Talk about the power of suggestion. As I cracked my can of Fixation's Ghost Chips, I fully expected to see a ruddy red liquid splash into my glass. This despite there being no mention of it being a red IPA or red ale; it even says "FRESH NZ HAZY" under its name. Looks like red cans and an image of Death are enough to distract me...
First up, the name: a reference to a cult anti-drink-driving ad from New Zealand, albeit with Death here offering up a different sort of ghost chips in artwork by Devil's Candy, who've worked with many bands and record labels. Move past the artwork, however, and what awaits is a hazy as 8 percenter featuring a bit of the old (Riwaka) and plenty of the new (Nectaron and Superdelic) from NZ's hop fields.
As much as anything, Ghost Chips is a reminder of how far NZ hops have evolved since the days of the aforementioned TV ad. No longer are they predominantely in the white wine, citrus, kaffir lime camp. Sure, a beer of this nature will soften / broaden / fatten any hop aroma but "ripe" feels like the keyword on the label. Gone are the lively top notes of a decade ago; the hops come across most clearly and cleanly on the belch test, but otherwise this is stonefruit swept through a creamy fool, and worth a gamble for anyone who likes their beers sweet, fruity and soft as a pillow.
Published December 1, 2023 2023-12-01 00:00:00