A life just as ordinary

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Beer – #771 – Tuatara – Conehead

More precisely the Air Hopped Conehead of 2016, Loving the Fresh Hop season of beers, and I like the Nelson Sauvin hops, and I liked this beer last year too.

I think to mention that the whole “Fresh Hop Beer” is a local thing to New Zealand, I can’t be sure, but we even have ‘Hopstock – a celebration of New Zealand’s hop harvest’ and an informal formal completion between brewers for bragging rights each year.

… scramble a single engine prop plane…

From the Fill station this is 45IBU’s of beer with 6% ABV and in the 1 litre bottle there is 180 calories a serve size, this would then be  4.73  standard drink units.

Brewed by Tuatara Brewing Company concocted in the style: India Pale Ale (IPA) and they are in Paraparaumu, New Zealand

It is like a treasure

It is like a treasure

The hops are always greener on the other side, in this case the other side of Cook Strait. 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 1200kg of green hops that went into Conehead 2016 were flown direct from Motueka 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.

So, what could possibly go wrong? Well they took last years words and changed 15 to 16 🙂 That could be a good thing.

Rich sugary, and then intense cut grass sharpness on opening.

Pour, despite having a see-though bottle, is still a lot more pale in the glass. Possibly science, who knows. Lovely crisp white, yes white, firm head though, and that looks like it’s in for the long haul too.

Tuatara - Conehead copyAroma in the glass is wet grass hop resinousnessness.

You get that instant burst of bitterness and intense aroma, Almost like it is too big for your mouth. But not quite.

It is loud and brash and edgy with a dryness that almost under control around the edges, but it’s like it is wearing a glove when you might expect a bare-knuckle punch of flavour.

I’m then thinking about why it is that I don’t often have more than one of a beer, there are exceptions of course, the 10 list for instance,  but last year I really remember this as being an eye opener  which when I go back and read it reads like the babbling of a monkey roughly translated but I wrote this in a moment of clarity ” it gets more rounded and less edgy and then more drinkable”.

Problematically the beer I have here isn’t a beer that makes you just put it down and think, it is ‘just a beer’ , a fine resinous, hoppy, grassy, tasty beer, but it’s not a stand up and shoot thing.

Possibly then the delights of a seasonal beer, or the vagaries.

Tell you what is cracking though, and that is the aroma, it really is a belter of warmness and resinous overtones, and the wash over the tongue is lovely, and particularly because you don’t get a wallop of a dryness at the back, but a gentle lingering of taste and tang.

Tell you what isn’t cracking though, the completeness, the whole mouthfeel, once that brash hop roughness has passed, and it is fleeting, there isn’t a lot in reserve to back it up. It is in that respect rather a bit peaky. Not the best of the ‘Fresh Hop’ beers then. This year.

I looked about me and wondered how I’d managed to have 2/3rds of a the bottle, which now makes me sound like a lush, this isn’t hard drinking and has many of the things in a good craft beer that you’d look for when you’re buying one; Aroma, Colour, Taste, After-Taste, Enjoyment, and how it sits on your palate, the sweetness/dryness and all that. Summed up as “Quaffability”

This is “Quaffable” Eat drink and be made merry. There would be worse ways to have an evening than this I can tell you.

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 8 of its things from the thing. It isn’t a patch on things past, but it is a pretty good beer to be drinking. Sadly it’s measured against beers past, and other versions, so pretty subjective and arbitrary, somewhat like the pdubyah-o-meter. I take heart though that I still have a bottle version of this beer in the fridge, and that next year I get to go all over again. Fresh is best, right?

The double dip review

  • Where did I get it? from the fill station at Liquorland in Forrest Hill.
  • Am I enjoying it? Yes as its own beer it’s very nice.
  • Would I have another? There is stiff competition in the Fresh Hop beers this year, this might not make the top 3.
  • Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? This is nice beer to drink, has all the nice things about it aroma and taste and all the other things, you’d not go far wrong with this as a share and tell

Music for this: Lilly Wood and the Prick” with ”  Invincible Friends” on the Spotify

Lilly Wood and the Prick is a French alternative rock, pop and folk duo


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.

5 comments on “Beer – #771 – Tuatara – Conehead

  1. michaelcolhoun
    April 23, 2016

    “Lovely crisp shite firm head though”
    Sorry? Wot??


    • Philip Walter
      April 23, 2016

      The perils of the live blog, and the problem with auto correct. Could have been worse.


  2. kingmidget
    April 24, 2016

    Years ago and years before I was born, the area I grew up in (Sacramento, California) was covered with hop fields. There was a vast stretch of eastern Sacramento that stretched for miles and miles of hop fields. Now, it’s covered with houses and highways and the hop industry moved elsewhere. I’d prefer the hop fields. 😉 Don’t know why I mention this except the opening of your post about New Zealand’s hops reminded me of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Philip Walter
      April 25, 2016

      I don’t recall seeing hop fields in NZ, but then I might not have travelled at the right time or to the right places. Hop harvest beers are a big excitement, particularly as we seem to grow a couple of quote good varieties, always with tales of ‘shortage’ looming of course.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Beer – #772 – Tuatara – Conehead | A life just as ordinary

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