#333 Independent Liquor – Boundary Road Red Baron

Boundary Road Red Baron Name: Red Baron
Brewery: Independent Liquor
Style: Amber Ale
ABV: 5.6%
Source: Waiheke Wines

If you go to Victoria Park New World and look at Boundary Road in the beer fridge, you can sort of see where it fits in to the whole brewing scene.

It’s not in the big fancy craft section – definetely not – but it is amongst the ‘craftier’ members of the commercial end. Mac’s, Monteiths, Boundary Road – they’re all together, probably not quite as close to the 8 Wireds and Epics as they’d like to be, but far enough from the Corona that they can still feel superior.

And the risk of over-extending this metaphor, I imagine Boundary Road averting it’s eyes as the NZ Pure passes by and waves – trying to pretend they do not come from from the same brewery, and that they did not once make out at a Vodka Cruiser illuminate paint party.

But where was I? Oh yeah. The Red Baron.

On the nose it was quite pleasant and smelled of caramel malt and citrus – nothing too punchy, but definitely real hops. On the palate it was a little disappointing – the mouthfeel was okay but it had a one-dimensional malt flavour, and a pithy bitter finish which I found a bit harsh.

All in all a bit meh I thought, especially for something marketed as a “Brewer’s Cut”. But then again, when you’re “cut” from the same cloth as NZ Pure, how good is it ever going to get?


Published in: on July 18, 2012 at 10:45 pm  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. We were just discussing “faux-craft” beer last night at the Hopfuls, and Boundary Road came up as a key offender.

    These “big beer” fake brewery labels seem to be succeeding in diverting people who are seeking out Craft Beer from the real thing.

    This latest stunt by BR of “importing” a brewer seems to be only increasing the public perception of boundary road as a craft player.

    I only hope that we can pull people from these false prophets and help them to find the real thing: beer made by people who would rather actually produce a quality product than just trick people into thinking they produce a quality product so they can make more money.

  2. Very good article. I think you have really nailed it as to where Boundary Road sit in the beery scheme of things.

  3. Unfortunately our mainstream “beer media” tend to operate under the illusion that the industry is helped by not reviewing bad beers. The old “if you havn’t got anything good to say …. then don’t say anything” cop out.
    Boundary Road beers are made in a state of the art commercial plant yet continually they present product that is not true to style but is also likely to be faulted.
    Try a head to head with their new “APA” and any true craft example, it is quite an education!
    Rock on those who are true and good.

  4. The two “Spike’s” beers I have tried (red rye and IPA) seemed very good. They were the first boundary Road beers I have had a full glass of (I’d only tried Bouncing Czech as a calibration beer in a tasting late last year). The beers weren’t as full on as a lot of crafter beer out there but they were both really well balanced and very moreish. Up there with Mac’s and a million miles ahead of anything Monteith’s have put out in the last 5 years.

    As for the ethics of marketing and/or craft brewing… I’m more concerned about the treatment of the pigs and chickens people eat than what other drinks Boundary Road makes or whether their claims of “craft brewing” are true.

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