Beers of Auckland Advent Calendar 2014
DAY 15 – Duskrider by Bach Brewing Company
Today I got the call that Ben from Sky Sports Grill wanted a second opinion on a beer he had on tap he wasn’t sure of the quality. That in itself is really encouraging, to know that a bar manager is giving second thoughts to the quality of beer he has just put on tap. The beer was OK, but we decided that it probably didn’t meet his expectations of what he had previously experienced with that beer. Batch variation?
Since I was there I asked what was new from an Auckland brewery. Today Duskrider was on. This beer recently won Best in Class for Specialty Ales at the New World Beer & Cider Awards. The image on the front cover of The Pursuit of Hoppiness, the SOBA Magazine is from the Bach Brewing labels.
The beer is bright, fire orange/red colour, which lives up to the style name of Red IPA. The aroma, not so much as it has a pretty low hop aroma. I was expecting more. On drinking the beer, it has a sweet burnt caramel note, and a subtle nuttiness. It has a full round malty body, which is balanced well with the bitterness. The hop flavour is medium and is married well to the malt character. The beer is nice, drinkable and tasty, with just a hint of the alcohol in the flavour. Good beer. See it, drink it.
One question that kept running through my head while tasting it, was is this really a Red IPA or is it an American Amber Ale? IPA I would think would have more hop aroma and more hop flavour? Then again we live in a country where Tui is considered an East India Pale Ale, or Epic Loves Bacon is a Smoked IPA (it’s not but I thought it would be funny to call it that on the label, when it is really a Bamberg style Bock Rauchbier). So you see, IPA has become a sexy term to sell beer. 47% growth in the US last year and it made up 25% of craft beer sales. And they call me a One Trick Pony. Seems to be the best trick in the market right now. IPA = BEER, BEER= IPA These are now interchangeable.
Should brewers be selling their beers as what they really are? Recently I got to try the Lakeman beers from Taupo. The Pale Ale and IPA both were pretty good as beers, but disappointing if you had an expectation of hops, which might have been implied by naming them Pale Ale and IPA. Might have been better as Bitter and Best Bitter, as they were malt driven. Then again less people are likely to pick them up off the shelf. The other issue is do beer drinkers even know what an IPA is suppose to taste like?