Brodies: Kiwi (England: Golden Ale: 3.8% ABV)

Visual: Pale gold. Thin white bubbled head.

Nose: Grapefruit. Gooseberry. Slight toffee sweetness. Light hops. Pineapple.

Body: Bitter very heavily. Nettles. Pineapple. Vanilla and custard. Elderberry.

Finish: Bitter. Nettles. Elderberry. Wood caskets. Dry. Some hop oils.

Conclusion: A session NZ hopped beer. Huh. Wonder how it manages that? Well apparently by kicking bitterness way up past what you would expect. The aroma shows the NZ hop range of grapefruit and gooseberry but no real bitterness. Thus the kick when I first sipped caused quite an exclamation of surprise.

It does trade off complexity for bitterness a tad in the main body. However for a session abv beer I’d consider that a fair exchange. It still has a good show of the NZ style citrus tartness hiding behind the hops, thought if muted compare to the main kick.   Considering the difficulty in really bring out the NZ flavours without going more heavy duty I think they did a nice balance here, the extra bitterness gives it that edge to make the flavours you do get work well in contrast.

It is towards the harsher edge of the session style. Definitely not an assault beer, but you do have to be a bit of a hop head to want to go through a few of them.  Thankfully I am such a fellow.

As mentioned, the abv means that the full New Zealand character can’t quite come to the fore; however I haven’t seen many beers that so proficiently bring the bitterness and citrus hop in a session ale.  For low abv weird hop usage it is comparable to Bristol beer Factory’s Acer ale, though that goes for a more easy going character while this zooms out the other way.

So it isn’t fantastic compared to the big guns that pull out all the stops, but it is aiming for a different time and place for their beer. It is nice to see the craft beer joy being brought in at such a manageable evening drink abv. I’m quite happy with my pint of this little belter.

Background: Drunk at The King Willam IV Bar right next to their Brewhouse. My friends have been raving about this brewery for a while so I was chuffed to get to try some of their beers. Even better for a London pub the prices were remarkably reasonable. Unfortunately their “Pink Pride” which I was hoping to review after this ran out before I could get a pint. From a sampling of my mate’s pint however it was excellent and if you get a chance try it you should. The bar tap of this incidentally says “Made With New Zealand Hops” just in case the name “Kiwi” was not a great sodding give away. Maybe it was just in case you thought they brewed it with Kiwi fruit?