Next week I’ll need to do more planing and not just go with the flow when it comes to drinking Auckland brewed beers at the weekend.
Beers of Auckland Advent Calendar 2014
DAY 6 – Epic Lager by Epic Brewing Company
BOTTLE: Epic Lager
BREWED: Steam Brewing Company
HOPS: US Liberty, US Santiam, (currently also includes some GR Hersbrucker)
AWARDS: Keeps winning silver, but never a gold. Feedback is always too hoppy for style, that will be from the dry hopping.
Epic Lager lives in the shadows of the hops, pale ale and IPA’s of the family. It isn’t often talked about, and is always the last resort beer for people who can’t handle the hoppy ones.
In the early years it was reviewed several times to look at dropping it as a beer in the family, as it was never my intention to make a lager (now it makes up a significant dollar value in sales) . The Epic Lager was brewed as a response to the market feedback from tastings of the Pale Ale in 2006. People initially said the Pale Ale had too much flavour. (funny to get the feedback now 9 years later and people saying how malty it is. How tastes have changed). I positioned it between the hoppy Pale Ale and the green bottled lagers that the mainstream drink. I wanted a stepping stone to help people into the brand. A lager that was pale and light in colour, but had a floral hoppy aroma, and hoppy bitter taste.
It is different from the other craft breweries Pilsners which are driven by big tropical NZ hop character.
Epic Lager continually has its recipe tweaked, and if you haven’t had it in a while then now is as good as any time to give it a taste again.
If you really want to give it a real chance, don’t drink it after the Pale Ale like so many people do. Drink it after say, a green bottled lager, or on a fresh/clean palate. This way you will appreciate the floral and citrusy aroma. The citrus comes through in the flavour as more lime than lemon, with a sprinkling of pepper and salt, which suggests it might be worth trying with salt & pepper squid (sorry, a little hungry). The finish is soft and dry, with the citrus note developing into something more herbal. It definitely offers some great drinkability.
Over the last couple of the years the beer has quietly gained more and more popularity and continues to surprise especially with big jumps in sales during this time of year as new people try it. The handful of places with it on tap, go through a surprising number of kegs every month.
A great place to try this on tap in Auckland is Corner Bar (Hotel de Brett). They even serve it in the Epic Lager glasses.
#craftbeer, #auckland, #newzealand, #epiclager #epicbeer #adventcalendar