[TASTING TUESDAY] – 140218 – Vultures Lane

Vultures Lane (previously know as O’Carrolls Irish Bar)

It has been really cool to see the transformation of this bar over the last few years. From one of the most popular Irish bars in New Zealand into possibly the leading craft beer bar in Auckland.

(Why is it called Vultures Lane?  I have now found out this was an old name from early in the 20th Century when Vulcan Lane was in a bit of the seedy part of town with working ladies, drunks, sailors, pirates and undesirables, hence Vultures)

Coopers Pale Ale – mostly as I expected, the bitterness was higher, and yeast lower.

Ben Middlemiss White Lady – I would guess this is a different batch from a few weeks ago. The initial aroma this time was a black pepper spice note, pretty interesting. It was drier and more of a belgian yeast fermentation note.

Sawmill Pale Ale – hazy, diacetyl, caramel, and no hops for the style. But told it is a good seller. Maybe the staff push this one more than others

The Right Stuff – Yeastie Boys and Hopmongers. First question was who are Hopmongers? Told they are Christchurch based, asked if it was brewed at 4 Avenues, told don’t know. Guess I need to do some research.

A Belgian IPA, the best example of the style I have tried in New Zealand. Good Belgian aroma, followed by wonderful US hop characters.
If you see it, give it a try.

Nerdherder – Yeastie Boys
This beer is all about the biscuity malts, a little husky, a little crystal. Not bad, body felt a little light for the flavours.

Schippers Boffin Aroma hints of sour, in the mouth it seems water and thin, possibly an acetic character too. Not very enjoyable.

Iron Harvest – Behemoth
A pretty nice hefeweizen, delicate banana note, pretty good drinkability, but the abv was slightly too high and noticeable. Then I was told it was a Saison, Oh!?. Therefore if it’s suppose to be a different style than hefeweizen then it isn’t as good. I didn’t know what the style was going in, it was good for what I tasted, but when I was told it was something else I was disappointed. This is the best beer I have had so far from Behemoth.

Sawmill Pils – having now had three beers from Sawmill with diacetyl. I was totally expecting to get it again in this beer. Some how it wasn’t there, if it was, then at much lower levels. The beer seemed to be something like an Emerson’s Pilsner, driven by an NZ hop like Riwaka. But there was a smokey note in the background, possibly like a burnt element or a character sometimes contributed by hops.

Golden Perch – Yeastie Boys
A third beer from Yeastie Boys, guess it is a bit of a tap take over. A solid hop flavour, this beer is worth at least a pint if not two. Big sweaty and savoury hops. Makes the beer seem like it is delivering more than its manageable 4.4% abv

Liberty – Oh Brother
Possibly the best beer on tap today at Vultures Lane (I am excluding my own beer ;-). Wonderful piney citrusy flavours. If you like big hop flavours with a manageable 5.1%abv then you should be drinking this all afternoon.

Governors Lager
Last time I had this it was more of a fresh lager yeast character I like. This time it was dominated by the malt, somewhere between a Helles and a Vienna style lager. The malt flavours are sweet, grainy and husky, almost a little worty. Not bad.

Brew Brothers – Fork & Brewer & Yeastie Boys
Actually that is now four beers on tap today. Surprised I didn’t see Sam here for lunch. This is a Spring Ale, which I am drinking two weeks before Autumn. So yes it was showing some real age, so will leave it at that.

I probably shouldn’t go into the beers on hand pump other than just list them. They were in a very distressed state to say the least.

There are four hand pumps. Three are currently in use. The beer is being served from a 20 litre bag, stored ambient, and taking more than a week to sell. Oh no.

Stoke Olde Pour Oatmeal Stout – fastest seller, nice roasty note, not the body or creaminess I would expect from the oatmeal

Raindogs ?? Black IPA. You wouldn’t know as there weren’t any hop notes, but some vegetal.

Golden Eagle – Belgian aroma, lemon, lime and bitters flavour, told it was an American Pale Ale.

Enough said. Maybe just run one hand pump, and keep the beer fresh and turning over.

The taps are unique with them being set into a steel I beam. The beer lines and cooling lines are exposed. The tap badges for each beer are located on top of the of this I beam.
If you are short than 5′ 5″ you won’t be able to actually see these tap badges so won’t know what is on tap to be able to order
Recently this problem was remedied by them adding a blackboard behind the bar where they list all the beers on tap.
Yes there is free wifi from CallPlus. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to connect to it. Then again I had been told by Dave the owner that he was having problems connecting to the internet to pay the wages. So maybe the internet wasn’t working for the wifi either.
Give it a go and let me know.

Top: Buttermilk Chicken, was very tasty, goes well with the dipping sauce, and juicy thick pieces of chicken. $11

Bottom Right: Mini Corn Dogs – pretty nice sausage, kind of chorizo like, batter is a little doughy, flavour needed a little boost, and the mustard seemed to help it. $8
Bottom Left: Two Soft Shell Tacos, changes each day, today Hapuka in one and prawns the other. Fresh and yummy, needed a little hot sauce to jazz it up. $10
People next to us had the dipping bread and fries. Great for soaking up beer. This carb hit is only $6, with 4 different dips including an olive oil with chilli flakes.
The Only Burger – review mid this blog post
Up the lane
Down the lane
In the sky
The end.

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