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Beer – #552 – Panhead – Quickchange XPA

Panhead Quickchange Xtra Pale Ale. Quick beer, quick temp, quick count and quick party tricks.

 “…an automotive connection in the beer’s name – quickchange being a type of transmission fitted to drag racing cars”

This is beer that is 4.6% ABV, it has a rating of 40-45 IBU and is around 138 calories a serve size. This bottle (1000 ml) on the FYO makes it 3.63 standard drink units.

Brewed by Panhead Custom Ales this one in the style they call American Pale Ale and they hail from Upper Hutt, New Zealand

Beer and Cricket. Of course it's summer.

Beer and Cricket. Of course it’s summer.

Quickchange XPA is all about putting a big hop engine on a stripped down malt chassis.

The delicate colour in the glass barely seems enough to support all those Mosaic, Galaxy and Citra alpha oils with their mango, guava, pineapple and lychee characters, but one sip should clear that misapprehension up

So what could go wrong with that?

I’ve noticed a lot of Lower ABV beers lately, they appear to be here to stay, and the brewing people are figuring out how to flavour them up somewhat. Of course this might be due to the move more judicious use of hop balancing, the price of hops, or because it’s just the thing to do.

Soapy grassy aroma on opening, Pineapple sugary. It’s a lovely pour,  despite the picture above this really is golden orange yellow and very light, the orange colour really pops, and there is a persistent head in the glass. Aroma still that soapy hop grass thing.

Panhead - Quickchange XPATaste. Well, now there is a thing. This is bitter on the palate and slightly dry at the finish at the back. The grassiness carries the whole way in this.

But it is a bit monotone. Not a lot in the middle to push and fill this out is what I’m thinking. So a session beer, a beer you could sit with and drink for a few, beers, hours, or what-have-you. Except that again I don’t think for me that I could. The bitterness level is a tad too high, for the rest of the beer to carry. I think you need more than a bitter punch and then not a lot to follow it up, that’s like a bully thing to do.

I like my beer a bit more engaging and entertaining and sadly with this I didn’t get it so much.

I’m not saying that this is a bad beer, it’s a perfectly acceptable beer for telling a few yarns over, except that it is a bit brash and noisy in the mouth with not a lot else for it.

I’ve started the second half of the bottle, because this is like live blogging, so it might have warmed up a bit, just enough, sometimes this works wonders, other times not so much. The bitterness might have subsided (or I’ve got used to it) and there is more ‘softness’ in the middle. Really technical descriptions those, bookmark this so you can refer back. Still not a beer that I’v going to recommend or perhaps even remember.

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as a 7  of its things from the thing. I wanted moar things!! I’ve had recently other single hop beers that have been really good, I’ve had lower ABV beers that have been good too, This is at the lower end of that experience though, I wanted it to be better, I really did. Not quite enough bitter, not enough floral, not enough body to match the aroma, and a finish that wasn’t upto it.

The double dip review

  1. Am I enjoying it? I am, because it’s not all bad.
  2. Would I have another? I’ve to drink the other half, then I have some other things to entertain me.
  3. Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? I don’t know that this would engage to speaking brain as much as the wondering why brain and so no, I don’t think I’ll be popping by with this anytime soon. If you bring some though we’ll dig some weeds or do some labour to work up a thirst it’ll be a treat!

I ended up listening to a band, The Coral, who are English, formed in 1996 in Hoylake on the Wirral Peninsula in England. This is “The Curse of Love”

I Might have highlighted them before, if I haven’t it’s not because I didn’t enjoy the music, which you can find probably everywhere you listen.


American Pale Ales are light in color, ranging from golden to a light copper color. The style of this beer is defined by the American hops used. American hops typically have high bitterness and aroma.This is a perfect beer for big fare like grilled burgers or combination pizzas, as well as lighter fare like sushi and green salads


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