When you go rural (and I mean rural rural, not tourist rural) craft beer begins to dry up.  But typically, even the most Country Calendar of remote pubs will have a craft option hanging out down the end of the taps.  It used to be Emerson’s Pilsner; but as the age of hop-driven beer dawned, that beer became (and steadfastly remains) Panhead Supercharger APA.  It’s become so ubiquitous that it triggers a bit of an eye roll for me whenever I see it on, but I should remember that this beer is popular for a reason.  Consistently awarded at judging events since its release a decade ago, Supercharger has also won perhaps more ‘people’s choice’ style awards than potentially any other beer.  I think the secret of its success is that it takes the model of hop-driven, fruity, bitter beer right up to the line where it might lose the attention of a mainstream drinker — and stops precisely there.  There’s plenty going on for craft drinkers to chew on, but not so much that any given occupant of a random sports bar can’t enjoy it too. For the astronomically small number of people who are reading this and have never tasted it, expect a clean and bright aroma of orange zest and resin over mango and toffee malt.  The palate brings more diverse citrus and characterful malt, with a bitterness that while considered high a decade ago, is middle of the road these days.  A true kiwi craft classic, and one that clearly still has plenty to prove.

panhead supercharger