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Beer – #595 – Tuatara – Conehead Air Hopped IPA (2015)

The Tuatara Conehead Air Hopped IPA (2015) in a bottle. I know there is a keg version, stand by.  Older new beer, old new music, old number math and oldies only parties.

Enjoy vibrant notes of passionfruit, gooseberry and grapefruit that only the freshest Sauvin hops can provide

A Bottle that is 500ml, with a 6% ABV beer, about 2.37 standard drinks in NZ, and @ 45IBU things, with 180 ish calories a serving. I think that covers it.

Brewed by Tuatara Brewing Company in the well known style of an American Pale Ale and the are in Paraparaumu, New Zealand

The hops are always greener on the other side, in this case the other side of Cook Strait.

He looks keen!

He looks keen!

There’s only one way to get those cones to the North Island in prime condition and that’s to scramble the jets.

OK, it’s to scramble a single engine prop plane with the seats taken out, but be assured that the 800kg of green hops that went into Conehead 2015 were flown direct from Nelson to Paraparaumu in an actual plane, touching down right next door to the Tuatara Brewery.

One short hop for a brewer, one giant green-hopping for mankind.

I’ve had previous versions of this beer, that I wasn’t a fan of, but hey, what could possibly go wrong? If this is ok perhaps I’ll get the keg version at the FYO. 

“Air Hopped” of course reference to the tiny tiny aircraft they jammed all the hops into, as opposed to the more usual ‘Dry hopped’ There are pictures on twitter if you can find them.

Brilliant tactile bottle, as always,  fresh muted hop aroma and a gentle hiss on opening.

Pour is lovely orange brown with a small but firm persistent head, I have my pouring mojo back. Aroma in the glass is still more muted hops with a hint of spices.

ConeheadLots of resinous dryness, and the middle of my tongue seems to have become numb, that’s never happened before, I think I like it. Plenty of malt sweetness in this that lifts and carries. The bitterness is quite mild, present but not stingy bitter, just smooth and pleasing. It’s clever.

The bitterness picks up a little as it comes off the coldness from the fridge, and that’s nice too, just a little pinch to remind you. The dryness at the end of the palate isn’t so bad, although it’s quite broad.

Is it fantastic? It isn’t but it is nice and very enjoyable. I know it’s fresh, I’ve seen the pictures and everything, and it does make me smile when I drink it, offering a couple of challenges, by which I mean little peaks of flavours and layers, when you quaff.

It isn’t though quaffing beer, more a meandering enjoyment, far to nice to quaff and be done, unless, unlike me you have another waiting. For the single sitting beer this should be enjoyed for as long as your will power holds out.

As I near the end the lovely subtle grassiness of the hops is really enjoyable, the dryness is still there, the malt less, the whole a lot more than was expected.

An Annual beer, much anticipated and much enjoyed and appreciated, not though, for me, a flagship beer, regardless I’d be happy to sit for a while and drown all my sorrows to this, a few times.

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 8 a of its things from the thing.  8 is ‘very good’ on the scale of my own making. Even I’m confused by it, this is ‘a bit good’ and would be enjoyed by a range of people with a range of expectations. It really is just a nice beer to drink on an autumn afternoon.


The double dip review

  1. Am I enjoying it? Yes I am enjoying it, it’s quite smooth, delivered in a flatter profile of tastes making it a lovely drink to savour.
  2. Would I have another? I would like to try the keg version.
  3. Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? I would, this is a beer to enjoy with friends and you should if you could get some. I think you’d enjoy it.

Musication was from  Mono Town is an Icelandic musical band from Reykjavík, this is “In the eye of the storm” which for no reason made me bop about a bit. You can listen here on the Spotify or the everywhere else possibly

I like this Album, a lot.


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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