Hud-a-wa Strong (English Strong Bitter, 6.8%). Brewed at Invercargill Brewery for Yeastie Boys (Wellington, New Zealand). $5.79/330ml bottle.
I’m convinced one of these days Yeastie Boys is going to come up with the world’s greatest beer. The Rex Attitude shows the extremes to which these guys are willing to experiment and yes, it’s virtually undrinkable as everyone knows by now but it is utterly unique. I love a brewery that doesn’t care for trends towards insane hoppiness or ridiculous strength and is prepared to risk toxicity in order to create beers that are memorable. And so, I always try a new Yeastie Boys brew in a spirit of adventure; let the chips fall where they may. I was only mildly disappointed then when the Hud-a-wa turned out to be foul, stenchy and noxious, though as I channelled the spirit of Shackleton and chewed my way through the pint I began to realise that even if it was my lot to suffer in silence – for such is the price of bold adventure – I swore there would be no way in hell I would fall for the same trick twice. But this is redemption Thursday; that evening in the Bru Haus was last year and as memories fade, forgiveness grows in the hearts of those who have been wronged. For the first time since then I return to the Hud-a-wa to see if it still has the power to buckle knees and turn stomachs. Continue reading
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
- Quite black indeed
Tuatara XI – Belgian Black Ale, 10.5% abv., (Wellington, NZ). $11/500ml bottle.
You can’t beat Wellington on a good day, they say, but you do need something to hunker down with and get you through the times when the southerly change comes in and it all goes to crap. So, in recognition of Wellington anniversary weekend I turned to the Tuatara XI which is technically described on the back of the black-writing-on-black-background label as a licorice black Belgian barley wine. It does the trick nicely. Continue reading