I had to go up to Auckland in the weekend for my Grand Dad'n'laws sad funeral, so there wasn't any brewing this weekend however....
I got to enjoy the spoils of being in the largest metropolis in NZ - and I made the most of it. I visited Chris at Wine Circle in Kumeu on the way home from the funeral to pick up some beer to drown my sorrows. Aventinus was tasting as good as ever - but probably the wrong choice for the sun shine supping. There was a load of sweetness that didn't agree with the sweat pouring from my forehead. My Dad'n'law and Uncle'n'law were both bitching about having to drink it. I told them that it was one of the best beers available in the world to which they replied - "The world is fucked".
Some Epic did a great job in washing away the residual sweetness that Aventinus left in my gullet. The first four were fantastic, but I have to say - by the fifth, I noticed that there was a salinity accumulating on my palate - and by the last I was too drunk to give a shit. Still, the range of hopflavouravalaiability in Epic was welcome... more than welcome. It was nice to be able to go down the road and get some.
The next day it was a trip to Hallertau to meet up with the westie boys and Martin and Reviled for more drinkypoos. It was a hoot meeting you at last Martin and I had a lovely time chewing the fat with you and Reviled. I have to say, NVIOUS - your beer is starting to get its shit together. An amazing feat, as I don’t know anyone else who can talk their beer into brewing itself. The Sauvin Imp Pils is great: nice solid bitterness, firm grassy and lemony flavours with some mouth desertacious dryness. Good work. 7%abv with an FG of 1008. It is tasting much more rounded than what it did at new years. Congrats. As for the Pils, well I have to admit that I'm shaking in my boots: and that I am afraid the I will be donating my $10 to you on the 28th. Nice soft grainy flavour with a firm balance from the hops. The citrus is a bit out of style - but I don’t give a shit because it works. Gladfield Lager Malt y'all - that's the business. Danimal - you have done a great job finishing off our "Hopfiend IPA". The dry hopping was OUTSTANDING. I almost didn't notice the acetyldehyde until the very last drop. It'll condition out though. More U.S hops than you can shake a stic at, and bitter sweet ratio of 1.38 : 1. Very nice.
I had a Statesman, some Copper Tart, some Stuntwoman and a Deception. Now, that Deception is very quaffable in the heat of the day I have to admit. Great Work Steve - the beers are tasting as good as ever. There aren't many places who continue to use NZ hops in beers that taste really good. All of yours, I'd give a minimum of 6 / 10 total with Deception being the pick of the day. Stuntwoman smells like you're in for some trouble, and at 9%: trouble was there in bucket loads.
The next day was pretty quiet, with a trip to Vic Park New World and only picking up 2 bottles. Both were as due course from what I'd learned from the Realbeer.co.nz forum: Ngahere Gold and Paradox. The former was a standout. Very very clean malt and well balanced dryness. I was glad to have bought it as it washed the insipid astringencies away from my horrified palate after drinking the Paradox. I might be hamming it up a bit, but I went to the Renaissance brewery in July 2008 and liked what was on tap. I had all 4 at the time and ranked the Porter as a standout. I don't know what went wrong with Paradox, but it wasn't pleasant.
Many of you online people won’t be aware that I used to be a primary school teacher (I left the industry selfishly because I was bemused with its direction) but I'll give you an idea of what a major contributing factor of is wrong with NZ's schooling system. I'll give it to you in beer terms: Good Try Renaissance, you did really really well making paradox. You should feel proud of yourself for making some beer and selling it for $7.50 a bottle.
Get the idea?
Anyway, I hate being so negative all the time - so here is some positivity for you...
Epic, Good. Aventinus, Great. Statesman, Yummy Scrummy. Copper Tart, Freakn Awesome. Ngahere Gold, Hell yeah. Deception, Nyum Nums. Stuntwoman... My wife likes me better without the nose hairs anyway: this is fantastic.