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Greene King Strong Suffolk Vintage Ale

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6.0% abv, 500ml glass bottle, Suffolk, England, $6.99 from Countdown Glenfield (normally $8.69)

Greene King, first established in 1979 in Suffolk, have expanded over the years to own several English brands that most of you would have heard of; Abbot Ale, Morland (one of their more famous brews being the Old Speckled Hen), and Ruddles, among others.

Like stained glass in deep ruby red, the beige head dissipates quickly and leaves minimal lacing – which, surprisingly, is also gone before I can finish the glass.

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The Hopful Thinkers go on an EPIC Field Trip

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So a few short weeks ago, Chris and I were having an idle chat, on the internet, whilst at work. The subject usually strays onto beer at some point or another, and we’d been talking about the Flying Nun, a most excellent beer, and some of our other faves from Epic.

Epic - It Just Tastes Bigger

Epic - It Just Tastes Bigger

I get back into my work and a few minutes later google chat pips.. and it’s Chris. “Should I email Luke, and ask if we can visit Epic HQ?” – funny enough I’d just been thinking the same thing. And there was only one correct response… “Do it!!”

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Pink Elephant Mammoth Strong Ale

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7.0% ABV, 330ml glass bottle, Blenheim, New Zealand, purchased from New World Birkenhead

The Pink Elephant brewery is widely known for it’s distinctive, English style ales.  No surprise then that it was founded in 1990 by an Englishman from Kent, Roger Pink.

Having won several awards since that time, to this day Pink Elephant stays true to the art of brewing, using only traditional ingredients and methods.  Given such an illustrious history, we expected a lot from Mammoth, their flagship Strong English Ale, and were not disappointed.

Into the glass it goes… the Mammoth pours a deep mahogany hue, the head dissipating quickly to leave a moderate amount of lacing.

Dark malts evident on the nose with complex fruity overtones, smooth tasting with subtle bourbon characters on the palate, leaving behind a slightly salty and bitter finish, strangely reminiscent of soy sauce.

Mammoth is definitely strong on flavour, and a taste that’s slightly boozier than it’s little brother the Golden Tusk, despite having the same alcohol content.

If you enjoy a good English style strong ale, this is a great example of the style, and brewed right here in New Zealand.  Highly recommended.

Mad River Brewing Company Steelhead Extra Stout

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6.5% abv, 330ml stubbie glass bottle, USA

I thought I was done blogging for tonight… until I got a whiff of this baby and just about had a beergasm.

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Bloggers 2011 Awards – vote for us!

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Hello fellow beer enthusiasts!

Today, voting has begun for The Bloggers 2011 Awards.

If you think we deserve to win, go ahead and give us your vote by clicking the appropriate “Like” button.

The Bloggers Moa Beer – Food and Beverage – Vote

Cheers!!

Drake’s Brewing Company Hefe

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Hefeweizen (bottle conditioned wheat beer), 4.5ABV, 330ml glass bottle, purchased from The Beer Store

Thick white and foamy head, clear light yellow colour.

Dried banana and banana leaves on the nose, and the faint scent of urinal cakes…

Sharp and crisp on the initial sip, with banana and maple syrup characters coming through on the palate, whilst the subtle prickly mouthfeel keeps things interesting.

If you’re a hefeweizen fan.. then this is one to look out for.  Definitely recommended.

Bear Republic XP Pale Ale

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5.4ABV, 500ml Glass Bottle, Healdsburg California USA.  Purchased from The Beer Store

Malty, sweet, golden syrup, socks (but not in a bad way).. oddly the first thing on the palate is something like asparagus follows through into a sweetness and  a slight bitter hoppy aftertaste.

A light tasting, highly quaffable ale with a  smooth, clean mouthfeel.