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Beer – #510 – Brew Moon – Hophead IPA

#NZSecretSanta, yes Secret Santa for NZ Twitter Users!,   brought me a couple of beers, this is one of them – Brew Moon Hophead IPA.

So Gifted Beer, Gifted Musicians, Gift of Numeracy and Gift of Friendships.

A hoppy, complex and drinkable IPA. We use Vienna and a combination of various other malts for a rich base and then dry hop with lots of aromatic Nelson hops.

In a 500ml bottle,  a beer that is 5% ABV so about 250 calories a serve size, This bottle is about 1.97 standard drink units in NZ

HopHead IPA is Brewed by Brew Moon Brewing Company, in the style that is of India Pale Ale (IPA), and they are in Amberley, North Canterbury, South Island, Middle Earth, New Zealand

A mile from mainstream beers and made with organic ingredients, this beer is full of hops.

A gift of beer, it's just like christmas.

A gift of beer, it’s just like christmas.

The initial fresh floral character complements the crisp, bitter finish and rich malt flavour.

Here at the Brew Moon we take “hand-crafted” to new heights. Everything in our 600l microbrewery is done by hand with great care.

Our beers are made naturally using age-old brewing techniques, malted grain, hops, yeast and good Canterbury water.

This beer is not filtered or pasteurized – as a result there may be some sediment in the bottle – fear not! Yeast is good for you.

I love gift beer, Especially when they went to the trouble of finding beer that I hadn’t already drunk, I’m sure more of a mission than not, so kudos to them.

Really nice hop aroma on opening, lightly hissing, Light grassy.

HopHead IPAGolden orange pour which is really pretty, and a decent head. Aroma carries some florals now, it looks and smells a treat. From this I shouldn’t be surprised of a burst of hops and a dry finish.

It is bitter, but not overly, and the finish is dryish, it is quite the refreshing drink for a sunny afternoon.

A decent IPA then, and in a category where there has been larger and larger flavours it is nice to have something that is quaffable and enjoyable for what it is, and not because you’re expecting your head to explode or some such.

Nice amount of citrus, perhaps grapefruits, and the aroma is still very pleasant.

Second pour lets the yeast sediment into the glass, I wonder how this will change or alter the taste? I also have to say that I’ve alarmingly managed to drink a significant amount of this in just a couple of trips to the lips.

Of late there have been a lot more ‘session’ beers appearing, and this is for one of two reasons.

(1) Because the brewers have a collective desire to participate in the lower ABV range of 4-5% and compete with the mass-produced standards that you get in 6-12-24 and 30 packs

(2) There is some over-riding hop shortage or something going on that is making lower ABV beer a necessity rather than a luxury. I mean ‘luxury’ beer at ‘premium’ prices compared to big-brewery, that can’t really be an economic model to success. Despite the fact that there are some really really good ‘session’ beers appearing, they still only appeal to the discretionary spend part of the market. Case in point is that I just brought Father-In-Law a 12 pack of beer for the christmas holiday break – he likes bulk over substance and won’t be had with ‘fancy’ beers.

Anyway, ill formed argument aside this particular beer appears to have always been at 5% ABV, and is a brewers standard, and it is actually a decent beer, and I’m enjoying it a lot. Remember a few sentences ago I added the yeast sediment, made no difference, it’s still a lovely beer. The worse thing is that it is that nice I’d easily go another.

Nothing wrong at all with this beer then, lovely colour, decent head, nice lacing, lovely level of bitterness and that quaff-ability and things that make a good session beer, and that point where you finish the bottle and wish you had another because I’d happy and easily go again. Not a hop explosion, not a beer to turn your palate to dust, this is just a cracking good IPA.

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as an 8.5 a of its things from the thing. This is a very good drink and easy drinking beer of some style, it’s balanced, no rough edges and nothing to scare you.  This bottle also appears to be quite fresh and the beer is very bright and zingy.  You can tell I’m enjoying it.

The double dip review

  1. Am I enjoying it? It is, as they say, a bit good.
  2. Would I have another? I wish I could have another, it wouldn’t be hard to have a few more to be honest.
  3. Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? Yes, this would be a good conversation beer, it is flavoursome and engaging without being the conversation, it is easy drinking and at the lower ABV it would be good for a few.

Musically, on the music machineI was listening to 2:54 who are an alternative rock band from London comprising sisters Colette and Hannah Thurlow,  “a little bit grunge, a little bit shoegaze, with bursts of heavy riffing and the odd psychedelic meander”

This is the track “BlindFold” from the album “The Other I”


India Pale Ale gets its name and unique style from British brewers who were making beer for export to India. This style has an intense hop flavor which was used to preserve the beer for the long voyage. India Pale Ale has a golden to copper color with a medium maltiness and body. The aroma is moderate to very strong. IPAs work especially well at cutting the heat of chili, vindaloo or Sichuan cuisine.


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