I keep telling myself I won’t be putting any more homebrew on the blog, but then someone goes and utters the word “smoked” and “fresh-hopped” and suddenly all bets are off.
As you can see from the awkwardly jumbled title of this post, I’m putting Dunc’s two homebrews (which I drank on consecutive days) together. It’s definitely not the case that Dunc’s beers weren’t worthy of a full post each, I just really need to catch up.
Dunc is what I’m going to call a super-homebrewer (a term I don’t use lightly, I can tell you!), because he grows his own hops for making beer. I don’t think I’ve ever tried beer with homegrown hops before, although I hope that in a few years, once the hop plant I bought dad has taken over the garden, I’ll be doing the same.
I had the pohutakawa-smoked beer first, which I’m happy to report was the closest thing I’ve ever encountered to liquid bacon. The aroma was of bacon, bacon and more bacon, with perhaps a hint of Rashuns. It was so good!
In the mouth it was crisp, dry, and still singing with those campfire-cooked bacon flavours. I thought there was a little hole in the middle of the palate where perhaps it needed more bitterness or sweetness, but I still enjoyed it immensely.
Dunc’s other beer (a 5% fresh-hopped APA) was made with the hops he grew himself. The aroma was great – definetely more ‘Aotearoa Pale Ale’ than American I thought, with notes of sticky ripe pineapple, orange marmalade and sweet biscuity malt. In the mouth it was well balanced, with those sweet fruity notes leading to a dry pithy grapefruit finish, bitter but not too bitter, just right for me.
Thanks for the beers Dunc! And as a side note – when I was little we used to call my Dad (also a Duncan) Dunc the Funk. If you ever brew a funky Belgian ale you can have that name for free.