LAST week saw the release of Hop Zombie Double IPA.
Hop Zombie is the first new Epic beer to be released since the one man brewing company doubled its workforce. Late last year it was announced that head brewer Luke Nicholas would be employing Kelly Ryan who had carved a successful brewing career in the UK where he had been the head brewer at the Thornbridge Brewery. Kelly Ryan played a key role in formulating Hop Zombie blending hop varieties that had never been blended before and combining them with an extremely pale but rich malt profile.
The resulting beer absolutely broadcasts exotic tropical fruit aromas with notes of lychee, lime, pineapple and a hint of pine. In the mouth it is dangerously balanced and drinkable for its 8.5%abv with a firm rich malt character, heaps of tropical fruit flavour and a long fruity finish.
The beer has surprised a lot of the die hard Epic fans as it isn’t just a bigger bolder version of Epic Armageddon the company’s IPA and definitely shows that two highly skilled brewers have worked together on it. To use Luke Nicolas’ term a ‘shed load of hops’ have been added to Hop Zombie, 90kg’s in 3200 litres of beer and yet the beer is incredibly balanced and drinkable.
Also new out on the market from Epic is a new beer that has arisen out of the world’s largest ever collaboration brew. Over the summer Luke and Kelly travelled the country with a film crew in tow visiting the nation’s craft brewers. An internet TV show has been produced to document the trip which culminated in a collaboration brew at Steam brewing in Auckland where brewers from around the country contributed ideas to brew a beer that would sum up the craft brewing ethos of New Zealand. The result is a 6%abv fruity New Zealand hopped golden ale called Mash Up which is also the name of the TV show. You can watch the first episode of the show at www.nzcraftbeer.tv.
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