“This has been one of the most challenging Garage brews to date. At its heart was the idea of combining aggressive, high citrus character of American hops with the heat and sweetness of Indochine flavours. Have you ever tried a Vietnamese mango and chili salad? If you haven’t you should. It could be life changing. It’s an idea that has been rattling around the Garage consciousness for a while and the Great Australasian Beer Spectapular seemed like a fitting opportunity to give it an outing. It was always going to be a challenging brew to pull off – mango, chili, Vietnamese mint and lime juice aren’t exactly conventional ingredients. Don’t bother checking, they aren’t listed in the Reinheitsgebot. Add a lavish addition of Chinook, Centennial, Citra and Amarillo hops, a deadline launch for an international beer festival and take it straight to a 2000 litre batch without any chance for small scale testing and you get what could have been a recipe for spectacular, monumental disaster. The idea of trying to bring all these flavours together in a coherent way given the pressure of time and prospect of public humiliation was, frankly, shit scary.”
So it seems craft beer in a can is the fledgling idea among the craft brewing elite. This one is interesting though, we poured it into a shaker glass and the body showed a deep amber-orange with a thin white cap. Average head retention doesn’t provide much lacing. Lovely herbaceous aroma with a generous pine driven undertone. Hints of grapefruit, lemon, coriander, caramel and spice back it up. The chili element does ‘sting the nostrils’ but it’s nothing overpowering. Mildly carbonated with a slightly acidic mouth feel. Medium-full body. Fruity hops and a touch of warmth meet the tongue upfront. The chili element crescendo’s through the mid-palate but immediately softens on to a dry, crispy finish with good length. We love the heat from the chili on the rear palate that draws out nicely. 7.5% ABV is very well hidden. To be honest we are really surprised how good this was. Although we shouldn’t be too surprised as these Kiwi brewers are masters. Can or bottle? That is the question..