leapbeer

Mission : Leap Beer, 366 Beers in 366 Days

Archive for the tag “new zealand”

Leapbeer Review #225 Hop Wired IPA by 8 Wired Brewing

I’m always eager to try new beers from different countries. While this wasn’t my first beer from New Zealand I’d say it is my first NZ Craft Beer. I’d already been exposed to a couple of kiwi hops strains with the Lighthouse Tasman & Hopoxinator, but this is a true blue kiwi brew. This beer came very higly recommended from the staff at Cascadia Liquor Store in Victoria.

It pours to a clear amber colour with a frothy white head. There are a lot of large  bubbles. It smells super floral, lots of passion fruit scented hops. I’m initially surprised about how bitter this beer is despite having such a large amount of fruitiness to it. I definitely get similar flavours of hops like Dean used in the hopoxinator, passion fruit and sweetness. I guessed this as a 60+ IBU(listed as 70 on the site) but delicious. As you sip it the pineyness resonates in your mouth. There is a prolonged bitterness that sticks with you. A very good IPA, although it is a bit pricey. $10/500ml bottle. 7.3% ABV. “Tropical punchbowl” agreed.

Leapbeer #225 is Hop Wired IPA by 8 Wired Brewing

Brewery: 8 Wired Brewing Company of New Zealand
Website: http://8wired.co.nz/our-brews/hopwired-ipa
Released: Unknown
Size/ABV: 500ml/7.3% ABV
Availability: Limited for Canadians
Purchased @: Cascadia Liquor, Quadra St Victoria BC
Site Notes:

We’re pretty sure HopWired is the first bottled new world India Pale Ale made with NZ grown pale ale malt and 100% unique NZ hops. We bet you’ll find nothing else like it on the shelves. Although there’s plenty of malty sweetness, this beer is all about the hops. But unlike an American IPA, which will mainly challenge you with grapefruity and pine-like flavours and aromas, the kiwi hops used in HopWired produce something more like a tropical punchbowl: Passion fruit, limes, oranges and Sauvignon Blanc grapes to name but a few. A local Marlborough winemaker even said it smelled like gooseberries… Gooseberries? When did you last actually smell a gooseberry??Decide for yourself, or just enjoy it without further complication. Cheers!

 

I’ve got a couple of other 8 Wired Brewing beers to review coming up. As good as this one is I’m really looking forward to the next ones.

Thanks for Reading.

Leapbeer Review #213 Tasman Ale by Lighthouse Brewing Company

This beer is latest release from Lighthouse Brewing Company in Victoria. It is an orange pale ale,  “Tasman Ale is brewed with the Tasmanian hop varieties Topaz and Summer, along with Motueka and Rakau from the Tasman region of New Zealand. Fresh and crisp, this copper hued ale features distinctive tropical fruit characters, clean and light bittering and a soft malt body.”

I have previously joked that this should be released under a new “Dean McLeod Signature Series” of beers because of his New Zealand & Australian connection. Dean has described this as the perfect BBQ or backyard beer. It wasn’t produced to cater to the upper crust beer geeks, but to have a mass appeal as well as to introduce (or reintroduce) western drinkers with southern hemisphere hops varietals. It smells very light, but has a nice rich flavour to it. The malt body of the beer is accented well with the hops. These aren’t your typical monster truck strength hops that goose step their way over your tongue that you see in a lot of North American craft beers. They’re more like a delicate tap dancer that has an occasional strong note but never loses rhythm with the brew. A very enjoyable and sessionable summer beer.

Leapbeer #213 is Tasman Ale by Lighthouse Brewing Company

Thanks for Reading

Leapbeer Reviews – The First Lager-off

Today is the first real day of summer weather we’ve had here (Written on July 4th), so I thought it’d be a great day to break out a couple of lager beers from the leapbeer fridge. Bear in mind these arent really the craft beers that has been so much my focus as of late. I didn’t include a craft lager as it would likely skew the results.

The Rules of my [Beer]-offs are going to be very simple. I’m going to break them down by Appearance, Smell, Taste and Overall Impression and edge a winner in all catagories. After that the winner will be declared.

Our combatants for this 1st ever Leapbeer Lager-Off are Red Stripe Lager from Jamaica and Steinlager Classic from New Zealand.

Appearance

Both are quite pale gold, the red stripe is a slight shade darker. Both are well carbonated and have fluffy white head on top. The Red Stripe came in a old school stubby bottle where the Steinlager came in a 750ml bottle. A Stubby will always hold a place in my memory as a piece of canadiana. I believe there’s even pictures of stubbies in the old family photo album.

Edge: Red Stripe – This was a close race for me. Even though the Red Stripe is ever so slightly darker, I can’t make the decision based on the colour of the poured beer. I am going to give Red Stripe the edge on the packaging.

Smell

Red Stripe: The scent in this beer is fairly light. It smells yeasty and lager-ish.  The way you’d expect a beer to smell, Beer-like.
Steinlager Classic: Smells of a euro hops strain, almost canaboid in nature (strange I was expecting that in the Jamaican beer). The kind of smell you would expect from a Holsten or a Grolsch.

Edge: Steinlager Classic – I like hoppy beers, and this beer certainly brings you the hops on the nose.

Taste

Red Stripe: Nice malty body, with a mild bitter note at the end of tasting. Quite carbonated. Refreshing for a hot day.
Steinlager Classic: Considerably more bitter than the Red Stripe. It is very full of flavour. It has been a long time since I’d had one of these. It’s good, for a fairly mass produced product.

Edge: Red Stripe – It is a hot day and I’m really wanting something to quaff to cool me down. The Steinlager, while good, does not have the same quaffability.

Overall Impressions

Red Stripe: This is my definition of a summer beer. I could easily destroy these in quick succession without blinking. I find them esthetically pleasing because of the stubby bottles, and the beer inside isn’t disgusting. There’s very little defining character to the beer, but when you’ve been working outside on a hot day you just want to cool down.

Steinlager Classic: This beer is very well hopped. I wish I knew the strain of hops that they use in this beer, but I don’t yet. Beyond that hop note it falls a bit flat though.

Decision: Red Stripe – It comes across as the clear winner in this 1st ever lager off. I realize that these beers aren’t craft, but they were both gifts from Leapbeer readers. Because of that I knew I’d have to take them on at some point, and this seemed like a great way to do that. My wife preferred the Red Stripe as well. One other interesting fact about the Red Stripe that I learned while doing the research on these beers is that they are brewed under license by Moosehead Brewery.

Our Winner

Leapbeer #188 is Red Stripe from Jamaica

Our loser, Steinlager Classic will be listed as Leapbeer #189. It still got consumed though, because it isn’t all bad. It just lost the decision to the Red Stripe. I wanted to say thank you to both Frank and Keegan for donating these beers to the leapbeer cause. They were thoroughly enjoyed.

Thanks for Reading.

Post Navigation