Monday is here, and it’s time to start another week. Pick of the Weekend is our weekly post where we recap our favorite brews of the weekend past.
This weekend’s pick had a very long journey before it made it into our glass, and it had some stiff competition once it got there, but the beer was so unique and delicious it ended up being an easy choice. Read on to find out what we chose and get a sneak preview of some new features this week.
Friday evening we sat down for our second Kiwi beer tasting as friend-of-the-site Hamish had recently returned from his native New Zealand with a load of local craft beers to sample! One of those beers was from New Zealand’s cult-favorite Yeastie Boys, the brewers of the memorably unpalatable Rex Attitude from our first New Zealand beer tasting back in February. That beer was brewed with 100% peat-smoked malt, and it nearly had us writing-off the Yeastie Boys as “stunt brewers.” This time around the two Yeastie Boys beers we sampled completely changed our opinion of the brewers, and when we found ourselves still raving about one of the beers on Sunday we knew that it had to be our Pick of the Weekend.
Gunnamatta IPA from the Yeastie Boys is a fairly straight-forward IPA with one notable creative twist: it has been “dry hopped” not with more pungent New Zealand hops but rather with Earl Grey tea leaves. The result is a wonderfully hoppy IPA with a stout malt backbone blended with the distinct aromatic qualities of Earl Grey tea. This isn’t like other beers-with-tea that you might have sampled where the tea notes are subtle hints at tea flavor, Gunnamatta throws off a huge bergamot aroma with a rich tea-infused flavor to match.
With the caveat that you really need to like Earl Grey tea to enjoy this beer, Gunnamatta is a jaw-dropping example of an uncommon ingredient being used in a beer to create an experience far greater than the sum of it’s parts. We loved everything about this beer (especially the aroma, which gives end Pliny a run for “best smelling beer ever”), and it is a real shame that it is going to be difficult, if not impossible, to get another bottle of this delicious Kiwi creation stateside.
Sunday we held a double-special tasting of all of Stone Brewing Co’s 2012 production Double IPAs for a feature later this week, and even though we picked their 16th Anniversary IPA as our Pick of the Weekend just last week it is worth another mention since the beer is so damn good and it has been very easy to find recently. If you enjoy Stone’s big IPAs you should really give the 16th Anniversary brew a try; it is a seriously delicious rye-forward DIPA with some unique flavors from the herbal editions.
Have you tried a tea-infused beer? Leave us a comment about your favorite example of tea being used in a beer or your favorite beer from over the weekend!