Category Archives: IPA’s

Hobgoblin IPA


“There are IPA’s and there are legendary IPAs. Ours is legendary. Pale golden with orange glints this beer is forged from the finest British hops and varieties gathered from the far-flung shores of the pacific. Prepare for an intense tropical explosion of zesty oranges, grapefruit, honey and juicy bitterness. Winner of the World’s best IPA award. Like we said, Legendary.”

Glassware: English pint.

Appearance: Bold amber pour with a dense and frothy two finger crown. Excellent retention and a smattering of lace decorates the glass on its way down.

Aroma: Bursting with traditional English IPA qualities i.e fruit forward but still harnessing the toasty malt, spice and tangy orange/marmalade that we love so much about this style. Just the right amount of floral perfume and freshly baked bread at the core of it all. A delicate sweetness rounds it all out. Kind of juicy too, we’ve just realised. They call this beer legendary and we see why.

Flavour: Certainly continuing on with the lifted fruity notes – ruby grapefruit, candied orange and lychee/guava. The juiciness comes into play here too. Not in the sense of reconstituted juice but almost. The great thing about it is that it doesn’t get cloying, although it gets quite artificially sweet but the masterful use of toasty and bready/crusty malt along with the bitterness assures the balance of it all anyway.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, slick texture, slightly spritzy Co2. Medium body. The 5% ABV, although low, is right where it should be for a traditional English IPA.

Overall: Another one of those beers that we couldn’t believe we hadn’t reviewed yet. It has been a return-to beer for us for years and deservedly so. It’s a corker.

Kicks ‘Warp’ West Coast IPA


“Putting the spotlight on Freestyle Hops’ Riwaka in all its glory. Expect exotic citrus, papaya and candy flavours to jump out of the glass. Backed up with a more modest dose of our house favourite, Nelson Sauvin, with its dank passion fruit and guava flavour profile.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Pours a somewhat bold amber with a soft hop haze. A finger of white head forms on top and as it gradually reduces it leaves some wavy lace on the glass.

Aroma: Freestyle hops would have to be one of the most popular hop farms in the world at the moment. It’s not surprising when they can produce aromas of this quality. One of the characteristics we love the most about NZ hops is the juicy lime (which this has in spades). Candied lemon, fresh herbs like basil and thyme, white grapes, unripened tropical fruit and lush rainforest in support.

Flavour: Again, an impressive display of NZ hops upfront. The palate is basking in all of that fresh green character i.e lime/lemon, fresh savoury herbs, white grape, some dank pine and resinous qualities. Just the mildest touch of malt sweetness before the hop bitterness rolls over and shifts it all into an archetypal West Coast finish of dry dank bitterness and herbals.

Mouthfeel: Smooth initially then a little dry and bitter in the swallow. Medium body, good Co2 and a well behaved 7.2% ABV.

Overall: Crisp, well balanced and dangerously crushable. It’s just a really well structured West Coast IPA. Two from two now!

The Orkney Brewery ‘Cliff Edge’ IPA


“Cliff Edge IPA is a brilliant bronze beer with a tantalising trio of American hops. Pushing you to the edge of your senses, with an intense impact of piney and spicy fruit flavours, before dropping to a crash of bitter zestiness. The Cliffs of Yesnaby, one of Orkney’s many landmarks, are just a few miles south of our brewery, and the coastal walks are memorable, much like this beer.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Slightly hazy straw golden complexion with a lick of orange through the centre. It only manages a thumb of off-white head which gradually peels off. Healthy lacing on the glass as we go.

Aroma: We really dig English IPA’s (yes, we’re aware this is a Scottish brewery) and nine times out of ten they get it right and it’s magnificent. This might be the one they get wrong. In saying that, we’re detecting a fair bit of diacetyl (butterscotch) so there could be some faults. We’ve checked some other reviews and no one mentions anything about caramelised and or buttery sweetness.

Flavour: Hhhmmm maybe not?! The American hops shine bright with their bold orange citrus overtones, pine needle, unripened melon and white pepper. That buttery diacetyl-ridden sweetness is nowhere to be seen. Getting a weird lemon Strepsil note from it but it isn’t a fault…it’s just not the most pleasant flavour imaginable. Finishes dry, earthy, spicy. Good length on it.

Mouthfeel: Well rounded, crisp and fairly clean. Mild-medium body. The 4.7% ABV makes no impact as expected.

Overall: Weird, weird IPA. It doesn’t really fit into the English IPA category so we’re unsure where it sits. Scottish American session IPA?? Don’t know. Alls we know is we’re not digging this one.

Monkish ‘Brainwaves Swell’ DDH IPA


“Double Dry Hopped (DDH) IPA showcasing Citra.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Exactly like every other one we’ve reviewed over the past few weeks – turbid pastel orange with a nice fluffy head. Good retention and lace work. Some say variety is the spice of life but when a brewery can pump out beers as good as Monkish then hey, make them look all the same. Won’t bother us!

Aroma: OG-style NEIPA. Reminds us of the old Treehouse classics like Julius and Sap. Big citrus overtones, some pine resin, herbal spice, frosty fruits and a subtle dank weedy character. The all-important hints of green mango, unripened pineapple and peach skins are also here. Somewhat dry, chalky, bread crusty malt profile. Spot on!

Flavour: If someone were to ask us an example of the perfect modern day NEIPA it’d be this. Because it tastes like the OG ones! Juicy but not overly so, citrusy but not pithy and bitter, spicy, chalky, herbal, unripened sweet tropical fruits. It’s just doing it all perfectly. Not to mention the precise balance it has as it finishes and floats off the back palate so effortlessly.

Mouthfeel: Beer clouds. So light, fluffy and aerated. Co2 is spot on and the 7.3% ABV is no where to be seen.

Overall: Superb. No doubt the best of the lot that were shipped out here. It’s fitting that we finished off the last Monkish review in this fashion too, we sincerely hope that Experience It can get another load of their beers back over here in the future.

Monkish ‘Myself’ Double IPA


“DDH Double IPA w/ Vic Secret and Citra.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Pretty much a carbon copy of every other NEIPA we’ve tried from Monkish over the past few weeks. Consistent! Pastel golden-orange hue with two fingers of fluffy white head. Excellent retention and lacing.

Aroma: Interesting hop bill here – Vic Secret and Citra. Citra we totally understand but the use of our good ol’ Vic Secret is perplexing. It’s quite a delicate hop and is easily overshadowed by the much higher alpha acids in Citra. Anywho, it’s giving off big fruity notes. Not as juicy as other recent releases, it’s slightly sweeter…think pineapple, mango, orange and apricot.

Flavour: Don’t know about this one. The booze has a wee burn to it plus it’s a little astringent as well. Unlike the aroma there’s isn’t a whole lot of sweetness or juiciness from the hops. It’s mostly piney, dank and herbaceous with a dry and bready malt profile. Hits a super pithy note midway and carries into the dry, citric and warming finish.

Mouthfeel: Prickly, a little acrid and rigid. Not the most pleasant texture we’ve encountered. Co2 is ok but the 8.2% ABV is far too observable.

Overall: Can’t say we’re fans of this expression. Right from the aroma we weren’t really digging it and it just never really came together. We guess they are human after all!

Phase 2 ‘Wooden Axe’ Black Rye IPA


“This beer is dark, hoppy and roasted. The rye malt lends a spicy zest, perfectly complementing the citrusy hop character from some big hitters, Citra & Amarillo. This is Phase 2.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Mostly black pour except for a bit of light piercing through at the foot of the glass. Modest finger and a half of tan head but excellent retention and lacing as we go.

Aroma: Rye malt is surprisingly underrated and seldom used in brewing these days. It’s a subtle touch in this expression but because they’re pretty rare the distinct peppery spice and rich earthiness is quite noticeable. It also puts an emphasis on the roasted malts and fruity hops. Delicate herbal/piney and dank accents as well. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Flavour: Displaying roasted malts, slightly smoky notes and pine on entry. The hops come charging in with notable flavours of zesty citrus, pine and herbal spice. A decent hop bitterness kicks off around the mid palate and carries a pithy citrus into the roasty, citrusy and generally well balanced finish.

Mouthfeel: A little sharp and oily. Bitter in the swallow. Medium body with lively Co2. The 6.5% ABV is pretty well behaved.

Overall: Not totally sold on it. We’d been given 2 separate recommendations on this but we’re not really seeing the hype. Yeah, it’s a decent drop but it’s nothing to write home about.

Monkish ‘Ante Meridien Cats’ Triple IPA


“DDH TRIPLE IPA with Motueka and Citra (DDH TIPA version in the Never Sleep and Cousin of Death series).”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: OG-looking NEIPA – turbid mustardy hue with two fingers of light fluffy head perched on top. Good retention and moderate lace work on the glass.

Aroma: We were just commenting on another recent review about how many amazing Triple IPA’s have hit the shelves lately. This one is already shaping up to be another one. It’s actually quite complex but it’s a definite juice bomb. Direct notes of frosty fruits, not so much juice concentrate but certainly fresh squeezed OJ, mango, passionfruit etc. Stonefruits-a-plenty, kinda weedy herbals, peppery spice, chalky. Wow.

Flavour: Holy moly! 10.2% ABV huh? Dead set it drinks like a sub 7 percenter. A tiny bit of sting in the tail but that’s it. Incredible. So much happening. Again, it’s super juicy…packed with sweet citrus, passionfruit, green mango, stonefruits. Not as weedy on the palate but it is a tad dank and piney. Some fennel seed, shallots, lemongrass. That dry chalkiness develops late then sets up a dry, citric finish.

Mouthfeel: Unbelievably smooth yet kinda flinty and dry. Not really beer clouds but light-moderate body and the 10.2% ABV…well you already know where we sit on that.

Overall: Next level Triple IPA here. It should not be so easy to drink. Proper dangerous but absolutely delicious!

Monkish ‘Float Like Gravity’ Triple IPA


“Triple IPA with Galaxy, Simcoe, and Nelson hops. (Triple IPA version of Relax Your Mind/Conscience Be Free).”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Exemplary. Muddy, deep pastel golden yellow hue crowned with a loosely packed two finger head. Gradual reduction and sudsy lace left on the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: We detect a bit of simcoe! By far one of our most favourite older new world hop varieties. Pine resin is always one of the telling qualities but also distinct ruby grapefruit and thyme. Also picking up huge stonefruit notes, pineapple, mixed citrus (orange, lime, lemon zest), softer notes of passionfruit, green mango, fennel and green grapes. More of a grainy, cereal-esque malt profile to this one.

Flavour: Hot damn there’s been some amazing triple IPA’s released lately. It’s impressive how well the ABV has been buried. Tasting similar to the nose – pine resin, zesty citrus, bitter grapefruit, then the chewy stonefruits arrive. Very subtle minty/woody herbal accents cutting through. Again, picking up grainy, wheaty malts and a peppery spice late in the piece. Quite a bitter, zesty finish which lingers.

Mouthfeel: Smooth upfront, bitter in the swallow. Dry, creamy texture, medium body. The 10.3% ABV is well concealed for its size.

Overall: Our only criticism would be that the bitterness is a little too eager. The ABV also shows through a bit too but at 10.3% ABV it can be excused. Respectable.

Monkish ‘B-boy Apostle’ DDH IPA


“DDH IPA featuring Nelson Sauvin from @freestylehops
(DDH version of Prehistoric B-boy).”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Pours as we’d expect – turbid pastel orange with pastel yellow highlights. Two fingers of loosely packed head, slowly reducing to a thick overlay. Thick, sudsy lace crusts up on the glass as we go.

Aroma: It’s ticking all our boxes initially. It’s Monkish so that’s a massive tick, it’s turbid and looks the goods…big tick, and it’s all Kiwi hops (single hop Nelson Sauvin to be exact) so another big tick. Beautiful fruit characteristics – fresh squeezed OJ, yellow grapefruit, green mango, pineapple, tart green grapes and passionfruit. Also getting delicate peppery spice, shallot, pine needle and fennel.

Flavour: Feels like we’re getting our vitamin C intake for the day. Oodles of juicy citrus like orange, grapefruit and lime then a nice balance of green mango, pineapple and green grapes. Dry, chalky and crusty malts in the mix. Some hints of vanilla sweetness. Our one and only gripe with Nelson Sauvin is that it can sometimes impart soft ammonia-esque (cat piss) qualities which, unfortunately, it’s doing here.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth. Dries up nicely in the finish though. Mild-moderate body, finely carbed. The 6.9% ABV reveals itself a little.

Overall: Not one of their best NEIPA renditions but we ain’t gonna complain. It’s still a very decent drop from one of the best IPA producers in the world.

Range X Garage Project ‘Lights & Disco’ Triple IPA


Lights & Music is a Triple IPA brewed in collaboration with cult NZ icons Garage Project from Wellington, NZ. Remaining the #1 rated beer in Australia, it was originally brewed for our 3rd birthday, to be a punchy, juicy and luxurious TIPA. We’ve brought it back for another spin because, well, it’s awesome. This year’s version is dry-hopped with our hand selected Freestyle Hops Motueka plus the freshest Citra and Galaxy we could lay our hands on. Lights & Music is about as smooth and tropical as anything we’ve ever made.

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: What a sight! It’s summed up the best when described as having a “milky haze”. The colour is strikingly light and milky with a turbid freshly squeezed apple juice consistency. Good head/retention and a caked-on sheet of lace is draped down the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Impressive. Super silky, creamy and luscious. There’s wave after wave of zesty citrus, ripe peach/skin, mango smoothie, passionfruit nectar, tart gooseberry and delicate hints of lychee. The malt profile is equally as impressive… displaying chalk, grains and white bread crusts. Unsure if there’s any lactose in here but there’s a distinct creamy sweetness as well.

Flavour: Sweet baby Jesus how is this 10% ABV?! It drinks exactly like the aroma – packed with tropical fruits, citrus and stonefruit then pumped full of creamy goodness. A kind of dry chalkiness, a touch of peppery spice, bread crusts and grainy malts fill it out. Ridiculously smooth, fruity and lightly drying finish which lingers.

Mouthfeel: Super creamy, aerated beer clouds. So light and silky, mild-medium body. The 10% ABV…how do they conceal it like this? It’s remarkable.

Overall: This is something else. No wonder it’s selling out so quickly everywhere we look. This is USA-level NEIPA right here. Superb.

Zig Zag Brewery ‘Seven Valleys’ IPA


“Medium Body, citrus and stone fruit hop aromas and flavours, with a balanced medium bitterness. The hops mellow and give way to a toasted malt backbone with a subtle hint of caramel sweetness.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Fairly deep amber pour and a finger of off-white head forming on top. Decent retention and lace work as we hook in.

Aroma: Pretty straightforward…smells like there’s a bit of diacetyl in here but it’s pretty subtle. Kind of has this English IPA vibe with its heavier-than-usual sweet malt structure, orange citrus and melon qualities. A touch of light florals and resin also coming through. Certainly not your typical “new world” IPA that’s for sure. Don’t mind the simplicity of it actually.

Flavour: If we had to sum it up in a few words we’d say English IPA meets Australian IPA. It has that old English robust malt profile but it’s set apart by the resinous notes and extra fruitiness. Just the right amount of bitterness to cut through the semi sweet biscuit malts as it finishes reasonably dry, grassy and resinous. The length on it ain’t half bad either.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, a little soapy, dries up in the swallow. Slightly under-carbed but the 6% ABV is well positioned.

Overall: We’ve known about this brewery for some time but have never seen their beers in a can in a bottle shop in Sydney. We have now and we can now say we’ve tried one. Probably won’t return though as it’s not often we long for this style of IPA.

Toppling Goliath X Radiant ‘Places I’ve Been’ Double IPA


“Float down the long and hazy road with Places I’ve Been Double India Pale Ale, a collaboration brew with Radiant Beer Co. out of Anaheim, California. This trippy DIPA has notes of tropical fruit and dank citrus that are out of this world.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Hazy pastel orange with three fingers of tightly beaded foam nestled in on top. Excellent head retention and lots of lacing on the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: On Aussie shelves it’s not often we see TG beers we haven’t already tried a dozen times before so it’s fair to say we were a bit excited to bag this one. Classic hazy notes of fruit juice/concentrate backed up by other fruits such as grapefruit, orange, lemon/lime, passionfruit, mango and melon. Quite dank and weedy, a tad herbaceous. An element of pine resin also floating around. Very nice.

Flavour: It tastes exactly like its geographical position on a map – smack bang in the middle of both coasts with just the slightest lean towards the East. Juicy, piney and weedy upfront with the herbals in support. A discernible bitterness opens up around the mid with zesty/rindy citrus in tow. It all converges in a mildly bitter, fruity, piney and herbal finish which draws out nicely.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth at first then a little more prickly and dry in the swallow. Medium body and Co2. The 7.8% ABV is noticeable but generally behaves well.

Overall: Nothing flashy or out of this world. It’s just a solid No Coast IPA that embodies the best of the East and West.

Burlington Beer Co ‘It’s Complicated Being A Wizard’ Double IPA


“It’s Complicated Being a Wizard is our flagship Double IPA. It pours a radiant glowing orange, which we then add a massive quantity of hops for a bold hop flavor. Brewed with Barley, Wheat Malt, and Flaked Oats. Hopped with Simcoe, Idaho 7, and Chinook for flavors and aromas of Ripe Papaya, Nectarines, Orange Zest, and Dank Cannabis.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Hazy light orange pour and a rocky two finger head resting on top. Good retention and an absolute smattering of lace left on the glass as it subsides.

Aroma: The first thing we notice is just how dank and resinous it is. Surely a characteristic of the Simcoe and Chinook combination. It almost gives off a hint of cryo it’s that oily and concentrated. Love it. Other than that we’re getting a good amount of fruits like orange citrus (particularly mandarin and orange), stonefruit, lychee and pear/apple. Very nice.

Flavour: It’s all somewhat coming together here. Strong notes of dank pine, resin, weed etc but there’s also notable and juicy orange citrus and stonefruit overtones. Tasting a wee bit cloying with its stewed fruit sweetness which seems to be an unfortunate trait plaguing all of the NEIPA’s we’ve had from these guys recently. It does correct itself in the slightly dry, zesty and citrusy finish though.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth with a light effervescence. Medium body and a well concealed 8% ABV.

Overall: Far better than the last one we tried (Intangible Tides). We’d still prefer an MC or Banks’ Cake Eater over this every day of the week. We find the NEIPA’s from this mob are a tad artificial and a bit too heavy on the sweetness.

Burlington Beer Co ‘Intangible Tides’ Triple IPA


“Intangible Tides is a Triple IPA and a supersized version of our flagship New England style IPA, Uncanny Valley. Brewed with Citra and Mosaic hops, this Triple IPA has waves of flavors and aromas of Citrus Zest, Dank Cannabis, Peaches, Mango and Papaya.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Murky, deep pastel orange pour and a big creamy three finger head assembling over the top. Excellent retention and healthy lace work on the glass.

Aroma: We still find it amazing how much depth and intensity that can be extracted from a humble old hop combo of Citra and Mosaic. All of the hallmark citrus is here in spades – orange, grapefruit, rind and candied lemon. Lots of pine, herbal spice, weed, rockmelon, paw paw/papaya, apricot and canned peach also. The malt bill is mostly creamy/porridge/oats. A really well structured aroma.

Flavour: We were just saying how well the ABV was concealed…then we took a sip. But then again, to be fair it is 10% so some warmth was expected. The general flavour profile is quite stewy and cloying and the ABV just adds another level of difficulty. Dank pine, resiny/weedy, zesty, canned fruits and spice at its core then shifting into a thick fruity finish with a fair sting in the tail.

Mouthfeel: Slightly prickly yet sticky with a mildly sharp booze burn. Medium body and bitterness.

Overall: Not really fans. We guess it goes to show the vast improvement of Antipodean NEIPA’s/Hazy’s when we’d prefer an MC, GP or Banks over an actual OG brewery from Vermont. Just not diggin’ it.

Garage Project X Trillium ‘Matakitaki Valley’ Hazy IPA


“For our fourth hop harvest collaboration with East Coast brewing legends Trillium we’re exploring all new terroir, with Nelson Lakes Hops in the Mātakitaki Valley from Freestyle Hops. A hop free boil and massive dry hop addition of hand selected Nelson Sauvin and Motueka create a giant juicy hazy homage to one of New Zealand’s most exciting new hop growing regions.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Super turbid pastel/mustard yellow complexion. It constructs a thick and finely beaded two finger head which holds its shape really well. Tonnes of lacing clings to the glass as it subsides.

Aroma: This one was quite a surprise. Ever since their last “Valley” release (Galaxy Valley from memory) back in 2021 they’ve only ever done re-releases so it’s exciting to see these two heavyweights collaborate on something new. It has that hallmark character too – resinous, luscious greenery/rainforest, juicy green grapes and gooseberry, peach skins, green mango and dry chalkiness. Comin’ in hot!

Flavour: Classic GP X Trillium flavour profile. Dead set these two breweries together are a force to be reckoned with. So incredibly smooth, juicy and sessional. We get a gob-full of juicy green grapes, passionfruit, gooseberry, lime, florals and herbal spice. Some orchard fruit and stonefruit also. Doughy malt, oats, flaked wheat. Smooth, creamy, ultra easy finish that lingers. Impressive.

Mouthfeel: Like drinking beery clouds. Light, aerated, creamy, mild-moderate body. The 8% ABV is dangerously well hidden.

Overall: Absolute corker. We’ve come to expect no less from this collaborative series. Big ups to GP and Trillium keep em coming.

Burlington Beer Co ‘Time Of The Chimpanzee’ NEIPA


“Time of the Chimpanzee is a New England style IPA, brewed exclusively with New Zealand grown hops. A blend of six New Zealand grown hop varieties; Wakatu, Waimea, Moutere, Kohatu, Wai-iti, and Rakau creates flavors and aromas of Ripe Nectarines, Honey drizzled Grapefruit, Lemon Zest, Gooseberry, Passionfruit and Mandarin Orange Juice. Brewed with Barley, Flaked Oats, Wheat Malt, Raw Wheat, and Oat Malt to create a medium body IPA. The name references lyrics by Beck from his album Mellow Gold.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Turbid, pastel off-yellow complexion and a big fluffy two and a half finger head capping it off. Good retention and healthy lace work as it ebbs.

Aroma: Smells fantastic. The brewers have used 6 different NZ hop varieties in this NEIPA (pretty much every hype NZ hop available)…Wakatu, Waimea, Moutere, Kohatu, Wai-iti and Rakau. The only one missing is good ol’ Nelson Sauvin. Proper fruit salad notes with a hefty backing of cereal malt, oats and wheat grains. Quite creamy, a little sweet and spicy as well. Diggin’ it.

Flavour: It’s interesting coz it tastes noticeably different to all the NZ-hopped IPA’s and Pale’s we’ve been getting amongst lately. Yes, they were all Antipodean-brewed so we’re thinking it may have something to do with the hops interacting with the yeast strains they’re using over there in NE nowadays. Alas, still lots of various fruit flavours, some pithiness, dry chalky tones, oats and wheat grains into the bone dry, grassy and oat-laden finish.

Mouthfeel: Creamy initially, well aerated, light-moderate body. Dry in the finish. Finely carbed and a well disguised 6.5% ABV.

Overall: Very cool to see these guys on our shores. A true New England brewery. Can’t really say a whole lot for this beer though…it’s just meh. No real standout characters to it which is insane considering the amount of hop variety in it. 🤷

Bridge Road ‘B2 Bomber – Mach 13’ Imperial Belgian Black IPA


“2023 marks 18 years of Bridge Road Brewers crafting beer in Beechworth. To celebrate we’ve created yet another edition of the fabled anniversary ale, the B2 Bomber. The 13th edition of our annual birthday beer maintains the unmistakeable combination of complex dark malts, fruity Belgian yeast characters and big punchy hops. Mach 13 sees us going all-in with a Spectrum hop combo and an ABV of 10.4. An artful balance of these familiar B2 elements with layers of Spectrum hops makes this a beer to savour. What do we call it? A Black Belgian Double Spectrum IPA. This is an exceptional beer, nothing less will do for our 18th celebration.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Pours an opaque light black with a two finger crown perched on top. Good head retention and lots of intricate lacing on the glass.

Aroma: Ooft! Stings the nostrils. Over the years we’ve realised that each release in this monstrous yet brilliant series benefits from a little bit of age. As this year’s edition has only just been released its still quite fierce, coming at us with vigorous phenols, warming booze and sharp piney hops. Some citrus acidity also peeking through. Loving the subtle Belgian candi sugars, roasted malts, cocoa, musk and fennel too.

Flavour : Noticeably smoother which is surprising. Usually it’s the other way around. Sure, it still has some fire but the depth and complexity balances it out. An explosion of flavour on entry – Belgian yeast/phenols, candi sugars, roasted malt, pine, herbal and citrusy hops then a more accentuated citrus quality through the mid. It gets a bit harsh and acrid late in the piece as it finishes roasty and piney with a fair sting in the tail.

Mouthfeel: Big and warming. A slightly lifted Co2 yet still a tad oily. Medium-full body and the 10.4% ABV is evident.

Overall: It’s certainly a fun beer to review. Lots going on, aggressive and very multilayered. The spectrum hopping method is also really cool and we’d love to go into that more but to keep this from turning into an essay we’ll touch on it another day. Solid offering.

Garage Project X Humble Sea ‘Fogbound’ Triple Hazy IPA


“The Hāpi Sessions 2023, a hat-trick of collaborations from three breweries at the absolute top of their game, each showcasing a different hop forward beer in a playful ‘freestyle’ interpretation of the style that put them on the map. All round good humans Humble Sea, from surf city Santa Cruz make the haze roll in with what they lovingly call a foggy IIPA.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Turbid AF. Really dark too…looks akin to fresh squeezed apricot juice. It has a thumb of finely beaded foam which gradually peels off. Nice wavy lace on the glass as we imbibe.

Aroma: Biiiig breakfast juice notes emanating. Frosty fruits, sweet nectar-filled fruit and that black peppery spice which we find in all the best NEIPA’s and Hazy’s. A tonne of stonefruit like mango and rockmelon along with equal parts fresh squeezed orange juice and ruby grapefruit. Much more delicate green and vinous kiwi hop qualities in this edition. Brilliant aroma though.

Flavour: Proper fruit salad vibes. Orange, melon, passionfruit, pineapple, grapes and guava. The piney accents are coming through as well. Smooth and grainy oats provide the finest platform possible for the fruity, piney and herbal hops to slide effortlessly into the slightly dank, citrusy and peppery/spicy finish. Length for days.

Mouthfeel: Super smooth, chalky and well rounded. The body is nicely aerated with light-moderate weight. Finely carbed. The 10% ABV was incredibly well hidden.

Overall: The last of 3 editions in this year’s Hapi Sessions. Although we weren’t completely thrilled by the collaborators this time around each beer was fantastic. Immense World for the win and this comes an easy 2nd. Already looking forward to what they can put together next year.

Garage Project X Cloudburst ‘Welcome To Cloudland’ West Coast IPA


“The Hāpi Sessions 2023, a hat-trick of collaborations from three breweries at the absolute top of their game, each showcasing a different hop forward beer in a playful ‘freestyle’ interpretation of the style that put them on the map. With Cloudburst founder Steve Luke in town for the NZ hop harvest and Hāpi Symposium, we jumped at the opportunity get on the brew floor together. For Hāpi Sessions Vol. 10, Jet City brewers Cloudburst bring the Seattle sound with a blended take on what they call a North-West IPA.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Bright golden pour with almost full clarity. It constructs a three finger head which is retained well, leaving a proper smattering of lace on the glass.

Aroma: Again, much like the Pilsner collab with Highland Park, the Kiwi hop combination provides a luscious green character which is refined further by a real weedy and resinous note. It has a super oily, cryo-like intensity which is superb. Fresh herbs like basil, aniseed and lemon myrtle then filled out by a semi sweet honey malt. Beautifully balanced aroma.

Flavour: Like a true old-school West Coast IPA minus the bitterness and enhanced by the unique Kiwi hops. It’s actually quite remarkable how smooth and silky it is. We’re getting pine forest, weedy resins and fresh green herbs on entry. That mild honey sweetness comes along for the ride as well. Subtle green fruits like kiwifruit, grape and honeydew helps form the rather vinous finish that lingers.

Mouthfeel: So unbelievably smooth for the style. It feels like it’s missing something without the bitterness though. Flat-ish Co2, medium body and a nicely hidden 7% ABV.

Overall: Not bad. We don’t rate it that highly due to its slightly cloying nature and flat-ish carbonation. Other than that it’s a pretty well structured beer that drinks effortlessly. Good but not great.

Madocke ‘Celebration’ White IPA


“The perfect marriage of two distinct beer styles; the American IPA with its high hop character and the wheat-based Belgian Wit with its refreshing and spicy presence. A creamy refreshing beer with lots of lemon and spicy characters combined with the tropical flavours of carefully selected hops creating a perfectly balanced beer with smooth bitterness and a subtle herbal profile. This White IPA will have you dancing the night away.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: We were quietly hoping for a whiter, creamier pour but the slightly hazy, pale golden-yellow complexion will have to make do. It forms two and a bit fingers of rocky white head which gradually deconstructs. Healthy lace trails as we go.

Aroma: There are very few styles out there that are as underrated as the old White IPA. We remember Hitachino Nest’s interpretation as being one of the best. Wafts of tangy orange/rind, mandarin, lemon/lime, meringue and all sorts of spices – pepper, clove, cardamom and aniseed. The American IPA aspect could do with a bit more representation in our opinion.

Flavour: It’s definitely not short on it. Is it White IPA-worthy though? We’re not totally sold. Tonnes of citrus upfront…lemon, lime, mandarin, orange and rind. Peppery and herbal spice woven through. Slightly harsh bitterness kicking up across the mid. A little acrid in parts too, then into a rather dry, acidic finish with a slight sting in the tail.

Mouthfeel: Prickly, dry, a little rigid. The body is mild-moderate and the 6.8% ABV burns a tad in the finish.

Overall: Hhmm, well it definitely wasn’t the White, creamy and fluffy IPA we’d hoped for. Quite the opposite. It’s tough to even call it a White IPA to be honest. Pretty disappointing.