Would you dare to drink a crab or pumpkin beer? You probably would if it was one of Tuatara’s latest experimental beers designed to challenge your taste buds and open your mind
'Don’t just open a beer. Open Your Mind.’ This is a long-held mantra for Tuatara Brewing Co., but the threshold for encouraging Kiwis to taste more interesting beers has only increased with the craft beer explosion of the past decade.
“Our palates have moved up the craft continuum in line with beer styles in the market so the challenge to innovate and educate about the length and breadth of beer is increasing all the time,” says Tuatara manager, Blair Harley.
One of Tuatara’s upcoming initiatives is a ‘Summon Your Senses’ selection of beers designed to challenge and tantalise the taste buds.
“Based on the taste sensations of umami, sweet, sour, salty, bitter and spicy, we’ve brewed six really interesting beers to showcase the variations and ingredients that can be used within the brewing process,” Harley says. “The initial taste can vary between the second, third and entire glass. Though some may not make it that far,” he laughs. “Some of the beers are quite polarising!”
“One of the more challenging beers is the umami-inspired Pincer Movement Scotch Ale, made with a crab infusion (guts, shell and all!)," says Harley. "It started as a crab bisque pale ale but the base beer needed more body to hold the briney, saline flavour and the heavier Scotch Ale has done that superbly.”
The deliciously spicy Peter Peter Spiced Pumpkin Ale is literally a labour of love as it requires kilos and kilos of roasted pumpkin but the combination of this, nutmeg spices and rum barrel oak made it a favourite at last year’s Beervana festival.
SOUR & SALTY
The sour Feijoa and Mandarin Berliner Weisse and salty Buddah Fingers Citrus Gose are awesome beers for those that aren’t fans of big hoppy bitterness. Tuatara’s sour beers have proved a real winner for them in the past with their Raspberry Tart Ardennes and GnT Summer Sour literally flying off the shelves. Buddah Fingers is a play on the interesting, relatively rare Buddahs Hand citrus fruit that was lavishly added to this brew.
It’s all about IPAs at the moment so Tuatara are beefing up their range with some tasty ales, all showcasing different hop varietals. The bitter Hi-Res American IPA is being added to the Tuatara 500ml range in August and has all the big piney, citrus and tropical fruit flavours expected of a big US hopped beer.
Moolah Chocolate Milk Stout, the sweet of the series, is in the market at the moment, but not for long! It’s been a very popular winter beer with its dark chocolate flavours and low bitterness. “In general, stouts are less popular with Kiwi drinkers, it can be seen as a bit of an old man’s beer,” says Harley. “Which is a pity because they are generally very flavoursome with rich coffee, dried fruit or dark chocolate flavours and a lower bitterness, depending on how long they’re conditioned for. A great option for those that don’t like bitter hoppy beers.”
HOW TO GET YOUR HANDS ON THEM
The 'Summon Your Senses' brews will be pouring around the country over the coming weeks (email [email protected] for more info on where to find them near you). Moolah Chocolate Milk Stout is currently in-store nationwide as a limited release beer, and Hi-Res American IPA will be in stores from the beginning of August.