Beer #308 - Urbanat / BBA Strong Ale

Beer #308 - W/C 11 January 2021

 // Urbanaut are Bruce, Simon and Thomas who became friends during their days at Rangitikei College. Brewer Bruce honed his craft working with legendary breweries Fullers and Meantime in London before working as a brewery consultant upon his return to New Zealand. Simon and Thomas previously ran a property development company and their combined skills came in handy when converting an old warehouse building into a sparkling Kingsland brewery & taproom at the start of the Auckland Beer Mile. I first met Bruce in the early stages of the brewery build when he told me his vision for Urbanaut was a a brewery focussed on craft lagers. A few years on and their lagers and pilsners are still fantastic but that definitely isn't what they are famous for - they've also embraced the zeitgeist of adjunct-led beers, most prominently with their innovative Blenders series.

BEER // FINALLY a brewery has started packaging huge beers into single-serve containers. We love Imperial Stouts, Barleywines and other high abv beers but the large bottles/cans can be a but much when you're not sharing and it's Thursday night. Barleywines and strong ales originated during the Napoleonic Wars when English brewers stepped up to the challenge of providing a boozy full flavoured tipple for the dinner tables of toffs missing their French Claret. This ale from Urbanaut is part of a rich history of strong ales, perhaps most notably the iconic Thomas Hardy Ale. It's a very rich and complex beer best sipped slowly after dark. The massive maltbill doesn't just provide a high alcohol content - it's packed with caramel, fruitcake notes. It's super smooth and the barrel ageing adds another layer of sweet bourbon oaky deliciousness. Although it tastes great now, this is a beer that will also improve with age so we heartily recommend stocking up.

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BREWERY // Urbanaut
BEER // Bourbon Barrel Aged Strong Ale
ORIGIN // Auckland
ABV // 12%
FOOD MATCH // Peanut butter, bacon & chipotle sandwich. Washed rind cheese. Roast Pheasant. Creme Brûlée.
VESSEL // Snifter