Just like you, but different
Garage Project Hops on Pointe – a beer for the New Zealand Ballet. Brewed by Garage Project In the style of a Premium Lager and they do that in a garage in Wellington, New Zealand, probably.
Brewed with premium German malts, Nelson Sauvin hops and finished with champagne yeast, the result is a pale gold lager with a crisp, clean palate, rich tropical fruit aromas and tight champagne bubbles forming a dense white head of foam.
Hops on Pointe is brewed to celebrate the world’s first ‘Beer Ballet’ called Bier Halle that Royal New Zealand Ballet are staging.
A 650ml bottle of a 6.7% ABV beer, making it about 3.7 standard drink units. I get a sense that this is a very limited edition under this label, but I’m easily led.
Saison hops promise much, and champagne yeast should make it light. I hope this does not end up thin and ‘meh’ and fashionable amongst those that ‘get’ Ballet.
There’s a lovely instant aroma, citrusy and hinting at light bitters. Overly carbonated, very ‘champagne’ fizzy, pale yellow, thin but present head. Soft hoppy aroma, bit pine and wet grass. The aroma is also a bit passion fruit come to think of it.
The taste though is grassy or green hops, which remains the end taste. I’d hate to say it’s ‘the taste’ but it does not define it or detract that this isn’t all bad.
So, where are we?. This is a fairly muted drink. It’s presentable and inoffensive by ay of dominant taste. It’s a head and shoulder above ‘commercial’ lagers, (you know Stella, Heineken, Grolsch, Becks, or even Steinlager et al) and does not carry the roughness of the hops.
The presence of the hoppiness makes this a really pleasing lager, because the hopiness is part of the thing, not the thing. I could be in the first flush of love.
I’ve managed to drink a fair amount of this whilst musing on it, and I haven’t yet changed my mind, I’d so buy this again. As it warms the hops get more prevalent and you end up confused in the thinking as there are no citrus or other notes to maintain you in that this is a lager.
The pdubyah-o-meter says this is a bit good and not a bit great at 8.5 of its unfathomable scale of things. I’d go this as a session beer and regret it too soon as the alcohol level is well hidden and deceptive.
Made my day as I had no expectations but got a little gem of a thing that being honest with you made me smile. It’s a lovely beer, well crafted, not difficult and easily shareable with friends without making them frown or regret being in your beer circle. Very good. Very very good.
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