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?  Trooper IPA, brought to you by Iron Maiden — obviously. The actual brewers are Robinsons in Stockport UK (just south of Manchester), who are pretty well regarded as independent brewers and producers of Real Ale.  So, let’s see if half the globe’s worth of transit and then god-knows-how-long sitting on display at ambient temp have killed this one. The unmistakable earth, dried fruit and spice of Goldings hops leads the nose, with more subtle citrus and significant malt heft.  That robust malt backbone carries the bold palate, with fresh grass, spice and citrus hop characters adding lift.  For only 4.3 per cent ABV it carries a surprisingly medium body, with plenty to chew over in the complex and moderately bitter finish.   Although it’s undoubtedly lost something of itself along the way, I can confidently declare this one alive, and more than that, it’s a rare glimpse into the original style of IPA that’s nearly impossible to taste within the realm of New Zealand brewing.

Bootleg burning their own path

When Omicron started its sweep of the country, the Bootleg Sessions were born: music gigs at the brewery’s Matangi base limited to 100 people with all the proceeds going to the musicians.

Taranaki’s booming beer scene

Taranaki breweries have been shining bright at recent awards so we take a trip around the mountain to find the region’s best beer

Good George win Smith’s IPA Challenge — again

Good George has won the Smith’s NZ IPA Challenge in Queenstown for the second year in a row with their Haze of Glory.

Haiku Beer Vol 4

In volume four of his beer Haiku series, Stephen Gallagher takes us from Atlanta to Wanaka for some poetic beers.

Bootleg T-Straight Burnout Stout 

Bootleg T Straight Burnout Smokey Stout is tremendous winter drinking, and a superb match for rich and savoury comfort food. 

A year on from beer’s #metoo reckoning what’s changed

A year on from beer’s #metoo reckoning what action has been taken to make our beer community a safer and more inclusive one?