Posts by chrispph

Better Brewing Better Beer

April 19th, 2017 Posted by Uncategorized 1 comment

The purpose of this blog is to essentially help you get the most out of your beer experiences; From buying, drinking or brewing. After all, life is too short for bad beer.

Is there anything in particular that you’d like to know more about? Please comment below and we’ll do our best to answer your question or add a feature for you.


One thing that Luke is asked often is why some beer doesn’t seem to retain it’s head. This can easily be blamed on a issue in carbonation or a potential fault in your beer, however it could be as simple as the glass you’re drinking from hasn’t been washed and rinsed properly.

Beer foam is important – it influences how your beer tastes, smells and looks. There is a protein that exists in beer that occurs naturally in barley called Lipid Transfer Protein 1, or LTP1, which latches onto CO2 in the brewing and bottling/ kegging process. Allan Wolfe has written an awesome article on the science of foam – check it out.

We thought we’d show you the effects of trace detergent in a beer glass. We had 2 identical glasses that were filled with two Hop Zombies from the exact same batch. Both glasses were washed in hot water then dried, however one glass was rinsed well in hot water before being dried. Check out what happened:

As you can see, there is a clear difference in the head retention on the beer in the glass that wasn’t washed and rinsed properly. Even after Luke took a sip of his delicious foam-retained Hop Zombie, the un-rinsed glass’s foam was visibly struggling in comparison. Here’s the Luke’s eye view:

As you can see, the glass on the right has barely any foam retention. F**k you, detergent.

You could try this experiment yourself, but we don’t want you to waste any of your beer. Enjoy your beer!

Got any comments or suggestions? Is there anything that you’d like to know about? Comment below!

Armageddon IPA Wins AGAIN!

April 2nd, 2017 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

Armageddon IPA has done it again – WINNER BEST IPA 2017 New World Beer & Cider Awards

I’m sure you have tried this before, but we thought you had better try it again as it has just won the Best IPA again for the second consecutive year at the New World Beer & Cider Awards. This is on top of winning Best IPA the last two years at the Brewers Guild Beer Awards 2015 & 2016. Plus winning Best IPA at the 2015 Australian International Beer Awards and the 2015 Stockholm Beer & Whisky Festival. That is seven Best in Class trophies in just over two years. You can see why Michael Donaldson has also named this as the #1 beer in his Top 50 Greatest Beers in New Zealand.

Read the judges comments here.

The list of accolades for Epic Armageddon 
2017 BEST IPA – New World Beer & Cider Awards
2016 #1 Greatest Beer in New Zealand – Michael Donaldson, Beer Writer of the Year 2016
2016 #1 Best Beer of 2016 – Neil Miller, Beer Writer of the Year 2015
2016 BEST IPA – Brewers Guild of NZ Beer Awards
2016 GOLD IPA – Australian International Beer Awards
2016 BEST IPA – New World Beer Awards
2015 BEST IPA – NZ Beer Awards
2015 BEST IPA – Australian International Beer Awards
2015 BEST IPA – Stockholm Beer & Whiskey Festival
2013 BEST IPA – Systembolaget Sweden
2012 BEST BEER – NZ Beer Awards
2011 BEST IPA – NZ Beer Awards
2010 BEST Barrel Aged IPA – NZ Beer Awards
2009 BEST IPS – NZ Beer Awards




Roxanne: The Dawn of a New Beer

March 28th, 2017 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

We’ve brought back the Red IPA.

Following the success of Eric The Red, here’s the follow up Red IPA: Roxanne.
Inspired by the Viking nautical theme of Eric, Roxanne is a Persian name meaning “Dawn” and the reference of “red sky in the morning sailors take warning”.
Even though we refer to the dawn and morning time, it doesn’t imply that this is a breakfast beer. Then again there are no rules when it comes to drinking beer as tasty as this.
A wonderful amber red colour, which comes from the specialty malts, but used in a way that the isn’t overly malty. The malt delivers a sweet caramelly malt note that marries perfectly with the fruity hops, and highlighted with the piney character from the Centennial hops.

About the beer:
ABV: 6.5
IBU: 30
Malts: Pale Ale, Speciality Malts.
Hops: US Centennial, US Simcoe

New Zealand: 500ml bottle and keg. Launching 1 April 2017. This will start hitting the shelves in the first week of April.
Australia: 500ml bottles. Shipment leaving NZ mid April, should get to you early May.

Launch events:
1 April, Lumsden Freehouse, Auckland

6 April, Basque Rooftop Bar, Wellington

6 April, Volstead Trading Company, Christchurch


Beers & BBQ at New Hoplands – What a Day!

March 20th, 2017 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

Firstly, a big thanks to everyone that could make it to our event at New Hoplands on Saturday, we had a blast and it looks like you all did to. Special thanks also to Colin, Alana and the team at New Hoplands for your hospitality. Thanks also to Proper Crisps for the snacks and FreshChoice Richmond for picking out the tastiest food for the BBQ. We’re stoked that we were able to kick off the very first Nelson Beer Week.

Check out how it went:

Couldn’t make it? Never fear. Next year it’s going to be bigger, better and easier to get to New Hoplands! Make sure you sign up to our mailing list now so we can keep you updated on our events. We’ll even send you news and special offers – how good is that!

Cheers – Luke & Team Epic

New Hop Product – Lupulin Powder

March 8th, 2017 Posted by Hops, News, Uncategorized No Comment yet

Lupulin is a brand new product for us from YCH Hops in the US. Watch this video to find out a bit more about it.


Son of Thor IPA

February 27th, 2017 Posted by Uncategorized 1 comment

This is the offspring beer from the mighty Thor Imperial IPA

Thor was a huge success last year. We got great feedback, but with some saying that at 8.8% was a bit big. So for those people, we have listened and here is a beer slightly less intense but still a powerhouse of hops inspired by Thor.

This beer still has the massive dank dry hop character, but the malt, colour and alcohol lighter; Therefore delivering the powerful hop aroma and hop flavour without the weight of the alcohol and body of Thor.
Nelson Sauvin and Simcoe are the power couple in this marriage of bright hoppy awesomeness. Sweaty and fruity aroma, light body, sweet fruity flavour, and medium bitter finish.
It is an IPA from Epic. Which is probably all we need to say right? You know it is going to deliver a massive attack of hops on your olfactory system.


About the beer:

ABV: 6.8%
IBU: 50
HOPS: Nelson Sauvin & US Simcoe

Launch Event – Lumsden Freehouse, 3 March 2017

Availability: 500ml bottles and keg launching in NZ in early March.

Case offers

February 27th, 2017 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

Armageddon Case

12 x 500ml bottles

Style: IPA

ABV: 6.66%





Hop Zombie Case

12 x 500ml bottles

Style: Double IPA

ABV: 8.5%





St. Luke Case

12 x 500ml bottles

Style: IPA

ABV: 7%





Thunder APA

12 x 500ml bottles

Style: American Pale Ale

ABV: 5.7%





Epicurean Coffee Fig Stout 2015

6 x 750ml bottles

Style: Imperial Oatmeal Stout

ABV: 8%





Imperium Vintage Ale

12 x 500ml bottles

Style: Stout

ABV: 9%





The Observer Timeless Ale

12 x 500ml bottles

Style: Old Ale

ABV: 9.7%


Stone Hammer Strikes Again!

February 20th, 2017 Posted by New Beer, Uncategorized No Comment yet

Yes, the IPA in of the series of beers with the same name is coming back!

For those of you who have forgotten, or whose memory of it has been drowned in a sea of subsequent freaking awesome Epic beers, this may jot your memory:

In the spirit of an Epic beer, this IPA is seriously hop forward. Some say like a punch in the face. Its big and its aggressive, but in a “could I have another one kind” of way.
Your tongue will be slayed by the massive attack of Citra, Mosaic and Simcoe hops creates an incredible aroma of citrus and tropical fruit. The intense juicy hop oils envelop your palate with grapefruit and passionfruit flavours. The body has a sweet malt character that drives the hop flavours and subsides to a zinging hop bitterness.

Or as our mate Neil Miller put it so eloquently at it’s launch at the GKBF in 2016:

More about the beer:
ABV: 7.0%
IBU: 60
EBC (SRM): 15

(Re) Launch: The Lumsden Freehouse, 3 March 2017
We’ll keep you updated here heading into the wilds of NZ on 1 March.



Beers, BBQ and Hops

February 15th, 2017 Posted by Events, Hops, Uncategorized No Comment yet

SOLD OUT! We’ve tried to accomodate as many extra people as possible – we’ve doubled the number – but we’ve really hit the limit! This has had a lot more interest than anticipated, so we’ll organise another one next year. Make sure you’re signed up to our mailing list and we’ll let you know when it’s happening. For those who are coming, we’re super excited to get amongst the hops with you!

To help celebrate Nelson Beer Week, we’re inviting you to join us at New Hoplands to enjoy some beers and a BBQ in the sunshine amongst the hops. You’ll also be able to go on a tour of the working hop farm to get a unique insight to the New Zealand hop harvest.

Where: New Hoplands, 362 Tadmor Valley Road, Tapawera

When: Saturday 18 March, 12 – 5pm

Cost: Nothing!

What’s the catch?: We’ve got limited spaces – 20 max – so please RSVP to as soon as possible. R18.

How to get there: New Hoplands is about an hour’s drive from Nelson or 45 minutes from Motueka.

Google Maps

We hope to see you there!



Rays of Sunshine

February 13th, 2017 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

We’ve just seen a nice write up on Hopshine Pale Ale by Drinksbiz Magazine – thanks guys.

Epic Hopshine Sunny Pale Ale

The absolute stand-out of this issue’s beer report, Epic Hopshine Sunny Pale Ale is exactly what it purports to be on the label: a glassful of Sunshine. With an aroma of Queen peaches, the golden brew is grassy and really does taste of sunshine, without being overly fruity. With just one sip your spirits lift and you’re transported to a sun-dappled meadow, cicadas buzzing and swallows swooping. Balanced and versatile, this is a brew that will gain many adherents – an exceptional summer-time ale.

Not long to go until the New Zealand Hop Harvest!

February 9th, 2017 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

On Wendesday 8 February, Luke visited the Plant and Food Research‘s trail hops plot in Motueka as part of the Hop Research Committee. Here’s a short video showing how the New Zealand hops are progressing. The hop harvest isn’t far away at all!

February Special Offers

February 7th, 2017 Posted by Uncategorized 4 comments

We’ve got some sweet special offers for you this month – check these out:

The best EPIC beers of Summer:

Hopshine Pale Ale (5.5%)

St. Luke Milestone Ale IPA (7%)

Loral Lager (5.5%)

LaRger Imperial Pilsner (8.5%)

$99 – BUY NOW




12 Mix pack:
Pale Ale (5.5%)
Lager (5%)
Hop Zombie DIPA (8.5%)
Loral Lager (5.5%)
Hopshine Pale Ale (5.5%)
Thunder APA (5.4%)
Awakening Pils (5.2%)
Imperium Vintage Ale (9%)
The Observer Timeless Ale (9.7%)
LaRger Imperial Pilsner (8.5%)
$99 – BUY NOW


*We can only ship within New Zealand.
Sorry overseas Epic fans – get our 11th birthday t-shirt instead!

Rooster Double Hoppy Strong Lager

February 2nd, 2017 Posted by New Beer, Uncategorized 1 comment

Rooster is a one-off beer that coincidently releases on the week of the Chinese New Year – the year of the Rooster. This is a keg only release, keep an eye on our Facebook & Twitter as we’ll let you know where you can get some.

Keg only – Special release.

Style: Lager

ABV: 6.8%
IBU: 45
New Zealand Pacific Jade
US Liberty, Santiam & Amarillo
Malt: Premium Pils

Where we’ve sent kegs:
Wellington: Regional Wines & SpiritsFork & Brewer, Bruhaus and Moon Bar.
Auckland: Brewers Cooperative, Brew On Quay, The Lumsden, Hallertau, The Beer Spot, Artwok Takapuna, Liquorland Newmarket and Bird on a Wire.
Hamilton: Craft Hamilton, Hamilton Wine Co.

Any additional locations will be added as they know that kegs have been sent out.


Champagne d’Geddon

February 1st, 2017 Posted by New Beer, Uncategorized 2 comments

Champagne d’Geddon is an Experimental Beer – Epic Armageddon IPA made with fermented Sauvignon Blanc grape juice from Marlborough.

ABV: 9.1%

Keg only.

Launch Events
Auckland: 16 Tun, 9 February 2017

Wellington: The Malthouse, 15 February 2017

Notes from Luke:

“So this was a crazy idea that kind of just happened. Thinking about how to level up Armageddon IPA in a unique way. Why not add some grape juice? Other breweries around the world have tried it. What would you add as a NZ brewery? Well it has to be what we are most famous for right? Yup! Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.

It is different. It is 9.1% abv. It seems to taste alright. The test will be on Thursday, to see if we can drink a whole pint. Come join me and let’s try this experimental beer together. Only available in a very limited number of kegs.”

Great Kiwi Beer Festival 2017

January 23rd, 2017 Posted by Events, News, Uncategorized No Comment yet

We’re looking forward to an awesome event this year. We’ll be sharing a stand again with our cuzzies from Hop Federation under the House of Nicholas banner.

Luke and Simon will also be taking the 3PM seminar where they’ll be talking about our collabs as well as all things beer.

Here’s the Epic line-up for the event:
St. Luke Milestone Ale (IPA).

Hop Zombie DIPA

Son of Thor IPA

Hop Shine Pale Ale

Thunder APA

One Trick Pony: Loral Lager

Volstead Tap Takeover
If you can’t make it to the GKBF, come and see us on Friday Night at Volstead for the House of Nicholas Tap Takeover.

See you in Christchurch!

Celebrating 20 Years of Brewing

January 15th, 2017 Posted by New Beer, Uncategorized No Comment yet

Did you know that the 17th of January marks the 20th Anniversary of Luke’s brewing career? To celebrate, we’ll be launching St Luke Milestone Ale.

A career spanning 20 years, highlighted by a continuous stream of trophies from three of New Zealand’s most influential beers.

Monk’s Habit, Epic Pale Ale and Epic Armageddon IPA.

3x Supreme Champion Beer of NZ, 30 Best in Class trophies. Brewer of the year. New Zealand’s best beer. Brewers Guild of NZ Honorary Member.

An Honour and privilege to be part of the development and growth of NZ craft beer industry.

This beer takes my favourite parts of each of these three beers to make this one special batch.

About the beer:
Style: IPA
ABV: 7.0%
IBU: 55
Hops: US Cascade, Columbus & Mosaic
Malts: UK Pale Ale & Crystal
Serving: Keg & 500ml bottles
Launching at the Epic 2017 Boat Party, followed by The Lumsden Freehouse, Vultures Lane, The Brewers Co-operative, Malthouse and Brew on Friday (20 January) night.


Forget about old St Nicholas, it’s time for St Luke.

While Christmas is done and dusted for another year, the New Year promises a gift of its own with the upcoming release of a beer named in honour of St Luke, the patron saint of brewers.

The beer is designed by Luke Nicholas of Epic Brewing to mark the 20th anniversary of his first day as a brewer: January 17, 1997, when he started at now defunct Cock & Bull as an assistant to Ben Middlemiss.

The beer Nicholas has created pays tribute to a trinity of multi-award winning beers that have defined his career and which have helped revolutionise the industry in New Zealand: Monk’s Habit, Epic Pale Ale and Epic Armageddon IPA.

Monk’s Habit is regarded fondly by Kiwi beer aficionados. It briefly started life as a Belgian-style beer along the lines of Chimay Blue.

But when Nicholas took over as head brewer at the Cock & Bull he changed the recipe to an American-style hoppy ale inspired by Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale.

Monk’s Habit – a rich, hoppy beer that benefited from eight weeks of dry-hopping – a went on to win the Supreme Champion award at the inaugural New Zealand International Beer Awards in 1999. Two years later, it was again named New Zealand’s Supreme Champion.

With the sale of the Cock & Bull chain a few years ago, it has gone out of existence.

When Nicholas started Epic, it didn’t take long for Epic Pale to also be named Supreme Champion at NZIBA in 2006, while Epic Armageddon is the most-awarded beer in the history of the Brewers Guild of New Zealand Awards which replaced NZIBA in 2007.

In his 20 years, Nicholas has picked up around 30 best in class trophies. He has also been named New Zealand’s brewer of the year and was bestowed honorary membership by the Brewers Guild for his outstanding service to the industry.

“It’s an honour and a privilege to be part of the development and growth of the New Zealand craft beer industry,” Nicholas says.

“To celebrate those two decades, I’ve created a beer that takes my favourite parts of Monk’s Habit, Epic Pale and Epic Armageddon to make this one special batch.

“I really enjoy the malt character from Monk’s Habit and I love the Cascade hops in Epic Pale Ale – I’ve used more Cascade than anyone in this country – and then I’ve brought in a couple of secret hops from Armageddon that really make that beer special.”

St Luke promises to be a revelation – by Michael Donaldson

I was raised in a devout Catholic family … walking away from it all when I turned 18, much to my mother’s distress, was one of the harder things I’d done at that short point in my life. After all, the church’s modus operandi is to drill into you the fact you’re hell-bound unless you keep up those rituals.

But a lot of the doctrine has stayed with me – including the names of many patron saints and the people, occupations or countries they advocate for. Most prominent in our house was St Jude, patron saint of lost causes – my mother was always praying to him. Then there was St Christopher (travellers), Francis of Assisi (animals) and our Lady of Loreto (aviators – my dad was a pilot).

But I was never told there were patrons saints of brewing. There’s at least five of them which just proves what a noble calling it is to make beer.

St Augustine I can understand – he being something of a wild drunk before his conversion; and St Arnold was a Belgian monk and brewer who saved his local parish during an epidemic by encouraging them to drink beer rather than infected water. There are others who claim the mantle of being a patron of brewers but most notable among them is St Luke, the same fellow who wrote one of the four gospels.

It’s thought St Luke takes on brewery because he was a physician, and, you know, beer is healthy. Right?

Next week, a beer bearing the name of St Luke hits the shelves and it promises to be something of a revelation.

The beer has been created by Luke Nicholas of Epic Brewing to celebrate his 20 years of brewing. The release date is January 17, commemorating the day in 1997 when Nicholas started his first paying gig as an assistant brewer at the gone, but not forgotten, Cock & Bull chain.

And the beer brings together three of the revolutionary beers Nicholas is best known for: Monk’s Habit, Epic Pale Ale, and Epic Armageddon IPA.

Quite how Nicholas will bring together three beers into something of a holy trinity remains to seen, or tasted.

Kiwi beer aficionados get a little misty-eyed when they talk about Monk’s Habit. It briefly started life as Belgian strong ale in the style of Chimay Blue but when Nicholas took over as head brewer at the Cock & Bull he changed the recipe to an American-style hoppy ale inspired by Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale. That version of Monk’s Habit was twice named New Zealand’s supreme champion beer (1999, 2001), an honour that also went to Epic Pale Ale in 2006, while Armageddon remains New Zealand’s most awarded beer.

Nicholas says St Luke will have some of the malt character from Monk’s Habit, the citrus and rosewater character of the US Cascade hops used in Epic Pale Ale and some of the “secret” hops from Armageddon.

No matter how it comes together, it’s sure to be tasty. That’s the gospel truth.

Changing Times

While Armageddon and Pale Ale are still the flagship beers in the Epic stable, Nicholas has been getting adventurous lately. First, there was the Stone Hammer series which delivered slightly sweeter styles (or at least perceived to be sweeter thanks to the avalanche of late hopping).

And his next off-beat project is a series of IPAs based around tweaking the Armageddon recipe. The Hysteria series is named for a Def Leppard album, and the first beer was Gods Of War, the title of a track off that album. So watch out for Rocket, Run Riot, Animal, Excitable and Pour Some Sugar On Me.

While the range will explore what can be done when you tweak a multi-award-winning recipe, Nicholas is committed to doing everything he can to get flavour out of hops, malt and yeast rather than play with adjuncts to create flavour. It’s a simplicity he thinks will come back into fashion when punters get tired of various fruits and spices in their beer.

“When I think back to 20 years ago when I started, it was all about making real beers … as opposed to, I won’t call it chemical beer because that was such a dumb term, but beers made with processing aids and post-fermentation additives; industrial beers. Craft beer was about making it with malts, hops, yeast and water.

“Then people started adding stuff like grapefruit and chili … I don’t know if that’s sustainable or if it will last longer than a generation because it becomes too gimmicky and people won’t want to keep drinking a mango-chili-pineapple IPA … yeah, it’s nice but I don’t want to drink it all the time.

“All those people looking for the next new thing and writing notes … and I know what it’s like because I went through that phase myself … they will a reach place when they will ask themselves: ‘hang on why do I do I drink beer?’. Yes, it’s the taste and the flavour but more importantly it’s the social factor.

“You drink beer with your mates … beer has always been a social lubricant, it hasn’t been about ticking boxes and trying the next one. It’s fallen out of balance and it has to come back. Yes, you can enjoy the beer but the point is not to sit there all night and pull apart your pint to work out the malt and hops … talk about that for a couple of sips but not for the whole pint.

“The point of beer is to bring us together to have a conversation and have some fun.”

Nicholas can see a new wave of beer that “comes back to simplicity – not quite reinheitsbegot [German purity law] but beer made with the four basic ingredients.”

As for Nicholas himself? Nothing’s going to change: “I love IPA and I love hops. I want to be remembered for making IPAs. Good IPAs. And I want to keep that message simple and clear – Epic is a one trick pony but you know what the message is.”

Hopshine: Sunshine in a Bottle

January 8th, 2017 Posted by New Beer, Uncategorized 3 comments

Team Epic is back on deck, and there’s no better way to celebrate than releasing a new beer to get things rolling.

Introducing Hopshine Pale Ale.

Think about all the stuff you love most about summer; Sitting in the warm sun with a delicious cold beer, with the smell of sunscreen and the sound of cicadas in the background. We wanted to design the best beer for times like this, and we think this is it.

Made with German ale malts and US grown Cascade and Mosaic hops, this beer is inspired by drinking a great beer in the sun. Having made heaps of great IPA’s in 2016, some thought has been given to a beer that is a bit lighter in alcohol and bitterness, but keeping that signature Epic hoppiness. We are letting the hops shine, under the sunshine.

Aroma of mango, passionfruit and citrus. A flavour that is tropical juice married with a slightly caramel maltiness, and a light bitter finish.

ABV: 5.5%
IBU: 30

Launching at Vultures Lane on Thursday 12 January.

500ml bottle stock is launching this week (9 January).

Which Glass for Which Beer?

December 19th, 2016 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

In 2016 we’ve spent a bit of time investigating how to get the most out of different beers and beer styles with different glassware. Off the bat, it’s safe to say that glassware really does make a difference. Here’s a bit of footage of some of the arduous research that we’ve done for you.

Check out the range of glassware from Spiegelau – we’ve matched some of our classics with their glassware:

You’ll be surprised about the difference glassware makes to your beers. Get a set and have fun!

Im the new year we’ll start outlining some of the specifics and science around this, so stay tuned.

Build Our Hops a Home!

November 21st, 2016 Posted by Hops, Uncategorized No Comment yet

I’m sure you’ve been closely following the progress of #MyLittleHopGarden, so you’ll know that our precious little (but growing out of control) hop plants need a proper home, with the support structure that they need.

How would you like to build us a hop support frame?

What we need:
In an ideal world, we would love to turn the soil and plant our hops. The reality is that our Onehunga ‘soil’ mostly comprises of gravel, rusty nuts and bolts and probably an impressive array of chemicals. Our hops are staying in their pots.

Here is what we’d need if we had the “Ideal World” location (image from a brilliant article from YCH Hops on how to grow hops at home – check it out).

  • We need a frame wide and tall enough to support our hop plants
  • We’ll need to be able to move the frame

If you’d like to design and build our hop support in exchange for a fun day with us plus payment in beer, email your ideas and details through to

We look forward to hearing from you.

New Addition to the One Trick Pony Stud

November 14th, 2016 Posted by News, Uncategorized No Comment yet

Welcome Epic Loral Smashy Lager!


About the beer:
Loral is a brand new hop release from the US, previously know as HBC291. Of noble heritage, it straddles the fence between old and new world hop aromatics. We felt the characteristics of this hop would be best showcased in a lager style.
With a traditional malt base of German Pilsner malt, it leaves a clean malt cushion in the background, with a pleasant floral citrus and slightly herbal aroma, and a noble hop flavour and balanced clean bitter finish.

ABV: 5.5%
IBU: 20
HOPS: Loral

NZ Wide from mid-November 2016 in keg and 500ml bottles. Any updates will be posted here.

Liquor Land Mount Maunganui Growler Station – 16 November 2016


My Little Hop Garden

November 3rd, 2016 Posted by Hops, News, Uncategorized 1 comment


On Friday 3 March, we finally harvested #MyLittleHopGarden. Here’s how the day went:

It’s not over, however… Now we have to decide what to do with the hops!

DAY 115

Hop harvest time is in our sights!

DAY 111

After over a day of persistent rain…

They hops’ aroma has started to change from ultra-green celery like to what we’d expect from hops. We were considering harvesting the hops this week, but we’ll have to wait for them to dry out a bit now.

DAY 108

We clearly didn’t need to pull out the watering can today…

The time to harvest these little beauties is getting closer and closer – we’ll then have to decide what to do with them (putting them in a beer would make most sense, right?). Stay tuned.

DAY 101

It’s really been quite the journey for #MyLittleHopGarden. In spite of a bout of dreadful weather and relentless sou’westers, we’ve finally had a week or so of weather that the hops love: Lots of sun, no wind. It won’t be long until we’ll harvest the hops, we’re looking forward to them developing some sweet hop aromas.

DAY 81

This is a thing of great beauty!

DAY 79

So a lot has happened over the holiday break. It seems that this summer has been quite windy, which as discussed before, does not make hops happy.

Nonetheless, our first hop flowers have developed. Most are still at the “burr” stage, but here are some of the flowers that we have so far:

looking good, eh?

DAY 50

Perhaps the last update until after Christmas. The leading plants have grown about two feet since day 48 – the result of some beautiful sunny days!

DAY 48

Let’s have more of this sunshine! The hops have had a real beating from the wind lately, and they clearly don’t like it. It really is incredible to see how much they grow in one day when the conditions are right.

DAY 47

After a relatively slow growing week (hops hate wind and lack of sunshine), the hops boosted over the sunny weekend. We are going to have to figure out what we’re going to with our scales – these hops are getting up there…

DAY 42

DAY 39


DAY 37

They are over 6 feet high! The leaves and stems have started to get bigger too. They are clearly liking the fertiliser they were given.


DAY 35

DAY 33

The “Ed Scale” is introduced to track the growth of the hops. How long will this be sustainable?!

DAY 28

DAY 23






Check it out – our hop plants are boosting! As you can see, they are starting to grow leaves now, so they’re growth is going to be even faster from now on. Photosynthesis is our friend!
We hope you’re enjoying watching them grow as much as we are.



And they’re off! It’s pretty cool to see the difference that one day makes. All four hop plants have now emerged!


Hop plant 1


Hop plant 2


Hop plant 3


Hop plant 4



The heavy rain showers and sunny weekend clearly paid off for our hops. Check it out – three of the four plants have sprouted!


A few people have asked what we’re feeding them. They are growing in roses mix, which is meant to be best for growing hops in pots. Now that they’ve sprouted they’ll grow like crazy, so we’ll have to sort out their new home under a support structure. We may be looking for some help with building this – stay tuned.


No watering required – plenty of fresh Auckland cloud juice today.

No watering required today!


We’ve got our hands on some New Zealand hop rhizomes! We’re not sure of the variety yet, we’ll let you know as soon as we find out. We’ll be following their progress and keep posting updates for you here.


At this stage, we’ve just put the rhizomes into pots in a sunny sheltered spot. We’ll build a frame to suspend the hop bines in a spot that gets optimal sunlight.


Stay tuned!

Epic Danger Zone – We Love Pomeroy’s.

October 27th, 2016 Posted by Uncategorized 1 comment

Brewed to commemorate the 15th Birthday of Pomeroy’s Pub in Christchurch. Pomeroy’s has been our number one South Island customer since Epic started. So here’s a big “Happy Birthday” Pomeroy’s. Thanks for the support, and here is to another 15 years. Epic loves you.
Style: XPA (Extra Pale Ale)
ABV: 5.5%
IBU: 18
Hops: US Amarillo and Mosaic
Malt: 100% US grown Pale Ale malt.

More about the beer:
Extra pale in colour, a low level of bitterness, but big level of fruity hoppiness on the aroma and flavour. Great beer for summer drinking.

Launch Event:
Saturday 29 October, Pomeroy’s Pub in Christchurch

Where to get it:
Bottle stock has been launched as of 31 October, so should be available early November.


October 17th, 2016 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

When Epic Armageddon took out the trophy for best Strong Pale Ale at the 2016 Brewers Guild of New Zealand Awards last weekend it officially became this country’s most awarded beer.

In the 10 years since the Brewers Guild Awards started in 2007, Epic Armageddon has claimed FIVE trophies – in 2009, 2010 (for the barrel-aged version), 2011, 2015 and 2016.

No other beer has won five trophies. The next most awarded beers, with four trophies each, are Three Boys Oyster Stout (2007, 2010, 2011 and 2014) and Tuatara Hefe (2009, 2011, 2012, 2016).

Winning the Strong Pale Ale (IPA) category for the second year in a row also continued a remarkable run of success for Armageddon around the world over the past 18 months. In that time, it has claimed five major trophies – twice at the Brewers Guild of NZ Awards, the 2015 Australian International Beer Awards, the 2015 Stockholm Beer and Whisky Festival and the 2016 New World Beer and Cider Awards.

Author and journalist Michael Donaldson, who took out his second Beer Writer of the Year trophy at the Brewers Guild of NZ Awards, said the unprecedented five trophies at New Zealand’s premier beer awards was enough to justify Armageddon IPA as New Zealand’s best beer.

“In my job, writing about beer, I’m often asked `what’s New Zealand’s best beer?’. It’s a question I used to dodge. Finally, I have a definitive answer: Epic Armageddon IPA,” Donaldson said.

“It’s hard to argue with the fridge-full of awards this beer has picked up over a prolonged period and in different parts of the world. Quite simply, it’s incomparable.”

Best beer in New Zealand

Luke with another trophy to add to the collection.

Brewer Luke Nicholas was delighted with yet another the trophy. “I was actually quite emotional,” Nicholas said of the award. “When it won a fourth trophy inside a year at the New World awards I didn’t think it could get any better than that. I’ve now literally run out of adjectives to describe how proud I feel. “Beer awards, especially in the fiercely-contested IPA category, can often feel like a lottery so the fact Armageddon consistently comes out on top proves just how good it is.”

2016 BEST IPA – NZ Beer Awards
2016 BEST IPA – New World Beer Awards
2015 BEST IPA – NZ Beer Awards
2015 BEST IPA – Australian International Beer Awards
2015 BEST IPA – Stockholm Beer & Whiskey Festival
2013 BEST IPA – Systembolaget, Sweden
2012 BEST BEER IN NZ – Beer & Brewer Magazine
2011 BEST IPA – NZ Beer Awards
2009 BEST IPA – NZ Beer Awards

Welcome back, LaRger!

October 12th, 2016 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

Think back ages and ages ago… 2011, even.

Tigers. Balls of Twine. Pyramids. Waimea Bay waves. Ohakune Carrots.
Some things are meant to be big. Flavours. Aromas. Beer.
The list is large but we thing it should be bigger.
There is a time and place for subtlety, for a delicate touch.
This is not one of them. Turning the amplifier up to eleven?
Yeah, that’s it.

YES – Epic LaRger Imperial Pilsner is back!


More about the beer
Beer style: Imperial Pilsner
ABV: 8.5 (Caution!! Very easy to drink!!)
IBU: 80
Made with German Pilsner malt, US grown hop varieties with German parentage of noble heritage. Extra pale in colour, floral/herbal aroma, herbal hops and malt sweetness dominate the flavour, with a cleansing snapping bitter finish.

Where you can get it:
At this stage, only at The Brewer’s Co-operative first birthday party. We’ll keep you posted.

Epic Dankomatic IPA – Full of Alligators.

October 11th, 2016 Posted by New Beer, News, Uncategorized 1 comment

Like walking the streets of San Francisco in a fog. A flavour shockwave delivering awesome automatic dankness for your pleasurable needs. The reverberating level of fun in your mouth hole snaps shut like a wet green alligator in a technicolour dreamcoat. Synthesthesia for the masses.

Launch Events:
Friday 14 October – The Brewers Co-op 1st Birthday

Beer Style:
India Pale Ale

More about the beer:
ABV: 7.6%
IBU: 55
Brewed with Nelson Sauvin, Comet and Simcoe hops.

Where and when you can get it:
First launch will be at Brewer’s Co-op – watch this space.

New Zealand

China Travels – First Event in Beijing

September 27th, 2016 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

If you read the post from yesterday titled “How Google Translate turned Luke into a God”, you know how it can be a little tricky to get some of the finer points of what’s happening at the events that Luke is attending on his trip around China. Regardless, it is easy to see that there are a lot of people in China that love our beer – and Luke!

Luke’s first event soon after arriving in Beijing was at Drunk Restaurant, where a group had the opportunity to taste Hop Zombie and Lupulingus and discuss the intricacies of the beer, and no doubt, the importance of the hops in them. Epic fans even had the opportunity to purchase a bottle of the Epic 10/1000 Celebration Ale, an Epic T-shirt, and even get them both signed by Luke himself.

Have a read of the original article here – CHINA CHOICE.

Here are some of Luke’s images from the night.


One of Luke’s Beijing Fans




The serious stuff – discussing the beers.


The custom logo made by imbeer.


Collector’s item?



Another Luke fan…



Stay tuned to follow the rest of Luke’s Journey.


How Google Translate turned Luke into a God.

September 26th, 2016 Posted by Uncategorized 1 comment

Some of you may have seen the WeChat link to an event that Luke will be attending in Changsha. The original article is obviously written in Chinese, so to understand it I had to get a little bit of help from Google Translate.

This is what I got…

Acacia know what day meet God –Epic grade tasting, Luke will meet with

Each master in his field to accomplish something, and when I saw their names will always let me have physiological responses.

For example, see Essay master Mr. Blan name, my mouth will not stop streaming down; see Yang Zhichun name will laugh, like someone pull my armpits, I could not help laughing; when I see when to Cang teacher’s name, I can not help but blush.

And see Luke Nicholas name, not just me, you certainly can smell the aroma from hops aroma mixed with mango, guava and other tropical fruits. Because he is a hops to play to the extreme beer master.


Luke is New Zealand’s top craft breweries EPIC owner and chief winemaker.

EPIC winery is one of the world’s top ten by media authority judges wineries, top-ranked New Zealand winery, the following is part of the honor winery obtained is sufficient to prove the “top” is the word.

BEST of IPA 2016 – New World Beer Awards
2016 BEST PALE the ALE – New World Beer Awards

BEST of IPA, 2015 – NZBeer Awards, 2015 BEST of IPA – International’s Australian Beer Awards, 2015 BEST of IPA, Stockholm Beer & Whiskey Festival

Luke is the beginning of Steaming Brewing Winery most talented winemakers by his leading products are brewed in 1999, 2001 and 2006, won the gold medal in New Zealand’s largest local beer. In 2007, when the winery EPIC brand sold their chief winemaker Luke, and continue to help Luke production.


Luke is internationally recognized New Zealand’s first beer winemaker, and has been invited to participate as judges in 2006 WBC, as well as the 2009 British JD Wetherspoons International Real Ale Festival, New Zealand became the first person to promote the development of craft beer.


Luke and Dogfish head winery boss Sam join the “Discovery” program “craft beer guru”

Luke believes in the New World beer war, “it is the source of all hops” It was his theory, according to his theory produced “Hop Zombie” per 355ml wine on the addition of 50 units of measurement hops. Hops in New Zealand is very unique and little production, Luke is personally go hops park visits and park package under five hop varieties and batches, to ensure its own production.


This is the first visit to Changsha Luke, he will bring his level of God to the big guy a beer tasting, this level of master himself to lead our tasting, this grade level in Changsha and is unique, no more words, September 27 Kazakh number TAPROOM see.

Do check out the original post – Hopefully you can get a better translation than I did. Regardless, it’s awesome to see that our beers and Luke are  really well received in China.


Introducing Epic Gods of War IPA

September 20th, 2016 Posted by New Beer, Uncategorized 4 comments


Following the shock and awe of Armageddon, the world was ignited with hop hysteria.

Relentless cloning, cross pollenating and genetic modification still continues today as the Gods of War battle to the top of the hop mountain.

Launch Events:
Friday 23 September – Vultures Lane 3rd Birthday

Beer Style:
India Pale Ale (funnily enough)

More about the beer:
ABV: 6.7%
IBU: 55
First in the IPA Hysteria series, this IPA showcases American Chinook and Simcoe hops.

Where and when you can get it:
As mentioned above, the first exclusive release will be to help celebrate Vultures Lane’s 3rd Birthday party. All updates will be posted here first.

New Zealand
Australia – dates TBC


Beervana wrap-up

August 22nd, 2016 Posted by News, Uncategorized No Comment yet

Instead of writing about our time in Wellington for Beervana 2016, I thought that a video would do the job. This sums this up nicely.

2016 Beervana Week

August 8th, 2016 Posted by News, Uncategorized 1 comment


It’s that time of year again, and we’re pumped to get down to Wellington to share our latest brews as well as our tried and true favourites. We’ll be at the House Of Nicholas stand with our cuzzies from Hop Federation.

What’s pouring at Beervana?

Epic Thor Imperial IPA


The last and biggest addition to the Stone Hammer Trilogy. The beer has a big hop aroma that is dank, resinous and fruity from the use of Nelson Sauvin and CTZ hops. The bitterness level is lower than regular Epic beers, which is also the same in the Thunder and Stone Hammer beers. Extremely well balanced, juicy and delicious.

ABV: 8.8%
IBU: 100

Epic Thunder APA


This American Pale Ale is the first of the Stone Hammer Series. Originally released as a keg only batch, but was so popular we had to make more.  It’s packed with US grown Columbus, Chinook and Mosaic (a LOT of Mosaic) hops. The flavour is driven by the sub tropical fruits (including passionfruit & mango) from the Mosaic hops. There is a fun level of dankness. A massive hop flavour is matched to a subtle level of bitterness, which makes this really enjoyable.

ABV: 5.8%
IBU: 50

Epic Hop Zombie Double IPA


Does this beer really need an introduction?


ABV: 8.5%
IBU: 100

Epic Armageddon IPA


Another beer that really needs no introduction… Our international award winning IPA is back to tantalise your tastebuds. The hops are here to party – and you’re invited. We’re always thriving to make this beer better which is why it keeps pulling in the awards.

ABV: 6.66%
IBU: 60

Epic Wellington Events

Thursday: Stone Hammer Trilogy tape takeover – The Rogue & Vagabond
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Come and see us and put the whole trilogy to the test – Thunder APA, Stone Hammer IPA & Thor IIPA. You could be in to win one of two prize packs just. You’ll even get to meet the man behind the name; Our awesome Sales Manager – Sten THOR Søren Hansen.

Saturday: Wellington Launch of Snow White Alpine Pale Ale – The Malthouse

After your Saturday Session at Beervana (or your recovery from your Friday celebrations), head to The Malthouse and be one of the first to try our newest beer. What makes this beer different? We have brewed it with wheat malt for the pale hazy appearance. The noticeable orangey citrus character comes from the marriage of crushed coriander seeds and the Cascade and Centennial hops. The fruitiness comes from the really warm fermentation with a special ale yeast. There’ll also be Thor IIPA and others on tap too.

See you in Wellington!

Snow White Alpine Pale Ale

July 31st, 2016 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet


So you’ve probably already seen this video:

Well, the fruits of this Epic Mission have come together. There are two things that Luke traditionally doesn’t really like:
1. The cold
2. Brewing with wheat malt
Regardless, Luke has battled the elements  & created this beer which combines these things, as well as a few wicked others to create this freaking awesome beer.

Launch events:
16 TUN in Auckland: 10 August
Malthouse in Wellington: 13 August
Craft Hamilton: 18 August

Beer Style:
White IPA (Alpine Pale Ale)

More about the beer:
ABV: 6.5%
IBU: 35

Earlier in the year there were several news headlines about bad weather referring to “Epic Thunder”, a beer we had just release, many people commented on the free publicity. A few weeks later there was an “Epic Snow” headline so we took it as a sign for the next beer we should brew.

We had penciled in brewing a White IPA this year, so this was perfect. To make the beer “Epic Snow” it was decided to head to the mountain and collect some snow to brew with (as per video).

What makes this beer different? We have brewed it with wheat malt for the pale hazy appearance. The noticeable orangey citrus character comes from the marriage of crushed coriander seeds and the Cascade and Centennial hops. The fruitiness comes from the really warm fermentation with a special ale yeast.

Where & when you can get it:
We will have a launch on Wednesday 10 August at 16 TUN in Auckland.

Bottle stock is now out in the wild!



Epic Thor IIPA

July 26th, 2016 Posted by News, Uncategorized 2 comments


Thor is  the last in the Epic Stone Hammer Trilogy and is also our entry to the 2016 West Coast IPA Challenge, held on Friday 29 July, 2016 at Malthouse in Wellington. If you’re lucky enough to be going to this event, you’ll be amongst the first to try it.

Don’t fret if you can’t make it to WCIPA – Thor will be launched in early August. We’ll keep you posted with updates here.

Launch date:
TBC – Early August 2016

Beer Style:
Imperial IPA (of course)

More about the beer:
ABV: 8.8%
IBU: 100

Thor is our entrant into the 2016 West Coast IPA challenge on the 29 th of July at The Malthouse in Wellington.

Inspiration for Thor came from Luke’s trip earlier in the year to the Craft Brewers Conference in Philadelphia. While there he drank several different examples of the developing and evolving new IPA style for the East Coast. East Coast IPAs are identified by their cloudy appearance, which comes from hop haze, and a big hop aroma and juicy hop taste (the kegged version of this beer has been kept cloudy, but the bottle version is filtered and bright).

The beer has a big hop aroma that is dank, resinous and fruity from the use of Nelson Sauvin and CTZ hops. The bitterness level is lower than regular Epic beers, which is also the same in the Thunder and Stone Hammer beers. Extremely well balanced, juicy and delicious.

Where & when you can get it:
Kegs and bottles are out in the wilds of NZ now, we’ll let you know when the shipment to Australia is on it’s way.