Hopwired is a special beer for me, and an important one for New Zealand craft brewing, being one of the early pioneers of the modern full-strength NZ-hopped IPA.  This special edition swaps the Nelson Sauvin hops for a co-developed variety called Pacific Sunrise, recently rediscovered and commercially planted by Hop Revolution.  Bold, pithy, orange citrus comes first on the nose, with apricot and boysenberry along with rich toffee and biscuity malt.  More orange and berries on the palate, with tart marmalade and an almost fruitcake quality as the chewy malt backbone kicks in.  Compared with the original Hopwired the difference here is remarkable, with the sharp passionfruit lift of the Nelson Sauvin entirely gone, the flavour takes on a much deeper, more brooding character, somewhat closer to an English style IPA.  A deliciously divergent take on an NZIPA super-classic that shows just what a difference hop selection can make. 

Three Boys Gas NZIPA

Three Boys Gas NZIPA was originally brewed as a collaboration with Burkes and took third place at the 2021 Smiths IPA challenge.  Now Three Boys have got it into cans for a wider release in their Brewers Reserve series.

Craftwork Good Lord Abbey Tripel

From Oamaru’s Belgian style maestros, Craftwork, Good Lord is an unusual bottle-conditioned Tripel.

Boneface Big Unit Hazy Double IPA

The Unit from Boneface in Upper Hutt was one of the first all New Zealand-hopped hazy IPAs, and it remains one of the best. This souped-up version promises to be twice as nice.  Passionfruit, gooseberry, grapefruit and rockmelon all crowd around the nose, giving a...

Robinsons Trooper English IPA

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? ...

Burkes Brewing Unforgiven Porter

Despite being ‘just’ a porter, Burkes Brewing Unforgiven takes that one brush and paints a masterpiece in black.

Alibi Temná Zima Bohemian Dark Lager

Alibi Temna Zima, New Zealand’s Champion Dark Lager, is an immensely satisfying dark lager that compacts many layers of flavour into its extremely mild 4.8 per cent ABV.