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Beer – #556 – Garage Project – Hops on Pointe – a redux

Ballet beer, Ballet Music, Pas de Deux, and post opera party.

Beer and ballet – the perfect Pas de Deux. Brewed by Garage Project for the Royal New Zealand Ballet. 

Available at all good barres.

I have 1 litre, FYO from the growler station,  bottle of a 6.7% ABV beer, making it about  5.29 standard drink units, and 201 calories a serve size.

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.

The face of a man about to...

The face of a man about to…

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 was originally brewed to celebrate the world’s first ‘Beer Ballet’ called Bier Halle that Royal New Zealand Ballet are staging.

Saison hops promise much, and champagne yeast should make it light.  What could possibly go wrong?

This does have the familiar aroma of Sauvin hops, they’re sort of passion fruit and soft.

Pour is nice, the light yellow beer pours with a small but persistent white head of foam, doesn’t look overly carbonated in the glass though.

Drinking it, well it’s been a while. This is hop forward the grassiness and bitter bite up front are not all just up front, they have a bit of carry in them, and finish and linger. Added to this the lovely soft mouthfeel in the middle, it is quite clever.

Like a pilsner like no other. Well probably. Well possibly. Well nice though. This does have that nice pilsner thing going on, you know the hop bite, but it’s really dialled up elsewhere so that the overall seems to be everything is dialled down. It isn’t.

And, I might add, at 6.7% ABV this is beer that needs some attention, because too many might see you doing the wobbly leg walk later.

I remember that in the bottle I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would, the idea that you could toss in a champagne yeast and it would somehow make a difference. I was wrong then and I still am.

Hops on PointeThe most surprising thing is the easy drinking, and despite the lingering this is still just a bit moorish, as my now empty glass attests.  Lucky for me however I have more! Get in!

The only doubt then is that the tall hops overshadow what might be a nice sweetness of aromatic fruits, like passionfruit, or lemons or whathaveyou, making this more a lager than anything. Countering that is the high-isn level of sweetness that this has.

A beer that has it’s fans, and detractors, mostly positive though, I enjoyed re-visiting this when it came back around, now in cans too, clearly a winning combination.  A sort of beer for a thinking drinker, because you know that ‘premium lager’ or ‘pilsner’ is a dime a dozen. And sometimes that is their cost. this though a beer that pushes that and really works on that style.

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 8.5 a of its things from the thing. It is remarkably consistent for beer I had almost two years ago, and has much the same effect on me, in some ways. Reading that last time I was a bit more enthusiastic in places than I am now. This does seem much more hop-forward and less cushioned by sweetness than it did. It is still however a bit good.

The double dip review

  1. Am I enjoying it? I really am.
  2. Would I have another? I really would, and I am.
  3. Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? I’d hate to disappoint you by not brining one around to yours to watch you imbibe and wax lyrical. I’d happily try this to convert a ‘domestic’ lager drinker into a new wonderful world of beer with more than one taste sensation, a drink for more than just drinking.

Music player settles on Young Statues an American indie-rock band from Philadelphia

This is “Run The River Dry”

Unlike the beer this is a bit all over the place, some of it interesting, some of it a bit over worked and under thought. I did listen though, it was great background to a beer, and a soundtrack to the sportsball


A beer that straddles between the mainstream Pale Lager and Pilsner. Not all beers that call themselves Premium Lager are, but those that are will typically have a deep gold to light bronze colour, and distinct influence of malt and hops. They should be free of adjuncts and will have a softer carbonation than Pale Lager or Classic German Pilsner.IBUs will typically range in the 20’s, and lagering times will typically be 4-6 weeks, more in line with what pilsners have. Overall accent will be malty-to-balanced, alcohol in a slightly tighter range than either Pale Lager or Pilsner (4.5-5.5%). Most often the product of a microbrewery or brewpub, but macrobreweries can make this style if they jack up the hops a bit and make it all-malt.


2 comments on “Beer – #556 – Garage Project – Hops on Pointe – a redux

  1. kingmidget
    March 8, 2015

    Love the bottle. When I brewed my own beer years ago, I accumulated enough bottles like that so I could bottle an entire batch in them. Just something special about that kind of bottle versus the usual capped bottle.

    In other news, you should have been in Sacramento this week. Over the last two or three years, the area has seen a huge explosion in small breweries cropping up. Every where. Five years ago, there were a few microbreweries that were tied to restaurants. Now there are a few more of those, and probably about 20-30 small brewers that have tap rooms and not much else. And a couple of years ago they started an annual Beer Week to promote themselves. This past week has been this year’s Beer Week, with dozens of events scattered around the area.


    • Philip Walter
      March 8, 2015

      Swing top bottles, all the go, and somehow the beer from them tastes better than from a plastic bottle, it’s all in the perception.

      This could be the golden age of brewing, but I don’t think it’s going to last, the economics and need for profits will take over. Which is a pity as there are probably some brilliant brewers that are going to go to the wall, and those with some money behind them that are perhaps average might carry on. This though is the way of the world.

      I’ve been to couple of beer festival things, I’m not a fan of crowds of anoraks -train spotter- types – or hipsters, swooning and in general kissing ass. But the idea that there are a myriad of taprooms to entertain me, now there is something we miss in NZ


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