Beer #316 - Epic / Stone Hammer

Beer #316 - W/C 8 March 2021

BREWERY // In 2005 Luke Nicholas was the head brewer at Auckland's Steam Brewing Company where he'd worked for a decade. They developed the Epic brand together and a couple of years later he bought the brand from Steam and went out on his own. Epic beers immediately made waves with their Pale Ale scooping armfuls of awards and introduced many drinkers to the glory of the hop. Luke was strongly influenced by the modern Californian craft beer scene and set out to make beer with strong flavours and aroma. He is somewhat obsessed with hops and travels annually to Yakima, Washington for hop selection. Not all hops are created equal. As with all produce, the same variety can taste dramatically different depending on soil, geography, weather, time of harvest, processing and many other factors so it is important to select the best if you intend to create the best IPAs. All Epic beers are still proudly brewed at Steam and they also recently opened a taproom in Onehunga. Even if you're not into IPAs, we hear the pizzas alone are worth the trip.

BEER // Ahhh 2016, the pinnacle of West Coast IPA brewing. Following the stupid IBU Wars (where breweries competed to release the bitterest beer) brewers found balance between bitterness, aroma, flavour, sweetness and body. At around that time, brewers (and drinkers) started to embrace a new kind of IPA - the East Cost (or New England) Hazy IPA with soft mouthfeel and low bitterness and it seems many people forgot about 2016 with those beautifully balanced yet hugely flavoursome WCIPAs. But Epic didn't forget. While they do an excellent job crafting various styles, it it the WCIPA where they show true mastery of the art. Stone Hammer is a re-brew of a recipe first released 5 years ago and we're very happy to see it back. It is very heavily hopped with US powerhouse varietals Citra, Mosaic & Simcoe which make for a big and wonderfully balanced IPA packed with a cacophony of tropical and citrus fruit aroma and flavour.

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BEER // Stone Hammer
ORIGIN // Auckland
ABV // 7%
TEMPERATURE // Cool - 7-10C
FOOD MATCH // Chicken satay. Spicy beetroot, kumara, kidney bean & ginger burger. Carrot & coriander soup. Sticky stem ginger cake.
VESSEL // IPA Glass. Shaker.