Panhead Batch 206

A late arrival in my tasting rundown of this year’s Brewers Guild Awards trophy winners, in this case champion Dark Lager.  Late maybe, but this one arrived in style, contained within a leviathan one litre can.  Just cracking it open was strangely daunting. Aromas of malt biscuits and bush honey, with toasted whole grain bread in the background along with a fruity and faintly herbal hoppiness.  The palate leans drier than the rich nose would suggest, with clean but robust malt character up front and a cleansing hop bitterness further in.  Big and chewy at first, but gradually drying into the long finish to end with a touch of flinty minerality and just a thread of smoke.  An immensely satisfying dark lager that compacts many layers of flavour into its extremely mild 4.8 per cent ABV like only dark beer can.

Panhead Batch 206

A couple of years ago I visited Panhead brewery, the jewel in the crown of Upper Hutt’s Brewtown.  As with all such visits, when it came to the taproom, I skipped straight past the core range and got stuck into tasting the experimental one-off brews that I wouldn’t...

Beer Baroness Double Danger

Beer Baroness Double Danger, an Imperial Hoppy Red Ale (7.9%abv) is the first from their upcoming range of barrel-aged limited releases. Lady Danger (one of the all-time classics from the Christchurch brewery) serves as the platform for this imperial red ale, further...

Hop Federation Deep Space IPL

There’s been quite a few beers bouncing around recently that have showcased trial hops from the NZ Hops Ltd's Bract Brewing Project.  They’ve run the usual gamut of quality, but in terms of styles, it’s been India Pale Lagers like this one that I’ve found best...

Derelict Brewing Exit In Style

One of New Zealand's most loved and respected breweries, Derelict in North Canterbury, has shut up shop. But as owner-brewer Sam Cottier is quick to point out, while it's a shock for some, it's not a sad day. Sam and his wife Natalie made the decision to shut the...

Emerson’s Once Upon A Time In The West

Of the emerging styles seen over the last year (or two) West Coast Pilsner looks to be the one gaining the most traction.  Whether this new style is outpacing the previously emerging Cold IPA or merely presenting the same thing with a more fashionable name is a...

Fermented Culture — Verrity’s Wake

The first column in a series about beer and culture by Kieran Haslett-Moore. Verrity’s Wake It’s the hottest day of the year, tomorrow will be even hotter. Ted has come to the end of his journey. The pub is full to send him on his way. Frances has been gone 8 long...