#30 – Headstock IPA & Dead Elephant IPA

Around the World in 80 beers episode 2: Canada

Name: Nickel Brook Headstock IPA
Style: IPA (surprisingly enough)
Brewed by: Better Bitters Brewing co., (Burlington, Ontario, Canada)
Alc: 7% abv.

 

Name: Dead Elephant Ale
Style: IPA
Brewed by: Railway City Brewing co., (St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada)
Alc: 6.5% abv.

 

 

The keenly observant will notice that I have again been absent. Now I could say it was due to a bout of consumption, general lethargy or a family crisis involving the antichrist but I’d also have to admit to some trepidation in doing this beer – or rather beers because there are two of them this time – a couple of badass Ontarioian IPAs bequeathed to me on a recent visit by Kim, site godfather and beer and music guru. I had better tread carefully here for I am a stranger in a strange land. I have to say though that any lingering thoughts I had of Canada being filled with mooses, manic flappy-headed farters and, worst of all, ghastly lightweight American-style pale lagers are, thankfully, not quite entirely accurate. These are both fairly big beers; filling, warming and ever so slightly boozy, all of which is good.

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Review #23 – Hallertau Beastwars

This one’s a bit different, and in theory it should be easy since half my work is done for me. This custom-brewed, limited edition IPA is named for Beastwars, a sludgey, stoner metal band out of Wellington. It’s a proper tie-in, it seems, and there’s a link given on the label where you can listen to Beastwars’ album. It’s not an entirely original idea; it follows on from recent efforts from Emersons to commemorate the Dunedin sound and came out around the same time as Epic’s 30 year Ale, ‘celebrating’ Flying Nun’s 30 year anniversary last November though I’d argue Epic really didn’t try very hard: Continue reading

Review #13 – Parrotdog Bitterbitch

Parrotdog Bitterbitch (IPA, 6.3%). Brewed at Mike’s Organic Brewery (Taranaki) for Parrotdog Brewing (Wellington, New Zealand). $6/330ml bottle.

From the label: “An aggressively New Zealand-hopped aroma gives way to a deep, rich English malt base and a huge, lingering English-hopped bitterness to finish.” Well yep, pretty much.

When I first tried this it was wasted on me. I admit it. It was still pre-Beervana, and my system was still detoxing from all the Speights and couch smoke it had acquired during my time down south. To the great disappointment of my Wellington friends I think my reaction was a listless meh. So after all this time (all six months or so of it) does this beer – the very first produced by Parrotdog but one that attained something like semi-mythical status when it ran dry after just 96 minutes on the taps at Hashigo Zake and then went on to grab the people’s choice award at Beervana – does it, can it, stand up to the hype? Continue reading

Review #11 – Brewdog Hardcore

Hardcore IPA (Imperial/Double IPA, 9.2% abv) by BrewDog (Fraserburgh, Scotland). $8.50/330ml bottle.

From the label: “4 Hop Cones willingly sacrificed themselves in fiery cauldron (sic) that is our brew kettle to ensure your mouth is left feeling punished and puckering for more.” They’re half right.

A second round of redemption Thursday and this time around it’s the Brewdog Hardcore, a beer I’d had during last year’s world footy cup or whatever it was, apparently New Zealand won it and there was much rejoicing. At the time I described in my notes as “f…ing awful. Too hoppy, bitter, fruity and stenchy” but of course I hadn’t really given it a fair chance. It was served to me in a plastic cup – I believe I have elsewhere expressed my opinion of such an abominable act – and from memory I was coming off a row of porters and stouts so it was never going to sit well. And so, now, swollen with magnanimity in the comfort of my own home, I am willing to give it another try. Continue reading