March 23, 2009 | by  | in Opinion |
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

Bier! Tui IPA

Before I get into my thoughts on Tui “East India Pale Ale”, here is a history lesson about how the term ‘India Pale Ale’ originated.

In the 1840s, the pale ale was a popular style of beer in both England and the British colonies alike. It was particularly popular among East India Company traders, and ales were exported to India, spending months in casks during the voyage. Upon arrival in India, the settlers found that ales which had a larger helping of hops were far tastier than the typical English ales. The demand at the colonies exploded as a result, and well-hopped pale ales which were brewed to last the trip adopted the prefix ‘India’.

Perhaps to cash-in on this rich history, Tui markets itself as an ‘East India Pale Ale’. This title is ridiculous. Considering ‘ale’ is in the name, you’d expect the beer to be an ale. But you’d be wrong. Tui is, in fact, a lager. False advertising anyone?

Semantics aside, the main thing that pisses me off about Tui’s IPA claim is that the beer’s flavour has no resemblance to the style.

The only similarity between Tui (4%) and a traditional IPA is the amber colour, which is achieved by using slightly roasted sweet crystal malt. Tui’s aroma is sweet and dirty—basically it smells like someone has farted in my glass. The flavour is weak at best, but what I can taste is sweet, funky and unpleasant. Hops should be the main flavour in an IPA, yet the single trace of hops appears only briefly at the finish of this.

Luckily for us the English still remember how to make an authentic IPA, and Burton Bridge Empire ale (7.5%) is probably the closest thing you’ll get to what they were drinking in the Indian colonies. First, it’s an ale! Imagine that! Hops are strong in all aspects of this beer, and it will keep for years. The nose is full of fruity hops, yet the subtle malt character brings through a touch of spice. The flavour is immense—bitter, fruity hops explode in your mouth, followed by a spicy, bready note which reminds me of a spiced pudding. I can’t really describe the myriad of flavours in this beer; suffice to say it puts that Tui crap to shame.

So now when you’re drinking Tui, you’ll know that what you have is a lager. It is most definitely not an IPA.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

About the Author ()

Comments (2)

Trackback URL / Comments RSS Feed

  1. charmless cretin says:

    Hey Dave,

    just like to say I enjoy your columns; they keep me educated and entertained, like the BBC should. One question, though: what’s with the deliberate misspelling of beer to ‘bier’?

    I’m sure there’s a perfectly good reason for it, maybe. Amusingly, Craccum (auckland’s herpes-laden student rag) also has a “Bier” column, but they have pretty transparent reasoning behind their spelling: the guy who does the reviews is named stephen bier.

    Keep up the good work anyhow.

  2. Superior Mind says:

    Simple: “bier” is the German and Dutch word for beer. Look on the side of a european brew next time you have the good fortune to enjoy one.

Recent posts

  1. Wellington
  2. “Bet the next Salient is going to milk this dry”
  3. How to Find Love in Wellington
  4. On Violence
  5. Salient’s New Zealander of the Year
  6. The Jet Plane, the Typewriter and the Art Dealer
  7. We Drank With Grant Robertson So You Wouldn’t Have To
  8. Wellington’s Coffee Scene: Low Budgement Day
  9. The Cocktail Diaries
  10. We’re really sorry that the last week of news is so depressing

Editor's Pick

In the Shadow of the Kowloon Walled City

: At its peak, the Kowloon Walled City was home to 33,000 people in just two hectares of land—a hastily put together conglomerate of tiny apartments, one of top of the other, caged balconies slapped onto the sides and connected through a labyrinth of damp, dark corridors.