18 April 2016 - Best Beer HQ

Sunshine Brewery Off Shore India Pale Lager review

Sunshine Brewery Off Shore India Pale Lager review

I thought I’d made it as a beer blogger when a fledgling craft brewery in Auckland requested we catch up for a beer and a chat. Finally, I thought to myself, I’m going to get some free beer!

But there wasn’t any free beer; there wasn’t even a meeting. I got stood up. The guy who’d organised the meeting never showed. Apparently he’d sent me an email to cancel, but I never did get that email or any apology for wasting two hours of my life on a fool’s errand.

The reason I bring this up isn’t to name and shame the brewery that mucked me around (hopefully they’ll make it right). It’s because I was bloody well pissed off when I grabbed a bottle of Sunshine Brewery’s Off Shore India Pale Lager at the supermarket on my way home. I chose it because I certainly needed some sunshine in my life right about then.

So, you see, there was a lot riding on this little beer. Now let’s see how it did at cheering me up.

Blurb on the bottle: We have been a lager house for 25 years and it is time now for lager to be given the full IPA treatment. This IPL is brewed to have you buzzing, much like a good swell from an offshore wind blowing.

To retain lager lightness, some Gisborne-grown corn was used in the malt base that we designed to give complex malt aromas. Lots of American hops provide a big and rounded bitterness with citrus and passionfruit aromatic overlays. All this brewed with some special artesian well mineral water. Worth dropping in for.

Suited for any board in an offshore wind.

ABV: 6.4%

Malts: Two row pilsner base, crystal malt, munich malt and 10% wheat.

Hops: Williamete, Citra and a few others.

IBU: 40

Tastes like: My afternoon is improving. I crash out on the couch, just letting the pungent American hops in this beer crash over my taste buds. It snaps me out of my funk and, before too long, I’ve got a good buzz going.

This isn’t like any lager I’ve ever had before. In fact, it’s hardly a lager at all. The base may be lighter than your typical IPA, and you do get a cleaner finish, but otherwise it’s all about the complex pine hops with dashes of tropical fruit. It adds up to an extremely moreish beer which, before I know it, is all gone.

Is it the best beer ever? The odds may have been stacked against it, but Sunshine Brewery’s Off Shore India Pale Lager came up trumps. It certainly made my life immediately better.

I must admit that I’m unfamiliar with the India Pale Lager style of beer, but if they’re all like this one, well, you can consider me a bit of a fan. I’ll be seeking out more IPLs and more beer brewed by Gisborne’s Sunshine Brewery in the future.

Craft Beer New Zealand / review /

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