Category Archives: IPA’s

Hargreaves Hill ‘Pursuit Of Hoppiness #10’ Hazy Triple IPA

Rating:

“The Pursuit of Hoppiness is an ongoing specialty series in which we explore the somewhat endless possibilities in the art of brewing with hops. Drinkers are given an exclusive look into the brewing process, with varieties, additions and time frame listed on the can label.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Turbid pastel orange with sandy yellow highlights. It forms a thumb of loosely packed head which comes apart slowly but surely. Lacing is thick and blotchy as we imbibe.

Aroma: Loving this old-school and alluring hop combination of Citra and Amarillo Cryo. The myrcene count in Citra is already high so once it’s been concentrated down into Cryo it’s even more oily, sappy and resinous. Lots of fresh citrus i.e grapefruit, orange, candied lemon and rind with equal parts Amarillo; mixed stonefruits like peach, melon and apricot. Also detecting shallots and pineapple. Nice and oaty malt bill with hints of wheat grains.

Flavour: Transitions nicely from the aroma. Getting a subtle pithy acidity, heady stonefruit notes and intermittent wheat grains. The oily and resinous Cryo doesn’t have as much cut through as it did on the nose but a distinct pine/spruce accent develops late and helps shape the sharp, fruity and green finish that has a bit of sting in the tail.

Mouthfeel: Pretty well tempered for 10% ABV. It has a bit of grip to it but it’s pretty smooth and creamy. Mild-moderate Co2. Medium body.

Overall: Every time we drink a hazy triple IPA we seem to (unfairly) compare it with the best Hazy Triple IPA we’ve ever had which was at Mikkeller San Diego. However, we must give credit where credit is due and this is a fairly decent crack.

Other Half ‘Stacks On Stacks’ DDH Hazy Double IPA

Rating:

“Double dry hopped imperial IPA w / citra, el dorado + mosaic.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Super hazy pastel yellow with very faint shades of orange. It produced a rocky three finger head that slowly disassembles. Excellent lacing left on the glass.

Aroma: Picking up strong wafts of hop oil and resin, grapefruit/rind, fleshy stonefruits, frosty fruits, dried apricot and dank herbals. It’s got a bit of a tropical fruit character to it…mostly passionfruit nectar, unripened pineapple and candied orange/tangerine. Subtle peppery spice, a hint of floral orange blossom and a distinctly dry and bready malt structure. Decent.

Flavour: Incredibly smooth and fruity but with an emphasis still on this oily, resinous and sappy quality. Pretty dank as well… herbaceous and weedy. Getting sweet passionfruit-like nectar, a hint of peach and apricot before the citrus pushes through the mid. It goes full circle back to the dank, resinous and oily hops to finish then hangs on for days.

Mouthfeel: Unbelievably smooth and creamy. Medium body and fine carbonation. The 8.5% ABV is that well hidden you’d be fooled into thinking it’s sub 7%.

Overall: Stoked to see this brewery’s beers on our shores. We’ve rated these guys ever since a mate in the US sent us a few over years ago. This one was pretty damn good too…super oily, resinous and ultra smooth. Respectable.

Cellarmaker ‘Bines & Rinds’ Watermelon & Hibiscus Hazy IPA

Rating:

“Hazy IPA with watermelon. Dank hops and watermelon – who would have guessed these two amazing items would work so well together? The sweet floral and juicy character of the watermelon softens the heady pine and ganja aspects of Simcoe and Strata hops.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: It hits the glass with a cloudy rusted orange with light red hues. A massive four finger head emerges but it breaks apart quickly, leaving sparse lacing on the glass.

Aroma: The first scent we’re detecting is watermelon rind…not the tough skin but the crappy green flesh that no one wants to eat. It’s giving off a really strong cucumber quality alongside cracked pepper and, we know a lot of people will turn their noses up at this but, it’s displaying hints of steamed broccoli. But it somehow works! The sweetness of the watermelon does a LOT to counteract it. Then there’s the floral, weedy and piney hops wanting some attention too!

Flavour: Super complex…and we rarely say that about a Hazy IPA. The watermelon rind isn’t as dominant. Getting hints of the cucumber-esque flavours of it but the sweet red fleshy side is coming through a bit more. Enter the hibiscus! The somewhat tart and floral characters of pomegranate creep through as the super fruity brekky juice kicks off. The back end is all about the hops – weedy, piney, fruity and resinous which draw out well.

Mouthfeel: Fluffy, a little chalky and well aerated. Mild-medium body, finely carbed. 6.5% ABV slots in nicely.

Overall: We expected nothing less from this world class brewery. We’re not really big fans of watermelon or hibiscus in beer but these geniuses have found a way to make us question that. Super fun, tasty yet challenging at times.

Bridge Road ‘Need #5’ Cold IPA

Rating:

“The fifth beer in our new bi-monthly IPA series sees a Bridge Road spin on the burgeoning ‘Cold IPA’. When researching the style, we recognised that these beers were essentially hoppy lagers, so we set about to flip the concept by using an ale yeast and fermenting at lager temperatures, thus making a true Cold iPA. Pale yellow in the glass, the aromas are of ripe tropical fruit, bubblegum and grapefruit (courtesy of some kiwi hops). Tropical and citrus hop notes dance on the palate, making way for a clean, lean body and an off dry finish with a restrained bitterness. Vol.5 is a hoppy reminder, that you need NEeD.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Pale golden amber pour with a soft haze. It forms a two and a half finger head which holds together nicely. Healthy lace work as it subsides.

Aroma: We’re really digging this style at the moment. Loving the edginess of it, the innovation, the session ability but most of all just how clean and enjoyable they are to drink. The hop bill (Motueka, Kohatu and Strata) play a big part in the make up of the aroma… displaying resinous and luscious evergreen, pine needle, oily citrus rind, tropical fruits like pineapple, passionfruit and mango, strawberry and a somewhat clean and semi sweet malt profile.

Flavour: So here we are saying how clean and sessional Cold IPA’s are and then this one drinks like a typical Antipodean IPA. Jinxed ourselves! The malt is a tad heavy and sweet for the style but in saying that it’s still a nicely structured beer. Tropical fruits, pine and a hint of grapefruit are balanced by the malt sweetness upfront. Subtle pithy citrus and kinda dank herbals midway are punctuated by a delicate acidity and malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel: A lot heavier and chewy than expected. Fairly smooth and well rounded though. Mild-moderate Co2. The 7% ABV is well buried.

Overall: Not our favourite interpretation of the style but in this case if they took the ‘Cold’ out of Cold IPA you’ve got a decent (although slightly pedestrian) IPA. We’re all for being creative but if you’re bucking the trend you’ve got to get it right. In our opinion.

Fieldwork ‘All The Pretty Colours’ Hazy Double IPA

Rating:

“Exceedingly juicy with a fluffy mouthfeel and drenched in notes of canned yellow peaches, orange Italian soda, fresh buds, and a hint of trashy margarita mix. [hops: Enigma, Citra, Idaho7].”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Turbid pastel yellow pour reminiscent of actual brekky juice. It only manages a short but very finely beaded head which leaves an excellent lace trail as we go.

Aroma: Ok this smells freakin amazing. The juice characters have some insane uplift as does the super dank and weedy herbals, flashes of pine resin, frosty fruits/juice concentrate, candied lemon/lime, salt and cracked pepper. Never thought we’d talk about a beer like it’s being seasoned! Fresh peach becomes more prevalent as it settles. Really doughy malt profile…a little chalky as well. Superb.

Flavour: It comes on with a slightly surprising green hop bitterness but it quickly folds into a distinct brekky juice quality (mango, orange, pear/apple and peachy stonefruits) heady pine resin, dank weedy herbals and black pepper. Grapefruit and a more defined yellow peach flavour develops late then helps set up the somewhat dry and bitter finish with lingering notes of salty citrus, dank herbals and pine resin.

Mouthfeel: Light, pillowy and well aerated yet it still holds a fairly decent body. Ultra fine Co2. The 8.5% ABV is kept at bay reasonably well.

Overall: We must admit for a little known brewery on the West Coast of USA these guys pump out some seriously impressive NEIPA’s. They’re almost Treehouse-like in their execution. Other than a slightly lifted bitterness it was near perfect.

Ekim Brewing ‘Bloodshot’ Red IPA

Rating:

“Our Bloodshot IPA is brewed with Red Malt & Oats, giving it plenty of rich malt flavour. Balanced out with a big double dry-hop, there’s lots of resinous & piney notes on offer at a surprisingly easy drinking ABV.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Pours an attractive deep amber with a soft candy red hue. Close to a three finger head caps it off and holds its shape well. Tonnes of blotchy lace is left in its wake.

Aroma: So insanely sweet, sugary and caramelized. All the usual suspects are here in spades – toffee, salted caramel, golden syrup and butterscotch. Truckloads of dark fruit i.e blood orange, ruby grapefruit and overripe watermelon with stewed tropical fruits like papaya and paw paw hanging back a bit. Loving the sharp pine, citrus and herbal hops that slice right through the malts and balance it all out.

Flavour: Probably a little too heavy on the sweet malts in our opinion. Plus they get a little syrupy around the mid palate. There’s still a solid hop presence which counteracts with pine needle, mixed citrus and fresh herbals though. The tropical fruit, dark fruits and papaya/paw paw tails in late and delivers a sweet fruity finish with lingering toffee apple and caramel.

Mouthfeel: Sticky and gelatinous. Mild-moderate Co2, medium body. The 6.5% ABV slots in neatly.

Overall: It’s safe to say we’ve had lots of better red IPA’s. It was a tad too malt-dominant plus the slightly cloying syrupy sweetness wasn’t ideal. Still, the hops did a good job of evening the keel so it’s not all bad. Probably not a return-to beer though.

Ekim Brewing ‘Odin’ Double IPA

Rating:

“A beer for the gods! Odin would give his left eye for a drop like this. Deep in juicy flavours of passionfruit and citrus, our double IPA has been double dry hopped with Citra, Galaxy, Eclipse and Mosaic. Balancing out nicely to hide any sign of the 8.5% ABV it holds for a heavenly finish!”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Amber to orange pour with a very subtle haze. It forms a thumb of off white head which retains reasonably well. Healthy lacing as we imbibe.

Aroma: Jeez for 8.5% ABV it’s extremely well tempered. An alluring mix of butterscotch and caramel hit the olfactories at the same time as the sweet orange citrus, lychee, strawberry and subtle ruby grapefruit. Initially we had fears of a diacetyl infection but we feel the big sweet malt presence is deliberate. Picking up an undercurrent of boiled candy, pineapple, buttery biscuits and lime. Unusual but we’re liking it.

Flavour: Like the aroma it comes on with a fairly distinct malt sweetness which displays tonnes of butterscotch, caramel and toffee. It’s well balanced by a citrusy hop profile though. Getting all sorts of different flavoured rock candy such as pineapple, lime and strawberry. A pithy-ness tails in late as it finishes with a citric bitterness and a hint of artificial sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Sticky and gelatinous but really slick. Medium body, mild-moderate Co2. 8.5% ABV is very well concealed.

Overall: Look, even if it did have a bit of a diacetyl quality they still pulled off a decent beer. The whole artificially sweet side of it got a little tiresome by the end though. We reckon they need to pull that malt sweetness back a tad and it’d be a ripper of a beer.

Fieldwork ‘Radio Origami’ Hazy IPA

Rating:

“Perfectly balanced body and sweetness with a bright aroma and flavors of ruby red grapefruit, sparkling pear wine, passionfruit, and nondescript gummy worm.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Turbid pastel yellow with a soft orange hue. It manages a short finely beaded white head which works a gorgeous cascading lace down the glass.

Aroma: A little shy at first which is very surprising. The first few scents that cautiously creep out are ripe stonefruits i.e rockmelon, paw paw, mango and canned peach. Picking up pretty forward notes of apricot, kumquat and overripe pineapple too. The brekky juice characters start to open up as it settles with mild herbals like basil, peppery rocket and lemongrass right down deep. Not really detecting much in the way of malt.

Flavour: Oh hello! This is obviously where all the intensity was at! The slightly stewy and fleshy stonefruits are scaled back and heady notes of ruby grapefruit, peppery mango, frosty fruits, peach and nectar-filled passionfruit take the lead. Kinda dank and weedy herbals, earthy apricot and pithy citrus rind then lay down for a flavour-packed finish of peppery spice, grapefruit acidity, mixed citrus and peach… emphasised further by the natural esters from the Vermont ale yeast.

Mouthfeel: Super creamy, a little sticky and gelatinous. Medium body, fine Co2. 6.6% ABV is very well buried.

Overall: From what started a little so-so has finished in classic Fieldwork fashion; brilliance. It has practically everything we want in a NEIPA. Fieldwork doing it with style!

Alvarado Street ‘Juicy Sweeper’ Hazy IPA

Rating:

“Minesweeper was our first ever brewed IPA and remains a local favorite at our Monterey Brewpub. With Juicy Sweeper we’ve taken the same beer and employed an expressive yeast to bring bright tropical & stone fruit notes along with the usual heavy handed dose of Simcoe & Citra.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Super hazy deep pastel yellow with two fingers of frothy white head capping it off. Reasonably good retention with soapy lace clinging to the glass as we imbibe.

Aroma: Definitely a fruit salad quality emanating. It’s throwing out a bit of orange citrus then a good dose of stonefruit, some tropical fruits and a flutter of orchard fruits as well. There’s a really delicate line of pine resin, oily citrus rind and green onion. Maybe a faint whiff of weedy herbals too. Somewhat dry and grainy malt bill – rolled oats, white bread and uncooked rice. Fine aroma.

Flavour: Still displaying the fruit salad but with a few extra tweaks like less citrus but a touch more stonefruit along with sticky nectar fruits like passionfruit and peach. Grapefruit, orange and rind tack on and carry a mild pithy-ness through the mid. Frosty fruits, mild black pepper, doughy malts and grapefruit then punctuate and draw for days.

Mouthfeel: Fairly smooth and creamy, very mild bitterness. Medium bodied, finely carbed. 7.1% ABV is inoffensive.

Overall: This is how can tell Aussie hazy’s have gotten 100x better over recent years. This is a pretty solid drop by a very well respected American brewery but we could put forward a handful of Aussie breweries doing as good if not better hazy’s than this. Aussie Aussie Aussie oi oi oi!

Sunday Road ‘Skinny Dip’ West Coast IPA

Rating:

“Skinny dipping = freedom. We’ve taken inspiration from this most basic of pleasures and jumped right into a different technique to fill you up with hoppy goodness. We’ve used a new technique in this West Coast IPA called DIP-hopping that adds an additional stage between the whirlpool and the conventional dry-hop addition. We’ve done this to keep myrcene levels low and let the best parts of hops shine through.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Pours a deep amber with full transparency. It forms a finger of off white head which retains well. Brilliant cascading lace is left in its wake.

Aroma: Quite a hefty malt backbone to it…not surprised considering the depth of colour. Mostly sweet and a little toasty with dominant caramel, dark honey, buttery biscuits and toast. The hops cut through the malts beautifully too – sharp pine needle, mildly dank resins, tree sap, old herbs/vines, ruby grapefruit, orange peel and mixed tropical fruits. Getting a subtle candied accent to it as well. Keep it coming!

Flavour: It transitions well and the balance is spot on too. From the start to the finish there’s a constant tussle between the sweet and toasty malts (burnt caramel, toffee, honey on toast, biscuits) and the Pacific Northwest hops (pine, shallot, ruby grapefruit, citrus rind, slightly dank herbals and resins). Nice aggressive bitterness, some warmth and citric acidity to finish.

Mouthfeel: Sticky and smooth then dry and a little soapy in the swallow. Assertive bitterness, medium body, mild-moderate Co2. 7.2% ABV is bang on where it should be.

Overall: Sunday Road are fast becoming one of our go-to breweries for West Coast IPA’s. Blackwoods APA, 6 Foot & Offshore and now this. All of them are perfectly balanced and big on aroma and flavour. Really digging these guys at the moment.

Resin Brewing ‘Mavericks’ West Coast IPA

Rating:

“Our Mavericks West Coast IPA was named after California’s big bad break itself. This one is for the pros, and if you can’t surf it, at least you’ll be able to drink it. It’s an old-school dry West Coast IPA with a malty backbone and firm bitterness. Featuring Chinook, Columbus & Centennial hops to give notes of resin, pine and lemon rind.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Bright golden pour with almost 100% clarity. It forms a sturdy two finger head which persists. Healthy lace clinging to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: We were expecting a big smack in the face from the hops but we’re getting a lovely caramel malt sweetness instead. It’s proper old school in its hop profile which we love…lots of pine resin, candied lemon, orange peel, tangerine, subtle ruby grapefruit, light florals and herbals. The caramel sweetness not only balances out the hops but it plays a rather big role in the make up of the aroma.

Flavour: It’s been flipped nicely. That caramel malt sweetness takes a step back and let’s the hops take charge. It’s interesting though as the flavour profile of the hops is different to the aroma – we’re getting a lot more herbals and pithy rind alongside hints of boiled candy and pine resin. It really dries up late in the piece and finishes with an extremely bitter and acidic citrus which hangs on.

Mouthfeel: A little prickly, bitter and dry. Mild-medium body and carbonation. 6.5% ABV provides a bit of warmth.

Overall: Come to think of it we may have confused the “malt sweetness” character with a touch of diacetyl. It’s quite subtle though and doesn’t detract from the rest of the beer. The flavour profile lacks a bit of polish as well but in the end it’s not a bad drop.

Mr Banks ‘Sweet Axe Skills’ DDH Double IPA

Rating:

“This is an ultimate juice bomb & we think one of the very best DIPA’s we have brewed to date. With some of the Finest Air freighted hops – Nelson Sauvin, Rakau & Motueka straight outta Freestyle Hop Farms in NZ, this has all the juicy tropical vibes & a mouthfeel you could replace your Memory foam pillow with..”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Turbid pastel orange with soft sandy highlights. A thumb of finely beaded white foam emerges and holds together nicely. Healthy lace clings to the glass as we imbibe.

Aroma: This trio of Kiwi hops (Nelson Sauvin, Rakau and Motueka) provides a really green and resinous backdrop with tonnes of mixed fresh herbs, juicy tropical fruits like guava, pineapple, lychee and mango, green fruits like honeydew and kiwifruit, peach skins, tomato vines, orange juice and nectar/passionfruit. Somewhat hard to detect the malt profile but it appears pretty dry, oaty and cereal-driven.

Flavour: Incredibly smooth and juicy. Still getting the super green, piney and resinous overtones but the sweet and sticky tropical fruits (pineapple, mango, orange and passionfruit) have been given a bit of a boost. Definitely tasting more of the creamy oats here. A hint of peppery spice and a cheeky little addition of dried apricot setting up for the sweet, tropical and herbaceous finish.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth AF! It almost has a nitro feel to it. Really coats the whole palate. Medium body. The 8.3% ABV… almost totally hidden.

Overall: Mr Banks, in our opinion, would most likely be the brewery to take on MC for the title. This is a very solid hazy, probably the best crack at the style they’ve ever released. Still a ways to go to take the number 1 spot though!

Alvarado Street ‘Vengeful Barbarian’ Hazy IPA

Rating:

“A staple hazy IPA brewed with the “holy trinity” of hops – Simcoe, Citra, Mosaic. Double Dry Hopped for maximum juice, heaps of oats & wheat for a soft, pillowy texture on the palate. Fermented with an expressive yeast strain that pumps out stone fruit flavors which complement the tropical hop oil contribution.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Turbid pastel yellow with a fluffy white head which swells to about two fingers and maintains its shape. Thick, soapy lace clings to the glass as it subsides.

Aroma: Real fruit salad happening here. The citrus is popping and there’s also heady notes of soft fleshy stonefruit i.e paw paw, rockmelon and mango. Some piney and resinous notes poking through here and there, sweet and sugary pineapple and mixed tropical fruits are nicely integrated. Subtle notes of herbal spice, mixed berries, light florals and a dry, creamy oat profile.

Flavour: Follows the nose with a huge display of fruits ranging from slightly pithy grapefruit, lime and tangerine to ripe stonefruits, tropical fruit and mixed berries. Well defined notes of pine/resins and herbal spice also getting amongst it. Picking up the dry malt midway…mostly oats and wheat grains which make way for a sweet fruity finish with a lingering dry bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Quite a green and prickly bitterness but the oats certainly help taper it off. Dry chalky texture, finely carbed, medium body. The 7.2% ABV is reasonably well behaved.

Overall: From memory our last crack at ASB was the “Amigos” IPA which had a few blemishes and although this Hazy shows a touch of West Coast aggression it’s a very well structured IPA. Tonnes of hop character, nice dry oat-driven malts and most importantly it’s got pizzazz. Solid drop.

Resin Brewing ‘Space Cowboy’ Double Oat Cream DIPA

Rating:

“Double Oat Dream IPA 500ml.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Pretty turbid pastel orange with a finger of loosely packed foam atop. It slowly deconstructs and leaves a patchy lace as we imbibe.

Aroma: Wow this smells the real deal. Kinda dank and displaying a tonne of fleshy stonefruit sweetness and peppery spice. It also has that dry chalky aroma which we love in NEIPA’s. Fairly tangy and super juicy citrus notes, a very subtle smokiness, toasted coconut and sappy pine resins also getting amongst it. Big creamy and chewy malt profile. Hot damn! This is really shaping up.

Flavour: Not as well polished as the aroma but it’s still very respectable. Slight bitterness upfront making way for the overripe stonefruits, dank herbals and peppery spice. Hints of frosty fruits and brekky juice through the mid with a soft boozy warmth kicking up. Pine resins and pithy citrus/rind developing late and setting up the dry, acidic and warming finish.

Mouthfeel: Kinda creamy, dry and chalky. Rather muscly for a NEIPA we must admit. Finely carbed. The 7% ABV could have been hidden a bit better but we ain’t complaining.

Overall: Very impressive stuff from our somewhat local mob here. Good enough to mix it with the likes of Deeds, Banks, Hop Nation etc but still light years away from the top dog…MC. Solid drop though they should be chuffed with this.

Revel X BiG Shed ‘Neo Mexicanus’ Black IPA

Rating:

“Teaming up with our friends from South Australia – Big Shed Brewing, we bring you this Neo-Mexicanus hopped Black IPA.  Neo-Mexicanus hops are described as wild and rebellious, and are native to the mountains of New Mexico. Providing unique flavours in the beer including tropical fruit, coconut, tobacco, and ‘purple’.  The triangle represents our synaesthesia of bringing the flavours of these three hops together, in perfect harmony, to create this unique and tasty beer!  Black IPA with rad hops – badass!”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Dark cola pour with a tan head which swells to about two fingers before slowly retracting. Nice wavy lace clings to the glass as it subsides.

Aroma: Packing a good punch and with a few subtle points of difference…surely due to the New Mexican (by the way we mean the US state New Mexico not the country) hop variety aptly named ‘Neo Mexicanus’. All the fan favorites are here in abundance; coffee, chocolate, burnt toffee, pine, oily citrus and resin but the Neo Mexicanus hops add a very delicate addition of tropical fruit and coconut flesh to the mix. Diggin it.

Flavour: Nods all round at the moment. Kicks off with a short and sharp cameo of piney hops, coffee and tobacco then it’s straight into the burnt and ashy roasted malts. It’s immediately countered by an acidic line of pithy bitterness before it finishes on a rather dry and bitter note but with vigorous coffee and roasted qualities going the distance on the back palate.

Mouthfeel: Kind of soft and oily with an assertive bitterness developing in the swallow. Medium body, low-ish Co2. The 6.5% ABV is nicely poised.

Overall: Reviewing this one was a no-brainer really. On one hand we’ve got the masters from SA and on the other the up and comers from Qld. We’ve really been liking what Revel have been doing lately and this solid black IPA is another feather in the hat for them. Kudos.

Bridge Road ‘NEeD #4’ Tangerine West Coast IPA

Rating:

“The fourth beer in our new bi-monthly IPA series is a nod to the old school, with a Bridge Road (citrus) twist. A luminous copper colour in the glass, the aromas are big, zesty and resinous.  A bright, fresh, tangerine tang on the palate, makes way for a firm, lingering bitterness and a hint of malt sweetness on the finish. Vol.4 is a blissful reminder, that you need NEeD.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Pouring a deep bold amber with full transparency. It forms a sturdy two and a bit finger head which maintains nicely. Excellent lace work left on the glass.

Aroma: Wow the tangerine is really evident. To the point where it even starts give off heady Jaffa notes…and furthermore how do they get the chocolate aroma out of it? That’s remarkable. As we delve deeper we get more nuanced orange citrus and candied fruits, peppery spice, lemongrass, pine/spruce, green mango and fresh oregano. Quite a hefty sweet malt structure at the base. Solid!

Flavour: Packs a nice old West Coast punch to the palate. Again the tangerine features heavily upfront then blends nicely into the kinda pithy, herbaceous and piney middle. All the while the sweet Caramalts provide a subtle yet crucial counterbalance in the background. The strident hop bitterness grabs the back of the throat as it sets up for a rather dry, bitter and aggressive finish.

Mouthfeel: Pretty smooth yet grippy with more than enough to chew on. That IBU really kicking in late. Medium body and Co2. The 7% ABV arks up here and there.

Overall: Doesn’t come close to ‘NEED #2’ but we’d have to rate it higher than both hazy releases (#1 and #3). Pretty tight all round it just doesn’t have the polish on it to make it superb.

Bojak Brewing ‘All On Red’ Red IPA

Rating:

“This medium bodied Red IPA with a decent bitterness. Caramel, toffee & rich roasted flavours combined with aromas of pine & citrus from Chinook, Amarillo & Mosaic hops are a perfect combo.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Super deep amber with copper highlights. It forms two fingers of finely beaded foam which retains well. Excellent lace work left on the glass.

Aroma: Massive sweet malt presence – oodles of toffee and caramel, butterscotch and crystallised sugars but as any good Red IPA should, the hop profile immediately cuts through the sweetness with its sharp notes of ruby grapefruit, blood orange, pine, stewed fruits and weedy/sappy resins. Getting some spicy-ness from it too. Smelling the goods thus far!

Flavour: It’s been flipped really well. Upfront it kicks off with an assertive hop bitterness then shifts right into the pithy and citric grapefruit and rind, resinous pine and weedy herbals. The malts are never far behind though, swiftly counteracting with toffee, caramel and butterscotch. This tussle reaches well into the sweet yet rather aggressively bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Gelatinous, slightly chewy and well rounded with a sturdy bitterness post swallow. Medium body and Co2. The 6.4% ABV comes in and out.

Overall: This one came recommended and we must say we can see why. It’s our first crack at this Victorian brewery and they’ve kicked it off in style. Nicely balanced, full flavoured and with a bit of grunt which we like. Solid drop.

Garage Project ‘Talk To The Hand’ Cold IPA

“New Zealand Sign Language – now you’ve got a beer in your hand there’s no better time to learn. Start with the alphabet. Check out some of the online resources and apps that can help build your vocabulary. You could even see if there are any classes near you. Who knows where it might lead? It can all start with this can of beer. Let your hands do the talking. Talk to the Hand 2021, a new wave ‘Cold IPA”, brewed with pilsner malt and maize and fermented with lager yeast, creating the perfect clean, dry malt base to accentuate a fruit forward explosion of Simcoe, Citra, Mosaic and Strata hops.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Clear golden pour with a fluffy three finger head resting atop. It slowly recedes and leaves an absolute mess on the glass.

Aroma: This is such a fascinating new style. Although it’s nothing new, the humble old India Pale Lager has been rebranded and is enjoying its time in the limelight for once (under a different acronym, of course). Boasting huge fruit aromas – mostly citrus and unripened tropical fruits – but we’re also detecting hints of pine needle, fresh herbs, evergreen and nuanced resins over an uber clean and grainy Pilsner malt base. Tidy!

Flavour: Really crisp and clean fruit overtones upfront. Ripe yellow grapefruit and lemon/lime, unripened pineapple and green mango. We’re picking up what tastes like agave and it almost has a slight smokiness to it which is really unique. Pine, fresh herbs like coriander and parsley also getting amongst it. Grainy malt and pithy rind tailing in late and leading to a nice crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Crisp (feels like we’ve used that word 1000 times), snappy but enough body to hold it up. Perfectly carbed, mild-medium body. 7.2% ABV is incredibly well concealed.

Overall: Another impressive interpretation of this new emerging style. Crisp, refreshing and a little bit fuller and more complex than others we’ve tried to date. Should expect no less from GP!

Seven Mile Experimental Hazy IPA – Mosaic

Rating:

“A Hazy IPA made with our favourite hop Mosaic, plus a new kid on the block Hort 4337. This experimental hop has great tropical fruit notes which compliment the dank berry deliciousness of Mosaic.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Almost clear deep golden pour with a big three finger head which retains. It leaves a smattering of lace as we go. Once again we’re left lamenting the lack of haze in a so called hazy IPA!

Aroma: We sound like a broken record but Mosaic hops have to be one of the best hops ever cultivated. The amount of diversity and vigour from this one hop is amazing…it’s throwing out tonnes of tropical fruit like mango, pineapple, passionfruit and peach and equal to the task are the oily and resinous notes of pine, weedy herbals and mixed citrus. Kinda nice and subtle semi sweet malt bill filling it out.

Flavour: Follows on from the nose and displays a big fruity profile…the tropical fruits aren’t as dominant as we’re tasting more of the mixed citrus, stonefruits and resinous pine. Slowly but surely the weedy herbals are introduced and so is the mild caramel sweetness, wheat grains and oats. Nicely balanced and generally smooth finish with good duration.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth, well aerated. Mild dryness in the swallow. Medium body and Co2. The 6.4% ABV is pretty inconspicuous.

Overall: Didn’t love it but didn’t hate it. The lack of haze is always one thing that gets under our skin but the rest of the beer wasn’t too bad. Mosaic hops are the real winner here.

Revel DDH Hazy IPA

Rating:

“With the deep golden hue of a hazy sunset this gloriously juicy, smooth, & lucious beer is our take on the Hazy IPA. It’s double dry-hopped with Strata, El dorado & Idaho 7 for the citrus & tropical juice flavour associated with this style.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Almost 100% clear deep golden pour with a fluffy two finger head. Good retention and lacing as it ebbs. It really gets under our skin when breweries call their beers “Hazy” then they pour like a West Coast IPA.

Aroma: Smells pretty damn good but. There’s a pleasant mix of slightly pithy citrus, sweet tropical fruits, fleshy stonefruit and nectar (passionfruit, peach etc). We’re also detecting heady notes of pine resin, weed/herbals, gummi bears and dried leaves. Not really picking up the typical hazy or juicy aromas from it though. Basically smells like a decent run of the mill IPA.

Flavour: Nice progression happening. It kicks off with resinous pine, slightly dank weedy herbals and a nice line of pithy citrus developing early in the mid. It keeps pretty green and herbaceous with a hint of unripened stonefruit creeping in late. It finishes pretty dry and citric with a bit of a mild booze burn in the tail.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, dry, a little prickly in the swallow. Good body to it. Medium Co2. 6.5% ABV shows through a smidge.

Overall: Look, at the end of the day it’s a reasonably good IPA. We just hate it when breweries call IPA’s hazy only to find out they’re not hazy at all. This is the perfect example of a “no coast IPA” to us. Still, it’s a decent beer at its core.