#224 Mike’s – Imperial Porter

Name: Imperial Porter
Brewery: Mike’s Organic Brewery (Taranaki, NZ)
Style: Imperial Porter
ABV: 8.5%
Source: Mike’s Brewery

While I am definitely over it now, on Monday when I drank this beer the relentless Auckland rain felt quite novel.

Sure I got drenched to the bone on the swim home from work, having none of the necessary apparatus for staying dry (some kids actually pointed and laughed at me from the comfort of their mum’s SUV), and yes, my plans of an outdoor barbecue were quite literally washed away. But there was at least one thing to be pleased about: an excuse to drink strong, dark beer.

OK, so we all know that we can drink any kind of beer we like in any kind of weather, but there is something undeniably lovely about drinking dark beer on a cold night, preferably with the rain pounding the windows and a fire crackling beside the armchair. (In all honesty my flat has neither a fire nor an armchair, but I do have an iPhone app that makes the sound).)

This was not the biggest, bolshiest Imperial Porter I’ve ever tried, but I thought it was pretty nice nonetheless. It smelled delicious, like a cake I wanted to sink my teeth in, with predominant flavours of vanilla, licorice, and a little toasty wood coming through.

In the mouth it wasn’t quite as sweet or full as I’d been anticipating (it wasn’t a cake, basically), but it had a lovely velvety smooth mouthfeel and a nice lightly bitter finish. For an Imperial Porter it was a little on the watery side, but then that made it all the more drinkable. (And we all know that in cold weather, it’s much more fun to drink a whole 500ml bottle of dark beer than it is to have just one glass.)

Published in: on March 24, 2012 at 7:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#221 Mike’s – I.P.A

Mike's IPAName: I.P.A
Brewery: Mike’s Organic Brewery (Taranaki, NZ)
Style: IPA
ABV: ?
Source: Mike’s Brewery

On Friday I took the day off work and went with Finn and his family down to WOMAD in New Plymouth.

We travelled in a campervan which, in case you’ve never done it, is basically the best form of transport ever (with the possible exception of that fancy train on the Darjeeling limited).

We sat on the bed in the back while Finn’s parents drove, eating treats, playing car games and thinking about how all the people at work were suckers. Then I fell asleep.

And when I woke up I was at Mike’s Brewery!

I hadn’t asked to got there, or even remembered that it was on the way, so it was an awesome surprise. Especially because Mike’s turned out to be the prettiest brewery I’ve ever been to, with a lovely lawn, outdoor seating, and lots of beers to try at the cellar door.

Naturally I had a tasting tray (my favourite’s from that were the Taranaki Pale Ale and the Whiskey porter), and I bought a bottle of this I.P.A to drink at WOMAD.

It was great I thought. Like freshly squeezed American hop juice (which, in actual fact would be gross but you get the idea), bursting with grapefruit and pine resin, and with a sturdy malt backing which mellowed it out. I’ve decided I really like Mike’s beer full stop, and I wish it was a bit easier to find up in Auckland.

More Mike’s and beers from campervans to come. Stick around!

Published in: on March 21, 2012 at 3:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#195 Mike’s – APA

Mike's APAName: APA
Brewery: Mike’s Organic Brewery (Taranaki, New Zealand)
Style: American Pale Ale
ABV: 6.6%
Source: Galbraith’s Ales

WARNING: What you are about to read will make you very, very jealous.

On Sunday night I went with my friends to Galbraith’s (jealous yet?), to drink beers, eat chips, and play Pass the Pigs.

Pass the Pigs! Remember how fun that game was? No because you were six when you last played it? Well, I can tell you right now it is still an absolute scream, especially when you’re a high risk player like me and won’t stop until you get just one more Leaning Jowler.

Anyway, whatever it was fun.

Also really excellent was this Mikes APA that I had – truly bold, punchy and bursting with citrus/piney American hops. It had a nice caramelly malt underlay, but the finish was definitely hop-dominated and really bitter – perhaps a touch too bitter for me, but true to the style.

They also had Yeastie Boys Pot Kettle Black and Invercargill Boysenbeery on tap, which I actually mixed together to make a Blackbeery (clever eh?). The result was underwhelming, but the sticky mess that I made doing it was good for helping the pigs to balance on their jowls. (See photo for evidence.)


Published in: on February 21, 2012 at 5:04 pm  Comments (1)  
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#194 – Mike’s – Premium Organic Ale

Mike's Organic AleName: Premium Organic Ale
Brewery: Mike’s Organic Brewery (Taranaki, New Zealand)
Style: Dark mild ale
ABV: 4.1%
Source: The Wine Cellar

I’m afraid that this is basically going to be a failure of a post.

I couldn’t get a picture (it was too dark in the Wine Cellar, also I didn’t have a camera) and because I was watching a gig right up the front I couldn’t take any notes because then I would have looked like I was a wanky wannabe music reviewer instead of a wanky wannabe beer reviewer which is way worse.

Anyway, I remember saying “Mmmmm this is really nice!” and then telling a stranger that he had to buy one, so obviously I enjoyed it. I remember it was dark and tasted of roasty malt and chocolate, went down velvety smooth, and had a really nice fullish mouthfeel considering it was only 4.1%.

That’s all I remember though, so now for some filler…

Did you Auckland beer geeks know that there’s pretty much always Mike’s or Croucher beer on tap at the Wine Cellar? They also have Harrington’s and Coopers, as well as some insanely cheap (with good reason) ones like Bushmans and Bear Beer. I go there for the music first and foremost rather than the beer, but the fact that I don’t have to drink Heineken while I watch the bands play is a giant plus.

One more piece of filler – last night I discovered the best Indian restaurant in New Zealand. I can’t tell you where it is because I’ve been sworn to secrecy, but if you buy me a beer I just might. Think about it.

Published in: on February 19, 2012 at 5:14 pm  Comments (3)  
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#69 Mike’s & Liberty – Taranaki Pale Ale

Mike's & Liberty Taranaki Pale AleName: Taranaki Pale Ale
Brewery:  Mike’s & Liberty Brewing
Style: IPA
ABV: 7%
Source: Regional Wines (Wellington)

I first had the Taranaki Pale Ale at Galbraith’s a few weeks ago and loved it, but I was doing my post on another collaboration brew that day – Vasta’s Velvet – so didn’t get to write it up.

But now I can! Because I had a rigger sent up from Regional Wines (along with some other amazing beers which will be appearing here soon), which me and Finn took to the park today for a picnic.

Although it doesn’t look particuarly appealing in my slightly dirty plastic vessel, it pours a brilliant orangey-gold with the slightest bit of haze.

The smell is really fantastic – a luscious medley of ripe, tropical fruit and zesty citrus. On the palate there’s a punchy hop bitterness, softened with chewy toffee-like malt. It’s crisp, clean, and has a long dry finish that makes it a perfect summer quencher.

We drank it with my own creation – some prawn sammies with mayo, lettuce and coriander. They weren’t half bad either!

PS – Beer in the sun is one of life’s greatest gifts – but you should always remember to wear sunscreen. (Said she with the lobster face).

Published in: on October 17, 2011 at 10:08 am  Comments (1)  
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