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Beer – #785 – McLeod’s – 40 Acre Fresh Hop

McLeod’s – 40 Acre Fresh Hop Pale Ale. The seeming never ending ‘fresh hop’ beers continue, and this must really be the last of them, because it must be. But I was sore tempted because this is a Pale Ale and is based on a beer of theirs that is well regarded, and that’s enough for me to get a little excited.

Unlike an IPA, the palate is creamy, inviting and rich with malt sweetness and juicy hops

From the fill station this is a 5.4% ABV beer which is about  4.3 Standard drinks,  and that would also be about 162 calories a serve size.

Brewed by McLeod’s Brewery this one in the style that is of an English Pale Ale and that happened just North of Auckland in Waipu, New Zealand

The boys behind the McLeods brewery are the same guys who run the famous Pizza Barn in Waipu, which is handy as the only thing better than beer and pizza is fresh-hop beer and pizza.

No one looks more surprised than me

No one looks more surprised than me

The 40 Acres Pale Ale is a seasonal version of their very popular Paradise Pale Ale.

This beer solely features fresh Nelson Sauvin cones, boasting big gooseberry and lychee characters, the sweet-fruity palate is balanced by crisp herb characters.

This is a complex fresh hop Pale Ale which serves as the perfect refresher after a long day’s slog in the ‘back forty’.

So, what could possibly go wrong?

hahahah Hops!!!, it smells like malt actually, but hops there are some in there I’m sure.

So much hurrah up front that I clean forgot myself and what I was doing. It must be me not the beer.

Hop brilliance, just the right amount of that raw fresh resinous taste, backed with a balance of malt that carries this like a soft cloud.

I can’t actually think of anything bad to say or write.

Brilliant aroma, and a full flavoured beer in the mouth, but it’s not electric.

But then I’m thinking what should a good beer be?  and pretty much this is that beer. It is rather lovely drinking, a beer where you might just stop to think, oi!

There is the fresh hop notes, and this is both in the aroma and in the taste, but it is soft and part of the beer not an adjunct or the lead, it’s part of a whole ensemble.

McLeod’s 40 Acre Fresh HopI don’t think it sets out to be a beer that challenges, I think they’ve gone for the ‘make a brilliant beer’ thing. This is lovely and aroma filled, is bang full of sweetness from malts, and ends up fairly neutral on the tongue, in that there isn’t any prickly bits or after linger tastes that hang around.

So I’m now hoist by my own petard because I’m harsh on beers that are like this, generally, in that they’re just good at being this beer style, and they’re not good at being the style.

I don’t think this is a good Pale Ale. I might misunderstand Pale Ale, which is probable. This is light on the hop bitterness and bite. It’s large on the sweetness. Madly I don’t have enough beer to continue thus pro and con debate with myself, so I shrug my shoulders and give up at the point.

I finished the beer, the all of it, put some musics on, and regretted nothing.

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 9 of its things from the thing.That’s not  all there is to say, it’s pretty arbitrary and this isn’t particularly memorable, except for just how good it really is, and how much I enjoyed it. It pained me not to give it the 10, individually, taste wise, there isn’t much to write home about, but as a whole and in the glass it’s almost perfect. Almost except that last bit of wow.

The double dip review

  • Where did I get it? Fine Wine Delivery Company had this on tap, it’s otherwise rare as rocking horse dung.
  • Am I enjoying it? I am, it really is almost the ideal quaffing, session beer.
  • Would I have another? It is that kind of beer where you could have a lot more.
  • Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? I would on nights here you want to have proper conversation and meander into talking gibberish ending in “what would chairs look like if your knees went the other way” which is where you’d end eventually as quaffing beer this is, and quaffing beer it shouldn’t be.

Music for this: ” The Cars ” and ” The Best of ” on Spotify

The Cars are an American rock band that emerged from the new wave scene in the late 1970s. The band originated in Boston, Massachusetts in 1976, been around for ages and had a few sing along songs.


Classic English Pale Ales are not pale but rather are golden to copper colored and display English variety hop character. Distinguishing characteristics are dryness and defined hop taste, but more malt balance than what you’ll typically find in an American Pale Ale. Great to drink with all sorts of meats including roast beef, lamb, burgers, duck, goose, etc. Note that the term pale ale is used in England to signify a bottled bitter, and in that way there is no such thing as English Pale Ale to the English. The style is a North American construct, borne of the multitude of pale ales that pay homage to these bottled bitters – Bass in particular – and therefore the majority of true examples of the style are found outside Britain.


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