GOLDEN ales are a relatively young style of beer dating from the early 1980’s. Independent English Ale brewers decided they needed a style of beer to compete with the pale lagers that were becoming increasingly popular with the masses. They devised a beer that was pale, and hoppy with a rounded fruity note from the ale yeasts they employed. These beers were ultimately a far more interesting and satisfying proposition than the mass produced lagers they were trying to rival. Today, both in the UK and here in the Antipodes, golden ales are increasingly being seen as a crucial element of the perfect summer, or at least they are a crucial element of my perfect summer! Over the next few weeks there will be three seasonal golden ales hitting the local taps.
Never ones to do things by halves, Wellington’s own Yeastie Boys are releasing two golden ales. The beers will be identical apart from the yeast that has been used to ferment them. Both beers comprise a very simple recipe of pale malt, wheat malt, and Nelson Sauvin and NZ Cascade hops. The first of the two beers is called Europa after a Blondie song although there have been whispers that it may in fact also be a reference to New Zealand’s local and now defunct oil company. As descendent of a former Europa employee I side with this far less likely theory! Europa has been fermented with a clean crisp Kolsch yeast which has highlighted the subtle malt flavours and lightly fruity hop aromas. At 4.2%abv it makes for a fantastic session beer offering just enough fruity hop character and nutty malt flavour to keep the drinker interested. Rapture which is most definitely named after a Blondie song has been fermented with the Belgian Abbey Ale yeast strain that originated at the Chimay brewery. It will be released early Feb, and is sure to be an altogether spicier more peppery proposition than Europa.
The new Emerson’s Brewers Reserve has been named ‘Tally Ho!’ after The Clean’s 1981 single. Tally Ho! is a golden ale that has been brewed with NZ pale malt, caramalt, English grown Challenger and East Kent Golding Hops and a fruity English yeast strain. At 4.9% Tally Ho! is a little stronger than the Yeastie Boy offerings but I’m sure it will be equally drinkable.
All these beers are sure to start popping up at the now considerable range of good beer outlets that Wellington is blessed with. Keep an eye out for all three at Hashigo Zake, Malthouse, The Hop Garden, Bar Edward and Regional Wines and Spirits.
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