Posts in New Beer

CRYONMAN – Simply The Vest!

October 1st, 2017 Posted by New Beer, Uncategorized 1 comment

When two greats come together, inevitably you end up with something even greater. 

Malt and hops.

Pizza and beer.

Bacon and eggs.

Peas and corn.

Ninjas and Turtles.

David Cryer and Luke Nicholas.

The beer that we’ll be launching for the 2017 Brewers Guild Beer Awards is the super-charged tasty brain-child of two legends of New Zealand’s craft beer industry. I had the pleasure of interviewing David Cryer of Cryermalt and Luke about this beer to get an idea of what we can expect from this beer –  the result of a union of expertise and passion for things that taste AWESOME.


Can you tell me about the history of Epic and Cryermalt working together?
I met Luke when he first started at Steam back in 1997. He quickly became
head brewer at Steam where he developed the EPIC Pale Ale. We were supplying malt to Steam at the time and then continued to supply Epic when it separated away.

How long have you guys been wanting to create a beer together?
The first time in 1999 I travelled with Luke to Phoenix for the Craft Brewers Conference, we shared a room during this trip and this is when Luke got to experience my love for comic books. I used to keep sneaking out of the room to comic book shops to bring them back and had a huge long box in the room – just full of comics I had purchased for my collection.

This will be a first edition beer to go towards my comic beer collection

What’s the significance of the ingredients that you have brought to the brew? Can you tell me a bit about the product (malts vs hops)?
Low Colour Maris Otter with the low Kilning profile will allow the new hop variety Luke has sourced to show its qualities in the best possible light. Maris Otter has been around since 1966 as a variety which is probably a record in terms of a variety being available and the fact it is innovating in 2017 testifies to the strength of this king of malt varieties.

What flavours will these products bring to the beer?
Maris Otter has been a signature malt flavour that has contributed to Epic’s flavour profile for many years now. Using the Low Colour Maris Otter for the first time the lower kilning profile the renowned malty biscuity flavour of Maris Otter will be in the background blending in with the hops.
The lower kilning will mean less colour contribution from the malt which will lead to a lower colour finish in the beer and create an attractive hue to the final product.

What does the name “CRYONMAN” mean?
The meaning behind Cryonman is one for Luke to answer. I was not present during the naming!*

If you could have a superpower, apart from the ones you already have, what would it be?
Superpower – ability to change water into beer (or is that too blasphemous?)!
Not so much a superpower, but the ability to build a super suit that gets me to a meeting with Robert
Downy Jnr and also to all the brewing/beer events. But let me not forget I would be wearing an iron


Can you tell me about the history of Epic and Cryermalt working together?
When I started as assistant brewer at the Cock & Bull they were buying Aussie and some UK malt from Cryer Malt. Over the years I have brewed with any malt I can get my hands on to see how it performs, and if it makes my beer taste better. It just so happens the Cryer Malt provides a range of some of the best malts available from around the world. Therefore I have been buying malt from David for the last 20 years. Starting 1997.

How long have you guys been wanting to create a beer together?
We have talked off and on for a few years about making a beer together, as we like to joke Cryer Malt has been collaborating with Epic for years. There have been times where our forecasts have fallen short or times where Cryer Malt have sold out of malts that we use, and we have been forced to substitute one malt for another. Sometimes when we have to make malt changes, it works out to make the beer even better. So we thought with the release of this new malt we could work on something together which we actually plan.

What’s the significance of the ingredients that you have brought to the brew? Can you tell me a bit about the product (malts vs hops)?
Malt: light colour, like pilsner malt, but will have that wonderful Maris Otter ale malt character
Hops: aggressively resinous, green, punchy. The malt will be the perfect light canvas to highlight these hops.

What flavours will these products bring to the beer?
The Low Colour Maris Otter, will bring a colour like a lager or a pilsner but will have that luscious delicious English Ale malt character, which will set up the beer to showcase this new mega-hop from Yakima. HBC 682 is still part of the trial program but brewers that have brewed with it are raving about it. While In Yakima recently I was talking with the growers and they are all really excited about it as it is a great hop to grow and pick, giving wonderful yields as well as chart-topping alpha acids.

Out of the box, HBC682 smells like having your head too close to the baling machine and it accidentally getting compressed and baled. There’s a huge resiny intenseness.

What does the name “CRYONMAN” mean?
CRYONMAN is a play on Cryer Malt and David’s love of comics. That one time we roomed together in Phoenix AZ, for CBC 1999, David spent all his spare time buying comics.

How did you enjoy coming up with the name CRYONMAN?
We got together with the team from Cryer Malt, had a BBQ, a few beers and a bit of a brainstorming session. You are always more creative after a couple of beers. We felt that the core of this beer was the malt, and we wanted to highlight something special, yet for many unknown about David, which was his love of comics.

If you could have a superpower, apart from the ones you already have, what would it be?
Hmmm… To turn any beer into an IPA, maybe? Or at least to be able to miraculously give a beer more hops, ’cause we all NEED… MORE… HOPS… right?

*Author’s note: David was present at the start of the beer naming process. He soon discovered that coming up with the name of a beer with Luke is quite an arduous process. David wisely left it up to the experts. The reason for David’s departure may have been captured in this tweet:

Static – Just Another IPA?

September 3rd, 2017 Posted by New Beer, Uncategorized 1 comment

We have released some absolutely cracking IPA’s so far this year. The
feedback has been truly overwhelming. We have decided to use this
feedback as inspiration for our latest beer, Static.

Static has a double meaning in this case. It refers to the constant noise
we receive from fans about our incredible beers, and also static means
to stay the same. The same as in making another amazingly hop
forward IPA.

This beer has been made by taking the best parts of MAGIC DUST and
HOP HARVESTER to create another beer that will be a massive hit
with fans of IPA’s. The hops that are showcased are Riwaka and
Mosaic. As you can imagine the delicious tropical fruit characters
will leave you wanting more.

Check out the URL to experience some of the
feedback that we enjoy. Did you know that every new Epic beer now
has its own URL going to a special link?

About the beer:
Style: IPA
ABV: 6.3%
IBU: 40


Launch: Thursday 7 September 2017 – Brew Union, Palmerston North
Launch into wild: Monday 11 September
Distribution: 🇳🇿🇦🇺 (Australia launch at Beer InCider in Brisbane)

Big Bang Double IPA

August 6th, 2017 Posted by New Beer, Uncategorized 7 comments


Was there a lost civilisation before a cataclysmic event that resulted in the great deluge? Did the surviving few transfer their knowledge in plain sight to the geometry of the megalithic structures positioned around the planet? Are we a species with collective amnesia? Have we always had the answer?

About the beer:
ABV: 8.9%
IBU: 70


About the beer:
When making a big beer like this, it takes some pretty big ideas that challenge the mind as well as the tongue. Luke has been reading a lot of work by author Graham Hancock, famous for the book Magicians of the Gods. The copy on the side of the bottle is a gesture to Graham’s writing and the magnitude and gravity of his work.

Massive amounts of both English and German Pale malts and big banging NZ and US grown hops. A beer with a name like Big Bang you know is going to deliver some pretty serious hop aroma, and hop flavour. Best drunk from a Spiegelau IPA glass to maximize the hop intensity.

The hop aroma is like the Milky Way laid out across the dark evening sky in all its awesomeness. The taste on the palate is not heavy, but like a flash of light from the start of existence, so bright and all encompassing, you will be left in awe.

This is the first beer since Hop Zombie that Luke has suggested that the amount of hops in it may have some impact on the mind beyond just the effect of the 8.9% abv.

Launch: 10 August at Moon Bar, Wellington
Launch into the wild: 14 August

🇳🇿NZL: 14 August 2017
🇦🇺AUS: Late September 2017

Chromium “Chromatic” Ale

July 30th, 2017 Posted by New Beer, Uncategorized 4 comments


Chromium as an element is present in brewer’s yeast, cereals such as barley, hard water, and foods prepared in stainless steel vessels. Therefore one could assume that beer is a potential source for your daily intake of Chromium. This isn’t a health or medical endorsement for this beverage. What it is, is a really cool name for a beer right? Something new and shiny for the spring and summer seasons.

About the beer

We thought about what would be a great beer taste for Spring since it is right around the corner. The idea started as an Amber Ale but sometimes they can be too malty, so this is a Pale Ale with more malt flavour, sweetness and a bit more body.
This beer doesn’t have any funky random ingredients, just a really solid flavoursome beer, that you could have a couple of pints with friends.

The name is really random though. It was based on the finish we wanted on the label, and we found out from some research that Chromium is an element present in brewers yeast, barley, water and foods prepared in stainless steel. Who knew?
A typical big hop forward Pale Ale you have known to expect and love from Epic, but the difference is the extra malt body, malt sweetness and subtle nutty malt flavour.

The Shield has a 24 which is close to the number of hops but also is the elemental number on the periodic table. Silly name, awesome beer.

ABV: 5.8%
IBU: 30


Hysteria IPA – It’s Such a Magical Mysteria…

July 25th, 2017 Posted by New Beer, Uncategorized 5 comments

You love hops. We love hops. You love IPA’s. We love IPA’s.

The Hysteria project continues with our latest remix of the Armageddon IPA recipe. This time pushing the edge of how many hops we can add to the whirlpool. Haha, maybe a little too many.

Fanatical. Mysterial. Hysterical.

Hysteria is our 2017 entrant to the 10th Annual West Coast IPA Challenge in Wellington.

It will be launching into the wild on Tuesday 1 August 2017.

About the beer: 

ABV: 6.9%


This is the third release in the IPA Hysteria series and follows on from Gods of War and Rocket. Hysteria is a perfect name since its releases is timed with the 10th Annual West Coast IPA Challenge held in Wellington, where Epic IPA’s have won four times.

This time around we have pulled out all the stops to see if we can level up the Armageddon recipe. A little change to the malt with the use of some US grown Pale Ale malt. Also some tweaks to the hops, this time including some NZ grown hops.

The NZ grown hops have had a noticeable influence on the aroma and flavour, giving it a real NZ IPA feel. Sub tropical fruit notes with hints of green mango and passionfruit.

Distribution: New Zealand and Australia (Australian dates TBC).

Hop Harvester NZIPA

June 20th, 2017 Posted by New Beer, Uncategorized 3 comments


Hop Harvest NZIPA won the Smiths Craft Beer NZ IPA Challenge in Queenstown!

The NZ Hop harvest is complete and the hops are now available, so it’s time to taste the 2017 NZ Hops as our new New Zealand IPA – Epic Hop Harvester.

Inspired by the Epic Team’s yearly trip to the Nelson hop growing region during hop harvest. This year we were down again for Hop Harvest at the Oldham’s Farm BBQing and drinking beers amongst the hops as they were being harvested. We are already making plans for next year’s harvest, so let us know if you are interested in joining us. Check out what went down at this year’s event:

The label captures the colours from our visits to the hop farms. The dark green of the hop leaves and the pale green of the hop flowers, and the orange of the safety vests, with reflective strips.

Aroma of juicy fruit gum, passionfruit and a hint of freshly cut grass.

The flavour hops are the hero of this beer with the tropical fruit and delicate sweet hint of malt sweetness. The beer is driven by Nelson Sauvin and Riwaka hops grown in NZ.

ABV: 6.5%
IBU: 45
Hops: Nelson Sauvin, Riwaka

Launch Events:

Smiths NZ IPA Competition, Queenstown, 22 – 24 June. It will also be available at The Fork & Tap in Arrowtown.
Bin 44 Wellington, 27 June

Any further launches, events or info on availability will be posted here ASAP.

New Zealand only

Stone Hammer Strikes Again!

February 20th, 2017 Posted by New Beer, Uncategorized No Comment yet

Yes, the IPA in of the series of beers with the same name is coming back!

For those of you who have forgotten, or whose memory of it has been drowned in a sea of subsequent freaking awesome Epic beers, this may jot your memory:

In the spirit of an Epic beer, this IPA is seriously hop forward. Some say like a punch in the face. Its big and its aggressive, but in a “could I have another one kind” of way.
Your tongue will be slayed by the massive attack of Citra, Mosaic and Simcoe hops creates an incredible aroma of citrus and tropical fruit. The intense juicy hop oils envelop your palate with grapefruit and passionfruit flavours. The body has a sweet malt character that drives the hop flavours and subsides to a zinging hop bitterness.

Or as our mate Neil Miller put it so eloquently at it’s launch at the GKBF in 2016:

More about the beer:
ABV: 7.0%
IBU: 60
EBC (SRM): 15

(Re) Launch: The Lumsden Freehouse, 3 March 2017
We’ll keep you updated here heading into the wilds of NZ on 1 March.



Rooster Double Hoppy Strong Lager

February 2nd, 2017 Posted by New Beer, Uncategorized 1 comment

Rooster is a one-off beer that coincidently releases on the week of the Chinese New Year – the year of the Rooster. This is a keg only release, keep an eye on our Facebook & Twitter as we’ll let you know where you can get some.

Keg only – Special release.

Style: Lager

ABV: 6.8%
IBU: 45
New Zealand Pacific Jade
US Liberty, Santiam & Amarillo
Malt: Premium Pils

Where we’ve sent kegs:
Wellington: Regional Wines & SpiritsFork & Brewer, Bruhaus and Moon Bar.
Auckland: Brewers Cooperative, Brew On Quay, The Lumsden, Hallertau, The Beer Spot, Artwok Takapuna, Liquorland Newmarket and Bird on a Wire.
Hamilton: Craft Hamilton, Hamilton Wine Co.

Any additional locations will be added as they know that kegs have been sent out.


Champagne d’Geddon

February 1st, 2017 Posted by New Beer, Uncategorized 2 comments

Champagne d’Geddon is an Experimental Beer – Epic Armageddon IPA made with fermented Sauvignon Blanc grape juice from Marlborough.

ABV: 9.1%

Keg only.

Launch Events
Auckland: 16 Tun, 9 February 2017

Wellington: The Malthouse, 15 February 2017

Notes from Luke:

“So this was a crazy idea that kind of just happened. Thinking about how to level up Armageddon IPA in a unique way. Why not add some grape juice? Other breweries around the world have tried it. What would you add as a NZ brewery? Well it has to be what we are most famous for right? Yup! Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.

It is different. It is 9.1% abv. It seems to taste alright. The test will be on Thursday, to see if we can drink a whole pint. Come join me and let’s try this experimental beer together. Only available in a very limited number of kegs.”

Celebrating 20 Years of Brewing

January 15th, 2017 Posted by New Beer, Uncategorized 1 comment

Did you know that the 17th of January marks the 20th Anniversary of Luke’s brewing career? To celebrate, we’ll be launching St Luke Milestone Ale.

A career spanning 20 years, highlighted by a continuous stream of trophies from three of New Zealand’s most influential beers.

Monk’s Habit, Epic Pale Ale and Epic Armageddon IPA.

3x Supreme Champion Beer of NZ, 30 Best in Class trophies. Brewer of the year. New Zealand’s best beer. Brewers Guild of NZ Honorary Member.

An Honour and privilege to be part of the development and growth of NZ craft beer industry.

This beer takes my favourite parts of each of these three beers to make this one special batch.

About the beer:
Style: IPA
ABV: 7.0%
IBU: 55
Hops: US Cascade, Columbus & Mosaic
Malts: UK Pale Ale & Crystal
Serving: Keg & 500ml bottles
Launching at the Epic 2017 Boat Party, followed by The Lumsden Freehouse, Vultures Lane, The Brewers Co-operative, Malthouse and Brew on Friday (20 January) night.


Forget about old St Nicholas, it’s time for St Luke.

While Christmas is done and dusted for another year, the New Year promises a gift of its own with the upcoming release of a beer named in honour of St Luke, the patron saint of brewers.

The beer is designed by Luke Nicholas of Epic Brewing to mark the 20th anniversary of his first day as a brewer: January 17, 1997, when he started at now defunct Cock & Bull as an assistant to Ben Middlemiss.

The beer Nicholas has created pays tribute to a trinity of multi-award winning beers that have defined his career and which have helped revolutionise the industry in New Zealand: Monk’s Habit, Epic Pale Ale and Epic Armageddon IPA.

Monk’s Habit is regarded fondly by Kiwi beer aficionados. It briefly started life as a Belgian-style beer along the lines of Chimay Blue.

But when Nicholas took over as head brewer at the Cock & Bull he changed the recipe to an American-style hoppy ale inspired by Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale.

Monk’s Habit – a rich, hoppy beer that benefited from eight weeks of dry-hopping – a went on to win the Supreme Champion award at the inaugural New Zealand International Beer Awards in 1999. Two years later, it was again named New Zealand’s Supreme Champion.

With the sale of the Cock & Bull chain a few years ago, it has gone out of existence.

When Nicholas started Epic, it didn’t take long for Epic Pale to also be named Supreme Champion at NZIBA in 2006, while Epic Armageddon is the most-awarded beer in the history of the Brewers Guild of New Zealand Awards which replaced NZIBA in 2007.

In his 20 years, Nicholas has picked up around 30 best in class trophies. He has also been named New Zealand’s brewer of the year and was bestowed honorary membership by the Brewers Guild for his outstanding service to the industry.

“It’s an honour and a privilege to be part of the development and growth of the New Zealand craft beer industry,” Nicholas says.

“To celebrate those two decades, I’ve created a beer that takes my favourite parts of Monk’s Habit, Epic Pale and Epic Armageddon to make this one special batch.

“I really enjoy the malt character from Monk’s Habit and I love the Cascade hops in Epic Pale Ale – I’ve used more Cascade than anyone in this country – and then I’ve brought in a couple of secret hops from Armageddon that really make that beer special.”

St Luke promises to be a revelation – by Michael Donaldson

I was raised in a devout Catholic family … walking away from it all when I turned 18, much to my mother’s distress, was one of the harder things I’d done at that short point in my life. After all, the church’s modus operandi is to drill into you the fact you’re hell-bound unless you keep up those rituals.

But a lot of the doctrine has stayed with me – including the names of many patron saints and the people, occupations or countries they advocate for. Most prominent in our house was St Jude, patron saint of lost causes – my mother was always praying to him. Then there was St Christopher (travellers), Francis of Assisi (animals) and our Lady of Loreto (aviators – my dad was a pilot).

But I was never told there were patrons saints of brewing. There’s at least five of them which just proves what a noble calling it is to make beer.

St Augustine I can understand – he being something of a wild drunk before his conversion; and St Arnold was a Belgian monk and brewer who saved his local parish during an epidemic by encouraging them to drink beer rather than infected water. There are others who claim the mantle of being a patron of brewers but most notable among them is St Luke, the same fellow who wrote one of the four gospels.

It’s thought St Luke takes on brewery because he was a physician, and, you know, beer is healthy. Right?

Next week, a beer bearing the name of St Luke hits the shelves and it promises to be something of a revelation.

The beer has been created by Luke Nicholas of Epic Brewing to celebrate his 20 years of brewing. The release date is January 17, commemorating the day in 1997 when Nicholas started his first paying gig as an assistant brewer at the gone, but not forgotten, Cock & Bull chain.

And the beer brings together three of the revolutionary beers Nicholas is best known for: Monk’s Habit, Epic Pale Ale, and Epic Armageddon IPA.

Quite how Nicholas will bring together three beers into something of a holy trinity remains to seen, or tasted.

Kiwi beer aficionados get a little misty-eyed when they talk about Monk’s Habit. It briefly started life as Belgian strong ale in the style of Chimay Blue but when Nicholas took over as head brewer at the Cock & Bull he changed the recipe to an American-style hoppy ale inspired by Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale. That version of Monk’s Habit was twice named New Zealand’s supreme champion beer (1999, 2001), an honour that also went to Epic Pale Ale in 2006, while Armageddon remains New Zealand’s most awarded beer.

Nicholas says St Luke will have some of the malt character from Monk’s Habit, the citrus and rosewater character of the US Cascade hops used in Epic Pale Ale and some of the “secret” hops from Armageddon.

No matter how it comes together, it’s sure to be tasty. That’s the gospel truth.

Changing Times

While Armageddon and Pale Ale are still the flagship beers in the Epic stable, Nicholas has been getting adventurous lately. First, there was the Stone Hammer series which delivered slightly sweeter styles (or at least perceived to be sweeter thanks to the avalanche of late hopping).

And his next off-beat project is a series of IPAs based around tweaking the Armageddon recipe. The Hysteria series is named for a Def Leppard album, and the first beer was Gods Of War, the title of a track off that album. So watch out for Rocket, Run Riot, Animal, Excitable and Pour Some Sugar On Me.

While the range will explore what can be done when you tweak a multi-award-winning recipe, Nicholas is committed to doing everything he can to get flavour out of hops, malt and yeast rather than play with adjuncts to create flavour. It’s a simplicity he thinks will come back into fashion when punters get tired of various fruits and spices in their beer.

“When I think back to 20 years ago when I started, it was all about making real beers … as opposed to, I won’t call it chemical beer because that was such a dumb term, but beers made with processing aids and post-fermentation additives; industrial beers. Craft beer was about making it with malts, hops, yeast and water.

“Then people started adding stuff like grapefruit and chili … I don’t know if that’s sustainable or if it will last longer than a generation because it becomes too gimmicky and people won’t want to keep drinking a mango-chili-pineapple IPA … yeah, it’s nice but I don’t want to drink it all the time.

“All those people looking for the next new thing and writing notes … and I know what it’s like because I went through that phase myself … they will a reach place when they will ask themselves: ‘hang on why do I do I drink beer?’. Yes, it’s the taste and the flavour but more importantly it’s the social factor.

“You drink beer with your mates … beer has always been a social lubricant, it hasn’t been about ticking boxes and trying the next one. It’s fallen out of balance and it has to come back. Yes, you can enjoy the beer but the point is not to sit there all night and pull apart your pint to work out the malt and hops … talk about that for a couple of sips but not for the whole pint.

“The point of beer is to bring us together to have a conversation and have some fun.”

Nicholas can see a new wave of beer that “comes back to simplicity – not quite reinheitsbegot [German purity law] but beer made with the four basic ingredients.”

As for Nicholas himself? Nothing’s going to change: “I love IPA and I love hops. I want to be remembered for making IPAs. Good IPAs. And I want to keep that message simple and clear – Epic is a one trick pony but you know what the message is.”

Hopshine: Sunshine in a Bottle

January 8th, 2017 Posted by New Beer, Uncategorized 5 comments

2017 Re-Launch – 9 October 

Team Epic is back on deck, and there’s no better way to celebrate than releasing a new beer to get things rolling.

Introducing Hopshine Pale Ale.

Think about all the stuff you love most about summer; Sitting in the warm sun with a delicious cold beer, with the smell of sunscreen and the sound of cicadas in the background. We wanted to design the best beer for times like this, and we think this is it.

Made with German ale malts and US grown Cascade and Mosaic hops, this beer is inspired by drinking a great beer in the sun. Having made heaps of great IPA’s in 2016, some thought has been given to a beer that is a bit lighter in alcohol and bitterness, but keeping that signature Epic hoppiness. We are letting the hops shine, under the sunshine.

Aroma of mango, passionfruit and citrus. A flavour that is tropical juice married with a slightly caramel maltiness, and a light bitter finish.

ABV: 5.5%
IBU: 30

Launching at Vultures Lane on Thursday 12 January.

500ml bottle stock is launching this week (9 January).

Epic Dankomatic IPA – Full of Alligators.

October 11th, 2016 Posted by New Beer, News, Uncategorized 1 comment

Like walking the streets of San Francisco in a fog. A flavour shockwave delivering awesome automatic dankness for your pleasurable needs. The reverberating level of fun in your mouth hole snaps shut like a wet green alligator in a technicolour dreamcoat. Synthesthesia for the masses.

Launch Events:
Friday 14 October – The Brewers Co-op 1st Birthday

Beer Style:
India Pale Ale

More about the beer:
ABV: 7.6%
IBU: 55
Brewed with Nelson Sauvin, Comet and Simcoe hops.

Where and when you can get it:
First launch will be at Brewer’s Co-op – watch this space.

New Zealand

Introducing Epic Gods of War IPA

September 20th, 2016 Posted by New Beer, Uncategorized 4 comments


Following the shock and awe of Armageddon, the world was ignited with hop hysteria.

Relentless cloning, cross pollenating and genetic modification still continues today as the Gods of War battle to the top of the hop mountain.

Launch Events:
Friday 23 September – Vultures Lane 3rd Birthday

Beer Style:
India Pale Ale (funnily enough)

More about the beer:
ABV: 6.7%
IBU: 55
First in the IPA Hysteria series, this IPA showcases American Chinook and Simcoe hops.

Where and when you can get it:
As mentioned above, the first exclusive release will be to help celebrate Vultures Lane’s 3rd Birthday party. All updates will be posted here first.

New Zealand
Australia – dates TBC



November 19th, 2014 Posted by New Beer, Uncategorized No Comment yet
IMP-PosterEpic IMP, has just been released in time for the coming summer holiday season. Brewed as a session IPA, it is SMALL (4.7% alc/vol) and MISCHIEVOUS (generously dry hopped like an IPA. It has more dry hop than the Epic Armageddon IPA). When poured the aroma hits you with sweet ripe summer stone fruit and citrus as you look at its brilliantly polished pale copper colour. The flavour is of fruity citrus peel intertwined with a juicy caramel note, which finishes with a sharp but brief slap of bitterness. It drinks as though it’s much bigger than a responsible 4.7%, due to the malty body and the vibrant hop intensity. Epic beers have continuously grown in flavour, intensity and alcohol volume since exploding on the beer market in 2006, with the Supreme Champion trophy winner, Epic Pale Ale 5.4% (recent winner of Best in Class Pale Ale 2014 New World Awards). (more…)

Epic Apocalypse Black IPA

June 15th, 2014 Posted by New Beer No Comment yet

epic-bottle_apocalypseEpic Apocalypse Black IPA will start rolling out this week in bottle.

So why a Black IPA? When this style started becoming popular in the USA I become fascinated by the style, which at the time was being referred to as a Cascadian Dark Ale (named after the Cascade mountain range, which also gave its name to the hop, because the beer style was being made in Oregon.)

In 2009 we started bottling Armageddon IPA. The same year, Apocalypse was brewed for the first time.

The key behind making a Black IPA is to keep all the hop aroma and flavour of an IPA and just get the black colour. Well my first attempt left me a little disappointed, as beyond the wonderful fruity hop notes there was a dominant liquorice character from the roast malts I had used. It was very much like a liquorice allsort, which was kind of cool, but wasn’t what I was looking for.

After five years of dwelling on this experience, and the style, arguing whether it should be called a Cascadian Dark Ale, a Black IPA (Black and Pale in the name, really?), or an India Black Ale.

Tasting as many different brewers BIPA’s, and talking to brewers about how they achieved their black colour but minimal taste, I was finally confident to give it another shot.

I am totally thrilled with how the Epic Apocalypse Black IPA has turned out. I hope you are too.

It has been touted as Epic Armageddon’s black brother, but I have used slightly different hops for this version of an IPA. Amarillo, Simcoe, Citra and Chinook. Don’t ask me why, I just felt that the flavours of these hops together would work well in this beer.

You will notice that the hop aroma is pretty significant, and this follows into the flavour, where it marries with a hint of roasty malt notes, and finishes clean, bitter and an after taste of hops. The bottled version of this beer is 6.8%abv which is higher than the keg only version which was 6.0%abv. The reason for trying this out is when people drink at the pub they generally like to have a couple of beers. Beers that are too high in alcohol tend to make it harder for them to drink responsibly. But on the flip side people that buy a bottle to take home (or get it delivered) can enjoy the extra flavour of bigger beers in the safety of their home. 😉

Hopefully you enjoy the beer. I’d love to hear what you think about it. (The blue and green stripe is inspired by the flag of Cascadia)