When I think of Belgian beer, IPA does not typically come to mind.  But such beers do occasionally emerge from the region, and this one of the few readily available in New Zealand.  The hop bill looks pretty modern with Amarillo and Tomahawk along with the more traditional Saaz.  But it’s still a Belgian beer, so of course it’s 9% ABV and bottle conditioned. On the nose there’s dry grassiness, with citrus and peach further back, and alongside the hop notes there’s that delicately malty, faintly candy-floss aroma of Belgian Tripel, which will be what’s running under the hood here.  The flavour is intense, some stone fruit and smooth malt richness before a near-immediate blast of bitterness which totally grasps the palate.  But as that bitterness subsides the fruit returns and uniquely blends with the ripe Belgian yeast esters to create a complex and curious finish. Probably better described as a hoppy Tripel than an IPA, this is a fascinatingly unique fusion of traditional Belgian character rammed at high speed into super-hoppy American style IPA.

Deep Creek Leo extroverted Hazy IPA

Reviewer Josh Lee says Deep Creek Leo Extroverted Hazy IPA is the best hazy he’s tried this year and recommends it highly.

What’s on offer at Beervana

I’m already licking my lips at what’s on offer at next week’s Beervana festival in Wellington next week.

Boneface The Wolf Bites Back Triple Cold IPA

Boneface The Wolf Bites Back Triple Cold IPA is a complex mix of sharp citrus and softer tropicals, with pungent rosewater and light malt sweetness.

Best in Black: Stout Challenge

Tim Newman brings an insider’s view on the increasingly popular NZ Stout Challenge in Christchurch

Hop Federation Glory Glory West Coast IPA

I love the team at Hop Federation and I think they love me because they are always looking after me with beermail and in today we have their latest westie, Glory Glory, their entry to the annual Malthouse West Coast IPA challenge and if my palate were the judge, this...

Parrotdog Boring Beer Oat Milk Hazy IPA

Parrotdog and Boring Oat Milk have joined forces to make Boring Beer, an oak milk hazy IPA that is anything but boring.