#235 Emerson’s – Bird Dog

Emerson's Bird DogName: Bird Dog (Brewer’s Reserve)
Brewery: Emerson’s (Dunedin, NZ)
Style: Pale Ale
ABV: 5.8%
Source: NZ Beer festival

I was feeling the pressure to write an in-depth (in-depth for this blog at least) review of the Beer Festival to go with this post, but thanks to my tardiness I’ve been let off the hook.

Fellow blogger, Pursuit Editor and organiser of the Auckland Hop (are you going? I am!) Kate Jordan has done a great job of summing up the beer festival here. If you’re too lazy to click the link, the gist is that it was better than the beer geeks were expecting. The cloud was a vastly better venue than the Ellerslie Racecourse  (although I thought there needed to be seating), the beers on offer were better than in previous years, and the number of people dressed in lederhosen was minimal.

My only real gripe (and it’s kind of a big one) is that I thought there should have been more beer stalls and/or less tickets sold. By the time I left the queues were about 7-deep at every stand, and a lot of the best beers had run out.

My first and most surprising beer of the day was the Emerson’s Bird Dog. I say surprising because, unlike any Emerson’s beer I’ve had before, it was hoppy! And not in the polite, ever-so-gentle way of British pale ales, but in a this-could-have-been-brewed-by-Luke-Nicholas kind of way.

It did actually really remind me of the hoppy Epic beers. It had a huge aroma of punchy fruit and citrus (both NZ and US hops I think), a resiny bitterness, and a reasonable pillow of caramelly malt to soften it out. I had it twice, and it was the beer that I told everyone at the festival to go and try. (“It’s worth that effing ridiculous queue!” I said.)

Back to the festival though, because I can’t resist throwing in my two analytical cents…

Beerfest is never going to be as beloved by craft beer lovers as Beervana. It appeals to a broader/different range of people – and while some beer geeks might feel uncomfortable about sharing their hobby with ‘bogans’ – that’s got to be a good thing at the end of the day. There will be people who see Beerfest purely as an excuse to get pissed during the day, but if they come away remembering even one beer that they liked and buy it again, then surely that’s a win for craft beer. (Unless of course that one beer was a Carlsberg, but it won’t be.)

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Published in: on April 3, 2012 at 11:23 am  Comments (5)  
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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Another flagon this weekend

  2. Mmm Bird Dog is a lovely drop!

  3. It was pretty decent. You can definitely taste the quality of the beer. The colour has a lot of texture when you inspect it closely. The hop aroma is fantastic! Other than that, its your IPA style beer, extremely hoppy and bitter.

    It is definitely better than others of that kind I have tried. Honestly, though I prefer other styles which is just a personal preference. I would recommend it to the average person, or IPA enthusiast.

    On another note, I really really enjoyed your North by North beer last time around. I wish you could keep an authentic Czech pilsner permanently on your list. That was really fantastic and I’m not sure you can find that kind of authentic quality pilsner easily throughout the country. There would be no substitute really in the market, which has its economical advantages.

  4. Dave are you under the impression that Alice is Emersons? North by
    North is not in fact hers to keep on her list.

  5. Not sure what you’re talking about there. I was referring to the Emersons last brewer’s reserve, North By North.


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