New Zealand’s hop growing region is squeezed into the north-west corner of the South Island. Small though it may be, this tiny slice of a tiny nation produces many of the world’s most curious hop varieties. With more sunny days than any other town in New Zealand and heavy winter rains, the micro climate of Nelson and the surrounding areas is perfect for growing almost anything, it is not unusual to drive through the nearby Motueka Valley and interchangeably see vineyards and hop farms competing for view from the car window. So it made sense that the town of Nelson is where New Zealand Hops decided to base their state of the art breeding program and hop processing facilities.
The Pirate Life Kiwi IPA is an homage to the hard work of these dedicated hop breeders, who’s unique cultivars spent many years in the shadows of their older siblings, grown far across the pacific in the Northwest of the USA. Only recently have names such as Motueka, Kohatu and Nelson Sauvin become well known beyond the shores of their home country. But the secret is now well and truly out…
Brewed with a simple malt base of 100% Maris Otter to let the hops shine, the New Zealand IPA was plied with hops right from the word go: equal parts Nelson Sauvin, Taheke, Kohato and Motueka were added to the mash. Lightly bittered with Nelson the bulk of the action happened at the end of the boil and in the whirlpool, a total of 22.5 kg of some of New Zealand juiciest hops were added for aroma. Once the ferment was finished, a healthy dry hop of Kohatu, Nelson Suavin and Taheke was added to the tank.
The Kiwi IPA pours a warm orange with a lacey snow-white head. The aroma is bursting with melon, ripe white table grapes and stone fruits. On the palate the Marris Otter lays a rich, clean foundation for the New Zealand hops to build on. The result of this particular hop combo is like a summer fruit salad, crisp, tart citrus layered over sweet, juicy mango, dragon fruit, apricot, grapes and kiwi. A beer which is a little too easy to drink more than a few of on a warm summers evening…
Big shout out to Beer Deluxe Fed Square for inviting us to brew this beer for their annual Hop Quest event last Friday!
The 6.0% Kiwi IPA will be hitting a limited number of taps throughout Australia over the next few weeks.