Beer nomenclature is a funny thing. There are some beers that a brewer could name as one of two different styles without changing any ingredients.
Ballistic started off referring to their latest Sleep When You’re Dead beer as an imperial New Zealand pilsner – which it is – but ended up labelling it as a double India pale lager – which is also fitting. Personally, I think it’s a good change, simply because it captures the vibe of the beer better. For all their flavour, NZ pilsners are generally the kind of crisp and refreshing tipples that sit beside you as you relax on a pool lounge. This latest SWYD is more likely to push you into the pool. And what a delicious splash you’ll make!
The smell of zingy bright pineapple and lime and berries (blueberries, perhaps?) moves into full on candy mode when this beer passes over your lips: the Motueka and Riwaka bring chewy tropical fruit candy. But don’t go getting the impression it’s all sweets and giggles. There's a piney bitterness that rushes in at the same time, and that hangs around for longer than the sweetness does. All the fullness of body and malt sweetness disappears and leaves you to deal with the bitterness on your own, like a new "friend" you met at a club who leads you down a dark alley and disappears when the mugger steps out. It doesn’t take you long to realise you've been had.
But in this case, instead of a beating and having your wallet stolen, you’re getting hop bitterness and the urge to keep sipping. There are worse things.
Published November 28, 2022 2022-11-28 00:00:00