Posts in New Beer

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.

 

 

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
Hops:
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.”

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.

PRESS RELEASE

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).

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.

Distribution
New Zealand

Introducing Epic Gods of War IPA

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

godsofwar-tapbadge-embossed

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.

Distribution
New Zealand
Australia – dates TBC

 

THE IMP HAS BEEN RELEASED

November 19th, 2014 Posted by New Beer, Uncategorized No Comment yet
IMP-PosterEpic IMP, has just been released in time for the coming summer holiday season. Brewed as a session IPA, it is SMALL (4.7% alc/vol) and MISCHIEVOUS (generously dry hopped like an IPA. It has more dry hop than the Epic Armageddon IPA). When poured the aroma hits you with sweet ripe summer stone fruit and citrus as you look at its brilliantly polished pale copper colour. The flavour is of fruity citrus peel intertwined with a juicy caramel note, which finishes with a sharp but brief slap of bitterness. It drinks as though it’s much bigger than a responsible 4.7%, due to the malty body and the vibrant hop intensity. Epic beers have continuously grown in flavour, intensity and alcohol volume since exploding on the beer market in 2006, with the Supreme Champion trophy winner, Epic Pale Ale 5.4% (recent winner of Best in Class Pale Ale 2014 New World Awards). (more…)

Epic Apocalypse Black IPA

June 15th, 2014 Posted by New Beer No Comment yet

epic-bottle_apocalypseEpic Apocalypse Black IPA will start rolling out this week in bottle.

So why a Black IPA? When this style started becoming popular in the USA I become fascinated by the style, which at the time was being referred to as a Cascadian Dark Ale (named after the Cascade mountain range, which also gave its name to the hop, because the beer style was being made in Oregon.)

In 2009 we started bottling Armageddon IPA. The same year, Apocalypse was brewed for the first time.

The key behind making a Black IPA is to keep all the hop aroma and flavour of an IPA and just get the black colour. Well my first attempt left me a little disappointed, as beyond the wonderful fruity hop notes there was a dominant liquorice character from the roast malts I had used. It was very much like a liquorice allsort, which was kind of cool, but wasn’t what I was looking for.

After five years of dwelling on this experience, and the style, arguing whether it should be called a Cascadian Dark Ale, a Black IPA (Black and Pale in the name, really?), or an India Black Ale.

Tasting as many different brewers BIPA’s, and talking to brewers about how they achieved their black colour but minimal taste, I was finally confident to give it another shot.

I am totally thrilled with how the Epic Apocalypse Black IPA has turned out. I hope you are too.

It has been touted as Epic Armageddon’s black brother, but I have used slightly different hops for this version of an IPA. Amarillo, Simcoe, Citra and Chinook. Don’t ask me why, I just felt that the flavours of these hops together would work well in this beer.

You will notice that the hop aroma is pretty significant, and this follows into the flavour, where it marries with a hint of roasty malt notes, and finishes clean, bitter and an after taste of hops. The bottled version of this beer is 6.8%abv which is higher than the keg only version which was 6.0%abv. The reason for trying this out is when people drink at the pub they generally like to have a couple of beers. Beers that are too high in alcohol tend to make it harder for them to drink responsibly. But on the flip side people that buy a bottle to take home (or get it delivered) can enjoy the extra flavour of bigger beers in the safety of their home. 😉

Hopefully you enjoy the beer. I’d love to hear what you think about it. (The blue and green stripe is inspired by the flag of Cascadia)