Garage Project ‘Hops On Pointe’ Champagne Pilsner


17342586_663796537137828_36917826714553177_n“Beer and ballet – an unusual Pas de Deux. Brewed by Garage Project for the Royal New Zealand Ballet, Hops on Pointe teases the boundaries between high and low culture.Brewed with premium German malts, Nelson Sauvin hops and finished with a champagne yeast, the result is a pale gold lager with a crisp, clean palate, rich tropical fruit aromas and tight champagne bubbles. Available at all good barres.”

Served in a footed flute glass. Uncommonly hazy with a bright chiffon yellow hue. It whips up a nice two finger head that steadily reduces to a film with a healthy lace sticking to the glass.
Quite citric on the nose, really displaying those heady lemon citrus characters so synonymous with champagne. The brewers have done a fantastic job offsetting it with the grainy, cracker biscuit malt while the subtle spicy and resinous hops work quietly in the background. Nice touch.
The mouth feel is light on and crisp with a spritzy champagne fizz. Definitely not hiding the 6.7% ABV as it hits the palate with a bit of prickly heat. Fairly bitter in the swallow.
Getting a really direct warmth with sharp citric bitterness on the front. Grapefruit stands out but it’s softened by a mild bready malt midway. The Nelson Sauvin hops impart a hint of white grapes and vines as it sets up the long, dry and extremely bitter finish.
We can see what they were trying to accomplish here, the combination of champagne yeast, German malt and Nelson Sauvin hops is brilliant. Their downfall, in our opinion, is the excessive presence of alcohol and the intensity of the bitterness, particularly on the back end. We’ve recently found that the further a pilsner is taken from its traditional roots the less favourable it becomes. We guess it’s just one of those styles that shouldn’t be altered….too much.