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Beer – #738 – Epic – Stone Hammer: Thunder

Epic make nice beers, often, and in a seeming lull of ‘new’ beers they seem to be an oasis of new flavours. This one, Hammer, is a magnificent name for a beer with a great story.

As one person has already commented “this is the best new beer release in New Zealand in a long time

This is a keg only beer, so a 1 litre bottle of beer with 5.8% ABV and 38 IBU things, and around 178 calories a serve size, this is is 4.58 standard drinks worth.

For  Epic Brewing Company (NZ) this is brewed at Steam Brewing Company in the Style that is: American Pale Ale

Epic Thunder APA is the first in a series of beers under the “Stone Hammer” name. The series has been inspired by our legendary Sales Manager – “Sten Thor Soren Hansen”.

Pretty sure no-one ever called me Stone Hammer

Pretty sure no-one ever called me Stone Hammer

In some circles he is just referred to as “Thor”.

So off the back of this we have named a series of beers we are releasing in 2016 after him.

Driven by a massive amount of Mosaic hops there is no way you are going to miss the huge aroma of passionfruit and ripe mango. Or these flavours as the hop oils envelops your tongue.

So, what could possibly go wrong?

Familiar Sugary grassy hop aroma from a beer that is a glorious shade of brown orange in the bottle.

Pour is lovely with a decent and stark white head that looks like fluff but seems more substantial, aroma is  a dusty dry almost straw like thing.

Epic Stone Hammer Thunder copyI’d read a few comments about this, from people that I’d look to for an opinion, and they like this beer, which is really odd because I’m thinking it’s a little short of punch and taste in the middle. That and it has a raw grassy bitter finish that in’t off-putting but it a little peculiar and at odds.

An easy drinking beer, but one of not much substance. One of those beers where you think you’re being shorted somewhere in the taste.  For me the edgy bitter finish unbalances this a bit, giving you the impression that you’ve missed a trick in the middle somewhere.

On the other hand, it sort of does what it says it might, except that the hyperbole used might lead you to expect a bit more of a rapture or something. Said though if someone made a beer and put m story on and it was this I’d be happy with that result, although no one would ever have used ‘stone’ or ‘hammer’ or ‘thunder’ when they were describing me.  I’m not going to use that ‘t’ word to describe this then, because I think it’s a good effort, particularly as it seems to be a single hop beer.

Which is also important as not every beer made by a brewer should be lauded, unless they’ve made only the one or two that have been outstanding, so I guess that for me, in this instance, this isn’t one of the brewery finest, when you pitch it against some of their own work. Oh and the comment in quotes above, as usual not one of mine. 

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 7 of its things from the thing. Sadly a fair to middling beer I thought, and although I had the two ‘pints’ it would have been unlikely if I was out that i’d have ordered a second to be honest. A beer not for my taste then.

*Update. I ended up leaving beer in the glass, a shocking state of affairs, this beer, perhaps the Mosaic hops in general, are not my thing, but then you can’t like everything.

The double dip review

  • Where did I get it? On tap, a keg only beer, at Liquorland in Northcross
  • Am I enjoying it? I’m sadly disappointed.
  • Would I have another? I had two pints and that’d be enough.
  • Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? It is unlikely to be a beer mentioned in polite company, except for the outstanding name and story, I’d be loathe to crack this out as the good stuff and expect to leave with all the friendships intact.

Music for this : ‘ kula shaker ‘   ‘ K -1 5 Buried Treasure ” on Spotify 

Kula Shaker are an English psychedelic rock band. Led by frontman Crispian Mills, the band came to prominence during the Post-Britpop era of the late 1990s


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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