#196 ePICO – Dr. Rudi

Epico Dr Rudi

Name: Dr Rudi
Brewery: Epico (Auckland, New Zealand)
Style: ?
Source: ePICO Brewery

Last week when I was at the excellent Mule Tasting at Epic HQ, Luke and Kelly kindly loaded me up with a few bottles of ePICO beer to take home.

ePICO beers are basically Epic’s home-brews. Small, experimental batches that they make at the HQ (essentially a large garage below Kelly’s flat), some of which will go on to be heroes like Hop Zombie, others which, well…

I’m very grateful to be able to try these beers anyway, and I do hope they’ll forgive me for saying a couple of rude things about this one.

The first is that this is hands down the worst-looking beer to appear on the blog so far. I’m sorry, but it is. It was brown and sludgy, like a river after a storm, with a silky muddy sediment that settled at the bottom of the glass. It’s hard knowing what it was supposed to look like because I’m not sure of the style, but still.

On the nose things were much more promising. It had loads of aroma – and actually a very familiar one, though I couldn’t quite place it. I wondered if they used the same hops in this in another Epic beer… the Larger perhaps? Anyway it was very fruity (tropical, passionfruit), with a little malty brown bread and a vague hint of something a bit harsh… like nail varnish. Overall though, a great smell.

In the mouth it was a bit of a donut. I don’t mean it tasted like sweet fried bread (how good would that be!?), but that it had a hole in the middle. The nose was great – the aftertaste was lengthy – but in the middle on the roof of my tongue, it somehow disappeared.

This was not, by any stretch, a bad beer, I think I’m just being extra harsh because I know it was made by two brilliant brewers. Possibly it was meant to be brown and sludgy because it was a brown bread wheat ale or something I’ve never heard of, or maybe they don’t worry about clearing the ePICO brews, but for now I’ll just feel comforted by the thought that even those guys don’t get everything right.

Speaking of those guys – I briefly mentioned before that Kelly Ryan is leaving Epic (like, on Friday) to move to the Tron and work as Head Brewer a new brew-pub. It’ll be a shame not having him around Auckland because a) he is the most knowledgable beer geek I know and b) a bloody nice guy, but on the flip side I can’t wait to see what he comes up with in his new role.

Also (and lets face it, we’re all thinking it), it will be nice to finally have a reason to stop in Hamilton.

Published in: on February 21, 2012 at 10:26 pm  Comments (9)  

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9 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. The House on Hood’s already a good reason to head to the ‘Tron


  2. I’m not sure I would head to the Tron for House on Hood, I would for RCC tho.

  3. Hehe, I should have warned you that Dr. Rudi needs to be left for a week or so in the fridge to allow the excess yeast to settle out (was bottle conditioned/refermented with a bit too much yeast). Whoops! This was just a trial with a NZ Hop formerly known as Super Alpha (and now as Dr. Rudi) to see what sort of aroma and flavour profiles it would give. You’re right about the hole in the middle. You’ll also find the same hole in ePico Hitchhiker’s Guide. Something about those 2 hops was that they weren’t that great at being used by themselves…

  4. Oh Right! Well it’s entirely possible that you DID tell me to leave it in the fridge for a week… My memory of leaving Epic HQ is cloudy (like the beer).

  5. I love Super Alpha , my fav old school NZ hop.

    • Ha, and there was Super Alpha in Zane’s Brown that won the best ale for 2011 Soba homebrew comp…

  6. Its a criminally over looked hop. I just wish it had 1/2 the amount of alpha acid so i could add more to beers without maxing out bitterness.

    i thought Kelly was taking the piss about it changing name to Dr Rudi and then today Doug Donelan from NZHops tells me the name has changed to Dr Rudi!

  7. Great blog, by the way. Just getting into (extract) beer brewing and trainee beer geekery myself.

    Living in Hamilton is slightly frustrating trying to find resources to expand my outlook, but I guess good news is on the way! A new brew pub, my mouth waters…

  8. […] My lucky guess isn’t that surprising.  I’ve known a couple of home-brewers that have used Dr Rudi for flavour and aroma, as well as a brew by ePICO, which was written about here. […]

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