Monthly Archives: May, 2006

Epic. World Famous in NZ

May 25th, 2006 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

YOU don’t call a beer Epic unless you think it’s pretty good. So the brewer of Epic Pale Ale obviously thinks he’s on to something. And so did the judges at the NZ International Beer Awards, where Epic Pale Ale took the Supreme Trophy. It smells fresh, light and hardly “epic”. Just a pleasant hint of ruby grapefruit over malt. It’s in the mouth that the beer lives up to its name. It fills every nook and cranny with resinous hop flavours, the like of which I’ve only come across in Emerson’s APA and the limited release Brewjolais from Mac’s. This is an American Pale Ale, a new style that picks up where the India Pale Ale left off, pushing hops into your gums and lips like moisturiser into a sunburned face. You soon get the hop grin, and you need to keep drinking because your mouth feels perversely dry. It’s a big beer from New Zealand’s biggest city, the Land of Auks. The brewer claims it has the equivalent of 15 hops (presumably pellets) in each bottle. That’s 14 more, or perhaps 14-and-a-half more, than most Kiwi draught. It’s not elegant, but it is distinctive. And curiously moreish. Cheers, Aaron Watson Capital Times

Epic achievement

May 13th, 2006 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

IS this the best beer in New Zealand? Well, the judges of the New Zealand Beer Awards seem to think so. They awarded Epic Pale Ale Supreme Champion status ahead of 198 other beers at the competition in Nelson a fortnight ago. It was a bold choice. If any beer was going to jump out of the glass, it was Epic – it is extreme, almost explosive, and about as far from the mainstream as it is possible to go: the next step is to stick your head into a sackful of hops. Which is where most beer judges are happiest. So when you taste Epic you will understand what turns a beer judge on – an intense, almost kaleidoscopic spectrum of aromas from tropical fruit to caramelised onions with a paddockful of herbal highs in between, rich fruity and complex malt action from a big mouthful, and a finish as sweet as violets and as dry as a week in the desert. It is also a beer without a past. It wasn’t on the market when it was judged, though novelty value and a big gold gong wouldn’t have done its May 1 launch any harm. It must have stood out from the rest of the competitors like champagne at a shiraz tasting. With international standards in mind, the panel was meagre with gold medals. The beers which mad the grade comprise a list of iconic brews: Dux de Lux Queenstown’s Alpine Ale (New Zealand Draught), Speight’s Distinction Ale (American Style Schwarzbier), Rogue Ales’ Old Crustacean and Limburg’s Oude Reserve (Barley Wine) and the aforementioned Epic (New World and American Pale Ale). There were some notable absentees, including Emerson’s, Galbraith’s and the Shakespeare, but beer awards have a lumpy history in this country and the well qualified judging panel could only judge the beers on the table. Epic is flash beer alright, with a great backstory. Its brewer, Luke Nicholas, has taken this award twice before – with the roly poly Belgian strong ale Monk’s Habit, still brewed for the Cock & Bull chain of pubs up north. Nicholas goes long on hops – he’s promoting Epic on the claim that there are 15 hops crammed into each bottle, along with premium and specialty malts and an American ale yeast. And as soon as you begin to decant the beer into a glass (and you should), you can tell you’re dealing with something different – something bigger. In the New World and American Pale Ale category, silver medals went to Epic’s stablemate Monks Habit, and to two beers from Murray’s Craft Brewing, in New South Wales’ Pub with No Beer, brewed by another leading New Zealand brewer, Graeme Mahy. Mac’s had a bronze rush with six medals, and two silvers, for Sassy Red and Black. And the Queenstown outpost of the Christchurch craft brewing icon Dux de Lux took the Colin Harrison Memorial Trophy, effectively runner-up to the supreme champion. By Cameron Williamson – Dominion Post

EPIC win for new beer at NZ Intl. Beer Awards

May 1st, 2006 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

EPIC had already won a Gold Medal in the New World Pale Ale style and the Best in Class for all Pale Ales. The Gold Medal beers from all the classes were then re-judged with EPIC Pale Ale being declared Supreme Champion of the Awards. Scoop

EPIC win at NZ Beer Awards

May 1st, 2006 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet
EPIC Pale Ale beat out 198 other beers from 40 international and domestic breweries to be judged the Supreme Champion beer at the 2006 New Zealand International Beer Awards in Nelson on Friday night. EPIC had already won a Gold Medal in the New World Pale Ale style and the Best in Class for all Pale Ales. The Gold Medal beers from all the classes were then re-judged with EPIC Pale Ale being declared Supreme Champion of the Awards. Incredibly, this was the first time EPIC Pale Ale had ever been entered in a beer competition. The beer is brand new and is only just being released to the market starting Monday 1st May 2006. Head Brewer Luke Nicholas says that EPIC winning the national Supreme Champion award was an amazing debut for an amazing beer. “This kind of recognition from a panel of noted judges is a fantastic. We are confident that New Zealand beer drinkers will enjoy it just as much,” he says. Epic Brewing Company is the Brewery arm of the hugely successful Cock & Bull Group. “At the end of 2004 we acquired a new larger brewery and bottling line. We are now set up to brew and bottle a range of high quality, full flavored beers for a national audience to savour. This win signifies the start of that epic journey,” Luke says. While EPIC Pale Ale won the top award this time, other Cock & Bull Beers also bought home the medals. Monks Habit (which has on two occasions claimed the Supreme Champion Award) won a Silver Medal, whilst Fuggles Best Bitter & Dark Star both won Bronze medals. The Cock and Bull brewery has won 136 brewing award medals and trophies since 1995. The win capped a huge week for head brewer Luke, who has only just returned from judging at the World Beer Cup in Seattle, USA. This was the first year New Zealand has been represented at the Olympics of Beer in its ten year history. “It has been a huge couple of weeks but it has been fantastic. You could even say it has been EPIC,” Luke says.