Garage Project ‘Epuni Street Bitter’ ESB


“Brewed for Ale + Gravy 91 Aro, 2021 (part of WOAP). Epuni Street is a particularly iconic street in Aro Valley. It is, notably, the host of the annual Compost Parade. “Each year on the Sunday after the Equinox, the simple but beautiful cycle that creates compost is celebrated and in true Aro style there is music, food and costumes. The Compost Parade has become a popular event in the past few years, bringing together compost lovers from all over Wellington.” The parade is in September, features a Golden Compost Bucket which is ceremoniously carried up the street and GP usually shouts a bunch of flagons to this noble cause. It has been running for 8 years!”

Glassware: English Pint.

Appearance: Gorgeous amber pour with a faint ruby red tint when held to the light. A thumb of creamy off white head settles on top and weaves a fine lace down the glass.

Aroma: We were quietly hoping it was going to be a conventional take on an ESB and it is exactly that. At its core is a beautifully sweet and chewy caramel malt profile which offers up nuanced toffee, maple and buttery biscuits. Exquisitely balanced by the earthy hops though, and further offset by the classic spicy and herbal characters of EKG and Fuggles. Supoib!

Flavour: One of those rare moments where it’s too well balanced! When it comes to ESB’s we love them more on the malty side with the bitterness tucked in behind. The earthy hops/bitterness is a tad too prominent here in our opinion. Still, it has a nice chewy caramel malt backing, some dark fruits and toast along with the spicy and delicate florals/herbals from the hops. Nice dry and bitter finish with some malt sweetness to balance.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, chewy and a little sticky. Medium body. Perfect carbonation and ABV (5.5%).

Overall: What was shaping up to be a sensational ESB kind of fell away a bit in the middle unfortunately. That aside, it’s still a reasonably good interpretation of the style.