Bootleg Apehanger IPA (something about motorbikes, presumably*) will always be a special beer to me after it won the IPA Trophy at the very first Brewers Guild of New Zealand Awards that I covered. And now it’s popped up when I was involved in judging the New World Beer & Cider Awards in 2023. That first appearance was way back in 2017, so after six years it is great to re-review it. So, to get that question out of the way immediately: Yes, it very much is as good as it was in 2017. The finely-tuned balance of New Zealand and American hops remains the key to what makes this one so damned good. It’s got all the herbaceous and gooseberry Nelson pungency, but that’s tempered by the resinous, piney grapefruit of the American side. Add a full and juicy malt backbone and an acutely bitter finish and you’ve got an IPA that’s manifestly stood the test of time. A low-key IPA classic.
*Tim you’re far too young to remember Easy Rider, Choppers and the apehanger handlebars — Editor