Malthouse’s West Coast IPA Challenge outgrows venue

2013-07-12 18.49.08One of the biggest events on the Wellington craft beer calendar, Malthouse’s West Coast IPA Challenge, is expanding due to a positive case of growing pains.

Colin Mallon, Malthouse Operations Guy and WCIPAC organiser, says this year’s 9th Annual West Coast IPA Challenge (WCIPAC) will expand its festivities to Malthouse’s sister bar, Fork & Brewer on Bond Street, due to increasingly large crowds turning up to see who will win Best West Coast IPA and take home the Golden Gumboots.

The annual event, taking place on Friday, 29 July, sees brewers showcase their skills with hops by brewing West Coast IPAs, a notoriously popular and hoppy style of beer, dear to the hearts of craft beer drinkers.

“I think it’s become such a big event on the calendar because of people’s ongoing and increasingly growing love affair with different beers,“ says Colin.

“The event has raised awareness of the beer style, and the fun and anticipation leading up to, and on, the night definitely brings people in who necessarily wouldn’t class themselves as beer drinkers. You get hardcore beer drinkers bringing their friends, and before you know it, it widens the appeal.

“The last WCIPAC had Malthouse groaning at its seams. The event officially kicks off at 2pm, the bar will be wall-to-wall packed by 4:30pm, with queues out the door by 5pm, and the bar often remaining near capacity until 2am.

“We sell something in the region of about 40 kegs. It is a huge night for us!

“We were turning people away at the last few WCIPACs, so it made sense to release some of that pressure this year by making Fork & Brewer a co-host.”

Colin says Fork & Brewer was the natural venue choice to expand the event, not only as it is Malthouse’s sister bar, but because it is the only place that had enough taps to accommodate the 25 beers that will be showcased on the evening.

Punters at Fork & Brewer need not fear for missing out on any of the beers, celebrations or announcements – all WCIPAC beers will be pouring on tap and announcements made at the same time as at Malthouse.

It speaks for the notoriety of the event, that the competition is making its first foray to Australia with a line-up of WCIPAC beers being flown over the Tasman to feature in WCIPAC tap takeovers at The Local Taphouses in Melbourne and Sydney.

2013-07-12 21.02.15Originally created because July was Malthouse’s quietest month of the year, WCIPAC started out with two entrants [Epic Brewing Co. and Hallertau Brewery] in a bit of a “my beer is hoppier than your beer” showdown.

“Back then the Wellington craft beer landscape was quite different – there was Malthouse, Bar Bodega and Bar Edward, so showcasing a specific style was quite unusual,” says Colin.

“Now the event showcases 25 beers, has 9-10 judges, some of whom are World Beer Cup judges, and breweries contacting us to submit entries.”

“It’s great when you see a brewery that hasn’t performed very well, and then come back and next year and they raise their game – even if they don’t win it’s really great to see.”

“The last thing I wanted this to be was something that was taken too seriously. We want to give brewers a bit of feedback on their entries, but at the end of the day, it is all about celebrating good beer with good people.”

Four Of A Kind – Epic Armageddon’s Winning Hand

P1060745The trophies keep piling up for Epic Beer’s Armageddon IPA, which has claimed its fourth major crown in less than a year after it was named best in class at the New World Beer and Cider Awards.

And to seal Epic’s position as this country’s leading producer of hop-driven beers, Epic Pale Ale also brought home a trophy for the best pale ale, defending the title it won in last year’s inaugural awards.

Epic owner-brewer Nicholas is blown away by Armageddon’s success over the past year. It has previously taken out trophies at the Australian International Beer Awards, The New Zealand Brewers Guild Awards and the Stockholm Beer and Whiskey Festival.

“When it won its third trophy, in Stockholm, it was described as `the stuff of fantasy’ – well I think we’ve exhausted the adjectives now, it’s beyond my wildest dreams,” Nicholas said.

P1060659“The IPA category is one of the most fiercely contested in any beer competition and to come out on top in four consecutive competitions is mind-boggling.”

Nicholas was equally delighted Epic Pale Ale retained the title it won last year against stiff competition. It was the only beer or cider to retain a title from the inaugural awards and this trophy comes almost 10 years to the day after it burst to prominence when named supreme champion at the New Zealand International Beer Awards in 2006.

“It just shows what a remarkable beer Epic Pale Ale has been over the course of a decade. When it was released it was revolutionary – a big hoppy pale ale of the sort New Zealand hadn’t seen before. And despite the huge growth in the pale ale category, 10 years later it still stands above the rest.”

Epic was the only brewery to win two trophies at the awards and also picked up four silver medals for Hop Zombie, Awakening Pils, Lager and IMP session IPA. The Observer Timeless Ale was awarded a bronze medal, meaning every Epic beer entered won a medal of some colour.

A total of 464 beers were entered in the awards, with 40 winning gold medals.

All trophy winners will be available at New World stores around the country.

 

 

Tasting notes from Michael Donaldson – head judge for the New World Beer and Cider Awards.

Epic Pale Ale 330mlPale Ale – Epic Pale Ale

This has been a benchmark pale ale for a decade and its quality is reflected in the fact it’s now the only two-time trophy winner in the New World awards. At 5.4 per cent alcohol and packed with flavour, Epic Pale Ale was sessionable before `session’ became a buzzword. It’s vibrant, clean, with nice mouth weight, flavours of lychee and rosewater push through a curtain of citrus and pine aromas to dance on a stage of subtle caramel malt. A sneaky bitterness then comes in to cleanse the palate and start the show all over again. Loves to be consumed alongside anything with chilli.

 

 

 

Epic Armageddon 330ml

IPA – Epic Armageddon IPA

Fast becoming New Zealand’s most awarded beer and it was no surprise to see it add the New World title to gongs won at the New Zealand Brewers Guild Awards and in Australia and Sweden. Brewer Luke Nicholas’ annual pilgrimage to the US hop fields to hand-pick his produce has paid off handsomely. This is the ultimate American-style IPA which surfs waves of flavour, starting with orange and grape notes on the nose, a salty lick like a sea breeze through Norfolk Pines, a caramel caress before the oily resin of the hops is brushed away with a cleansing minerality and a long, clean bitterness. Bold enough to handle rich and spicy food, such as Moroccan lamb.

VIDEO – Brew Day – House of Nicholas – Sarah IPA – #FreshHopNZ15

Video from the Brew Day at Hop Federation, with Simon Nicholas & Luke Nicholas. – HOUSE OF NICHOLAS #FreshHopNZ15

Day 21 – Beers of Auckland – Epicurean Coffee & Fig Stout 2014

Beers of Auckland Advent Calendar 2014
DAY 21 – 2014 Epicurean Coffee & Fig Stout by Epic Brewing Company

CF14 Xmas tree
Great gift idea, and for sharing on Christmas Day with friends and family

BOTTLE: Coffee & Fig Stout 2014
BREWED: Steam Brewing Company

ABV: 8.0%
COFFEE: Columbian Excelso (roasted by L’affare)

Today I started to get a little Christmas feel going on. Maybe a chance to start feeling relaxed and knowing that the next couple of weeks will be a holiday.

The festiveness lead to opening a bottle of Coffee & Fig stout 2014 for desert.

On the aroma the coffee is still very dominate. With big coffee, and some mocha, and chocolate, but also a greenness, like green coffee beans and capsicum.

The flavour is also dominated by coffee, but also the roast barley and other dark malts contribute. The bitterness is pretty punchy right now, but not over the top. As it warms the fullness and maltness comes out and balances the bitterness. (so don’t drink it too cold, maybe 30 minutes in the fridge). The 8.0% alcohol gives a warming character and also a sweetness.

This years vintage is made with Columbian Excelso coffee beans, and the figs were added whole to the kettle. Each year a different coffee variety from a different country is used and the figs are handled in a slightly different way.

This is the fourth year for Coffee & Fig Stout. It was first made as a media brew for Beervana in 2011, with Kelly Ryan (who was employed by Epic at the time) and Victoria Wells (who was the editor of DISH magazine at the time). This beer won the media brew that year.

XmasCakeMix
Fruit cake mix ready after having been soaked in rum

Quick notes from a recent vertical tasting of all four vintages.

2014 – as above
2013 – coffee still obvious but doesn’t dominate like when young
2012 – more mocha and chocolate
2011 – figs are coming of age now, and really fruit cakey

The beer has been designed to be able to put it in your cellar and give it some age. If you see it you should probably buy three bottles. One for now and a couple for the cellar.

Day 14 – Beers of Auckland – Epic Loves Bacon

Beers of Auckland Advent Calendar 2014
DAY 14 – Loves Bacon by Epic Brewing Company

Loves Bacon AdBOTTLE: Loves Bacon
BREWED: Steam Brewing Company

ABV: 6.3%
VEGAN: Yes

Today was the extended family Christmas party, so again I had a selection of Epic beers in front of me. It’s a fun day  for me, as it’s the only time of year I get to get to catch up with most of the aunties, uncles, cousins, and beyond.

It ‘s kind of a little show and tell of the beers and things I have created through the year. Hop Zombie was popular as always. There was curiosity around Lupulingus as a name, and awe at the 9% abv. IMP got a “I was wondering when you were going to make a low alcohol beer”. The Hot Zombie sauces did its job of taking people to the edge of heat, but not so far that it was too much. I do think the heat in this case overwhelmed and they didn’t have a chance to focus on the hoppy flavour.

The beer that seemed to have the most interest/discussion was Epic Loves Bacon. I guess this is reasonable considering all the other beers are iterations of alcohol strength and hop varieties.

Loves Bacon is fun as it creates so much discussion. “How much bacon did you use?”, “How do you add the bacon?”.

Well actually there is no bacon in the beer, it is also actually vegan. WHAT!?. That’s right, there is no bacon in it. All the smoke character comes from a malted barley that has been smoked with beechwood smoke. The reason that you think it smells and tastes like bacon is the smokeness, but also from the name and imagery on the label. Through the power of suggestion even before you have smelled or tasted the beer you are expecting bacon.

The beer was going to be called “BACON” but I felt it implied it had bacon in it, where as “Loves Bacon” was more of a statement about our love for bacon. Partnering with Freedom Farms seemed like fun and natural fit for both companies. Freedom Farms is our bacon of choice as it tastes the best and the philosophy and farming practices behind the creation of the bacon are inspiring. They made us a sausage with bacon and Armageddon IPA in it for Beervana where the beer Epic Loves Bacon was launched.

Another surprise that people get is when they are told it is a lager. Initially the smokey flavour is powerful but after three or four mouthfuls the taste intensity drops off, and becomes an enjoyable quenching beer.

Thinking more about this Advent Calendar, which is becoming dominated by Epic beers at the moment, is that there needs to be more planning, and getting more beers in bottle before starting out, so they are available from the fridge when needed. Also it seems as though posting on the weekend receives way less views. All good learnings and something I will consider for future posts.

Day 13 – Beers of Auckland – Epic Imperium

Beers of Auckland Advent Calendar 2014
DAY 13 – Imperium by Epic Brewing Company

Epic Imperium Day 13BOTTLE: Imperium
BREWED: Steam Brewing Company

ABV: 9.0%
HOPS: Fuggles, Chinook

It got to 6:30pm this evening and all of a sudden I remembered the Advent Calendar. It was a huge day at the Lumsden Freehouse yesterday. Thanks to everyone that come along to have a beer with us for our 9th Birthday, it was a really fun day. Once again my Spotify playlist was a bit of a hit, even if I was only allowed to play my 2pm to 4pm choice of tunes. I even had someone subscribe to the playlist during the day. I have embedded yesterdays list on the side bar.

So a lazy day, lead to a lazy beer choice. As each day passes I think more and more about Alice Galletly and the massive undertaking she did with her blog Beer For A Year. I have only just passed half way on my 24 day endeavour, yet she did this for a whole year. Hat off to you Alice, I don’t think anyone realises what you achieved, I am only just starting to gauge how massive your undertaking was.

Unfortunately I haven’t brought home my stout glass, so just used a wine glass instead to appreciate the aroma, which has hints of mixed spice and Christmas cake. (I put the bottle in the freezer for 30 mins before opening just to get a chill on the beer).

On tasting the beer, the roast and bitterness dominated, and came across as being a bit young (this is the 2014 Vintage Ale). It isn’t an Imperial Stout like many people think or expect , but more of a foreign export stout. As it warmed the malt became fuller, but it really needs another 6-12 months before that maltiness is going to work with the bitterness, and the fruity hops will back off a bit. This beer has done well in awards this year winning a couple of gold medals.

For dessert this evening there were some fresh blackberries, blueberries and Whittakers Dark Chocolate with Almonds. I tried each separately with the Imperium, and BOOM!, the blackberries were an incredible match (chocolates and blueberries didn’t work so well). The blackberries became joyously spicy with the black berry goodness, and the beer became more malty and chocolatey (without eating the chocolate). I would have never have guess these two would have worked so well together.

Alice Galletly with a flaming marshmallow as part of the brewing process for the Beervana Media Brew in 2012
Alice Galletly with a flaming marshmallow as part of the brewing process for the Beervana Media Brew in 2012

 

 

 

Craft Beer in Auckland

#craftbeer, #auckland, #newzealand, #lumsdenfreehouse #epic9 #adventcalendar

These links might help you find out what is on tap around Auckland

https://twitter.com/TapHunterAKLD
http://auckland.taphunter.com/location/
https://twitter.com/NowPouringAKL

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

buzz and hum – Epic IMP review

I just read this positive review about the new Epic IMP on the blog “buzz and hum”. You should not only check out the other posts on this blog, but follow it to, as the reviews are thoughtful and a good read.

I still need to finish writing something official for the release of this beer. This last week has been consumed by Taste of Auckland (which hasn’t gone so well due to the weather).

2014-11-14 18.11.59Quickly, the beer is a Session IPA, 4.7% alc/vol, 35 IBU. Dry hopping is greater than Armageddon IPA. It was officially released on Friday night at Vultures Lane to a jam-packed bar. It was announced that the first keg was the fastest selling keg they have ever had. (I’m sure they tell all the brewers that right? ;-)

Hops used – Comet, Centennial, Columbus and Simcoe.

What does IMP stand for?

So make sure you head to the blog “buzz and hum” and read some of the other cool posts.

 

Epic ‘Imp’

epic-imp-buzz-hum

Session beers have certainly become ‘a thing’. Indeed, in the year since professional wrestling connoisseur, incorrigible Tory and future Beer Writer of the Year Neil Miller predicted that “balance and sessionability could well be the new black” the supermarket shelves and craft beer taps of Wellington have seen appearances from an increasing number of sub-5% abv flavoursome beers.

The first push came last summer with a number of hoppy golden ales making their mark, and since then lower-alcohol yet fragrantly hopped session IPAs and pale ales have surged onto the market – often in four or six packs, making them great accompaniments for the upcoming summer of barbecues.

And, into that fray surges Luke Nicholas of Epic Brewing Company. Being the brewer who broke open New Zealand taste buds with his highly-hopped, high-alcohol ‘Armageddon IPA’, ‘Mayhem’, and the infamous ‘Hop Zombie’, one wouldn’t necessarily have expected he’d feel the need to play in the session IPA field that’s been populated by the likes of Liberty’s ‘Oh Brother’ or Panhead’s ‘Quickchange’.

Yet into the field he’s charged, with the ‘Imp’ session IPA. As the tagline on the bottle says, “careful what you wish for”. And, with the Imp, Luke Nicholas has, to use the vernacular, “nailed it.”

The Imp pours a gorgeous burnished bronze colour; clear and sparkling, catching the light adorably. From the top of the glass lifts a invigorating aroma of grapefruit and creamy peach, underlined with a sweet toffee scent.

With the first sip I’m struck by how “soft” it feels; gentle and full, before the carbonation releases wonderfully in the mouth leaving a fizzy, full and creamy sensation.

Imp is a very fruity flavoured beer; the hops playing superbly off the gentle malt to provide a rounded, balanced, sweet and easy-drinking mouthful. Flavours of sweet lemon curd and mature stone fruit predominate at first, but a warm, bitter sensation floods the mouth as I swallow, leaving a lingering, lip-smacking grapefruit flavour.

Very fruity, very tasty.

And all that beautifully balanced fruity sweetness, lingering bitterness and easy-drinking joy comes it at a very sessionable 4.7%! “Small and Mischievous”, as it says on the label, “causing trouble, but in a playful way”. Now, that could be about the beer or about Luke ‘The Beer Imp’ Nicholas himself. But, either way, it’s an apt description. Fun to drink, fun to be around, won’t necessarily get you in trouble. Maybe.

Imp’s not quite a perfect as a session beer, however. While the flavours and sensations of the beer itself are excellent, at the moment I’ve only found this beer (with its eye-catching peacock-blue label) in 500ml bottles, and at a moderately high price point. This is a beer I’d love to see in four- or six-packs of 330ml bottles (like Epic’s Lager or Pale Ale); that’d really put this beer into place as one of my go-to sessionable beers for a summer afternoon.

But, in the meantime, it’s good to see Epic giving the lower alcohol, highly-flavoured IPA a go. Even better to see the end result being so delicious. More, please!

 

**(If we get good feedback and sales from this first batch then we will make more and seriously consider putting this beer in 330ml bottles)

IMP Poster

 

Craft Beer Auckland

Auckland Sky TowerSome weeks get really busy and I have trouble keeping up with everything beyond my little world of beer.

The following are tabs I have open in my browser (which need to be closed) so I am storing them here, to refer to and maybe comment on later.

AUCKLAND CRAFT BEER TONIGHT

Epic Hot Zombie & Hop Zombie Launch 5pm-7pm Brew on Quay

Yeastie Boys Spoonbenders Launch  – Galbraith’s Alehouse

8 Wired Flat White Launch – Vultures Lane

This seems to be more common now. two or three venues having cool craft beer events on a Friday in Auckland. #CraftBeerAuckland

New Beervana Trade Show

Westpac Stadium from 2pm to 4pm, on Thursday 21 August…. the afternoon before Beervana opens to the public, is for the brewing industry, retailers, restaurants, bars, caterers, media and others wanting to develop their business with the brewing industry, with the aim of increasing trade for New Zealand brewers both here and in Australia.

 

These are dark days, indeed

“I don’t like dark beers”.

Starting this Friday The Malthouse will host its annual two-day Darkest Days event.

A celebration of dark beers, some of the highlights include Epic’s biennial  stout, this year named Imperium, the always-amazing Three Boys Oyster Stout and another San Diego offering – Stone 2013 Espresso Russian Imperial Stout.

No, you won’t like them all but if you’re a dark beer virgin this is the place to start.

 

Help shape Auckland’s alcohol policy

Submissions open Monday 16 June and close at 4pm, Wednesday 16 July 2014.

ShapeAuckland.co.nz

 

Craft beer is a culture, not a craze

But for all of the excitement our love affair with craft beer is still in its awkward adolescent stage, with much fumbling at clasps, enthusiastic – and sometimes clumsy – experimentation and occasional disappointment and regret. In our teenage years of beer discovery, we often find ourselves drawn to the enigmatic bad boys who will break our heart, or the hottie whose short skirt distracts us from her inability to carry a conversation, or at least their beer world equivalents.

 

Brewing up a storm at new beer festival

Eckhard says the event aims to showcase home brewing and 10 home brewers from the Nelson Tasman region will have their beer at the celebration – (wow, slow news day Nelson?)

 

JED.IPA Beer Launch

Sweet name for a beer.

 

Gorgeous Gale’s lost for want of a gyle

In the last few years Speight’s eight remaining kauri gyles have once again fallen into disuse, but Lion continue to maintain them and has expressed a desire to keep them in working condition on the off-chance they may be once again brought out of retirement – perhaps for special one-off or limited release brews.

 

Society of Beer Advocates City of Ales Festival 12 July

When: Saturday 12 July 2013; Two sessions 1) 12pm- 3pm 2) 4pm-7pm
Where: The Floating Pavillion, Gate 1, Hobson West Marina, 220 Quay St, Auckland
How much: $35 per person
What: 2 complimentary sample glasses of beer and a plate of food, with the option to purchase more beer

 

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. ;-)

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)