I’ve always liked hoppy beers, but for a while there I was really leaning toward the british style Bitters and ales and now I’ve suddenly got a real thirst for a good IPA. Since the metal wine project is currently bubbling along in the background without too much in the way of exciting updates around, I thought I would write about beer today! I’ve had some great hoppy beers lately from Epic Brewing in New Zealand. I found a hotel in Adelaide that sells both the Epic Pale and Epic Armageddon. The Pale Ale is a nice hoppy style with loads of great Cascade hop aroma and flavour, but the Armageddon IPA really got me excited for hoppy beers again. Now, on a side note before I go into depth about this beer in particular, I feel like I need to explain one reason why I went off the IPA’s recently and needed a saviour beer.
I’ve been homebrewing for about four years now and I also run a local homebrew competition here in the Barossa Valley. I’ve done this for the past three years and whilst a bit of work I actually rather enjoy it. This year I volunteered to head to the State Amateur Brewing Show of South Australia (SABSOSA) to judge for the first time. I have done judging before for our competition but this was my first time on the “big stage”of judging. I was pretty excited to find out that I would be judging the IPA category with 21 beers in it. That is actually a pretty big category and it takes 3-4 hours to judge that number of beers properly. However, my excitement didn’t last very long. Now, I honestly thought that the biggest problem with judging this class would be that the beers would probably be over hopped or astringent frm too many bittering hops, how wrong I was! This was honestly the worst collection of beers I have ever had to try, there was a complete lack of hops in fact many of them were not hoppy in the slightest (and badly brewed on top of that). So, you can see my predicament, I really needed a beer to act as my hop saviour, to re-invigorate my senses. Enter Epic Armageddon.
Armageddon is chock full of US hop varieties such as Cascade, Chinook and Simcoe, all of which exude that classic citrus and piney hop aroma and flavour typical of US varieties. I have been very impressed by the craft beer scene coming out of NZ, the Kiwi’s are certainly holding their own in fact I think many are better than what we see here in Australia. Epic certainly is front and centre along with Renaissance and the Yeastie Boys. In terms of IPA’s in Australia I do actually struggle somewhat to find good examples. Probably the best is fro Western Australia’s Feral Brewing. Their Hop Hog is quite an exceptional example of the US style IPA being brewed here.
So, thankfully my hoppy faith has been restored by some excellent brewers in the Southern Hemisphere. I think it is about time I got off my butt and brewed a great IPA myself.
Till next time, hopefully with some important updates about our wine progress, I can tell you you that we are launching two wines soon.
Chief Distortion Officer