Friday, 12 May 2006

Beer O'Clock: Tuatara IPA

Astute readers will have noticed the authorship of the ever popular 'Beer O’Clock' column is alternating between Real Beer's Neil and Stu.

While more than happy to sup together and to yak about beer, alternating columns allows Stu and I to show our very different tastes in the beer we like to sup. I [Neil] tend to frolic amongst enormous, exuberant hop-fueled pale ales. Stu on the other hand revels gleefully in the subtle inky roastiness of dark porters and stouts. Working week about gives readers of Not PC a bit of variety in their beer talk.

This week then one of my favorite libations: Tuatara IPA.

India Pale Ales (IPA) were created when Britain still ruled the Raj. After months at sea, traditional beers arrived in India sour, spoiled and undrinkable. This did not help troop morale. Instead of this swill, an enterprising brewer made a beer with extra hops and extra alcohol which proved much more resilient -- and so the style was born., and eventually spread around the world.

Working now in his farm-based brewery north of Wellington, Tuatara's Head Brewer Carl Vasta – a 'young veteran' of brewing – takes a traditional approach to his own range of beer. He says “I’m trying to make the classic styles as close to their traditional definition as possible.” We think he's succeeded.

While the alcohol level in this beer has dropped slightly in recent years, it remains a full-flavoured and worthy IPA. This sparkling gold beer draws the eye and throws a gorgeous nose, combining a spicy grassiness with some hints of tropical fruit. The body is mellow and full of citrus, before a long, lingering bitterness sneaks up on your tastebuds and you suddenly find you need another mouthful. Cheers.

The Tuatara IPA is on tap at The Malthouse and Bodega in Wellington, can be found in bottles all ofer this fresh green land -- and is good all year long.

Cheers, Neil Miller

LINKS: The Malthouse
Real Beer

TAGS: Beer_&_Elsewhere

1 comment:

  1. A top beer indeed, from perhaps NZ's most under-rated brewer.

    Also on tap at Newtown's 'Bar Edwards'.


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