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Beer – Harrington’s – Thunderkiss and Smashed ‘Em Bro

Harrington’s sent me two of their beers,  the first one I’m going to try is the Thunderkiss and then the  Smashed ‘Em Bro to follow.

So much for the resolutions then, I meant to take these away with me, but like all the best plans it was better in my head then in action. Harrington’s sent these to me prior to Christmas, and I thank them deeply. These may not yet be available in the North Island though, but keep looking.

Harrington’s Thunderkiss is an APA brewed by Harringtons Breweries in the style that is of an  American Pale AleThis is a 500ml bottle of a beer that is 5.6% ABV, around that 18 calories a serve, this is 2.2 standard drinks worth of beer in NZ

Harrington’s Smashed ‘Em Bro is Brewed  as an  India Pale Ale (IPA). This is in a 500ml bottle and is 6.2% ABV, which is about 186 calories a serve, this one in NZ is 2.7 standard drink units

Harrington’s are based in Christchurch.Of Course


Thunder Kiss is a real lip-smacker of an all-American APA.

Brewed with Amarillo, Simcoe, and Citra Hops with American Ale Malt.

Then double dry hopped for a happy ending.

If you like a bit of lightning in your pash, then pucker up for one heck of a Thunder Kiss.


Smashing it

Smashed ‘Em Bro is a Single hop, single malt, (SMASH) and American Ale yeast.

Clean, solid and a showcase of Amarillo hops.

Citrus, pine and floral aromas.


Brewed for GABS 2017

So, What could possibly go wrong?

Thunderkiss, the label kindly notes is towards hoppy, and bitter and is light coloured.  This is quite aromatic on opening, burst of strong malt, it is like a good solid pub beer should be. Pour is a lovely golden brown with a decent and lasting head, its not the biggest but it’s up there as one to savour as it sits atop the wonderful looking (almost) a pint.

In  the glass you can smell the malt more, it’s kind of fruity. Doing fine so far. The initial taste is of a beer that is quite lovely, malty bitter with a nice sweetness that finished with a hint of dryness at the back which is also nice.

This is beer that I’m ok with, and I find it most enjoyable, this would easily be a go-to beer if it was on tap or regularly available, for me it’s at a sweet spot of bitterness/sweetness and that dryness enough to help you savour but not enough to challenge you.

Seriously I’d ask the brewer to add this to the lineup of their beers, it’s rather appealing. 

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 8 of its things from the thing. It is really nice beer, that’s all I have to say really, but I’ll continue anyway, malty, bitter, sweet and with a lovely dryness about, the whole thing is a beer that you’d want to drink again, a few times.

Smashed ‘Em BroSingle Malt and Single Hops, this was supposed to be a thing a couple of years ago when the Hop harvest was less than optimal, possibly too much of a challenge though and limiting the profiles available  SMASH beers are not well advertised and seem to be few and far between. Not that I’m an expert in these things.

As with Thunderkiss  the label kindly notes is towards hoppy, and bitter and is that this is very light coloured

Aroma in this much more muted and hard to pick on opening. This is much more towards lager yellow when you pour it and the had is also much towards that Euro-Lager type of skimpy white foam.  Aroma is a malt.

I’m kind of worried that his leans towards Lager more than IPA. but that’s on looks alone, after all it’s an IPA, what could go wrong?

In the glass you get a sense of oils from the hops. But this looks like Euro-Lager, and there’s not a lot of aroma that would make you waver from that. The taste is similarly disappointing and this lacks of course body, oomph, finish and any sense that this is an IPA. BUT it is clean drinking if unmemorable.

This then is beer that is swimming against a tide, there’s no doubting that it’s good beer, clean, crisp and the hops are there doing their level best, they might have needed more troops to kick that up to a level where you don’t need assistance, if you’re going all in you need to go all in properly and not hold back, which is what I really think this does. Perhaps they should make a double down version, which you then might say isn’t a single.

For me this isn’t a beer that I’d be asking for again at the bar, it’s a time when IPA and other styles are dishing up all sorts of tastes in their profile, and this is the hops/malk combination that push that. There’s not enough SMASH beers to be able to stand them up and say that one is better than the other, or one leads out as the example.

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 7. There just wasn’t enough in this to make it a beer that you could stand up and say that it was the bar for SMASH beers, there are just not enough craft versions that I know of to be able to swim against such a tide, furthermore I don’t expect there to be a rush towards a single/single offering. 

Good on Harrington’s though, because this was festival beer, and if you’re going to make a statement then this is a good one, and for me that is “We know what were doing and this is how you do basic beer well” a sign that they know their beer, they’ve been doing it for ages, and that they’re not afraid to showcase that they know that a single malt and hop will turn out like, which is pleasing . clean. pleasant, but is bucking the trend and leaves them a bit alone.

The double dip review

  • Where did I get it? Harrington’s sent these to me before Christmas, they are lovely people who make some fine beers.
  • Am I enjoying it? The Thunderkiss was lovely! The Smashed ’em Bro for me not so much.
  • Would I have another? You know the answer to which one I’d prefer
  • Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? I think they’re both worthy beers of drinking because they highlight how to make great beer and how to stand alone and make plain simple good beer that might buck a trend but is a reminder that there are baselines, and for me this shows a maturity and confidence in brewing.

Music for this:  I started with  – Temple (Unplugged) by Matthew And The Atlas on Spotify 

Then I moved to That’s Your Lot: The Bedroom Tapes by Blaenavon on the Spotify  

Blaenavon is an English indie rock band based out of Hampshire uk.


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


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.






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