#352 Galbraith’s – Bob Hudson’s Bitter

Name: Bob Hudson’s Bitter
Brewery: Galbraith’s (Auckland, NZ)
Style: Bitter
ABV: 4%
Source: Galbraith’s Alehouse

A pint of Bob’s is like my old pair of jeans, English Breakfast with milk or a night at home watching cartoons. It’s not the most extreme, the most exciting or the most unusual thing on the menu – but it might just be the best.

I didn’t realised how much I loved Bob’s until just recently, actually. It sort of snuck up on me, like affection for a pet you never really asked for. The main reason I’d order Bob’s was because it was only 4%, and if I was in a particularly wussy mood I’d make it a half. I’d often have it before drinking something a little more outrageous, or at the end of the night when I’d already had a bit too much.

But remember at the end of Clueless when Cher has that sudden (and frankly a little creepy) realization that she’s been in love with her dorky ex-stepbrother all along? (You know – “Oh my gosh, I love Josh!”). Probably I’m talking to the wrong audience here – but the point is I had the same epiphany with Bob’s recently. Thankfully, I did refrain from going full-Cher and crying “I am majorly, totally, butt-crazy in love with Bob!” at Galbraith’s.

Enough of these awful analogies though – let me tell you why Bob’s is special.

The aroma is gentle but exciting – a little zingy citrus, floral notes and caramel malt. In the mouth it is deliciously fruity (more citrus, I think), and slightly sweet, perfectly balanced with only the gentlest bite at the finish. The mouthfeel is perfect – so smooth and creamy yet light and refreshing. I would say this is the most “guzzle-able” beer I’ve ever tasted.

And so for today’s thank you (that’s a thing that I’m doing now, see last post) I’d like to thank Ian Ramsay of Galbraith’s. Firstly for brewing this wonderful beer (along with Keith presumably, if he really does exist), but mostly for being incredibly encouraging of this project and always chastising me whenever I got behind on posts. Knowing Ian was playing close attention was about as good a motivator as I could have had.

Finally, it’s a happy coincidence that this Monday Galbraith are launching the latest in their Great Brewer Cask Series, and this time the guest brewer is Bob Hudson. How did they get around the fact Bob died five years ago? I don’t know, but I’m hoping there’s going to be a hologram.

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Published in: on July 28, 2012 at 1:34 pm  Comments (3)  
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#264 Galbraith’s – Antipodean

Name: Antipodean
Brewery: Galbraith’s (Auckland, NZ)
Style: NZ Pale Ale
ABV: 5%
Source: Galbraith’s Ales

Last week I went to Galbraith’s to farewell some friends for the winter, and it just so happened that Tuatara were doing a bit of a tap takeover there that night.

They were launching  two limited release pale ales – Conehead and Mayday – along with the old American and Aotearoa Pale Ale’s.

Why then, pray tell, am I not writing about those exciting new beers?

The thing is, I go to Galbraith’s all the time as you know – usually for some beer launch or to taste some limited release collaboration brew – and so I never ever actually get around to writing about the Galbraith’s beers themselves.

They’ve also been very supportive of me and the blog over the past nine months (once I even got free chips), and I thought it was time I paid hommage.

(Also, so you know, I forgot to take a picture of the Tuatara Conehead, the Mayday I didn’t like (a strong sweet mess) and their other two I’d already blogged.)

I think the Antipodean tastes a  like an English-born New Zealander on holiday in America. The aroma is punchy and fresh, with notes of citrus (lemon and orange) grass and pine needles. In the mouth it is soft, creamy and sweetish at first – but don’t let that fool you – the bitterness arrives with a bang midway and the finish is dry with a hint of spice.

Unlike most of the big, fancy (and don’t get me wrong – often wonderful) beers I usually drink and write about from Galbraith’s, I could drink pint after pint of this.  I never do of course, because I get seduced by the guest taps and then run out of money, but rest assured I could if I had to. (Wanna bet? Let’s go.)

Published in: on May 10, 2012 at 6:06 pm  Comments (4)  
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#210 Galbraith’s/Hallertau – Beastwars

Name: Beastwars (Brewers Reserve)
Brewery: Galbraith’s & Hallertau (Auckland)
Style: IPA
ABV: 6.7%
Source: Galbraith’s Alehouse

Urrrrrgggghhhhhhhhh….

That strange, guttural noise is by no means a reflection of (or in any way related to) the beer I am about to talk about. It’s just the cry of a writer in distress – specifically one with Blogger’s Block and a stack of overdue posts piling up…

But enough white whining. On I go.

I went to the launch of the latest Cask Ale Series thingee at Galbraith’s on Monday night (you know the drill – Galbraith’s teams up with an NZ brewer to make a cask ale beer), and drank a couple of pints of the new Beastwars.

Side note: On reflection, the fact that I got quite drunk on Monday night probably explains the fact that I’ve been on the back foot all week. Must remember to hold out until Tuesday in future.

As always it was fun/slightly intimidating to have so many beer geeks in one room together – including Joseph Wood of Liberty who was there brewing for the next Cask Ale Series. (In truth I didn’t meet him because he was hiding in the brewery all evening, but I’m sure his presence added something. A hoppy smell and more sideburns, perhaps.)

The beer itself was like a softened, creamier version of the original Beastwars. I really liked the texture and the fruity flavour, but found this, like the original, to be leaning a little too far toward the hopside for me. It gave me that dry, tannin-like feeling in the mouth afterwards and I think I would have enjoyed it more with a little more malt. That’s just a matter of personal preference though, and the general consensus on the night was that it was great.

Blogger’s Block preventing me from coming up with snappy one-liner to close. Insert your own here!

Published in: on March 8, 2012 at 4:22 pm  Comments (2)  
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#180 Galbraith’s & 8 Wired – The Big Smoke

8 Wired Galbraith's The Big SmokeName: The Big Smoke
Brewery: Galbraith’s & 8 Wired
Style: Porter
ABV: 6.8%
Source: Galbraith Ales

Finally, back at my beloved Galbraith’s after about two months off. It really has been way too long.

I’ve posted a couple of times before about the Galbraith’s Great Brewer Cask series, where every few months Galbraith’s teams up with a New Zealand brewery to make a cask conditioned version of one of their beers. It’s a genius idea, and the results are always delicious.

There was never any question that this one would be great – it’s a collaboration between Galbraith’s and 8 Wired for Christ’s sake – but I still had to get along to the pub to try it. Just to make sure. 

Happily I can report that it is is excellent. I won’t bang on too much because it’s probably all gone now and you’d only get jealous (also I didn’t take any notes), but I will just say that I found it to be a softer, smoother, smokier version of the original, which you can read my thoughts on here.

It’s interesting that Galbraith’s and Soren chose to brew a porter in the middle of summer when usually people want crisper, lighter beers when it’s hot. Actually though, I think it worked perfectly.  The smoky bonfire taste is summery in a way, and the roasty bitterness made it quite refreshing. And the end of the day, I guess there are  no rules about what we should drink and when… We’ve just gotta do what feels right, man.

Published in: on February 6, 2012 at 10:02 pm  Comments (3)  
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#37 Tuatara & Galbraith’s – Vasta’s Velvet

Vasta's Velvet Name: Vasta’s Velvet
Brewery: Galbraith Brewing Co. & Carl Vasta (head brewer at Tuatara)
Style: Cask Conditioned Stout
ABV: 6%
Source: Galbraith’s Alehouse

I feel like I’m a bit late posting this because this beer was released a whole week and a half ago, which sounds ridiculous except that it’s probably only going to be around for another week – less if I go back to Galbraith’s in the weekend and drink it all.

This was actually one of three collaboration beers that I tried last night – along with Mike’s/Liberty Brewing’s Taranaki Pale Ale, and the Yeastie Boys/Malthouse Lady Marmalade. They were all worth writing about, but I went to Galbraith’s specifically for the Vasta’s Velvet so I’m picking that one for my post.

And guess what? It was bloody lovely! It smelled like Christmas at Grandma Jane’s house – sweet sherry, dried fruit and chocolate, with more savoury flavours coming through on the tongue. There was marmite, malt, lightly toasted wood and a spicy dry bitterness to finish. It was smooth as butter and had a full mouthfeel without being thick or sticky. I’d say it’s the perfect beer for a rainy evening (and lord knows we’re not short of those) at a cosy pub like Galbraiths.

I’m worried I won’t get to write posts on Lady M or the Taranaki Pale Ale  because they’ll probably be gone when I next go back to Galbraith’s (why can’t I write posts from my tastings last night? Because my complicated blog rules forbid it, that’s why), so I’d like to Big Up them both now. The Mike’s/Liberty IPA was a crisp and joyous explosion of fruity/bitter hops, and the Yeastie Boys Lady M was a tasty, well-balanced and highly sessionable English Ale.

Claps all round!

Published in: on September 15, 2011 at 3:25 pm  Comments (6)  
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