Black Hops Interstellar IPA & Sawmill Hazy Pale Ale

Style
IPA & Hazy Pale Ale
ABV
6.5% & 5.8%

A trans-Tasman pairing for this quarter of our HPA Even Flow mixed-pack sampling, with Black Hops providing one of just two IPAs in the showcase of liquid hop products. In their case, they opted for FLEX (designed for bitterness), American varieties Citra, Mosaic and Chinook in INCOGNITO form in the whirlpool, and Aussies Galaxy, Eclipse and Enigma in SPECTRUM form for dry-hopping.

Interstellar IPA looks the goods – a clear ingot gold with a snow white head – although the aromas are surprisingly subdued given the lineup in the previous sentence. There's a lifted, almost lemon myrtle and lime-like citrus scent there if you give it time, however. And there's more impact once you've taken a glug: a swirl of resinous passionfruit and peach-soaked sponge fingers, with bitterness kept moderate, as is the way these days.

The sole NZ inclusion in the packs comes from Sawmill, whose beer at the New Hop Drop 2023 festival at Moon Dog was arguably the pick of the bunch. Here, Hazy Pale Ale – finished with liquid Eclipse, but for the most part loaded with the US-NZ one-two punch of Simcoe and Motueka – is pitched as a "juicy hazy exploding with citrus and tropical flavours", yet shares much in common with pales of a different vintage. It's not overly hazy and has a sticky, caramel sweetness that, in tandem with a touch of pine alongside the pineapple and citrus rind-like bitterness, and a pretty full body courtesy of its near-6 percent ABV, conjures flashbacks of 90s APAs.

James Smith

NB If you're reading this before the end of November, we're giving away cases to members of our beer club, The Crafty Cabal – details here.

Published November 24, 2023

Name
Black Hops Brewing
Address

15 Gardenia Grove
Burleigh Heads
QLD 4220

Open Hours

Wed to Fri: midday to 7pm
Sat & Sun: midday to 6pm

Tours

As advertised on social media.

Canberra Fest 2024 B
AIBA 2024 entries B2

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