12 January 2016 - Best Beer HQ

8 Wired Hippy Berliner Cucumber Edition review

8 Wired Hippy Berliner Cucumber Edition review

ABV: 4.5%

About the beer: I’ve never had a sour beer before – or a beer that is intentionally tart, sour or acidic anyway – but I’ve wanted to get on the band wagon for a long time now.

It’s just never really been a popular style of beer in New Zealand. In fact, until relatively recently I would have been able to count the number of times I’d even seen a lambic beer or Flanders red ale in a liquor store here on one finger.

But that seems to be changing now. Buoyed by the craft beer revolution in this country, sour beers are finally becoming trendy. Now, I can think of at least two other Kiwi craft breweries that have sour beers of their own. Hey, it’s a start!

Anyway, back to the beer at hand. I found myself in west Auckland on the weekend with an hour to kill, so I dropped into Blanc on Lincoln Road, Henderson. It’s a liquor store with a great selection of craft beer (they haven’t paid me to say that), where you can also imbibe a beer or two on the premises; it has a lovely sun-soaked beer garden around back.

The man behind the counter talked me into trying the 8 Wired Hippy Berliner Cucumber Edition, and, well, I finally lost my sour beer virginity…

Tastes like: A brewing revolution in my mouth.

When I was dipping my toes into the world of craft beer for the first time, I wouldn’t have guessed that a year or so later I would be sipping on a beer as unusual as this one. I love it; not just the beer, but what it represents – we Kiwis don’t have to settle for those putrid mass-marketed New Zealand draughts anymore.

As for the beer itself, well, I have no points of reference when it comes to sour beers so I’ll just have to do my best. 8 Wired Hippy Berliner Cucumber Edition is tart, dry, and extremely refreshing on a humid summer’s day.

It tastes of cucumber, of course, but that shouldn’t put you off if you don’t like cucumber. I’m not a big fan of the vegetable, either, but in this beer it surprisingly works. It’s not overpowering at all.

Is it the best beer ever? It’s hard to say, as I’ve never had a beer like this one ever before. But as a gateway beer to the world of gose, lambic, oud bruin, Berliner weisse, and all the other sour beer styles in the world, the 8 Wired Hippy Berliner Cucumber Edition is outstanding.

I will certainly be seeking out more of this style of beer in the future.

Craft Beer New Zealand / review /