From Across the Ditch

The All American Croucher

I think it’s safe to say that the range of Kiwi beers that the big island (Australia) is receiving at the moment is pretty, pretty impressive. With the likes of Epic, Yeastie Boys, Croucher, 8 Wired and Renaissance it is quickly becoming a rule that if you see a NZ beer in the fridge at your local bottleshop then it’s a pretty safe bet that it’s a good drop.
I used this theory when I went searching in my fridge (which is generally better stocked that my local bottleshop) for some beers on Saturday afternoon.  I pulled out a couple of New Zealand beers, and it just so happened that both were Black IPAs which was great because a) Black IPA a da bomb (I’m so street I could be hanging out with Toni Basil) and b) it allows me to put two beers in one post for a better reason than my usual tenuous links.
First up is the Croucher Patriot, which is like some Kiwi/American hybrid clad as it is in the red, white and blue and made with US hops. Upon opening this brew was nowhere near as big and heavy as I expected, it seemed to lack some flavour as well. I decided to let it warm up a little and then the flavours started to shine through a bit more. Roastiness at the front of the sip and then hoppy bitterness, which seemed to be a mixture of sweet fruits and piney resins, so really a little bit of everything in there. It was a good beer, but a little too carbonated for my liking and I was left with a feeling that it was almost brilliant, but just falls an inch short and was thus only very, very good – Pint.
Next up was one of those beers which takes on legendary status amongst the beer wanker community. This can sometimes be a burden as the actual beer couldn’t possibly live up to the hype, but I can assure you that Yeastie Boys’ Pot Kettle Black doesn’t disappoint. It is more syrupy and nowhere near as carbonated at the Patriot. In fact you could easily describe the mouthfeel as silky smooth. It’s a little hard to explain how good this beer is, here’s how I described it to Jord who was drinking with me and acting a scribe.
“The sip is luxurious, then 2 seconds later it comes back like ‘Pow take that with your hoppy goodness’. This has to be a Juggy McJug Jug.”  (Looking back I may have let this beer go to my head.) 
And that bitterness lingers, in fact I found I could still sense the bitterness in my upper gums about an hour later as I was wandering along the street. Suffice to say this is a brilliant beer and in the pub later that evening I did tell my brother ‘I had the best beer I’ve had in a long time this afternoon.’  He reminded me that I did have the Moo Brew Imperial Barrel Aged Stout two weeks ago, so we also solved the mystery of how long a ‘long time’ is – it’s two weeks.
Long Bow Youtube Clip: Dragon’s April Sun in Cuba, because, well it’s April and Dragon are Kiwis and that’s about all I can come up with…

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