#320 Harrington’s – Hop Tremor

Harrington's Hop Tremor Name: Brewer’s Selection Hop Tremor
Brewery: Harrington’s (Chch, NZ)
Style: IPA
ABV: 7.4%
Source:  Vic Park NW

Do not adjust your screens. That is a room draped in metres and metres of gold sequined fabric you see, and that pair of turntables to the left is just about to start spinning some sweet 90s jams.  Welcome to an average Tuesday morning in the life of Beer for a Year.*

Awkwardly empty disco-themed office party backdrop aside,  this beer probably fell into the “nice enough but nothing to write home about” category. It could have been that the sequins and TLC were overwhelming my senses, but I didn’t get the heavy-handed dose of hop aroma that I was expecting. All the right elements were there (grapefruit and pine resin and caramel), but they didn’t leap out of the glass and say “HEY, LET’S DANCE!”

In the mouth there was a big hit of juicy malt, and then a really lengthy and resinous bitter finish. That’s all well and good and probably what they were aiming for, but I’m a little funny with aftertastes. I don’t like bitterness to hang around to long, because it feels like I’ve swallowed a panadol too slowly. I get this feeling all the time with IPAs and I guess I pick on some beers more than others for it, but I think I’m more forgiving if there is heaps of fruit flavours upfront to balance it out. In this case there wasn’t.

Still, not a bad drop and probably well-liked by hop-heads. I might give it another shot one day when I’m not surrounded by distracting shiny stuff.

*I wish this was my Tuesday morning, in actual fact it was Saturday night two weeks ago. And in case you’re wondering what happened to the gold fabric – don’t worry. It has since been turned into a Turkish tent  in my friends’ lounge.

Published in: on July 10, 2012 at 1:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

#214 Harrington’s – Big John

Name: Big John Special reserve
Brewery: Harrington’s (Chch, NZ)
Style: Scotch Ale
ABV: 6.5%
Source: My flatmate

OK! Today I am vowing to catch up on my blog once and for all, and to stay on top of it until the blog finishes in 150 days time. (While I’m at it I should also vow to start flossing my teeth, keep my room tidy and learn to drive, but hey – I’m only human.)

So, in order to do that I’m going to have to write a few short, crappy posts like this:

On Friday night I drank a Big John. I wanted to try it because it’s in a neat book I have called 1001 Beers You Must Taste Before you Die, and although the New Zealand beers seem kinda outdated (even though it was only published in 2010), it’s interesting to see which ones made it in there.

The Special Reserve is aged in bourbon barrels and it definetely shows. It tasted of whiskey with an ‘e’, chocolate, malt, caramel, vanilla, roasty espresso and a little oak. I thought it tasted really nice, but the found the mouthfeel to be a little on the thin and fizzy side. Good overall though.

Tagging out now, I have four more posts to write!

Published in: on March 13, 2012 at 2:44 pm  Comments (3)  

#111 Harrington’s – Rogue Hop

Harringtons Rogue HopName: Rogue Hop
Brewery: Harrington’s (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Style: Pilsner
ABV: 5%
Source: Richmond Rd Cafe

These days, when I go out for breakfast I look for three things on the menu:

One is black pudding. Black pudding is up there among my most favourite foods in the world, especially when it’s thinly sliced and full of fat and fried to a crumbly crisp. (Boy am I getting hungry just thinking about it.)

Two is offal. Any kind of restaurant that is bold (and classy) enough to put offal on it’s menu gets a big tick from me. For breakfast I prefer livers or kidney, but am open to other organs as well.

Three is craft beer. I know I said breakfast – but lets face it, who goes out to breakfast before midday these days?

You can imagine my delight then, when I stumbled on Richmond Rd Cafe which ticked all three boxes yesterday. They had Moa, Coopers, and Harrington’s on their menu – and best of all they had no crap beer.

They also had pan-fried lambs livers, which I ordered with a side of black pudding:

I realise that will look like a complete horror-show to some people out there but just trust me, it was divine (although the black pudding could have been a bit fattier IMO.)

This isn’t a food blog though is it? I’m just sitting at my desk and starving and thus ranting about food which makes me even hungrier. On to the beer!

I passed the Rogue Hop around and got everyone to say what they thought it smelled like, and they came back with “grapefruit peel”, “saffron”, and “an Indian spice shop”. Obviously my family are better at tasting beer than me because I just said “cereal and plants”.

Anyway, the smell was pretty nice, and when I sipped it it was clean and refreshing, but (like most lagers I’ve tried) I didn’t really find it that interesting. I reckon it was quite a bit like the Tuatara Pilsner I had the other day, and it’s probably just the case the style isn’t really for me.

That didn’t stop it from being a bloody marvelous breakfast though. I’ll be back to Richmond Rd Cafe soon to try a different beer, and their Pan-fried lambs kidneys. Karrrrggghhhhh……

PS – have you voted for my blog yet? Please do!

Published in: on November 28, 2011 at 5:07 pm  Comments (6)  

#84 Harrington’s – Anvil Dry Hop

Harrington's Anvil

Name: Anvil
Brewery: Harrington’s (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Style: Pilsner
ABV:  6.5%
Source: Regional Wines (Wellington)

Woah woah woah… WHAT is this beer? It is delicious! 

The reason I sound so incredulous is that I’ve never seen it/heard of it before, yet it tastes like it deserves to be famous (and I don’t just mean famous among beer-geeks). Maybe it is and it’s just somehow slipped my radar?

It reminds me of Hop Zombie and Hopwired, in that it manages to be massively hoppy (citrusy but sweet, like fruit jelly) while still being malty and luscious and not at all like drinking paint stripper. I guess that’s because (as the label says) it’s largely dry-hopped, which would lend lots flavour without too much bitterness.

There is some bitterness though – just the right amount. In fact everything about this beer seems just right somehow.

Apologies that I can’t say anything more constructive about this beer than “Go! Go buy it now!”, but I was drinking it while watching the goddamn Leaders Debate and was too tense/distracted to make any notes.

Actually, it doesn’t need any notes. It’s just straight up “Yum”, and you don’t need to think about why to enjoy it.

Now go! Go buy it now!

PS – sorry about the slightly aggressive, overly punctuated tone of this post. I imagine there will be many more of these around election time. Bear with me.

Published in: on November 1, 2011 at 11:06 am  Comments (4)