“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.”
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.