In this series we ask brewers to talk about three of their own beers and three beers they love from other breweries.

Favourite beer in your core range?

This is a tough one as it generally changes based on mood, weather and such, but I’d say I’d be most inclined to reach for a can of Highwayman APA. It’s a super crisp, classic West Coast-style APA with loads of Citra, Simcoe and Amarillo hops and a dash of caramalt. I find it has this lovely orange sherbet texture, and a strong bitterness which makes it super clean.

Shining Peak

The beer you are most proud of?

I’d have to say our schwarzbier Octopus Clamp. It’s a lovely, crisp and balanced dark lager that steers towards a cocoa malt character, rather than being a big roast bomb. It’s picked us up multiple awards in NZ and Australia, and it’s the beer that other brewers will order when they come for a visit. We work hard to make beer that our peers in the brewing industry will enjoy (and ourselves, of course), as feedback from our industry is so rewarding.

Octopus Clamp

Which new beer are you most excited about?

I’m super excited to release our first ever fresh hop beer this month. It’s a take on one of our original favourites which we haven’t brewed for a while, so watch this space. We also have a special wee number stashed away, which we’ll release when the weather starts to cool down a bit more. I’ll give you a hint — smoke meets caramel.

First beer you fell in love with?

After being raised on Double Brown, and then fancying it up with the odd box of Flame (for special occasions), some notables were Epic Armageddon, Liberty Citra and 8 Wired’s Tall Poppy. However, the first beer I fell in love with was Mike’s Imperial IPA — a huge Simcoe and Amarillo bomb that came in a 750ml bottle which Joe Wood had a hand in developing (see? it’s good). I was fortunate to get my first brewing job at Mike’s and would, years later, find myself brewing that very beer.

Global beer you’d like to have now?

Blueline Blonde by Haliburton Highlands Brewing in Ontario. It’s a tiny little brewery just north of where my fiancée comes from. Covid has kept us away for over three years, so it’s the beer I’m most excited to get my hands on right now, as we’ll be enjoying it with good friends and family. That’s always the best tasting beer, right?

A NZ beer you are enjoying lately?

Well, I’m suffering from some serious hop fatigue after sampling what felt like a thousand hazies while judging the New World Beer & Cider Awards the other week, so I’m after a clean lager. If I see a McLeod’s Longboarder Lager on tap, it’s a sure thing I’ll be drinking it. Always perfect and clean, that beer is a real testament to the work those guys do. I also had the nicest tasting can of Liberty Divine Wind the other day, which I’ve thought about fondly several times since then.

Shining Peak

The Beer Project — Shining Peak

I arrive at Shining Peak on a hot, sunny Taranaki morning in January. New Plymouth has just lost the crown of NZ's sunniest town to Tekapo, after two years on top, but founder and head brewer Jesse Sigurdsson isn't fazed. There has still been plenty of good golfing...

New World Beer & Cider Awards — Highly Commended

It's incredibly difficult to get into the Top 30 at the New World Beer & Cider Awards so any beer or cider that gets a highly commended gong is effectively a gold medal beer. https://hoppiness.co.nz/new-world-beer-cider-awards-top-30-2 8 Wired Cloudtripper —...

New World Beer & Cider Awards Top 30

It seems like every year there’s a better, more diverse selection of styles in the New World Beer & Cider Awards Top 30 — and the 10th edition stands out. The Top 30 features established — and popular — craft brands such as Garage Project, Parrotdog, Emerson’s,...

Instagratification: Dusty’s Fresh Hop Picks 2024

Photographer, beer-lover and Instagram influencer Dusty, picks his highlights from the Fresh Hop season of 2024. Brave Brewing Helping Hands My fresh hop beer of the year is also a contender for beer of the year, Brave Brewing Helping Hands 2024 is just beautiful. A...

Kiwis Rolling In Gold At Australian Beer Awards

It's been a night of Kiwi success at the Australian International Beer Awards … and a heads-up, this is not a cut-and-paste of last year’s results despite 2024 being almost a mirror-image of 2023! That’s because, for the second year in a row the champion large, medium...

Wanaka Beerworks X Beers Garstonstein

You thought you were safe.  You thought fresh hop season was over, but it just keeps on going… This one really is special though, I promise.  Garstonstein is joint release from Wanaka Beerworks and Christchurch’s Beers is unique in that its Nelson Sauvin...