Saturday, August 7, 2010

Return of HopWired

The new batch of HopWired is out. Bottles and limited amount of kegs have been available for a few days from our distributor, BeerNZ. It'll be interesting to get some feedback on this one as it is a bit different than last year. The recipe is excactly the same but the hops are from the 2010 harvest. Hops are like any other crop (grapes would be the most obvious example), there is an element of vintage variation. In most beers this variation is hardly noticable because the hops play a secondary role as a flavour component and is mainly used for bitterness. HopWired on the other hand, is all about the hops and the vintage variation will shine through with nothing to hide behind. But you may find that there is not much difference from last year. The difference could be so small that unless you have an intimate knowledge of the hops and the beer, you may not notice the change unless you tasted it side by side with last years. I think there is a difference but hopefully I know the beer better than most... Any feedback is most welcome.

Anyways, all his talk about HopWired reminds me of a poem we received a few months ago from Tony Garstang (Masterton) and Peter Crosland (Wellington):

An Ode to HopWired:

T'was a time in New Zealand,
When good beers were few,
Then a Dane stepped ashore,
And he dreamt of a brew.

With a brew to be made,
He hopped and he wired.
It was bursting with the flavour,
The Dane was afired.

He focused on flavour,
He focused on hops,
The ale was pale,
And the taste it was tops.

The pundits they claimed,
It was lime on the nose,
And besotted old soaks
Did break into prose.

With ales on board,
They raved and they gushed,
Keyboards sang praise,
Till they made the Dane blush.
So let's raise an honoured glass To a beer you just cannot pass.
To the roaming Dane all hail
Accolations to this great pale ale.

I think it's safe to say that Tony and Peter like the beer and they have since written even more poetry that politely commented on the non-availability of their favorite beer. Lads, now it's back and a dozen is headed your way in return for your poetic praise. Thank you very much, you make me blush.

On a sidenote, Beervana is now less than 3 weeks away. It'll be a blast so get your tickets now. It will also be the only chance to try our festive brew, The big Hangi. This is a remix of our Big Smoke porter, but instead of Beechwood smoked malt we used maunka smoked kumara. It is very smokey and quite tasty if I may say so myself. The observant reader will notice there is no mention of the other festive brew, Feijoafied. This one didn't make the cut, the Feijoa was just too sour and the flavour didn't really mingle all that well with the HopWired base. Oh well, you win some and you loose some. Fruit beers have never really been my cuppa tea anyways.


  1. I found the latest batch ever so slightly less aromatic, and ever so slightly more bitter. But almost identical.
    I'll have the feijoafied hopwired if you don't want it ;-)

  2. I had my first Hopwired a few weeks ago and will spread the word.
    Lovely drop.