The House of Liners is Otherside's series of double IPAs, which in February 2022 welcomes a New Zealand edition to the stage, part of a growing affinity with hops from across The Ditch, as will become clear below. For now, Riwaka and Nectaron offer Savvy B's passionfruit with juicy stone fruit in support, while a moderate bitterness for size assists. But the wild card here is NZ Liner’s resin which arrives as a succulent sap rather than stoner dank, echoing its South Pacific rather than Pacific North West terroir.
If that all sounds like it’s too much, perhaps DDH Dip Pale is more your speed, courtesy of its sessionable, peach-meets-dried mango vibe on a light-bodied base whose dip-hopped bitterness rounds the soft farewell. Indeed, what’s interesting here are the five hop additions – two on the hot side of the brewing process, one during transfer, and two more on the cold side – which result in a very harmonious, almost evasive presence within the balanced structure.
It's an outcome that might beg the question: “Can smooth be used to describe bitterness?” [Yes, please – Editor] ?If so, that’s what’s happening here, making for forward-thinking drinking for a broad audience unconcerned with lupulin-feting.
But for those who are immersed in hop worship, welcome Shift Brewers Hazy NZIPA. Twelve months ago, almost to the day, Otherside shift brewer’s Skipp and Lesk created a beer which landed in our WA Best New Beers wrap up, and this year’s sequel may well trump that. The verdant, sappy NZ hop-driven nose alone raised hairs on back of this writer’s neck, before the exclamation: “They’ve made Passiona!”
We’re not one’s to gush here, though; tell the story, and drinkers will find what they enjoy. That said, it’s worth noting the use of Freestyle Hop’s 2022 Kohia hop blend: one featuring Motueka, Rakau, NZ Cascade and NZ passionfruit – yes, the fruit, seeds removed, dried and incorporated with the hop blend. There’s a fair bit happening here, way before the glass even reaches your face, and the result is already bookmarked for December's article. Don't wait that long to tuck in: drink it now, fresh and pulsing with NZ hop lusciousness.
Published February 24, 2023 2023-02-24 00:00:00