#364 West Coast – The Artist

Dave Kurth Barley WineName: The Artist
Brewery: West Coast Brewing
Style: Barley Wine
ABV: 10%
Source: Dave Kurth

Today is a momentous day! Do you know why?

I mean sure, the history books might remember it as Curiosity’s first full day on Mars. And yes, the newspapers have chosen to prioritize Tongariro’s eruption – but if you cut science out of the picture (and really, who needs it!) then what are you left with?

The 365th day of Beer For a Year!

I should warn you that I’m too excited to sit still, and have consumed nothing but coffee (two) and cupcakes (three) today.  As a result of my hyperactivity, this post may not be 100% cohesive.

I drank The Artist at my dining table last night – the same place I’ve enjoyed the majority of the beers on the blog so far – and realised as I photographed it that this was the last time I would perform this little ritual. I got a bit sad and melancholic for a minute, but then I had a sip of this 10% beer and felt great!

On the nose I got sweet, fruity flavours of dried apricots, barley sugars, toffee and a little savoury hint of something like marmite.

In the mouth it was sweet and mouth-filling, with all those fruity toffee malt flavours blossoming into something epic, before being curtailed at the last second for a bone-fry finish. I never intended to drink the whole thing myself – but somehow that’s exactly what happened.

Dave Kurth sent me The Artist a few months ago, and it was supposed to be released soon. Sadly the brewery went into liquidation in May, and so he and this beer are just stuck in limbo for now. I really hope it does eventually get released – because apart from the fact it’s bloody nice, the most beautiful label has already been created for it:

West Coast Barley Wine "Elephants in the Atmosphere" by Jo Cringle.

“Elephants in the Atmosphere” by Jo Cringle.

Today’s thanks goes to my Dad. When I first told Dad about the blog his exact response was: “You will get very fat young lady!” but it didn’t take long for him to become almost more enthusiastic than me. He’s since bought me loads of fancy beers I could never have afforded myself, ventured into the wonderful world of homebrewing with me, and like Mum become a total craft beer enthusiast (bordering on geek) himself. Dad is even flying all the way up from Wellington today to drink my final beer with me. Thanks Dad!

Finally – in case you somehow missed it on here/Twitter/Facebook – I will be drinking my 365th and final beer at Galbraith’s tonight. I had considered doing some sort of  live blog type thing, but as the beer will be 8.5% I think spelling could prove a challenge. If you’re in Auckland, please join me. And book Wednesday morning off work!

Published in: on August 7, 2012 at 3:38 pm  Comments (13)  
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#257 West Coast/DGB – Greasing Mongrels

Name: Greasing Mongrels
Brewery: West Coast/Dead Good Beer
Style: Spiced/Herbed lager
ABV: 4%
Source: Dave Kurth

I come from a family that could only be describes as obsessive when it comes to food, which meant that games of “guess the secret ingredient” were as much a part of my childhood as Lego or clotheshorse forts.

Having had years of practice, I really should be better at it. Unfortunately I’m usually the one that can clearly taste a flavour just after someone else has pointed it out.

Why is this relevant? Because Greasing Mongrels was brewed for Nelson beer festival Marchfest, where breweries were asked to submit a unique beer containing at least one secret ingredient. Ohhhh…..

I guessed one of them – the ginger, but the other had me stumped. It was fragrant, citrussy, so familiar yet nothing I’d ever tasted in a beer before.

Eventually (OK, after about two minutes) I caved and asked Google, who confirmed that it was in fact lemongrass. I say ‘confirmed’ because I’m pretty sure I knew that all along deep down. It was on the tip of my tongue – honest.

I have a weird aversion to ginger/citrus summer ale type things (for which I blame Monteith’s), and although this is a lager my brain automatically sorted it into that category. For that reason I probably wouldn’t drink a lot of it, but I enjoyed the new flavour experience and reckon heaps of people would love it. It was crisp, dry and well-balanced, and  the Lemongrass gave it a beautiful aroma.  Lemongrass and chili beer anyone? Too noughties asian-fusion perhaps but I’m tempted to try it out.

Oh! Oh! I nearly forgot the best part!

GREASING MONGRELS = LEMONGRASS GINGER.

Genius.

Published in: on April 30, 2012 at 4:14 pm  Comments (1)  
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#247 West Coast – International Pale Ale

West Coast International Pale Ale Name: International Pale Ale
Brewery: West Coast Brewing (Westport, NZ)
Style: Pale Ale
ABV: 5%
Source: West Coast Brewery

If I were Goldilocks and I had three beers (and when I’m tired on a Friday afternoon this is actually where my mind goes), I think this would be the baby one. The one that’s just right.

It wasn’t too bitter, it wasn’t too sweet, and unlike some American-style pale ale’s that are loaded with delicious fruity hop goodness, it wasn’t too alcoholic. Yes indeed, Goldilocks could drink it all up and still be sober enough to talk her way out of it when the bears got home. What am I talking about? I don’t know, but I do know I liked this beer.

Nonsense anecdotes aside, it was fruity (citrus, passionfruit), well-balanced with juicy malt, and more than drinkable. You might even say quaffable (particuarly if you’d witnessed me quaffing it). I’m so pleased I still have three bottles left!

In other news, it’s the Auckland Hop tomorrow, which you will all obviously be coming too unless you are a) really far away or b) nuts. See all you sane locals tomorrow!

Published in: on April 20, 2012 at 3:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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