A selection of craft beer that we tasted and shared around.
Canhead No.1 – Wellington, New Zealand
The design of this beer is what caught my attention first. Panhead have released a range of 4 beers each representing a different character. The first character – Hermann Holeshot is a yeasty wheat beer, or Hefeweissen. It goes down very smooth and there’s a range of flavours in the smell – lime, pineapple, a breezy sort of nature aroma. There’s an absence of bitterness as it rests in your mouth in a very light texture and leaves a warm, rich, tangy taste.
St Josephs Tripel – Marlborough, New Zealand
The aroma of this beer was as powerful as the beer itself, every time I got a whiff of it there was something different – green hops, banana, orange, spices and a strong alcohol smell. The taste at first was very different from the aroma; it was strong and overwhelmed by the alcohol and acidity. The aftertaste hits hard soon after though, a bit too sweet, almost like having a mint or that lasting flavour in your mouth after Listerine. Overall the natural aroma and initial tastes were alright, even if the aftertaste was not as enjoyable.
Libertine Black Ale – Aberdeenshire, Scotland
With the design and packaging of this beer, I was expecting a very dark bitter taste but was surprised when I took a sip and was hit with a complex combination of sweet flavours. The alcohol taste was front and center as it still gave a strong dark hit with the fruity flavours. It had a spicy, malty aroma but not much of an aftertaste. Unfortunately the dark and sweet mix wasn’t as pleasant as it was for the Yeastie Boys beer.
BitterBitch – Wellington, New Zealand
This beer opens to a slightly weak aroma, but the taste has a nice strong tang that stings going down, with light citrus flavours that fizzle and bounce around in the mouth. There’s a slightly roasted flavour to it with a clear bitter aftertaste, but even though there’s plenty of flavour, it isn’t strong enough and overall feels as if the beer is lacking.
Pot Kettle Black – Wellington, New Zealand
This beer is very dark. You instantly get a whiff of the malt and roasted coffee aroma upon opening it. And the taste is perfect balance of bitter and sweet, with dark fruity flavours coming through and the thick richness of caramel or black liquorice. Strong ale with a stinging bitter aftertaste, probably not something you’d want to be drinking all night, but perfect for the warm nights in.
Statesman – Auckland, New Zealand
Everything about this beer is like a bitter cider. Which isn’t a bad thing, if you love hops and more hops in a beer than this is the beer to go for. It’s full of fruity and zesty flavours; there is a very acidic and tangy sting to it as it goes down, but with a very light and warm mouthfeel. There is a perfect blend of bittersweet flavour and bursting aroma, it’s a sharp, strong, sweet and bitter beer that you should definitely look out for in every liquor shop or bar you visit.
Words by Remo Smith