#50 Epic – Pale Ale

Epic Pale AleName: Pale Ale
Brewery: Epic (Auckland, New Zealand)
Style: American Pale Ale
ABV: 5.4%
Source: Victoria Park New World

I dithered for quite a while trying to decide which beer to drink last night. On the one hand it didn’t really matter since I can’t taste anything at the moment anyway (sinuses) – on the other it mattered quite a lot for that  same reason.

Then I remembered that I had a couple of Epic Pale Ales left over from the weekend. I’ve drunk enough of these in my time to remember what they taste like, so decided I could still give a decent description even if it tasted like sweet FA.

I first had an Epic Pale Ale at the Malthouse – two or maybe even three years ago. Before that I didn’t know what hops were – let alone what they tasted like, and this was my first formal introduction. I’m not sure I liked it immediately – it was a little bitter I think, but everyone was drinking them and so I found myself doing the same. Sure enough that weird bitterness grew on me, and before long I was knocking back pints of Armaggeddon without batting an eyelid.

I hadn’t drunk a lot of this beer since then – usually going straight for one of Epic’s hoppier offerings instead – until I noticed at the supermarket recently what a bargain they are. A four pack is about $15, so at $3.75 per bottle they’re the cheapest beer to appear on the blog so far. Sure, you can get about a million Steinlagers for $20 at the moment, but if you give a toss about flavour then this is the better deal.

This pours a pretty gorgeous colour – clear and ruby-tinted gold, with a foamy white head.

Even through my inflamed sinuses (TMI, I know) I can smell the hops – the APA kind which always brings the colours green and orange to mind – pine, citrus, marmalade, toffee. I remember thinking in the weekend it smelled of honey, too.

The taste is similar – with the bitter hops jumping excitedly on a soft bed of malt, fruity flavours and a clean, dry finish. It’s totally delicious and easy to drink, so it’s a good thing they come in packs of four…

While I know it tastes like all those things, last night it tasted like soda water which made me realise just how dulled my tastebuds really are. For that reason it’s safe to assume that the Hennepin I drank on Monday is probably a lot more exciting than I realised, so I’ll be trying this again when I get down to Wellington in a few weeks.

Hey look, that’s my 50th post! Only 315 to go! *self-congratulatory fist-pump* 

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Published in: on September 28, 2011 at 9:54 am  Comments (8)  
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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. This was one of the first beers to really open my eyes to the craft beer scene.

    Great beer!

  2. Epic Pale seems to be a very good “gateway” beer to the craft beer scene. I think Epic could be responsible for opening quite a number of Kiwis eyes to the tasty craft brews available, although I have to say that Invercargill Brewery and their Pitch Black were where I started my craft beer journey.

  3. Emerson’s london Porter for me, Emerson’s Bookbinder for Sarah my partner.

  4. our hallelula/gateway beers that is. I wasnt making an order, although it will be a pint if your asking 🙂

  5. Gateway beer: I do say it is Bookbinder but my craft beer appreciation went back way further than that… Parrot and Jigger, Strongcroft, my dad’s pretty decent homebrew.

    Epic Pale Ale is a funny one for me… love it one day, quite meh the next. I prefer Mayhem and the Lager in bottle, and love Armageddon on tap.

  6. We just reviewed it too. We were not impressed with it and feel that the label with 15 or 23 hop in the beer was a bit mis leading.

    http://thebeersgonebad.com/2011/09/28/thebeersgonebad-epic-pale-ale-by-epic-brewing-co/

    • Hi there,
      Cool blog – I love video reviews of beer.
      I think you’re right in that this is not as hoppy as the label implies – but when it was first introduced (6 years ago) it was one of the hoppiest NZ beers out.
      These days Kiwis are mad about hops, and Epic and other NZ breweries are making bigger, hoppier IPA’s that you might prefer. Try some if you get the chance!
      Oh – and as a Wellingtonian I have to point out that Auckland is NOT the capital ;D
      Cheers,
      Alice

      • I appreciate your response. After reviewing our video we have decided that we did not give Epic a fair chance cause we were putting it up against much hoppier Imperials and double when thats not what it is. We feel bad for beating it up and are shooting a rebuttal video tonight featuring other well known Pale Ale’s to match it against. I will post the new video later this week. Thanks again for your response.


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