The daily brews

19:09, Feb 25 2013

It is a plug all around this week. Why not when Taranaki now has excellent players in the craft beer scene? First up, it's a mention of Liberty Brewing. I have reviewed Citra, Scarlett and Monster in the past and they are all fine ales. However, Citra is back again - it's a new year, a new vintage and it seems even better than before.

I drank my Citra at The Hour Glass. Business partners Mark Louis and Ajinkya Jagdale have brought a comprehensive and growing craft beer selection to their New Plymouth bar. There are 20 beers from around the world and a food menu with tasty and affordable tapas style offerings. I have always wondered why Kiwi bars cannot replicate the cheap and enjoyable eats and drinks found in countries like Vietnam, Spain, Japan, and Thailand.

My Citra was poured into a pilsner glass by the friendly bartender. The hop assault hit my nose as I raised the glass. What followed was an education in new world and in particular, New Zealand pale ale style beers. The aroma was fresh with hints of lemon, orange and savoury green herbs. The body of the beer was complex, resinous, oily and beautifully bitter. At 9 per cent abv, I was able to stretch the bottle out over several conversations with other locals. What set Citra apart from its competitors was a balanced marmalade sweetness that rounded out the overall flavour.

The Hour Glass also offers beers from Mike's Brewery on tap and from the bottle.

Tonight sees Mike's brewing up a Mangrove Jack's Red IPA. Come along to the brewery, north of Urenui, and witness the process. If you are a home brewer, you can purchase a batch of freshly prepared wort (and dry hops etc.) and then take it home for fermentation, bottling and enjoyment

The evening begins at 7pm. Look for a future Daily Brews column where, just for fun, a fellow reviewer will pass judgment on my own batch of Mangrove Jack's Red IPA.

For further information about tonight's brewing session see Warwick Foy


Taranaki Daily News