Christmas time … when the novelty beers come out to play, and invariably find their way to me from family members who have some vague idea that I’m supposed to be ‘the beer guy’ but very little else in the way of actual beer savvy.  The pick of the bunch this year?  Trooper IPA, brought to you by Iron Maiden — obviously. The actual brewers are Robinsons in Stockport UK (just south of Manchester), who are pretty well regarded as independent brewers and producers of Real Ale.  So, let’s see if half the globe’s worth of transit and then god-knows-how-long sitting on display at ambient temp have killed this one. The unmistakable earth, dried fruit and spice of Goldings hops leads the nose, with more subtle citrus and significant malt heft.  That robust malt backbone carries the bold palate, with fresh grass, spice and citrus hop characters adding lift.  For only 4.3 per cent ABV it carries a surprisingly medium body, with plenty to chew over in the complex and moderately bitter finish.   Although it’s undoubtedly lost something of itself along the way, I can confidently declare this one alive, and more than that, it’s a rare glimpse into the original style of IPA that’s nearly impossible to taste within the realm of New Zealand brewing.

What’s on offer at Beervana

I’m already licking my lips at what’s on offer at next week’s Beervana festival in Wellington next week.

Boneface The Wolf Bites Back Triple Cold IPA

Boneface The Wolf Bites Back Triple Cold IPA is a complex mix of sharp citrus and softer tropicals, with pungent rosewater and light malt sweetness.

Best in Black: Stout Challenge

Tim Newman brings an insider’s view on the increasingly popular NZ Stout Challenge in Christchurch

Hop Federation Glory Glory West Coast IPA

I love the team at Hop Federation and I think they love me because they are always looking after me with beermail and in today we have their latest westie, Glory Glory, their entry to the annual Malthouse West Coast IPA challenge and if my palate were the judge, this...

Parrotdog Boring Beer Oat Milk Hazy IPA

Parrotdog and Boring Oat Milk have joined forces to make Boring Beer, an oak milk hazy IPA that is anything but boring.

Kainui back to the big time

Far North cult favourites Kainui Brew Co have returned to the big time with an outstanding performance at the NZ Beer Awards.