Friday, 15 September 2006

Beer O’Clock – Three Boys IPA, India Pale Ale, Christchurch, 5.2%

The Beer O'Clock post this week comes from Neil at Real Beer.

After all the good beer flowing during Brew NZ, I could not possibly spend another column writing about Viking Lager. [Thank goodness, Ed.]

So I have decided to highlight one of my absolute favourite beers from a little known Christchurch brewery called Three Boys. Trust me, you will be hearing a lot more from these guys. They will go far.

For starters, the beer looks good before it even gets in the glass. As soon as you see the distinctive bottles, you know they are aiming at the very top end of the microbrewery market. I have to say they are very handsome bottles (and I once wrote an article called “good beer can come in plastic bottles!”).

Simple labels, simple language, very distinctive and classy. And it would seem I am not the only one to think so. Three Boys rightly won the Packaging Award at the New Zealand Beer Awards last week.

The brewer is scientist Dr Ralph Bungard who now runs this small brewery in Woolston, Christchurch. The Three Boys name is a reference to Ralph and his two sons.

He has just put in new tanks to meet increased demand from an increased number of venues which should make the beers a bit easier to find.

The IPA is the newest beer in his range (along with Pils, Wheat and Porter) which will be complemented by two seasonals (Oyster Stout – with real bluff oysters – and possibly a Golden Ale for summer).

All his beers are unfiltered and unpasteurised. Ralph says they are “just as nature intended. Our aim is simple: finest quality beer, finest possible taste.” I consider that most laudable!

The IPA pours a burnished gold with a light head. On the nose it is aromatic with herbs, citrus and a little honey evident. The taste is full (yet balanced) with plenty of fruit (particularly grapefruit – very American) closely followed by a long, long bitter finish.

This is one of my favourite beers of the year. It is so good I got thirsty just typing that description. Lucky it is Beer O’Clock…

Cheers, Neil

LINKS: Three Boys Brewery
Real Beer

RELATED: Beer & Elsewhere


  1. Hell. I'm in Christchurch every second weekend, and I'd never heard of this beeer.


  2. That makes this column worthwhile. Check it out, it's a lovely drop.

  3. as good as the IPA is, you should have a crack at the Golden Ale, local organic malt from Dunsandel and the best of Motueka hops, you might struggle to find it but well worth the search.


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