More from Mountain Goat and Epic

Epic Mayhem on cheese & beer night (which is fast becoming a tradtion in the Tipples hosuehold)

Today I’m going to tell you about two beers, both much maligned styles, from two breweries in two different countries. One brewery is a stalwart of the Australian scene which I have rediscovered over the last year or so and the other is one of the darlings of the New Zealand brewing scene and quickly becoming one of my personal favourite beer artisans.
Let’s start with Mountain Goat. Started in 1997, they did the hard yards developing a beer culture in Australia that the Johnny-come-lately breweries are now (hopefully) profiting off.
Way back when I mentioned that I hadn’t had a Goat beer in a while, well in the twelve or so months since then I rectified that.  Although I still don’t like Steam Ale (but I did find myself quite enjoying it on a hot afternoon a few weeks a back so maybe I’m softening on that) I consider Hightail to be one of my go-to beers and I snap up most of the limited editions/rare breeds that come out.
And it was one of these seasonal releases that I partook in a couple of days ago. This one was an Imperial Pilsener. Pilseners are a type of lager, most people’s interaction with them is through bastardised commercial offerings, but a good pilsener is fantastic, a very enjoyable style of beer to drink. Imperial in beer speak for stronger, both in terms of alcohol and flavour.
And this beer delivers in spades. It’s strong; brewer Dave Bonighton describes it as ‘A Black Forest wolf in Western Districts sheep’s clothing,’ and I think I understand what he means. It’s unfiltered, meaning it pours a dusty camel colour, with a wispy lacing head. The body is full and malty, almost a touch sweet. It’s bitter and hoppy but not overpoweringly so, it is highly enjoyable and dangerously sessionable. I say dangerously because it’s 7.5% alcohol, but you would never notice this because it’s just so damn balanced. Definitely Pint worthy.  
The second brewery is Epic whose hometown is Auckland (although I believe they contract brew just outside of Auckland). I was a little late to the Epic story, they are now five years old, but I only had my first Epic brew back in June when I was attracted by their Tamarillo beer (in collaboration with Dogfish Head).  Since then I’ve been working my way through their range and I have to say they haven’t put a foot wrong.
And the Mayhem was no different, it’s a Bitter, which is not exactly the coolest of styles. Beer wankers seem to only lose their shit for extreme beers like DIPA’s or smoked infused cognac barrel aged barley wines, but don’t tend to appreciate a common style done really well.  This is a winner none the less. It’s a copperish red colour with a frothy head and tiny little bubbles flowing through it. It has that distinctive fruity hops aroma, which means you fall for this beer before you even start drinking. If I’m honest there is probably a bit more excitement in the aroma than the taste, but this is still a very, very good beer.  Pint.  
Long Bow Youtube Clip:  It has to be the Mountain Goats (Band not beer) with “Dance Music” which let’s face it is Epicly good.

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