Good George Chance of Haze NZ IPA

Smith’s Craft Beer House in Queenstown plays host to the NZ IPA Challenge.  Alongside Malthouse’s WCIPA Challenge, the NZIPA trophy is one that all NZ brewers would love on their mantlepiece and this year it was Good George Brewing who took home the prize.  It was a close fought affair coming down to the narrowest of margins which speaks volumes for quality of beers currently being produced in NZ. I dropped into Good George’s Frankton brew bar soon after they had cracked the keg and eagerly wrapped my hand around a glass of their winning entry. Boy oh boy this beer throws out some big dank aromas … I liken it to a beer brewed with fresh NZ hops. It’s my personal opinion that IPA’s should showcase hops and this is exactly what brewer Paul Bergamini has been able to achieve. Pungent, grassy hop notes dominate your senses with some crisp, clean citrus zest! The mouthfeel velvety smooth and surprisingly light for its 6.9% ABV. My final note on this year’s winning entry is that it brings some bitterness and (thankfully) NZ brewers are starting to return to bitter IPAs.  This beer presents a balanced background bitterness throughout the drinking experience that never overwhelms or fizzles out from start to finish. It was a real highlight again showcasing how bloody amazing New Zealand hops are! Congratulations to Brian Watson, Paul and the team at Good George – very deserving winners of this year’s challenge.