As new as can be, Wairua Pils is from just-opened brewery Pacific Coast in Mangawhai, and it is going straight to the trophy round in the battle for beer of the year for me. What a debut! This beer has an identical twin called Tapawera, with the two versions named after Hop Revolution farms. The quality should be no surprise given the talents of brewer Sam Williamson, who learned his craft at Steam Brewing, and honed it at Galbraith’s and Sawmill. This is a bold beer, a statement about New Zealand hops and the direction beer is going. At 6% ABV it’s a chunky pilsner and the hopping regime is pushing it towards IPA territory. There’s grippy grape skins, grass and diesel thanks to the almost perfect meshing of Nelson Sauvin and Riwaka hops. The pungency of the hops is tuned nicely to the lighter pilsner structure resulting in a beer that’s dank and drinkable.

Pacific Coast Wairua Pils