Last year a cheeky new brewing company was born in Wellington. Few people actually noticed this, but the beer industry certainly did.
Yeastie Boys brewing company spawned from Stu McKinlay’s passion for home brewing and Sam Possenniskie’s passion for beer. They have a unique concept: to brew seasonally, and to never brew the same beer twice.
This philosophy really speaks to me, as it means all of their brews are fresh, relevant and unique. While I say ‘their brews’, this isn’t necessarily accurate. Yeastie Boys is a brewery without a brewery. The Yeastie Boys create the recipe for each brew and then enlist the help of Invercargill Brewery to get their beers off the ground and into your mouth. Each brew is relatively small, which means that every once-off brew only lasts a couple of months—if you’re lucky. Of course, this means that Yeastie Boys’ beer is always fresh.
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This month, the Yeastie Boys have released two brews—one bottled and one on tap.
His Majesty IPA (6.4%) is Yeastie Boys’ first bottle release, which celebrates the anniversary of their first brew. Sold in majestic 750mL champagne bottles with a crown cap, His Majesty is packed full with (literally) bucket loads of New Zealand grown hops.
This king among IPAs gives off a big hoppy aroma, full of grapefruit and sweet biscuity malt. Underneath is a bitter beast—the generous hopping contributes big bitter grapefruit flavour which clings to the back of the palate and grows with each sip. This balances the sweet toffee malt nicely.
Yeastie Boys’ regular tap release this month is Plan K (4.6%), an oddly low-alcohol Belgian Pale Ale. I am a sucker for a Belgian beer, and while Plan K doesn’t sport the usual big alcohol percentage, it delivers on everything else. The eleventh plan throws a clovey, classic Belgian aroma with an interesting dose of toffee malt. The flavour has the same malty character, with a good hoppy bitterness and loads of clovey, Belgian goodness. It has the big Belgian taste, but not the big alcohol—a wonderful contradiction. The first ten plans must’ve given the boys a lot of practice because this one is spot on.
I know these aren’t your usual ‘student beers’. But ‘student beers’ are boring. They all taste pretty much the same, it’s just the packaging and marketing which change from beer to beer. Instead, why don’t we students enjoy a nice beer once in a while? Yes, it will cost you more, but the proceeds support small New Zealand businesses instead of international conglomerates. And they have flavour, so it’s worth paying those extra few bucks. Innovative businesses like Yeastie Boys deserve our support, so spare some Speight’s this week and grab something Yeastie.
If you have any questions about this week’s beers or any comments, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.