#74 Tuatara – Aotearoa Pale Ale

More evidence that I need to buy a camera

Name: Aotearoa Pale Ale (APA)
Brewery: Tuatara (Waikanae, New Zealand)
Style: New Zealand Pale Ale
ABV: 5.6%
Source: Fork & Brewer

So it happened. I finally met “the new guy”.

And it went well – very well in fact – but it wasn’t what I was expecting at all…

First I should go back a bit and explain. The A(otearoa)PA is Tuatara’s solution to The Great American Hop Shortage of 2011 – which means that lots of beers which use American hops will be off the shelves for at least a year. It’s sad, obviously, but as Tuatara have proven, it’s not the end of the world.

Tuatara’s response to TGAHS (I get a feeling that wont catch on) has been admirable, I reckon. One minute they’re telling us there won’t be any more APA for a year. They mourn for a few days, and then literally nek minute there’s a new version available – still an APA, but an Aotearoa Pale Ale which uses New Zealand hops instead. Seamless!

As you might recall from my love letter, I was a bit heartbroken that the old APA was leaving but looking forward to checking out his replacement. And on Friday night at the new Fork and Brewer bar in Wellington, I finally did.

It came from this tap (note the fetching new purple and orange colour scheme):

Fork & Brewer taps

The taps at Fork and Brewer are very cool, and there’s about a million of them!

Fork & Brewer taps

As soon as I smelled “the new guy” I realised that “he” wasn’t even a he at all – she was an exotic babe from the tropics, smelling of fresh fruit salad (passionfruit especially) and flowers.

It was luscious on the palate – with those fruity, floral hop notes delivered alongside mouth-filling chewy caramel malt. The bitterness came in, fashionably late, punching out the final notes of what a proper beer writer might call a symphony.

Bravo Tuatara, this is a damn fine beer and good proof that our Kiwi hops can hold their own. And just quietly (don’t tell the other one), I think I like this APA the best!

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Published in: on October 23, 2011 at 11:37 am  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. TGAHS is rather wordy. Phil Cook coined the phrase “peak hop” – peak oil is the precursor apparently – which I quite like. Couldn’t convince an editor to put it in an article, but that’s another story.

    • Call me a semantic stickler (my day job is actually more syntax) but it shouldn’t really be “peak hop” as there may well be more hops than ever next year. It’s just one year (though, coincidentally, a similar event occurred a few years ago).

      Nice phrase though!


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