This trio of new releases from Moon Dog, dropped at Crafty Towers ahead of the Queen's Birthday long weekend (in parts of the country), could almost be viewed as a snapshot of the craft beer industry today. There's a beer for a good cause, an exclusive for one of the country's major retail chains, and something a little silly and envelope-pushing.
The good cause comes in the shape of their Rescue All-Stars series: the cans feature one of eight rescue pets from Second Chance Animal Rescue. It's a "Juicy Pale Ale" that pours clean and golden, in which Centennial, Kohatu and Simcoe hops serve up a vibrant Juicy Fruit-meets-mandarin character throughout with a little malt sweetness enhancing said juiciness.
The beer for the Endeavour Group is Kiwi-Hopped XPA, another bright golden pour that extracts unexpected flavours from Moutere and Nelson Sauvin hops. The former is said to give brewers "grapefruit, light tropical fruit and passionfruit" to play with; the latter "extreme fruitiness, passionfruit, and fresh crushed gooseberries" – often likened to white wine. So quite how they ended with a beer awash with cream and berries I dunno – biotransformation, maybe? Either way, it’s more berry pavlova-esque than Moon Dog's pavlova beers, yet with the clean finish of an XPA, and I'm not complaining.
Which leaves the silly beer, complete with silly name: Crème de la crème de la crème brûlée. While that might conjure images of some pale brown liquid, the dessertiness has been applied to an imperial stout base – and a big one at that. Yet despite pouring the darkest of opaque browns, it's still pretty much a caramel / toffee malt – or perhaps Caramilk - fest. Sweet and sticky as, this is a veritable calorific overload that almost tips into Pedro Ximenez territory yet could also be a rich vanilla yoghurt swirled with maple syrup. Whatever, it’s one to share. And then brush your teeth afterwards. Maybe twice.
Published June 14, 2022 2022-06-14 00:00:00