Friday, 10 November 2006

Beer O’Clock – Emerson’s APA

More talk about weather and beer from Neil at Real Beer, the leading online source for beer information in New Zealand. Some cities have climate. Wellington has weather, but they do have Emerson's American Pale Ale ...

I love spring time in Wellington. The gentle zephyr blowing by at 93km/h, 9 whole degrees at lunchtime and the gentle hum of hail bouncing off the roof…

This kind of wrecked my plan to talk about good barbeque beers.

So I decided instead to talk about a beer which comes out every spring – Emerson’s American Pale Ale.

Brewer Richard Emerson was inspired to make this beer by a 2002 trip to Oregon in the United States where he tasted first hand their insanely hopped American Pale Ales. These were beers you could smell from literally across the room. He liked them.

APA is (logically enough) the US interpretation of the English beer style called India Pale Ale. It a robust beer made with pale ale malt and is heavily hopped – usually with American hop varieties. These are often strong and have a pronounced grapefruit character.

Emerson’s APA was first made for the festive brew contest at Brew NZ in 2004. It won both the judging and the people’s choice in its category and has appeared every October since.

The beer provided one of my favourite quotes from Richard: “It’s extremely expensive to make. But why not put lots of hops in? We’re brewers, not accountants.”

Hear, hear. APA contains a number of American hops including Cascade and Amarillo.

It pours an inviting cloudy copper/orange. The nose is big with plenty of spicy and fruity aromas - particularly grapefruit and pine - dancing above the glass.

It’s full-bodied and biscuity with lashings of citrus and grapefruit followed by a dry, resinous finish which is nicely in balance.

It’s not as wild and raw as it used to be. Some people find it a lot more approachable. I guess I kind of miss the crazy beer I first met in 2004.

That said, it’s one of the ten best New Zealand beers on offer this year (again) and is an absolute stunner!

LINKS: Emerson's Brewery

RELATED: Beer & Elsewhere


  1. You wouldn't be able to find a larger picture of that beer would you?

  2. Holy moly! You're right Eric - that picture is more aggressive than the APA's hop character.

    A great beer but I'm not digging it quite as much this year. Maybe I'm all hopped out. Where are all the subtle and seductive malty ales...? Hmmm... think I'll have an Oatmeal Stout.

  3. Large hops, large pic. That's our policy here. :-)


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