IN the late 1970’s and early 80’s two American breweries pioneered a style of beer that would eventually take America and New Zealand by storm.
Fritz Maytag, a member of the Maytag washing machine dynasty who bought
his local brewery rather than see it close, took a trip to England where
he was exposed to the fruity bitter pale ale style. He decided to brew a
beer based on the beers he tasted in England, but using local American
ingredients and a higher strength. He used the newly bred citrus tinged
Cascade hop variety along with the very biscuity American grown two row
barley malt. The resulting beer was released in 1975 and called Liberty
to celebrate the anniversary of Paul Revere’s ride in 1775. The result
was paler and stronger than its English inspiration and accented towards
hop flavour and aroma rather than the more yeast influenced English
Several years later Californian homebrewer’s Ken Grossman and Paul
Camusi cobbled together a micro brewery out of old brewing, dairy and
soft drink equipment. In November 1980 the first batch of what was to
become the company’s trademark Pale Ale was brewed. Sierra Nevada Pale
Ale took influence from Anchor Liberty and used both local malt and
Cascade hops resulting in a beer that combined grapefruit and floral
notes with a caramel tinged malt profile. The beer was a huge hit and is
now the second largest selling craft beer in America.
Sierra Nevada is now a very sizeable concern brewing over 90 million
litres a year and the company has just announced that it is building a
second brewery in North Carolina to supply America’s east coast.
Both Anchor Liberty and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale went on to inspire a raft
of American hopped pale ales that became know around the world as the
American Pale Ale Style or APA. Here in New Zealand the style was
introduced by brewer Luke Nicholas with his Epic Pale Ale and by Richard
Emerson with his seasonal American Pale Ale. As our craft beer culture
developed brewers started to develop the style in uniquely New Zealand
ways. The most obvious way has been to introduce New Zealand hops
varieties, although New Zealand malts have also played their part. The
result is a family of beers that are inevitably being referred to as
APA’s, Aotearoa Pale Ale that is!
The newest one to hit the shelves is from an unlikely source. Martin
Townshend has chiselled out a niche brewing a fantastic range of English
style ales. Townshend Aotearoa Pale Ale, however, marks a significant
change in direction. Pouring a sunny mid gold Townshend APA throws up a
complex aroma of geranium, orange fruit, tomato vine and passionfruit.
In the mouth the beer delivers a blast of green floral notes, bitter
marmalade and caramel malt with a long drying bitter finish.
She’ll wear a gold ring
9 hours ago