Slow Beer

Thursday, June 03, 2010


Its true that the fun never stops in the search for new & exciting craft beer. Its been quite some time since our last shipment of Kiwi craft goodies & certainly well overdue. Luckily this week marks the arrival of a fresh new shipment with some familiar offerings as well as ones we’ve never had before. Rest assured, all of them are great. Additionally, we have some brilliant brews from the eccentric genius Teo Musso of Baladin, one of which the likes you have never seen.

BALADIN XYAUYU 2006 GOLD 500ml $63.00
I promised a unique beer & this is arguably one of the most unique there is. Stylistically this brew is an English barley wine, though not for long. 13.% abv, pilsner & caramunich malts are used as well as the traditional Hallertau Hernsbrucker, Spalt Select and East Kent Golding hop varieties. However its maturation process is really where this comes into its own. While most brewers choose to carefully age their brews in selected oak barrels, hoping to pick up some oak nuances or other flavors (wine, bourbon, brandy or whisky), Teo opts to take a very different approach. Certainly the aim is to achieve a greater level of complexity but in utilizing a method that is foreign to brewers.

After fermentation & filtration Teo transfers the brew into a steel vat & employs the help of a oxygen hat, which transforms his barley wine in to something more akin to a port or sherry. Over the course of 2 & 1/2 years the brew slowly oxidizes, losing carbonation but picking up a very pronounced raisin & fruit spice character. It is important not to approach this as a beer, being that it has oxidized over a prolonged period of time there is no carbonation. The palate has a great degree of sweetness & is exceptionally thick & rich, with layers of dark fruit & sugars (honey, caramel, toffee & maple syrup). Given its lack of carbonation & oxidised state, once opened this brew can be enjoyed over a prolonged period of time.

This is undoubtedly an amazing creation from one of my favorite & certainly the quirkiest brewers around!

So many initials in a name but what does it all mean? As you would have guessed this is an imperial IPA but with a kiwi twist. MPA stands for Marlborough Pale Ale & the use of copious amounts of local Rakau hops provides a point of difference from the wash of IPAs on the scene. As you would expect from an Imperial IPA this brew has a plenty of rich malt presence bringing honey & caramel. However the hops are with this brew really shines. Tropical fruit punch in a beer, something we have come to expect from the great variety of Kiwi hops kicking about. Lychee, passionfruit & pinapple as well as some citrus & stonefruit, this brew has it all on both the nose & translating to the palate. Despite the big profile it manages to maintain great balance from the grassy, herbaceous bitterness on the finish. Marlborough Sauv Blanc has nothing on this!

This brew has enjoyed somewhat of a cult following among kiwi & aussie beer nerds for the past few years & rightly so. The recipe is tweaked every year, however the basic premise is the same & you can probably guess it from the name. This years has been billed as a Black IPA (or a Nelsonsian Black Ale – a reference to those crazy american brewers!), though I would perhaps be more inclined to call it a hoppy porter but merely semantics. Masses of rich dark roasted malt brings dark bitter chocolate & coffee with caramel, toffee & nuts hiding underneath. The bitterness on the finish adds a nice balance, however the roast comes to the fore once more to drive a long bitter-sweet finish.

This is a really cool beer & great to see it back on the shelves after selling out very quickly last time. Style wise this is perhaps a cross between a belgian dark ale & english porter. Lots of caramel malt but also quite a bit of chocolate. The addition of bourbon to this brew compliments the malty character & adds a nice degree of vanilla sweetness. The guys have pushed this as a dessert beer but I’d be more than happy with this as a nightcap.

Yeastie Boys
Pot Kettle Black 330ml $5.50
8 Wired Rewired Brown Ale 500ml $10.50
Twisted Hop Sauvin Pils 500ml $10.00
Wanaka Brewski 330ml $5.00
Renaissance MPA Imperial IPA 500ml $13.00
Perfection Pale Ale 500ml $10.00
Discovery APA 500ml $10.00
Elemental Porter 500ml $10.00
Stonecutter Scotch Ale 500ml $10.50
Three Boys Oyster Stout 500ml $10.00
Porter 500ml $9.50
India Pale Ale 500ml $9.50
Golden Ale 500ml $9.50
Wheat 500ml $9.50

Xyauyu 2006 Gold 500ml $63.00
Noel 750ml $30.00
Super 750ml $27.00
Nora 750ml $28.00
Elixir 750ml $37.00
Eggenberg Samichalus 330ml $11.50
Urbock 23 Degrees 330ml $7.00

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