruity, grassy and kinda dank. Good length too.

Mouthfeel: Creamy texture with dry bitterness in the swallow. Fluffy Co2 and medium body. The 8.2% ABV is nicely hidden.

Overall: Pretty impressive stuff. This isn’t our first crack at this Danish brewery but it is our first entry. It’s good but is it good enough to take the heat off guys like Mountain Culture and Garage Project? Nope!

Flamin Galah ‘Pilot’ NEIPA

Rating:

“Hints of chocolate flavours with lime, mandarin and stone fruit finish. Hopped with Galaxy and Wai-iti hops Ladies & gentlemen, we have been cleared to land at New England IPA Airport. Please fasten your craft beer seat belt, make sure your neck & mouth are in the upright position & your taste buds are ready for landing. The Wai-iti & Galaxy dry hop attendants are moving through the choc malt cabin to collect any mandarins, lime or stone fruits that may have become loose in the overhead bins during the flight. For your safety please remain seated until the Flamin Good Beer sign has been switched off.”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Murky apricot coloured body with a thumb of off white head. Good retention and healthy lace clinging to the glass as it subsides.

Aroma: Smells of candied orange citrus, boiled candy, sweet lime, rockmelon, guava and honeydew. The brewers say there’s a chocolate malt used here but that would be news to us…we can pick up a semi sweet honey malt but that’s about it. A hint of resin and weedy herbals also developing late. NEIPA huh?

Flavour: Slightly delayed but once it kicks off it offers a fair amount of stonefruit and mixed orange citrus. Apricot, lime and weedy herbals provide an interesting and unique mid palate and eventually lay down for a fruity finish full of more stonefruits.

Mouthfeel: Fairly smooth and creamy. Nicely weighted with good carbonation. 5% ABV though? What the hell is that?!

Overall: We can’t work this one out. It’s called a NEIPA but there’s hardly anything NEIPA about it. There’s apparently a chocolate malt which isn’t detectable and it’s 5% ABV which technically makes it a session IPA. Confusion.

Bulli Brewing ‘Pauline’ Red IPA

Rating:

“Not as red as a red wine, but in beer terms this is a red ale. Well hopped but not quite enough alcohol to make it an IPA, Pauline sits between a few typical descriptive beer categories. While it’s not a heavy beer, this is a full flavoured ale.”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Deep amber to maroon with a sturdy two finger head. Excellent retention with wavy lace in its wake.

Aroma: It certainly procures that crucial balance nicely…tonnes of sweet caramel malt, toffee and buttered toast pulled in to line by the floral, fruity and slightly piney hops. We love that they’ve gone for an all Aussie hop bill too (Ella, Enigma & Vic Secret). Even though our hops are fairly modest they hold their own here.

Flavour: Follows on from the nose; robust and super sweet caramel malt base with all the trimmings i.e toffee, buttered toast and mixed nuts. Then the hops step in and provide their piney, fruity and floral characters to balance. It all leads in to a slightly bitter finish with plenty of malt sweetness on the outer.

Mouthfeel: Sticky and gelatinous with medium body and fine carbonation. The 6% ABV is well placed. Could have had a bit more bitterness if anything.Overall: Not a bad way to kick off proceedings with this somewhat local brewery (for one of us). Nicely balanced with good depth of flavour. Not overly memorable but good enough.

Modern Times ‘Star Cloud’ Citra IPA

Rating:

“There is simply no way to adequately prepare your taste receptors for the jaw-dropping deluge of flavor contained herein. Packed with financially irresponsible amounts of incredibly choice Citra, Cashmere, and Motueka hops, this hazy IPA is a miraculously tasty juice-bomb replete with notes of tangerine, lime, citrus, and tropical magic. It’s a seriously excellent combo that may leave you with an intense desire to high-five the can.”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Hazy pastel orange with a wispy overlay. It quickly peels back to the rim but still leaves a gorgeous cascading lace on the glass.

Aroma: Very light and lacking vigour. We’ve really got to dig our noses in to pull in the gentle rockmelon, paw paw, peach and citrus. Very shy Citra notes especially from a hop so high in alpha acids, it should be jumping out, but it ain’t. Some grassy and floral notes along with the creamy malt bill. Nice but very subdued.

Flavour: Again, where are the Citra hops?! Plenty of tropical fruit character i.e paw paw, rockmelon, guava, peach etc. None of the classic grapefruit, pith and oils typically seen from Citra. Creamy flaked oats and a hint of doughy malt balancing out. Kind of a dry and bitter finish with soft fleshy stonefruit drawing out.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth but with a medium bitterness in the swallow. Nice plump body. 6.8% ABV well positioned.

Overall: Not overly thrilled by it. The lack of Citra character is disappointing, particularly as it’s in the name of the beer.

Mother Earth Brewing ‘Alone In Space’ IPA

Rating:

“Alone In Space is a Hazy Oatmeal IPA and showcases four different tropical hops. It’s featured hop, Sabro, shines with a robust bouquet of tangerine, coconut, tropical and stone fruit, and hints of cedar. To support its hoppy character, a simple grain bill consisting mainly of oats is used to add a creamy body and limit malt influence.”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Hazy golden orange with a thumb of finely beaded foam. Good retention and wavy lace strewn down the glass.

Aroma: It has West Coast roots mixed in with Northeast creaminess. Nicely defined citrus overtones, pithy rind and pine needle with the classic fleshy stonefruit and creamy oats synonymous with NEIPAs. Getting some light florals and candied fruits developing as well. The malt bill is creamy and full of flaked oats and cereal grains…as kinda expected.

Flavour: Mostly citrus and stonefruit with subtle touches of pine/resin, herbs and light florals. A little chalky and powdery, apparent oatmeal base filling it out. Orange citrus and peach coming forth late in the piece and delivering a fruity and piney/resinous finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy. A little chalky. Light and fluffy Co2, Medium body. 6.9% ABV is reasonably well hidden.

Overall: We tried this purely off the brilliance of their “4 Seasons” BA Barleywine. Although this is decent it’s hardly memorable. There are multiple Aussie breweries putting out better oat-infused IPA’s than this.

One Drop DDH Oat Cream IPA – Version 2

Rating:

“Soft, Fruity, Cushy AF. A far reaching and satiating hop complexity with a soft recherché of apricot, citrus, passionfruit & coconut. Lactose from Bega, NSW along with an unadulterated focus on achieving a soft and cushy water profile help to take the mouth feels to the nek level. A novel blend of our house NEIPA yeast and one from abroad commingle to provide a stone fruit and apricot cushion for your mouth. This is the Second Version in our exploration series of this style, and an ode to our Hundredth batch through the brewhouse. Layers upon layers of cream and a smooth stone fruit character make for the most insatiable pillow slurping experience one could hope to fall neck-beard first into.”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Turbid off orange/sandy gold/dirty dishwater kind of affair. A short white head is formed which retains well enough to work a fine wet lace down the glass.

Aroma: Similar to V.1 with its heady stonefruit dominance, doughy/bready malt profile and super creamy lactose, vanilla and coconut. There’s one noticeable difference though, and that’s this real dusty and chalky character.. whether that’s the yeast or not we’re uncertain. Some citrus and passion fruit also creeping in late. Hhmm, maybe too much “oat cream”??

Flavour: Oh wow it’s so smooth and fluffy it’s like we’re drinking clouds. Subtle stonefruit initially but then the lactose, vanilla, coconut and oatmeal take over. A hint of peppery spice, mango and powdered sugar move in to a supremely sweet and creamy finish that endures.

Mouthfeel: Probably no need to say it but…it’s creamy AF! Light, aerated, fluffy, finely carbonated. 8.1% ABV very well buried.

Overall: Although the whole “oat cream” thing may have been overdone it still is a really enjoyable drop. Unbelievably smooth and silky, fruity and creamy. We actually prefer this over the V.1

Toppling Goliath ‘Fire, Skulls & Money’ IPA

Rating:

“Inspired by a trip to the West Coast, this brew was designed to capture the wild spirit of adventure and brewed to be enjoyed with friends. It’s a rich IPA for those with wanderlust in their heart and fire in their eyes. Join our Citra, Mosaic, Galaxy, and Nelson Hops on a journey to the bottom of your glass.”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Hazy light pastel orange with golden highlights. Sturdy two finger crown which holds together well. Seeing thick blotchy lace sticking to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: Definitely picking up the hop oils and citrus-laden Citra hops. Stonefruits i.e peach, melon, paw paw and mango. Passion fruit, lychee and pineapple also coming along for the ride. Some herbs and slightly dank pine/resins, diesel and vines with a mostly semi sweet and kinda husky malt profile.

Flavour: A bit of a mix of stonefruit and mildly pithy citrus upfront. The sharper pine and herbaceous notes doing their best to cut through. Somewhat grainy and husky malt profile taking a bit of a spell on the sideline while the finish is fruity sweet but also herbal and resinous.

Mouthfeel: Fairly smooth and rounded with a hint of bitterness in the swallow. Medium body, 7.2% ABV shows its hand at times.

Overall: It goes to show how much better Aussie breweries are getting when TG hazy’s no longer excite us. This ain’t bad but it’s nothing special at the same time.

One Drop DDH Oat Cream IPA – Version 1

Rating:

“Fluffy, lush, silky & smooth. A far reaching gossamer-like hop complexity with soft florets of tangerine, lime, tropical fruit, & coconut. Our Four Ways of Oat processing, together with creamy Australian lactose, help to take the density of feel and flavour to new heights. Softest of water and a novel yeast provide the upmost cushy comfort. All coalesce into the First Version of our exploration series of this style, and the lofty heights of where the fluff can go. Layers upon layers of creamy smooth mango and sultry ripe naval orange make for the most insatiable cloud drinking experience one could hope to float across.”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Turbid mustard/sandy yellow pour with a loosely packed three finger head. It quickly reduced but manages a thick soapy lace down the walls of the glass.

Aroma: Wow it invades the olfactory’s with its fleshy stonefruit, oatmeal, vanilla and mixed citrus. It feels really dense and doughy yet well countered by the direct citrus i.e lemon, grapefruit and orange blossom. Lactose-a-plenty, coconut, soft herbal/weedy notes, pine/sappy resins and hop oils also getting amongst it.

Flavour: Super resinous and herbal, a bit dank too. Sappy pine, mango, unripened paw paw, mixed citrus, creamy oatmeal, vanilla and toasted coconut. Hits a slightly pithy note midway then leads in to a dry and kinda yeasty finish with lingering herbals and resin on the back end.

Mouthfeel: As described perfectly on the can – “fluffy, silky and smooth”. Medium body, lightly sparkling Co2. 7.1% ABV is fairly well behaved.

Overall: We like it. Yeah it’s no Mountain Culture or Garage Project but it’s smooth and creamy AF. Nicely balanced flavours to boot. Solid.

Range Brewing ‘Low Power Mode’ DDH IPA

Rating:

“Low Power Mode by name, high hop intensity by flavour experience. We have given this DDH IPA our heftiest dry hop to date. Packed with Citra Cryo, Cashmere Cryo, Sabro and Strata, this is one for the hop lovers out there. The colour is light golden and super hazy. Cashmere Cry comes out hard in the aromas with melon being at the forefront, followed by light hints of overripe mango. On the palate there is a bursting array of pineapple, melon and mango, with a distinctive bitterness that really lets you know you’re drinking a DDH IPA. Hop lovers only.”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Turbid mustard colour with a shade of pastel orange. It forms a short and loosely packed head which retreats to the rim. Spotty lace sticks as we go.

Aroma: Crammed full of ripe fleshy stonefruit and tropical fruits such as paw paw/papaya, rockmelon, peach, mango, pineapple and apricot. Definitely has the brekky juice character dialled in. Some fleeting hints of orange citrus, dank weedy herbals, nectar and coconut flakes. Grainy, cereal malt profile nicely woven through. Smells the goods!

Flavour: Starts fresh, juicy and full of stonefruit and other mixed fruits like pineapple, paw paw and passion fruit. Pithy citrus really comes to a head midway and continues in to a slightly dry and mildly bitter finish with dank herbals/weedy notes and hop oils on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth AF. Some bitterness in the swallow. Medium body, sparkling Co2. The 7.5% ABV isn’t without a little bite.

Overall: Hot damn fresh IPA is so freakin good. This bad boy is only 10 days old which is amazing considering it’s come from Brissy too. Cracking Hazy, Range really are one of the best in the business.

Mr Banks ‘Neon Dreams’ NEIPA

Rating:

“DDH IPA Hopped exclusively with 100% CRYO Hops. Double Dry Hopped heavily with Citra, Simcoe & Chinook Cryo.. Like shoving your face into a fresh bag of hops. Massive tropical fruit & Juice upfront, little to no bitterness & a soft palate that just falls away making way for that next sip.”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Super hazy pastel orange with two fingers of sturdy head nestled atop. Good retention and lacing as it subsides.

Aroma: Man this smells fresh as a daisy. It literally is like sticking our shnozz in to a bag of fresh hop pellets. Citra is the most vigorous and brings those gorgeous hop oils, grapefruit and pithy orange peel. Quite a strong nectar scent too… passion fruit, peach and ripe mango in spades. Hints of herbal spice, florals, paw paw and lychee. Superb aroma.

Flavour: Certainly follows the nose…bright orange citrus, orange blossom, green mango then grapefruit and rind developing through the mid. Kind of a dry oaty malt bill in the background. It continues with the orange citrus dominance and finishes with a hint of herbal spice and hop oils.

Mouthfeel: Chalky. Nice density yet still so fluffy and aerated. 6.2% ABV is well positioned.

Overall: As we always find with Mr Banks Hazy’s they’re just one trick short of being master strokes. Appearance, aroma and texture is all there, the flavour profile setting it back just a little. Still, a bloody good crack.

Garage Project X Modern Times ‘Easy As’ NEIPA

Rating:

“Home & Away, a series of rebrews bringing some of our funnest overseas collaborations back to the Garage. For this release we bring you Easy As, originally brewed with our good friends Modern Times at their Dankness Dojo in downtown LA. Brewed using a hop free boil, cryo hops in the whirlpool and massive double dry hop of Mosaic, Citra and Nelson Sauvin hops. Bringing home the goodness.”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Proper turbid mustard-like complexion. It forms a thumb of off white head which slowly retracts and weaves a fine lace as it ebbs.

Aroma: NEIPA town! It erupts with massive juicy-ness and kept in check with that hallmark dry bready malt and subtle peppery spice. This one is displaying big passion fruit overtones as well as mango, apricot, peach, paw paw, green grapes and nashi pear. Some citrus fused through, a bit dank and resinous, vines and frosty fruits also getting a look in. Supoib!

Flavour: It’s like a juice bomb has been set off in the mouth. We get stonefruit, tropical fruits and citrus hitting us from every angle. Then there’s a lovely touch of peppery/herbal spice, some pine resin and a splash of white grape or gooseberry (classic Nelson Sauvin character). Frosty fruits, crusty white bread and oats shift in to a dry and fruity finish with good legs.

Mouthfeel: Light, creamy and aerated texture. Nice fluffy Co2. Mild-medium body with the 6% ABV completely hidden.

Overall: Could we expect anything less than perfection from arguably the best Antipodean NEIPA brewers and one of the best in the trade from the States? There’s no surprise either that they’ve smashed this out of the park. Top shelf stuff.

Urbanaut ‘Beer Blender’ Salted Caramel IPA X Baked Pear Sour

Rating:

Our latest release in the Beer Blender series! Each Beer Blender contains 2 x 250ml cans of beer, packaged together and designed to be enjoyed on their own or blended together for a third flavour experience!

1 – Taste Can A

2 – Taste Can B

3 – Blend together

4 – PARTY FOREVER!

Glassware: IPA

Baked Pear Sour: Straw golden pour with a short fizzy white head. It forms a halo and drags a wet lace down the glass. Nose is light and sweet. Caramelised pear, spice, candied lemon and a hint of apple cider. A flutter of vanilla floating around too. Jeez you could barely call it a sour. Watered down pear and apple cider with subtle spice and vanilla on the palate. Texture is thin but somewhat refreshing. A bit meh.

Salted Caramel IPA: Holy moly it’s dark AF! Almost black with a short tan head. Retention is ok and it laces fairly well. The aroma oozes decadent caramel and butterscotch along with more subtle hints of maple and caramelised sugars. Almost a hint of dark spiced rum coming through. More of the same on the palate; smooth, sweet and delicious. Luxurious texture, gelatinous, medium body. Slightly flat Co2. Much better than the sour.

The Blend: Deep brown with a fizzy two finger head. The two main features (baked pear and salted caramel) pair up really well.. it’s no surprise the two are meant for one another. Together they create a dark fruit quality that’s hard to pin down…reminds us of maple drenched raisins. If that’s even a thing. The sourness actually comes through more now than it did just on its own. It cuts through the rich sweetness and leaves a sweet and sour finish.

Overall: Another fun and super quirky release from these creative Kiwi’s! The baked pear sour on its own left us wanting but the salted caramel IPA was good and the blend was probably the best part. We dig it…maybe not as much as the Black Forest Stout/Espresso Scotch Ale though, that was epic.

Willie The Boatman ‘Hop Storm’ NEIPA

Rating:

“This Tropical New England ipa brings you right into the eye of the hopstorm. Bursting with tropical flavours and aromas, the three hops used are all new world and experimental hops that have only recently burst onto the scene. They give off a fresh fruit salad feel with hits of pineapple, canned lychees, coconut, passionfruit and freshly peeled citrus. The lower bitterness and juicy mouthfeel helps this neipa to be extremely approachable and dangerously sessionable.”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Straw golden complexion with a fairly mild haze. Nice fluffy head swelling to a finger and a half before retracting a smidge. Webbed lace sticks to the glass as we go.

Aroma: Has this kind of cocktail vibe going on. Piña Colada anyone?? Definitely chock full of pineapple, mango, coconut cream, vanilla, orange citrus, passion fruit and fresh leafy herbs. We get a bit of Margarita mix off it too. Nice doughy malt there in the background giving off the white bread notes. Pretty good.

Flavour: The cocktail vibe drops off and is replaced by the classic NEIPA juiciness. A bit of a fruit salad really.. everything from pineapple, mango and melon to orange citrus, peach and pear. Leafy green herbs are nicely fused through with the subtle bready malts at the base. Quite a juicy/fruity finish that lingers.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, aerated and fluffy. Nice sparkly Co2. 6.7% ABV is well hidden.

Overall: Pretty tidy offering here from Willie’s. It’s not a must have NEIPA by any means but it definitely holds its own. Kudos to big Pat!

Rusty Penny ‘The Penny’ IPA

Rating:

“The one of the hop heads. The malt that is used to reach the higher ABV and give this ale its heat and full bodied mouth feel, is hidden behind those massive additions of big floral hops late in the brewing process. It finishes sweet with lingering flavours of passion and grapefruits and a moderate level of spice from the american hops coupled with the esters from the carefully chosen house yeast.”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Nice and clear golden amber pour with a finger of sturdy off white head. Good retention and lacing as it ebbs.

Aroma: Doesn’t blow our minds but it goes along doing its thing reasonably well. First whiffs reveal a hint of florals, mild resin and spice with the delicate citrus and candy playing 2nd fiddle. Quite a hefty and semi sweet malt profile which really fluffs it out. As we touched on earlier…nothing life changing but it’s decent.

Flavour: Follows the nose. Kinda sticky and resinous, piney, spicy, light florals with the fruity hints of citrus, green melon and grapefruit punching through the middle. Semi sweet honey malts develop and continue in to the dry and bitter yet mildly sweet finish.

Mouthfeel: A little sticky, mild-medium body and Co2. 7.2% ABV offers a little bit of warmth but it’s generally well concealed.

Overall: This is our first entry for Rusty Penny but not our first time trying their beers though. This IPA is pretty run-of-the-mill but at the same time it’s not too shabby.

Currumbin Valley ‘Breakfast Juice’ Hazy IPA

Rating:

“Breakfast Juice is our Hazy IPA packed with juicy US hops. Hopped at 32 g/L with Citra, Simcoe, Cashmere and Mosaic.”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Bright golden amber pour with close to 100% clarity. A thumb of off white head emerges and holds its shape. Laces brilliantly as we go.

Aroma: Fairly stock standard apart from the somewhat fruit salad nature of it. Getting strong wafts of passion fruit, melon and ruby grapefruit with an array of other fruits in support; pineapple, blood orange, peach, mango, red apple and paw paw. Kind of a semi sweet biscuity malt that adds to the generally pleasant character.

Flavour: The fruit salad features prominently again with technically the same fruits coming forward – ruby grapefruit, passion fruit, unripened pineapple and green mango. Pithy orange rind and acetic citrus follows. The hop bitterness surely adds to that as well. Pretty dry, bitter and pithy finish which kinda tapers off a bit.

Mouthfeel: Slightly prickly and bitter in the swallow. Medium body and Co2. 7.3% ABV shows up a little.

Overall: A little confusing to be honest. It’s sold as a Hazy IPA but there’s hardly any haze. It looks and tastes more like an Australian version of a West coast IPA if anything. Not a bad drop. Just, yeah….confusing.

Batch ‘Juicy Boys’ DDH NEIPA

“From three brewers at our Small Batch brewery this hazy & full bodied, juicy IPA is doubly packed full of Amarillo, El Dorado & Citra Hops. Tropical fruit salad flavours abound and are enhanced by the soft German Kolsch yeast.”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Turbid deep mustard-like body with a thumb of fizzy white head. It gradually recedes and forms a collar with reasonable lacing.

Aroma: Off the first few whiffs it smells magnificent. Juicy, a little peppery, loads of herbal spice and ripe stonefruit i.e apricot, peach, mango. Pineapple, lychee and other mixed tropical fruits also coming through. Some dankness to it. That classic dry and white bready malt also filling it out. Solid!

Flavour: Tangy citrus hitting the taste buds initially. Followed by your typical brekky juice characters; stonefruit, tropical fruits and soft yeasty notes. Herbal spice and dry doughy malts in the mid leading to a juicy/fruity finish which reveals a touch of pithy citrus.

Mouthfeel: Nicely weighted. Smooth texture with a gentle spritzy Co2. Creamy, a little chalky. 6.6% ABV well positioned.

Overall: Look it’s a good interpretation but like most other Batch beers we’ve tried it’s good without being great. Not a bad drop though.

Mountain Culture ‘692’ West Coast IPA

Rating:

“We were sent some experimental hops from the USA creatively titled HBC 692 and DJ took them and caressed them gently into a West Coast IPA. It’s clean, refreshing and has heaps of flavours but we don’t know what they are because we haven’t tried it yet. We’ve been told to expect grapefruit, stonefruit, pine, wood and resin.”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Nice bold amber complexion with full transparency. It forms a sturdy two finger head which slowly retracts. Reasonable lace sticks as we imbibe.

Aroma: Really cool back story here…a new experimental hop from the USA is used and it’s so new that even the brew team aren’t even sure what characters it will impart! Ha. We dig it though, this is true craft brewing. We pick up super clean pine needle, candied citrus, guava, honeydew/melon, subtle mandarin peel, soft herbals and a kind of treated pine wood note.

Flavour: Follows the nose – ultra clean, piney, got a touch of those semi sweet green fruits; honeydew, guava etc. Nicely balanced by a tempered honey malt profile. A bit of edgy citrus bitterness through the mid leading to a nicely poised finish of pine, orange citrus and herbals.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and clean. Medium body with mild-moderate Co2. 7.8% ABV comes through intermittently.

Overall: The experimental hop is nicely suited to the style of beer. But as well as say Citra, Mosaic or Simcoe? Maybe not. The beer itself is good too but again probably doesn’t beat Back To Cali…that was next level.

Mr Banks ‘Group Hangs’ DDH IPA

Rating:

“Hopped heavily with Nelson Sauvin, Citra, Citra Cryo and Galaxy. Massive tropical fruit, dank and ultra quaffable. A Juicy Affair with a refreshing drinkability.”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Turbid light pastel yellow with a loosely packed head which peels off quickly. This thing literally looks like brekky juice.

Aroma: Yep, juicy AF! She’s doing all the right things – subtle juice concentrate/frosty fruits with a nice peppery spice annexing to it. Oodles of juicy tropical fruit and stonefruit, herbal spice (aniseed, Thai basil, lemongrass) and a doughy white bready malt structure. Some grapefruit and pithy rind starting to open up too. Superb!

Flavour: Unbelievably smooth, juicy, spicy and herbal with an undertone of oats and fresh white bread. Hits a bit of a zesty note early in the mid and shows unripened citrus and slightly pithy rind late in the piece. Finishes dry, herbal and fruity with decent length.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, creamy, a bit chalky. Co2 has a nice vibrancy to it. Medium body. 7% ABV is nicely disguised.

Overall: Another impressive release from Mr Banks. We feel these guys just need that one last component to their Hazy’s to take them from great to outstanding. Can’t complain with this though, it’s pretty damn good.

Staves Brewery IPA

Rating:

“A southern hemisphere take on a new world IPA. Hop forward, with tropical fruit notes and a touch of spice.”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Kinda burnished orange with an amber hue. It forms a short white head which gradually peels off and leaves a reasonable lace as we go.

Aroma: Uniquely antipodean with its sharp lime, gooseberry and lush evergreen kicked on by ripe stonefruit i.e peach, melon and resinous/sappy pine. It has a real strong scent of white wine (namely young Riesling) to it which is a trait of Nelson Sauvin but funnily enough it isn’t in the hop bill. But then again Waimea is.

Flavour: Follows through nicely. Truck loads of lime and gooseberry, vines, stonefruit, pine resin, young white wine and fruity herbals like lemongrass and lemon thyme. Very subtle and slightly dry malt at its core. Mildly bitter, grassy/herbal finish with lingering green citrus.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, mineraly, moderately bodied. Co2 is a little flatter than we’d like but the 6.6% ABV is well concealed.

Overall: In this age of the never ending haze craze it takes some gall to put out a different and localised IPA like this. The best thing is they pulled it off. Big ups.