31 July 2008

The Food Show - Auckland

I am at the Food Show Auckland for the next four days (31 July to 3 August), sampling out the wonderful Epic beers - Pale Ale and Lager. If you come along make sure you ask for a taste of the Epic Armageddon IPA. Only those that ask will be getting a taste of Armageddon IPA.

Hope to see you there.


28 July 2008

Epic Armageddon IPA is a Bugati Veron

Epic Armageddon. 6.66% ABV. The hops climb out of the glass and cuff you around the head before you can even get your nose in the glass. Lots of hop resin, lots of grapefruit. Decent off-white head on top of a dark amber beer, darker than the Maximus. Doesn't start as sweet as the Maximus and the hops kick in faster and harder. A creamy mouthfeel is blasted away by coating hops. Balance in this beer is all about running along a tightrope in hobnail boots. It's a hell of a ride. The bitterness lingers in the mouth for hours.

Each beer was stunning in its own way. If I had to choose a favourite I'd lean towards the Maximus Humul Lupulus. It's the Jaguar E-type to the Armageddon's Bugati Veron - not as outrageously fast, but a little more stylish.

comment: wow, I didnt think the Maximus was even a starter. The NZ malt gave it a strong husky sweet character that the hops struggled to poke through. The Armageddon was I thought quite spectacular.

comment: The Armageddon is an outstanding technical achievement in hoppiness but I just found it a bit too overpowering.

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What they are saying about "Epic Armagaddon IPA"

"Took some home and just shared it with a mate and my dad. They can't feel their teeth."

"ARMAGEDDON IS ONE HOPPY SON OF A... you are a crazy crazy man."

"Bloody lovely, i could still taste the hops two hours later"

"Mmmm need hop goodness....bland beer baaaaad!"

"Armageddon annihilates the senses. Colossal in every sense of the word"

"gotta say, @epicbeer made one hell of a drink - the epic armageddon lives up to it's name."

"In recovery from Armageddon. Not sure if my tastebuds are still working."

"just got smacked in the face by an Epic Armageddon."

"Popular opinion was that @epicbeer Armageddon was a clever way to use beer as an assault weapon."

"One more @epicbeer and i'll be drunk enough to buy an iphone."

"@epicbeer broke me. Going home to sleep."

"a beer so strongly flavoured it completely changes your palate, making it very difficult to go back to the brew you usually drink."

"Armageddon looks to be the beer equivalent of purchasing a Liebherr T 282B to drive to work in – hedonistically fun but hideously expensive."

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23 July 2008

Beer O'Clock: Hop Heavyweights

Fresh from a trip to the World Beer Cup in San Diego, with tongues still numb from an excessive amount of hoppy American-style India Pale Ales (IPA), Luke Nicholas of Epic and Stephen Plowman of Hallertau hatched the plan to brew up a heavyweight IPA challenge.

Armageddon looks to be the beer equivalent of purchasing a Liebherr T 282B to drive to work in – hedonistically fun but hideously expensive.

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Hop off - by Aaron Watson, Capital Times

Epic Armageddon (6.66%) has a more resinous aroma with hints of red grapefruit. It fills the mouth with weighty complexity at first, then its herby bitterness emerges – and lingers with extreme prejudice.

This is 90-plus IBU, a beer so strongly flavoured it completely changes your palate, making it very difficult to go back to the brew you usually drink.

The question in the New Zealand market is: will anybody drink such bitter ale? Colin Mallon at The Malthouse reckons his customers will, and has taken as many kegs as he can get his hands on.

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21 July 2008

DISH Magazine - Can you handle the hops?

Epic Lager gets a nice photo and write up in the August/September 2008 issue of DISH Magazine


20 July 2008

Free as in Beer is Good, Good Beer is Better

But now, take notice. Epic is producing the best beer in NZ. And to be fair, these days that is saying something. Friday night drinks at work has changed a little. We have Epic in stock, but it runs out fast. Various strategies are evolving to ensure a constant supply to EPA drinkers. My current tactic is to … keep myself well supplied.

Epic brewer, owner and good fellow Luke Nicholas doesn’t market his beer. Not overtly anyway. He does it in a geek, this is good have some free…tell a friend sort of way. Luke has a blog, but he also twitters, Facebooks, Flickrs, seeks out systems administrators as influential beer drinkers, and, dubiously, Air New Zealand pilots.

That’s clever. But to be successful in this approach, Luke has to be more than clever. Like good FOSS, his beer has to be good. And Epic is bloody good.

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16 July 2008

Epic Armageddon IPA - Has Arrived

[well this blog post isn't really about the arrival more of the departure to be fair. I am going to be in Wellington for the launch of Epic Armageddon IPA on Thursday 17th July, and will be staying over for the International Brewers Day on Friday 18th July, please come by if you can to try this new hop sensation - "the beer that caused the global hop crisis"]

My car can fit 8 empty kegs comfortably, but number nine becomes a hazard to the driver when going round corners. I picked up these cleaned empty kegs from Steam Brewing the night before.

Filling kegs takes sometime, and you have to be patient. It also leads to interesting conversation and a little sampling of the beers you are filling into the kegs

Because the cut off time for the freight company for a pick up from Hallertau in Riverhead is 11am, and you have to book the pick up before 9am, we frantically put four kegs each in our cars and drove safely to the Brewery in Otahuhu, where the other Epic kegs are normally picked up from.

This is the pallet of kegs that was shrink wrapped for transport to the Malthouse. They received 4 x Epic Armageddon IPA, 3 x Hallertau Maximus Humulus Lupulus and 1 x NHC Bock

14 July 2008

New Epic Beer Available Thursday 17th July

This Thursday will see the official launch of the new limited release Epic Armageddon IPA at the Malthouse on Wellington from 5.30pm

Only 1000 litres of insane hop joy have been created. The rumour has started that Epic Armageddon IPA is "the sole reason there is a global hop shortage". This may well be true since many hops were sacrificed in the making of this beer.

If you would like a taste of Armageddon please join me at the Malthouse on Thursday evening.

Can't make Thursday I will be back for a repeat performance on Friday from 5.30pm for International Brewers Day

Epic Armageddon will be on tap from 24th July at Hallertau BrewBar and eventually Galbraith's Alehouse. (with the possibility of Regional Wines FYO)

(special thanks and recognition to Steve Plowman at Hallertau for the use of the brewery, and encouragement to add more hops (like I needed that), Neil Miller for the stroke of brilliance in the naming of Armageddon, the guys at Steam for back up support of yeast, and kegs, and anything else I may have forgot, Mike Shadow for the tap badge (still to be finished) and poster, Colin at the Malthouse for thinking that he can sell the whole batch, I'm sure with a few pints himself and a little help from Mr Miller, who I hear will be camping out the whole time, while Armageddon is on tap).

Want the behind the scenes story, follow the Photo Essay on Flickr.com

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