1) Let me talk about bottling dates for a minute. Here’s what I don’t want – I don’t want dates printed on a brown bottle in dark ink in some unspecified place on the bottle so it’s utterly impossible to find while browsing in the bottle shop. I don’t want a use by date either because that’s the brewery’s way of trying to hide just how long their stock sits on the shelf. When I tweeted a New Zealand brewery asking how much they put on their IPA use by dates, they told me “12 months”. So I don’t buy that beer any more.
2) What I want is dates clearly printed on the label itself in an obvious, easy-to-find location. And I want a “bottled on” date too. That way I can decide for myself whether the beer is worth buying, whether it’s still going to be sufficiency fresh as to still be enjoyable and tasty.
3) So it’s a massive, massive hat tip to Bridge Road Brewers who have done exactly that. So I know the bottle of Hop Rain I reviewed here was bottled on the 24/4/18, which makes it less than a month old when I drank it (these beer reviews are usually written quite some time ahead of their publication date – I’m just organised that way).
4) And that bottled on date is very important when you’re dealing with a wet hop beer (which is what Hop Rain is). I’m not sure if this replaces the annual Hop Harvest beer or not; there seems to be little information about it online. The fresher you get a wet hop beer, the better it is. And this beer is very bloody special indeed. Made with Galaxy hop cones, it’s an IPA that pours a deep ruby colour and comes with lovely passionfruit aromas. The flavours are of passionfruit and mango with some bitterness that hangs around at the background and lets the fruit flavours take centre stage. Jeez, it’s great.
5) And a word about the alcohol count. It’s a big 7 per cent but I don’t believe them for a second. There is just no way on Earth there is that much alcohol in Hop Rain. I was into the second beer before I saw the alcohol count – I’d figured it was a 4-5 per center for sure. Incredible.
Free or paid for?: I bought a four-pack from Dan Murphy’s. And have since bought more. So gooooood.
Categories: Beer of the Week