Day 14 – Beers of Auckland – Epic Loves Bacon

Beers of Auckland Advent Calendar 2014
DAY 14 – Loves Bacon by Epic Brewing Company

Loves Bacon AdBOTTLE: Loves Bacon
BREWED: Steam Brewing Company

ABV: 6.3%
VEGAN: Yes

Today was the extended family Christmas party, so again I had a selection of Epic beers in front of me. It’s a fun day  for me, as it’s the only time of year I get to get to catch up with most of the aunties, uncles, cousins, and beyond.

It ‘s kind of a little show and tell of the beers and things I have created through the year. Hop Zombie was popular as always. There was curiosity around Lupulingus as a name, and awe at the 9% abv. IMP got a “I was wondering when you were going to make a low alcohol beer”. The Hot Zombie sauces did its job of taking people to the edge of heat, but not so far that it was too much. I do think the heat in this case overwhelmed and they didn’t have a chance to focus on the hoppy flavour.

The beer that seemed to have the most interest/discussion was Epic Loves Bacon. I guess this is reasonable considering all the other beers are iterations of alcohol strength and hop varieties.

Loves Bacon is fun as it creates so much discussion. “How much bacon did you use?”, “How do you add the bacon?”.

Well actually there is no bacon in the beer, it is also actually vegan. WHAT!?. That’s right, there is no bacon in it. All the smoke character comes from a malted barley that has been smoked with beechwood smoke. The reason that you think it smells and tastes like bacon is the smokeness, but also from the name and imagery on the label. Through the power of suggestion even before you have smelled or tasted the beer you are expecting bacon.

The beer was going to be called “BACON” but I felt it implied it had bacon in it, where as “Loves Bacon” was more of a statement about our love for bacon. Partnering with Freedom Farms seemed like fun and natural fit for both companies. Freedom Farms is our bacon of choice as it tastes the best and the philosophy and farming practices behind the creation of the bacon are inspiring. They made us a sausage with bacon and Armageddon IPA in it for Beervana where the beer Epic Loves Bacon was launched.

Another surprise that people get is when they are told it is a lager. Initially the smokey flavour is powerful but after three or four mouthfuls the taste intensity drops off, and becomes an enjoyable quenching beer.

Thinking more about this Advent Calendar, which is becoming dominated by Epic beers at the moment, is that there needs to be more planning, and getting more beers in bottle before starting out, so they are available from the fridge when needed. Also it seems as though posting on the weekend receives way less views. All good learnings and something I will consider for future posts.