Day 5 – Beers of Auckland – Epic Pale Ale

Epic Pale Ale, I know, but it was going to happen eventually. I was going to make it the first beer, but discovered Beachstone on Day 1.

So how did I end up here already, falling back on an easy to get Auckland made beer? I was intending to visit Sky Sports Grill at lunch time to see if I could get my hands on a Laughing Bones beer. I couldn’t make the time for this to happen today. I did make it into Hopscotch and caught up with Hugh. It’s been ages. I was there to pick up some sour beers for a tasting this weekend. Hopscotch has a secret (not so much now) but pretty cool selection of sour beers , many of which I haven’t tried before.

After collecting a few bottles of sours, I asked Hugh “what Auckland brewed beer do you have here” that I can buy for tasting today for the Beers of Auckland Advent Calendar. (Not including Epic, Hallertau or Liberty). The answer was none. We discussed a little further over a can of Beavertown Gamma Ray, which was a super tasty American style Pale Ale, in amazingly fresh condition. It is like drinking overly dryhopped Pale Ale, that hasn’t been fined or filtered, resiny, yum (Thanks to Beertique, who are bringing it in, in refrigerated containers from the UK, only enough stock of each beer so there isn’t stock sitting around for months or years. Very impressed, it is inspiring confidence in the beers they are bring in).

Is it that hard to find Auckland Brewed beer in Auckland?

So I get back to the office and Ed (Production Manager) says, dude there is a four pack of a fresh batch of pale ale in the fridge for you to take home tonight to try. Basically she was giving me home work to do. The good kind of homework. Sometime there isn’t enough time to get tastings done during work hours.

Beers of Auckland Advent Calendar 2014
DAY 5 – Epic Pale Ale by Epic Brewing Company

Epic - SummerBOTTLE: Epic Pale Ale
BREWED: Steam Brewing Company
ABV: 5.4%
IBU: 45
HOPS: US Cascade (15 hop flowers, not different varieties)
AWARDS: Best in Class – New World Beer & Cider Awards 2014 (plus a few other, ok alot, of awards including Supreme Champion Beer 2006, NZ Beer Awards)

Best Before 19/11/15 (we put 12 months best before on our bottles, they are pasteurized, but at a low level, 12-14 PU’s) Batch 902 11:06am

Feels a little weird review this beer, which I taste most days. But here goes. Out of the Spiegelau IPA glass.

Aroma is perfumy in a floral way, centered around turkish delight, with highlights of citrus, spice and a green hoppiness. The flavour is violet-like(floral), with hop resin, the malt balances with the hoppiness, but the finish is clean and soft, with a dry bitterness, and a long lingering hop flavour. Tasting pretty fine.

This is Epic’s biggest selling beer, and likely New Zealand’s best-selling Pale Ale from an independent craft brewery.  The hops have been from the Yakima Valley for the last 3 years, but the 2014 crop the Cascade hops were selected from a Oregon hop farm. So it will be interesting to see how much the beer changes in the coming months, once the new seasons hops kick in.

Epic 8th BirthdayNext Friday 12th December 2014 is the Epic 9th Birthday, being held at the Lumsden Freehouse (lots of out-door space for drinking in the sun, and under umbrellas for shade when it gets too hot). You are invited to join the festivities, there is a new beer being launched on the day “1991 IPA” plus a few other treats and surprises.

Guess I could ramble on about many things Epic, and Pale Ale, but you have done well to read to this point.

#craftbeer, #auckland, #newzealand, #epicpaleale

Craft Beer in Auckland

1 thought on “Day 5 – Beers of Auckland – Epic Pale Ale”

  1. Thanks Luke. Love every word. Would like to learn why you’re importing hops when in our American opinions, NZ has the top hops in the world?

    When we did the Great Hop Experiment with Alan Sprints at Hair of the Dog in Portland (maybe a dozen or more years ago) out of 50 beers brewed, NZ hopped ones took something like 3 of the top 7 spots. I.E. something like 12% of the hops used were NZ hops and 50% of the top beers were made with those hops.

    Sierra Nevada is doing great things with their Southern Harvest and other beers. Why do your hops have to travel so far when you’re literally bathing in the best?

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