Hop Federation IPA
With all the new hop varieties appearing in our beers these days it’s easy to forget one of New Zealand’s 21st century OG’s — Nelson Sauvin.  Lucky for us, Hop Federation’s new IPA is crammed full of Nelson green goodness and boy oh boy it’s good! Replacing the Rakau-hopped IPA in their range, this beer carries all of those wonderful fruity characteristics you expect from a Nelson Sauvin.  Fresh gooseberry, apricot and distinctive Sauvignon Blanc characters are wonderfully balanced alongside some pungent, resinous oily bits that I’m totally diggin’. The first mouthful delivers a solid bitterness that is truly the highlight of the entire experience and it doesn’t let up from start to finish.  The beer has a light creamy feel to it and is nicely balanced with a solid malt backbone that allows the hops to shine! I give this beer a solid 9/10.  It’s everything you want in a traditional IPA. Think Parrotdog Bitterbitch or Epic Armageddon — this beer sits nicely next to those legends.

Sawmill Bare Beer

Sawmill are the second Kiwi craft brewery to come to market with a zero ABV beer, after Bach Brewing's All Day Non-Alcoholic IPA. Sawmill's Bare Beer is a completely different beast (and yes, it is possible to have great variation in these products ... they don't have...

Rhyme X Reason’s Can-do attitude

When Rhyme x Reason rolled up its big doors for the first time on an industrial street in Wānaka in June 2017, it was the first brew pub in town. Now, it might be one of a few — but it remains one of a kind. The brainchild of head brewer Jess Wolfgang and her partner...

Chouffe Houblon Belgian IPA

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...

Brothers Beer Pop Art Cryo-Hopped IPA

This IPA from Brothers Beer (5.9 per cent ABV) utilises the new Cryo Pop pellets from Yakima Chief. They are extracted from a blend of American hops and designed as a fire-and-forget solution to aroma in an IPA.  Are they any good?  Let’s see… The nose is clean and...

A Mixed Six with Craftwork

For our second edition of the Mixed Six, we chat to Lee-Ann Scotti and Michael O’Brien of Craftwork, Oamaru’s masters of esoteric Belgian styles.  Six questions on their favourite beers:  three about their brews, three about other people’s. Favourite beer in your core...

Urbanaut Imperial Saison

Since it began with that outrageous 15% Hazy IPA, these seasonal mini-imperials in 250ml cans from Urbanaut have become one of my favorite series of beers.  Saison is a style that scales up comfortably, getting up around the 8% mark in the strongest examples, but a...