Sitting down to drink this strong ale requires ceremony and thought - as well as a friend to help you get through its 750ml of amber liquid. It's in a wine bottle with a suitably fine price tag, but for that you receive a Taranaki-produced brew with depth of flavour.
Joseph and Christina Wood, the New Plymouth couple behind Liberty Brewing, were profiled in the Taranaki Daily News in April. Word of Jo's success is spreading among beer bloggers and enthusiasts. Around April a fellow home-brewer was visiting from Hamilton so we attempted to source some Liberty beer, but the autumn batch had already been snapped up. Amie Murphy at New Plymouth Liquorland promised to keep us in mind when new stock arrived.
Waiting was worth it. Poured into a glass, the high carb ale has a malty aroma with a whiff of fruitiness. There's a smooth creamy head and a clear amber colour to it.
To drink, the high carb ale is like an English strong bitter such as Fullers ESB, my favourite kind of beer. Its flavours are complex and perfectly blended. The zesty aroma is borne out by a hint of something in the flavour - passionfruit perhaps - and followed by a raisiny, malty taste. The finish is long and hugely satisfying. It's easy to drink.
Liberty High Carb Ale is notable for using a rare hop variety - whole New Zealand grown chinook flowers.
Liberty Brewing also produces Citra, a 9.5 per cent IPA with a big reputation - if you want some, get to Liquorland in Fitzroy smartly. These beers are produced from a garage so supply is limited, and much of it heads out of the region. Liberty Brewing is also the place to visit online for home brewing supplies.Warwick Foy
- © Fairfax NZ News
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