27 April 2016 - Best Beer HQ

Tuatara Wilder Brew wild hopped pale ale review

Tuatara Wilder Brew wild hopped pale ale review

When a buddy at work told me that Tuatara were producing a new wild-hopped pale ale to promote the great new flick Hunt for the Wilderpeople I hunted high and low for this so-called ‘Wilder Brew’.

Over a period of about two weeks, I went in and out of no less than half a dozen different liquor stores and supermarkets in Auckland, searching for this mythical beer made with lashings of wild hops discovered in the “leafy grottos of the Waikanae River”.

I’d given up entirely when – lo and behold – I get to work one day and there’s a cheeky 330ml bottle of Wilder Brew sitting on my desk. Who left it there? It wasn’t Santa Claus, but the buddy who told me about the beer in the first place. Cheers Mark!

As it turns out, he’s much smarter than I am. He saved himself the trouble of hunting Wilder Brew down and just purchased a six-pack online (check out his review of Tuatara Wilder Brew here).

ABV: 5%

Hops: Pacific Jade, Columbus, Cascade & Wild Fresh Hops.

Malt: NZ Pilsner, Wheat, Light Crystal.

IBU: 25

Blurb on the bottle: Imagine you’re a fruity wee New Zealand pale ale to be, proceeding in an orderly fashion from mash tun to kettle. When up spring a coupla clowns on the lam, smelling like wild pork & watercress, and threatening saturation with undignified volumes of wild (hip) hops upon you. Well now: sh*t just got real, people.

Taste: As that bad egg Ricky Baker from Hunt for the Wilderpeople might say (if he was old enough to drink, of course), this beer is skux to the max.

I don’t know how many wild hops actually made it into this particular bottle of Wilder Brew – unless they discovered an excessively large crop out there in the bush, I suspect “undignified volumes” is something of an exaggeration – but it’s enough to make Wilder Brew a jaunty, fruity pale ale that’s surprisingly light and easy drinking.

Wilder Brew tastes less refined, more ‘wild’, than your typical New Zealand pale ale, which appeals to me. However, it isn’t nearly as hoppy as I thought it might be from the way Tuatara described it in the marketing material – an IPA this beer definitely is not.

But it’ll likely be a crowd-pleaser all the same, just like the movie it’s helping to promote.

Movie/beer pairing: Hunt for the Wilderpeople, of course. If you haven’t yet watched this brilliant little movie by Taika Waititi, then what the hell are you doing reading this craft beer review? Go to your local cinema right now and check it out.

Craft Beer New Zealand / review /


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