baylands waifly 8

Baylands Waifly, now in its eighth iteration, is one of the recurring fresh hop releases on my “can’t miss” list.  It’s routinely one of the very best every season, and this year’s is no exception.  Fresh Nelson Sauvin leads the charge on the nose, with gloriously fresh passionfruit sorbet alongside Waifly’s signature gummy bear lollies.  Ripe and fresh on the tongue with sharp citrus rind and a streak of cooling menthol before the firm bitterness grips the finish. Another exceptional vintage for a beer that Baylands can confidentiality regard as a New Zealand fresh hop classic.

Brothers Beer Gamma Daydream

Fresh hop season is upon us, and with it, Fresh Hop Watch 2024 begins… Feedback from Nelson indicates an exceptional growing season, so I’m expecting big things from this year's releases.  While the best fresh hop beers tend to appear toward the end of the season, the...

Southfarthing Girdly Fine Grain Amber Ale

I was recently brought back a souvenir from a trip to Hobbiton, and uniquely amongst souvenirs, this one was perfect.  A bottle from the range of beers (and ciders) served at that living monument to the Lord of the Rings movie, and crafted to evoke the same quaintly...

Thief Tropic Myopic West Coast Pilsner

‘West Coast’ pilsner is still something of an emerging style, with the first few examples popping up at the tail end of last year.  While its attributes are yet to be entirely codified in New Zealand, the trend is towards big, maximalist pilsners that push the New...

Pacific Coast Chop Hazy Double IPA

In my experience, hazy IPAs are one of the worst offenders when it comes to losing balance as they are scaled up into the imperial spectrum.  Too many oats, too much lactose or just too little bitterness too often leads to a flabby, oversweet flavour blowout.  So,...

Behemoth X Block 15 Something Big & Resinous

This Double IPA was originally brewed State-ide by Block 15 Brewery in Corvallis, Oregon, using Clayton Hops fresh Riwaka hop oil as its secret ingredient.  No secrets in this local re-brew — just a profundity of Chinook, Nelson Sauvin, Columbus, Nectaron and El...

Small Gods Hark! Gingerbread Imperial Stout

The annual Christmas series of seasonal one-offs from Small Gods took a decidedly dessert stout turn this year.  When faced with a selection of beers like this, flavoured with raspberry, orange, clove and more, I would typically pick the one I was most comfortable...