#11 Epic Hop Zombie

Epic Hop Zombie Name: Hop Zombie
Brewer: Epic (Auckland, New Zealand)
Style: Double IPA
ABV: 8.5%
Source: Victoria Park New World

It’s only appropriate that on my 11th post I should splash out and have an $11 beer. Eleven dollars! I actually had a mini-freak out after I purchased this and started doing calculations in my head of what 365 craft beers might cost. Thankfully doing calculations in my head is not actually something I can do, so I remain in blissful ignorance.

Anyway, Hop Zombie! I was actually a little apprehensive. I mean… all of Epic’s beers are hoppy. For them to go and name a beer “Hop Zombie” suggests they may have lost the plot completely. I pictured a mad brewer throwing barrel after barrel of hops into the brew, laughing maniacally while his sweating assistant made futile pleas: “Please sir!” he’d cry.  “You know no human can withstand that level of hops…. You’re going to kill them all!”

Nevertheless I soldiered on and poured a glass. You can’t really see it in the picture but it’s a lovely colour, a clear, bright gold. It looks really bubbly in that picture but actually the carbonation is quite soft.

As I took my first tentative sip, the aroma already signalling a massive hop presence, I was delighted to taste a happy burst of ripe, tropical fruit. The hops were certainly… hopping, but it was much sweeter and somehow less… aggressive than I was expecting. The mouthfeel was really nice, quite full and soft, and I found myself drinking the glass a lot more quickly than I should have. I was reminded to slow down when for a brief second I thought I smelled pure alcohol. It is 8.5% after all…

Although I’ve only had it once, I think I’m a little bit in love this beer. It’s tasty, well-balanced, and just kind of… fun. I guess that mad brewer knew what he was doing after all.

PS – I just started a Twitter account. I’ve always been horrible at using Twitter (I can’t keep my rambles to 140 characters) but watch me try @Beerforayear.

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Published in: on August 19, 2011 at 10:17 am  Comments (7)  
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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. The bubbles on the side of you glass (see pic) shows the glass is dirty. Each point of dirt is a nucleation point for the CO2 to escape out of the liquid.

  2. Pleased you enjoyed the Hop Zombie, it was fun to brew.

    Also added you to the RealBeer.co.nz newsfeed, see http://www.forum.realbeer.co.nz/

  3. My Guess already is that you’ll blast a good 3 grand on this!…good luck :>)

  4. Thanks for the tip Luke… And for exposing my terrible dish-washing skills!
    And Jamie… I didn’t hear that 😉

  5. Oh and washing with standard detergent and then not rinsing the glass can leave a greasy residue which can quickly kill the head on beer… Do a quick google for more info…

    • Thanks for the tip – the head on my beer never seems to last and it would make sense if this was a factor. I’ll start strict rinsing regime from now on 🙂

  6. […] Hop Zombie – This is one of my favourite beers of all time. Working with someone like Luke means that you don’t really have to worry about the cost of hops per litre of beer or anything like that. It’s about delivering an experience, so we worked on doing just that. We only had enough hops to do 2 brews in 2011, which was a shame, because it was a popular beast! The first brew needed tweaking. We wouldn’t be brewers if we didn’t work hard to realise our dream beers. The second batch was exactly where we wanted it. I’m really going to miss this beer! Photo from http://www.thebeerproject.com (Jed Soane) […]


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