Tuatara Nui APA Review

8 February 2017 - Best Beer HQ

Tuatara Nui APA Review

I drink this bottle of Tuatara Nui just a couple of days after the news broke that the Paraparaumu-based brewery has been acquired by DB Breweries – itself owned by Dutch brewing giant Heineken – with plans to introduce the craft beer to more Kiwi pubs as well as overseas.

I don’t know how I feel about that news, to be honest. I guess I’m happy for Tuatara’s founders, disappointed that another multinational corporation will be sucking the profits offshore and out of New Zealand, optimistic that more people will get to drink better beer, and more than a little worried that the quality of the beer might take a massive nosedive now.

But I can tell you exactly how I feel about this big bottle of Tuatara Nui that my old Bauer Trader colleagues got me when I changed jobs at the end of last year…

ABV: 7%

Blurb on the bottle: NUI (te reo Maori for “big”) takes Tuatara’s beloved American Pale Ale and reshapes it into a more assertive beast. We’ve spiced things up with some serious New World hop porn in the form of Citra, Simcoe and Amarillo, delivering 80 IBUs of palate-stripping bitterness. And to showcase the aromatic action, Nui swaggers about on a beefed-up malt base that lifts the alcohol to 7%.

Frailer souls will blanch at the thought of having their taste buds assaulted in this manner, but the rest of us will love Nui big time.

Tastes like: As it says on the bottle, this is a mighty big hop APA, but with a Kiwi twist. The hops are big, buoyant, beautiful, and smack of mango, grapefruit, orange. But the malt biscuit base ties it all together, giving a solid platform for the hops to shine.

I don’t know whether my bottle of Nui managed to get all shook up in the fridge somehow, but when poured into my IPA glass it foamed up like, I imagine, pop rocks in Coke. Centimetres of bright-white foam threatened to escape from the bottle and my glass.

The verdict: This beer is whakawaiwai, which I’m lead to believe means delicious in te reo Maori. I certainly hope that’s accurate, and it doesn’t actually mean dirty shoes, or something equally nonsensical.

Beer/movie combination: While we’re on the subject of Tuatara being bought by DB, I went to see a fantastic little movie the other month called The Founder.

As the names suggests, it’s about the so-called founder of McDonald’s, a shady businessman named Ray Kroc, who acquired the business from the fast food restaurant’s actual founders. They were a pair of naïve businessmen who invited the devil into their kitchen, and then were unable to stop him as he ruthlessly took control.

In the end (spoiler alert), Kroc’s McDonald’s became unrecognisable to the business they began, as he seemingly put profits ahead of quality. Here’s hoping that doesn’t happen to Tuatara.

Craft Beer New Zealand / review /

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