Beer #243 - 8 Wired & Pinta / Opium Cake OR Baltyk Tasman

Beer #243 - W/C 21 October 2019

BREWERIES // 8 Wired began on Christmas day when Søren Eriksen's future wife, Monique, gave him the gift of a Coopers malt extract brew kit. A few successful home-brews later, he decided to jack in his career in biochemistry and landed a job at at a brewery. A few years later they created a brewery of their own in beautiful Warkwork. A wide range of traditional and innovative styles are being constantly released by 8 Wired and their barrel ageing programme is one of the largest in our hemisphere with 7 huge foedres and hundreds of wooden barrels. Later this year they are opening a brewpub & distillery in Matakana - 8 Wired Barrelworks - and we cannot wait.

In 2011 PINTA brewed the first ever American IPA in Poland and they have been ahead of the curve ever since. If macro lager loving Poles were shocked by the hoppy and bitter IPA, they must have been baffled by the stream of beer styles being constantly released by PINTA including Grodziskie, Rauchbock, Milkshake IPA and a Barrel Aged Baltic Porter Mead and endless others. Their curiosity is not limited to beer styles and they became the first Polish brewery to brew collaboration beers with international breweries. Thanks to trailblazers like PINTA, Poland has speedily embraced craft beer with CNN recently listing Warsaw one of the top beer destinations in the World.

BEER // Makowiec is the most Polish of Polish cakes. It is similar to a strudel but with filling made from finely-ground poppy seeds, honey, raisins and walnuts. Unlike the seeds used to make opium and heroin, edible poppy seeds come from flowers with very low morphine content. Nonetheless, there have been cases of people being found to have morphine in their systems thanks to eating 'opium cake'. Brewing a thick boozy Imperial Stout with pastry ingredients of Makowiec was an obvious choice when 8 Wired and PINTA were deciding what to brew. It's made with lactose (sugar from milk) which is the only non-fermentable sugar meaning the sweetness remains. Vanilla gives an added impression of sweetness but this is not an overly sweet Stout - it is balanced by the roasty malts and bitter orange. At 11% it is a beer to be savoured (dare we suggest sharerd?) rather than quaffed.

We look forward to seeing what you all think in the Beer Jerk Members Facebook Group, on Untappd, Instagram & Twitter. Don't forget to #BeerJerkNZ so we can see what you think.

BREWERY // 8 Wired & PINTA
BEER // Opium Cake
STYLE // Imperial Stout
ORIGIN // Warkworth
ABV // 11%
TEMPERATURE // Room temp - 14-16C
FOOD MATCH // Figs & Crackers. Mole Fajitas. Dark Chocolate. Makowiec (duh).
GLASS // Snifter, Tulip, Wine Glass


BEER // While you may not immediately associate the intense, rich, black beer in your glass with 'lager', that is exactly what it is. Almost all beers fall within 2 categories - ales (made with top fermenting ale yeast at warm temperatures) and lagers (made with bottom fermenting lager yeast at cool temperatures). For years, the English would ship Imperial Stouts to Eastern Europe where Catherine The Great and her mates loved them. When local brewers decided to come up with a competing beer, they developed a worthy foil using lager yeast that thrived at the lower temperatures of their breweries. In 2017 8 Wired & PINTA brewed Baltyk-Tasman, a smooth, rich Baltic Porter with Polish hops and lagered for 3 months. They decided to go one step further by taking the same recipe and aging it for 6 months in freshly emptied Malbec wine barrels. This version is very complex and reminiscent of treacle, espresso and cocoa with woody, fruity, red wine tannic notes from the barrels. All you need for an extravagantly decadent Thursday night.

BREWERY // 8 Wired & PINTA
BEER // Baltyk-Tasman
STYLE // Barrel Aged Baltic Porter
ORIGIN // Warkworth
ABV // 9%
TEMPERATURE // Just slightly cooler than room temperature.
FOOD MATCH // Venison Stew. Strong Cheddar on Toast. Dark Chocolate Truffles. Stilton, Figs & Crackers. 
GLASS // Snifter, Wine Glass