Our team of writers share some of their favourite drops from the past few weeks.
Yeastie Boys White Noise
A few bottles of this white ale always end up in my fridge whenever I get tired of tongue-buckling IPAs.
Give it 10 minutes out of the fridge before drinking. Your patience will be rewarded with olfactory caresses of vanilla, orange and coconut.
The chamomile tea added to the beer helps tie this subtly complex beer together.
– Jono Galuszka
With a fresh new look and wider distribution, you can expect Weelzedog beers further afield than their native West Auckland.
Yorkshireman Mark Jackman is dedicated to making unpasteurised, unfiltered beers of the hazy variety – no not those milkshakey Vermont IPAs – but beers that retain so much flavour goodness through lack of mechanical interference.
Hopster has tremendous mouthfeel, and packs a delicious punch of flavour.
– Michael Donaldson
Fork & Brewer Skywalker Oaked Imperial Stout
I enjoy big, gnarly imperial stouts with a hormonal alcohol taste, big bitterness and roasty malt flavours that take no prisoners.
As imperial stouts go, Skywalker is a different beastie – silky smooth, malty and chocolatey.
The ageing in American oak seems to have taken off the rough edges, but the first impression is deceptive. The bitterness in the mouth and finish builds up as you drink, and the alcohol starts to make its presence felt.
A complex beer that will reveal more each time you drink it.
– Neil McInnes
Liberty Brewing Hoptical Illusion
At face value, this latest release from Liberty looks just like the next fancy labelled double IPA on the block, but drink a little deeper and you’ll find it’s actually something a bit different. Using a pilsner malt and filtering the beer post-fermentation, they’ve deemed this an ‘extra’ extra pale ale.
Free from any cloying malt stickiness to weigh it down, the lush estery tropical fruit flavours of the American hops soar magnificently over the palate.
An exciting step forward in crafting a better double IPA, and a must try for any lovers of the style.
– Tim Newman
Mussel Inn Freckled Frog Feijoa Cider
Freckled Frog doesn’t pretend to be either beer or cider. It’s an honest fruit wine from the iconic Mussel Inn, and a firm summer favourite.
Made with 100 per cent feijoa juice, the bottle version is 5 per cent ABV. Great on a hot day, a birthday, on its own or paired with gooey camembert.
The skill of the brewer lies in blending raw ingredients to transcend the sum of their parts. Freckled Frog takes the syrupy chunk of feijoa juice and transports it into a light, spritzy burst of feijoa gold which is surely what nature intended all along. Andrew Dixon is a star alchemist!
– Amanda Nally
North End Iron Sands Stout
Blah blah Autumn. Blah blah getting colder. Blah blah stout season.
Anytime is stout time in my books, and this is a stout for all occasions. Iron Sands contains the trifecta of specialty grains: oats, rye and wheat. It’s very full-bodied, but not too heavy or stodgy.
It’s rich and chocolatey, but with enough bitterness to stop it becoming cloying, and a hint of fruit in the background to give it complexity and soul. The perfect stout. After all, winter is coming…
– Dylan Jauslin
The Wellington brewery has just relocated from downtown in Vivian St to out by the airport in Lyall Bay. Against the simplicity of their labelling and presentation, Pandemonium seems an ironic name for a stunningly well-constructed beer.
But the joke is clever because pandemonium is the name given to a group of parrots. The trivia beer can teach you, eh? The all-Australian hop bill gives a hint of juicy tropical aromas with an underlying, extremely appealing dankness that’s carefully held in check. Light and dry, the bitterness is pleasant and restrained. Delicate and thoroughly drinkable at 4.8 per cent ABV.
– Michael Donaldson
8 Wired Hippy Berliner
If any beer has the potential to evolve our collective palates and bring sours into the mainstream, it’s this one. It has everything a blossoming beer nerd needs: punchy hop aroma, refreshing but non-puckering sourness, and a touch of malt character to finish.
And at four per cent ABV, it’s most certainly a fridge-stuffer – which makes the new six-packs (and 440ml cans of Hippy Cucumber!) all the more useful. A beer in a class of its own.
– Jason Gurney