#362 Yeastie Boys – PKB Remix 2010

Name: PKB Remix 2010
Brewery: Yeastie Boys (Ak/Wgtn, NZ)
Style: Black IPA
ABV: 6.8%
Source: Yeastie Boys

Ask the Yeastie Boys when the ideal time for a bottle of PKB is, and they probably won’t say “11:30am – with Chinese food.” Still, I can hardly think of a bad time to drink PKB, and if there is then Yum Cha isn’t it.

The reason I drank this at Yum Cha (after first lying and pretending it was wine, then pleading with the waiter after he read the bottle and found me out) was that I wanted to share it with some fellow beer lovers.  This wasn’t any old bottle of beer – it was Stu’s last bottle of PKB Remix 2010, and one of his favourite Yeastie Boys releases. It was a real privilege to be able to drink it, and one worth breaking all the rules (acceptable drinking times, permitted BYO beverages) for.

Like a molecular gastronomer who presents soup as a mousse, or turns a savory dish into an ice-cream, the PKB was delightful in that it completely messed with my head.

On the nose it was pure American IPA – juicy tangerine, citrus peel and pine hop aromas, perhaps some berries as well. If I’d sniffed it blind I’d be sure it was a much paler beer.

In the mouth though, all that fresh happy citrus met dark roasted malt flavours; cocoa and a little coffee, a hint of toasted wood. It was complex, yet had the balance of an expertly mixed Long Island Ice Tea, in which all those potent ingredients come together in – excuse the awful cliché – perfect harmony.

For a while I sat at the table with a dreamy smile and faraway look in my eyes – sipping the beer and idly shoveling barbecue pork into my mouth – and thinking this – this right here is perfection. What an incredibly lucky lady I am.

Today’s official thanks goes to SOBA Auckland, who have done all sorts of useful things over the year – from helping me to meet other local beer geeks, hosting cool events like The Hop and City of Ales, and reminding me of all the beer launches, tap takeovers etc that I’m terrible at remembering myself.  And now that I’ve FINALLY paid my subscription fees, I can say without hypocrisy that all Auckland beer geeks should support a good cause (the cause being good beer) and sign up. Thanks SOBA!

Published in: on August 6, 2012 at 9:51 am  Comments (4)  

#259 Mt Froth – Digital IPA

Mt Froth Digital IPA Name: Digital IPA
Brewery: Mt Froth (recipe by Yeastie Boys)
Style: IPA
ABV: 7.4%
Source: David Ball

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll have noticed that I occasionally post from far-flung and exotic places that I’m sent to for work – places like Oamaru, Kapiti Island and Waitomo.

Today, and for the next three days, I’m in Grampians National Park in Victoria. As I write this there are kangaroos bounding around the field outside my room, cockatoos screeching, and a brilliant orange sun sinking beneath the mountains. If there were a tanned beach babe carrying a surfboard in sight, I’d think I was in an Australia Tourism commercial. (Also I’d think she was insane because it’s actually bloody cold.)

I’m here for a wine and food festival this weekend, and back in Melbourne next weekend for GABS, so there should be loads of Australian beers coming up on the blog in the next two weeks.

But not yet because I’m too behind on posting! So let me tell you about a beer I drank a week ago instead.

If you have any clue what you’re doing, and Dave certainly does, then it would be hard to go too wrong with this Yeastie Boys Digital IPA recipe. I’ve raved about the original before but just to refresh you: it’s punchy and fruity, has a lovely malt profile, and is more balanced than most IPA’s I’ve tried. In short – it’s my cup of ale.

Dave’s version, while noticeably different from the Boys’, was pretty delicious too. It had an awesome bright nose of passionfruit and guava, a solid malt backing, an oily smooth mouthfeel and a crisp bitter kick at the finish. I think the water Dave uses has a distinct flavour that I’ve talked about before – minerally, a little plasticky perhaps – so this is where it departed from the original and was more noticeably a home brew. Still a fair dinkum beer nonetheless!

(Sorry, but people do actually say that here and I tell you, its quite infectious.)

Published in: on May 6, 2012 at 6:37 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#129 Yeastie Boys – His Majesty 2011

Name: His Majesty 2011
Brewery: Yeastie Boys
Style: Burton IPA
ABV: 7%
Source: O’Carrolls Freehouse (tap)

You know what’s not a brilliant idea? Getting drunk on a Thursday night because you can’t quite wait that one more day for the weekend. And do you know who does that way too often?

Yours truly.

So as you might have guessed, I got a little drunk last night – but actually not without good reason. It was Epic’s 6th birthday party and the launch of their new LARGER beer (see the last post for my ravings on that), which meant all of Auckland’s beer geeks were together in one place. And that place was a a pub, so…. did I really ever have a choice?

Anyway. About three beers in I noticed there was a Yeastie Boys tap on, but the badge didn’t say which one it was. The bartender didn’t seem to know either, so we were all a bit confused until Yeastie Boy Sam showed up and tasted some himself. Apparently it was His Majesty!

The reason I’d never tried His Majesty, or Her Majesty of any year, was because they all come in these very nice 750ml champagne bottles that I can’t really afford. I was pretty excited then, that I could just buy a half-pint for 6 bucks (cheapskate, I know) and finally get to blog about one.

This is a Burton IPA. “Burton” referrs to Burton-on-Trent in England, which is famed for having water with a high sulphate content. The sulphate somehow brings out the flavour of hops really well, so lots of IPAs in England are and have been for a long time, made at Burton.

Unfortunately my usually razor-sharp palate (ha ha) was numbed by all the loud music and previous beers and the smell of other beer geeks, so I can’t say a lot about what this one tasted like. I do know it was completely different to the kind of IPAs we’re used to getting here – different hop smell, less bitter, more malty I thought. The mouthfeel had a real crispness to it – which could be because of the water I spose – and I thought it actually had a bit of a yeasty, Belgium taste, which could have been the sulphur.

Unfortunately I can’t remember much more than that, which just goes to show I should stop having my ‘beer of the day’ after I’ve already had three others. I think the Yeastie Boys have probably done something really interesting here, so if you see a bottle around, don’t be a stinge like me and buy it!

Published in: on December 16, 2011 at 5:43 pm  Comments (1)  

#107 Yeastie Boys – Digital IPA

Yeastie BoysName: Digital IPA
Brewery: Yeastie Boys (contract brewed at Invercargill Brewery)
Style: IPA
ABV: 7%
Source: Regional Wines (Wellington)

You know what’s a lot cooler than Single Source beer?

Open source beer.

OK. So both of those terms are actually pretty meaningless. What I mean is –  Yeastie Boys’ Digital IPA is open source (you know – like Firefox) because the recipe for it is available online and anyone can view it and even make their own if they are very, very clever.

But what’s really cool/nerdy about it is that it’s got one of those QR reader doodackies on  the label, so when you scan it with your iPhone (or Android, for the sake of diplomacy), it takes you straight to the Yeastie Boys website, where you can find said recipe. Neat huh?*

Now, those people who read every single post on this blog (i.e. Mum) will know that I’m a Yeastie Boys fan from way back. And, like a hell of a lot of other people, I’m crazy about IPAs. You’d be right in assuming then, that I was VERY excited about trying this beer.

It poured a beautiful colour, so nice that I’m giving it its own picture:

The aroma was fruity, fruity, fruity. Predominantly of fejoa, passionfruit and citrus I thought – very much a showcase of our lovely NZ hops, which I’m growing more partial to every day.

In the mouth there was a lovely sunburst (I know that’s not a beer term but meh) of bright, tangy fruit, atop a sturdy foundation of caramel malt. There was a little spicyness too – in a Christmas mince pie-ish sort of way. The finish was bitter and lingered, satisfyingly, on the roof of my mouth.

“It’s a happy beer” said Hollie, my flatmate.

“That’s some tasty source code” said I.

We both agreed we needed to buy a lot more.

*Apologies to my grandparents, for whom none of that would have made one iota of sense.

Published in: on November 24, 2011 at 9:16 am  Comments (3)  

#100 Yeastie Boys – Pot Kettle Black

Yeastie Boys Pot Kettle BlackName: Pot Kettle Black
Brewery: Yeastie Boys (contract brewed at Invercargill Breweries)
Style: Black IPA
ABV: 6%
Source: Forrest Hill Liquorland

“If Wellington brewer Stu McKinlay was a beer, he reckons he’d be an Orval – complex, unusual and worth getting to know”

So began my first ever published article, which ran in The Wellingtonian just prior to the release of Pot Kettle Black in 2009.

It was the beginning of a journalism career that would take me to Oamaru, Kapiti and beyond – but more importantly, it marked the beginning of my foray, my serious foray at least – into the world of craft beer.

The interview with Stu (who is one half of the Yeastie Boys, the other is Sam Possenniskie) taught me a lot. First and foremost – don’t get drunk while you interview someone or you are likely to forget that your dictaphone is off. Secondly – always check your dictaphone.

But he also described beer in a way that made me thirsty (he said PKB was like liquified orange chocolate cake), told me about beer styles I never knew existed (smoked beer for one), and probably a whole heap of other great stuff that I can’t remember because I was a bit drunk and my dictaphone was off.

A few weeks later I came to the Malthouse to try the Pot Kettle Black, which was delicious and quite unlike any dark beer I’d had before. I guess it might have been hoppier, but I wouldn’t have known that back then.

From there things progressed pretty quickly – I went to Beervana a week or so later, tried my first smoked beer (the outrageously good Invercargill Smokin’ Bishop), and quickly established myself as a Malthouse regular. It would probably have happened at some point anyway, but you could say that thanks to the Pot Kettle Black, I was hooked.

Enough self-indulgent waffling about myself though, and back to the present day. Because of all that, I decided I wanted to have the PKB as my 100th beer (actually I wanted my own homebrew, but it wasn’t ready), as it seemed like an appropriate way to mark the milestone.

The PKB I drank on Thursday was even richer, fuller, better than I remember it. I don’t know if it’s my taste or the beer that’s changed, or whether a little more time in the bottle has done it some good, but I’d say it’s probably a little of everything.

This one poured black and opaque with a tan head. It smelled of roasty malt, bitter chocolate and berries. In the mouth there was toffee and chocolaty sweetness at first, which gave way to a punchy, grapefruit and resinous hop flavour. The bright, bitter finish worked wonderfully to balance out the rich porter charactaristics, and the result is a beer that’s both satisfying and moreish.

So there we are. I’ve officially reached triple digits on the blog, which feels like a great achievement until I remember I still have 265 to go.  Still, probably worth having a beer to celebrate, right?

Published in: on November 19, 2011 at 8:55 pm  Comments (1)  

#27 Yeastie Boys Hud-a-Wa

Yeastie Boys Hud-a-WaName: Hud-a-Wa
Brewery: Yeastie Boys (Wellington, New Zealand)
Style: English Strong Ale
ABV: 6.8%
Source: Galbraith’s Ale House (Mt Eden, AK)

Oh God. Drunk. Too drunk to be blogging, too drunk to have work at 9am tomorrow. Powering on anyway…

Tonight I’ve been at Galbraith’s. Probably my second favourite place in Auckland after my own bed, I’ve decided. I had lots of great beers, and a bloody delicious dinner of roast pork belly with all the trimmings – even Yorkshire pudding!

As you can see I’m actually in my beer photo tonight, looking a bit blurry and awkward – but it’s for a good reason. Notice that I am wearing red trousers – a symbolic gesture which should resonate deeply with Yeastie Boys fans the world over, and mean absolutely nothing to everyone else.

Tonight I had a Hud-a-Wa – the amber ale with the sassy pink electric magenta label. The aroma was slightly musty, like an old bookshop, but in a good way. It was strong, bitter, and gutsy as hell. It had a crisp, assertive mouthfeel (since when can a mouthfeel be assertive you ask? Like I said I’m drunk), a nice restrained sweetness, and a dry finish that kept me thirsty for more.

After my Hud-a-Wa I had an 8 Wired Superconductor, a Yeastie Boys Weemix, some Mata Taniwha and a taste of four different Galbraith beers. That’s why I can’t write so good, and why I’m cutting this post short to get some much-needed sleep. Goodnight!

Published in: on September 4, 2011 at 10:05 pm  Comments (5)  

#16 Yeastie Boys Fools Gold

Yeastie Boys Fools GoldName: Fools Gold
Brewery: Yeastie Boys (Wellington, New Zealand)
Style: English Pale Ale
ABV: 4.2%
Source: The Beer Store

Before you ask, yes, that is a jar with a handle that I’m drinking out of. I’m sorry OK? I live in a quirky flat full of musicians and we think this kind of thing is fun.

Fools Gold! I was very excited about trying this one because a) it came in a plain bottle which gave it the charming impression of being a home brew, and b) Yeastie Boys beers are pretty much my favourite.

I’m not quite sure what I was expecting – something that required a lot of intellectual analysis I think – but this wasn’t it. It’s uncomplicated, delicate, really quite tasty and perfectly sessionable (I only just learnt that word recently – it means we can drink it for hours, right?)

Because the flavours are subtle I’m not sure I can easily describe it. The official style is (correct me if I’m wrong) an English Pale Ale, but it’s got a nice hoppy bite that I associate with NZ versions of the style. It’s really refreshing and would cut through a big plate of fish ‘n chips like a charm. I’d love to drink this again in summer but I imagine there won’t be any around… Not unless I buy a big case from beerstore.co.nz and stash it away. Seeing as I’m currently overtaking our kitchen with strange bottle of beer I think my flatmates would not appreciate that.

Now listen to the sweet jam it was named after!

Published in: on August 24, 2011 at 10:45 pm  Comments (4)  

#4 Yeastie Boys Rex Attitude

Yeastie Boys Rex AttitudeName: Rex Attitude
Brewer: Yeastie Boys (Wellington, NZ)
Style: Peat smoked ale
ABV: 7%

“They said it couldn’t be done, that it would be undrinkable, that we couldn’t use more than 5% heavy peated malt in a beer. So we carefully considered their advice and went with 100% instead.” – Yeastie Boys website.

Is it possible to have a crush on a beer? If it is then I’m crushing hard for Mr. Attitude.

I first met Rex last weekend at Beervana, just after running into green-trousered Yeastie Boy Stu McKinlay. Stu was exuding a strong smoky aroma which he attributed to his Logan Brown venison burger, but I suspect that it may actually have been Rex seeping from his pores.

Call it the thrill of the new, but I was genuinely ecstatic when I first tasted this beer. It’s a lot like single malt whiskey – the peaty varieties like Laphroaig – but there’s much more to it. It’s a night I spent camping on Makara beach as a kid. It’s a foul tar-based shampoo that my stepmum uses. It’s burning tyres or charred barbecued aubergine, and an abomination or genius depending on who you ask.

I just finished my first full bottle and I honestly think Rex is lovely. It’s intense without being aggressive, slightly sweet and floral, and surprisingly refreshing. I’d drink it with kippers or smoky bacon for breakfast, or in front of the fire late at night.

I love you Rex. Call me.

PS: You can listen to this while you drink it if you want. I…. Probably won’t.

Published in: on August 12, 2011 at 6:05 am  Comments (4)