I am a little behind in my posts, for which I apologize. I need to tell about our fabulous beer-themed trip around the North Island, Beer Tasting at Hallertau, and the NZ beer fest too.
Lets start off with the most recent first, since my memory is all fresh. Partner and I arrived within the first hour of the doors opening. Headed towards the back for no other reason except I wanted to be sure I got some of the very rare Epic Hop Zombie. I was not to be denied. Epic had only brought one case of their popular, and rare beers: Epic Portamarillo, Thornbridge Stout, and Hop Zombie. There was also secret squirrel tastings of the new beer, Zythos. I managed to get a taste of each.
Now, Zombie is probably not the best beer to start off with but since it is a favorite of mine, and it will not be made again until the hops can be obtained from the US (this may take several years, alas) I wanted to be sure to have some. I stuck to half glasses for all the beers I tried since I know I am a light-weight when it comes to alcohol. What follows is a list, as best as I can remember, what I tried and what I thought of each. I tried to stick to beers I was not familiar with so that I wasn’t filling up on beers I already have good access to.
Epic Hop Zombie – Still tasting nice, less aroma than when fresh but still a very nicely balanced drop
Mike’s Organic “Just another Pale Ale” – very malt driven beer with a nice subtle aroma. This is a nice beer of which I would happily have more.
Epic Zythos – light on malt, this beer is all about the new hop variety Zythos. Beautiful aroma and flavour.
Epic Thornbridge Stout – solid coffee flavours with a finish of dark chocolate fruit. Yum
West Coast Pale Ale – A very nice pale ale highlighting the hops from NZ. Riwaka is dominant in the nose with citrus grapefruit and mandarin flavours. A good beer
Emerson’s Bird Dog – This is a beautiful beer. Well balanced in malt, bittering hops and aroma hops. Unusual in that the hop character in this beer is not all citrus like many are these days. Earthy and malty, this is a great, well made beer.
Yeastie Boys Digital IPA. I love the sweetness of the malt that comes off this beer. So caramel with lovely hop bitterness balance. I can only hope that my homebrew clone is close to this nice.
The cloud was a very nice venue to hold the event. Much better than the race course which hosted the previous events. My only complaint was the lack of seating or tables around which to gather with friends. But overall, a great event and so nice to see excellent representation from the Craft beers.