Epic Apocalypse Black IPA

epic-bottle_apocalypseEpic Apocalypse Black IPA will start rolling out this week in bottle.

So why a Black IPA? When this style started becoming popular in the USA I become fascinated by the style, which at the time was being referred to as a Cascadian Dark Ale (named after the Cascade mountain range, which also gave its name to the hop, because the beer style was being made in Oregon.)

In 2009 we started bottling Armageddon IPA. The same year, Apocalypse was brewed for the first time. The key behind making a Black IPA is to keep all the hop aroma and flavour of an IPA and just get the black colour. Well my first attempt left me a little disappointed, as beyond the wonderful fruity hop notes there was a dominant liquorice character from the roast malts I had used. It was very much like a liquorice allsort, which was kind of cool, but wasn’t what I was looking for.

After five years of dwelling on this experience, and the style, arguing whether it should be called a Cascadian Dark Ale, a Black IPA (Black and Pale in the name, really?), or an India Black Ale. Tasting as many¬†different brewers BIPA’s, and talking to brewers about how they achieved their black colour but minimal taste, I was finally confident to give it another shot.

I am totally thrilled with how the Epic Apocalypse Black IPA has turned out. I hope you are too.

It has been touted as Epic Armageddon’s black brother, but I have used slightly different hops for this version of an IPA. Amarillo, Simcoe, Citra and Chinook. Don’t ask me why, I just felt that the flavours of these hops together would work well in this beer. You will notice that the hop aroma is pretty significant, and this follows into the flavour, where it marries with a hint of roasty malt notes, and finishes clean, bitter and an after taste of hops.

The bottled version of this beer is 6.8%abv which is higher than the keg only version which was 6.0%abv. The reason for trying this out is when people drink at the pub they generally like to have a couple of beers. Beers that are too high in alcohol tend to make it harder for them to drink responsibly. But on the flip side people that buy a bottle to take home (or get it delivered) can enjoy the extra flavour of bigger beers in the safety of their home. ūüėČ

Hopefully you enjoy the beer. I’d love to hear what you think about it.

(The blue and green stripe is inspired by the flag of Cascadia)

Epic Pre-Released Black IPA

A few weeks ago Epic Beer HQ finally got its off premise license so that we can sell beer direct. (only took 7 months, but that is another story)

2014-05-07 13.41.47This week we did a first, we pre-released the new KEG ONLY¬†Black IPA “Apocalypse” to a small group of people on our database. We got a couple of kegs that had been freshly filled at the brewery, and filled some plastic PET bottles. The link we sent out was only live for 24 hours, but we sold out all the beer. (So much so if we want some at HQ we are going to need to get another keg)

It wasn’t glamorous but it meant people could taste the new Black IPA super fresh and a week before we are officially launching it.

 

Missed out? Come to the release at Vultures Lane.

 

 

2014-05-07 13.42.09

 

Missed out on the offer? You need to get on the special offer list.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014-05-07 13.41.28

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

QUICKIE – Black IPA, Tap Takeover, CHC, BeerNZ, Pomeroy’s

With so much happening its hard to make the time to even get a blog post out.

I hope to write more about the last couple of days. Black IPA is looking Black. Vultures Mini Midweek Tap Takeover went surprisingly well for Hump Day. Flew to CHC, visited BeerNZ’s new warehouse and awesome new chiller, tried new craft beer bar Regatta on Avon, caught up with Zak at Cassels CBD bar, Pomeroy’s to meet Ava and her chef to discuss the beers and food matches for the June beer dinner. Dinner at Pomeroy’s last night delivered what I am tentatively putting out there as the best food in a craft beer outlet in New Zealand. More on that later…

 

 

BUSY – Brewing, Tap Takeover, Beer Fest, Brewing

Where to even start. There is so much going on in the next few days. Brewing a Black IPA, a Midweek Tap Takeover, Beer Festival in Christchurch, and a Fresh Hop beer.

HOP HARVEST – FRESH HOPS
Tues 25th – Fresh Hops – today the hops for the Auckland brewers were harvested in Wakefield, just outside Nelson. These fresh Waimea hops are being cooled down over night tonight. Tomorrow (Wed 26th) they will be packed up and put in a refrigerated truck and shipped overnight to Auckland. They are due for delivery at Steam Brewing Company on Friday 28th. #freshhopnz14 (brewing the beer on Monday 31st)

BREWING
Wed 26th – Black IPA – tomorrow I’m in the brewery, brewing a Black IPA – Apocalypse. It has been 4 years (I think, pretty sure) since I first brewed this. I wasn’t totally happy with it at the time, but since then have drunk many Black IPA’s from around the world (mostly US brewed), and feel I have a better idea now of what I want to achieve. So lets see how this new recipe goes.

RepocalypseLast year I brewed a special one-off batch of a trial recipe for this at the Fork & Brewer which we called Repocalypse. It was only available for a very limited time in Wellington.

Radio NZ Interview – 10:45-12pm
I’m due to do a radio interview about the Great Kiwi Beer Festival, from the brewery which can be a bit noisy.

 

MINI MIDWEEK TAP TAKEOVER
Wed 26th – Tap Takeover at Vultures Lane
Since we did the official launch on Friday, we thought we would kick it up a level for the first keg of Epic Mosaic we are putting on tap at Vultures. A list of the beers and if you want you can RSVP here too. After a beer or two we will have some chillis available to try, be cool if I can get some more #hotchillidance video.

TASTING THURSDAY
Thurs 27th – Christchurch
Heading to Christchurch to visit a few craft beer bars that stock Epic beers. Still to decide which one would be good to do a review at lunchtime. Hoping Craig from BeerNZ can give some good advice on this, since it has been a while since I’ve been in CHCH. Pomeroy’s meeting about the Beer and Food matchings for the Epic Beer Dinner in June. Therefore most likely at Poms at the end of the day if you want to catch up for a beer.

PRE-BEER FESTIVAL
Fri 28th – Hagley Park
Setup for the Great Kiwi Beer Festival. Making sure the beer has turned up and is in the chiller. Getting the banners and beer systems setup on our Epic/Stone stand. Maybe a beer later in the day. @StoneGreg may make an appearance at beer o’clock, but not promising anything. (sshhh keep an eye on the tweeters)

GREAT KIWI BEER FESTIVAL
Sat 29th – Hagley Park
Fingers cross we are ready, have enough staff, enough beer and enough ice to serve a crowd of 14,000 beer festival patrons. Both myself and Greg Koch from Stone Brewing Co. will be on the stand most of the day. We will be making an appearance in the VIP area at some point in the day too. Beer on our stand is¬†listed in this post. Definitely some great beers available. Stop by and say hi. Also a chance to try the Culley’s Carolina Reaper hot sauce with some Epic Carolina Amber Ale.¬†#hotchillidance

TRAVEL DAY
Sun 30th – Home
Travel back to Auckland. Maybe having a beer with a certain person from San Diego.

BREWING FRESH HOP BEER

Fresh HopsMon 31st – Fresh Hop Beer – Excited and nervous about brewing a Fresh Beer for the Beervana Mini Festival – #freshhopnz14 . Nervous because I haven’t brewed a fresh hop beer in this brewery, and still need to work through the details of how this is going to work logistically.

Fresh Hops take up 5 times the volume compared to dry hops. I hope the tank we plan on using can hold all the hops I ordered, and that the hops don’t suck up too much of the beer.

(It’s 10 years since I made my first fresh hopped beer.)

 

And this will bring me to the end of March. I am excited to let you know what April has in store.

P.S. Here is another video I have which shows the #hotchillidance Turn the sounds down as the language could be a bit rough for young viewers.