Tuatara

No More Heroes XXV – Tuatara Sauvinova

The memory of my first experience drinking Tuatara beer is crystal clear. It was early 2014 and I was staying with family in the town of Whangamata, near the Coromandel, on New Zealand’s North Island. I’d been without a gloriously hoppy beer for several days, having only had ubiquitous “NZ Draught” beers such as Lion Red and Double Brown available to me where we were originally staying. There’s nothing inherently wrong with these beers, other than they taste of very little, and by this point I was desperate for something more.

I headed into Whangamata Town to find something more interesting, and picked up a 12-pack of Tuatara’s Aotearoa Pale Ale, as it was the most interesting thing I could find in the bottle shop. New Zealand takes cold beer seriously - the liquor store I made my purchase from had a walk-in cold room where it stored its beer - so when I got back to our apartment the beer was already nicely chilled. I opened the box to find 12 shining lizard eyes printed on the bottle caps staring up at me. I pulled a bottle out, with ridges that model those of New Zealand's native Tuatara lizard, and cracked the top.

Few breweries have the time or resources to invest in custom bottles like these and I feared that this beer might be all style over substance. I was wrong. Aotearoa was singing with the gooseberry and passion fruit flavours of New Zealand hops. At the time it felt like the beer I had been searching for my entire life.

Today’s beer, the single-hopped Sauvinova, focuses the intense flavours of the Nelson Sauvin hop into a vibrant pale ale. The tropical and gooseberry flavours are defined in a manner that makes it easy to see why this hop took its name from the Sauvignon grapes that made New Zealand wines famous. This beer is definitely one to try, whether you're just a fan of your hop-forward pale ales, or if you’re a wine lover that’s looking for a little more complexity in your beer.

Music Pairing – Oasis: Champagne Supernova
If you weren’t at Hop Burns & Black for the latest installment of our No More Heroes live events, Manchester, So Much To Answer For, then you missed a treat. Not only did we taste through six excellent beers selected by Marble’s Head Brewer James Kemp, but we also played some of our favourite tracks by Manchester bands.

Today sees the start of IndyManBeerCon, one of my absolute favourite beer festivals. As you read this I’ll be on the train to Manchester to get involved. As a young music lover, I played a lot of Oasis, but the older I got the more I fell out with their seemingly Beatles obsessed shtick. I recently returned to their first two albums and wondered why it took me so long to listen to them again. This track, from 1995’s What’s The Story (Morning Glory) is an anthem that sits neatly alongside the euphoric New Zealand hop aromas in this week's beer.

You can find more from beer writer Matthew Curtis at the excellent beer blog, Total Ales, and Good Beer Hunting, and on Twitter @totalcurtis. Pick up a bottle (or more) of Tuatara Sauvinova Single-Hopped Pale Ale via our online shop and get it delivered to your door.

New Zealand beers - we've got 'em...

So many of you have tweeted or emailed us asking for a list of the NZ beers that came in this week. Now that the hangovers from the NZ Beer Collective 1st anniversary party have cleared (or we're still drunk - the jury is out), we can finally type out the list. ;)

8 Wired Brewing:

  • Sour Side of The Moon - barrel-aged sour dark ale
  • Wild Feijoa Sour - ale brewed with feijoas and aged in wine barrels
  • Batch 2.18 - Oak-aged imperial stout fermented in open vats with dates, jaggery and vanilla beans
  • Tropidelic - hop-packed NZPA now on flagon fill
  • Super Dank IPA - the clue's in the name. Coming soon on flagon-fill.

Yeastie Boys:

  • I AM - totally awesome extra pale ale
  • PKB Remix Dark Matta - Pot Kettle Black with added Earl Grey 
  • Rex Attitude - peat-smoked strong golden ale
  • xeRRex - imperial Rex Attitude
  • Her Majesty 2014 - DIPA
  • His Majesty 2014 - triple stout porter
  • Her Majesty 2015 - blood red ale
  • His Majesty 2015 - red oat ale

Tuatara:

  • Black Mojo Espresso - limited edition unfiltered espresso coffee stout with Mojo Coffee
  • Black Chocolate Stout - limited edition unfiltered chocolate stout with the Wellington Chocolate Factory

Renaissance:

  • Collision Course IPA - India Pale Lager jam-packed with Citra, Mosaic & Nelson Sauvin
  • Craftsman Oatmeal Chocolate Stout - creamy as, and coming soon on flagon-fill...

Big Beery Advent Calendar - Beer 12: Tuatara Sauvinova Single Hop Pale Ale, 5.2% (New Zealand)

Each night at 8pm, we'll post a blog about the day's hand-picked beer in our Big Beery Advent Calendar - why we love the brewery, why we've chosen the beer, why we think you'll love it too. Feel free to comment below or have your say on Twitter.

Tuatara says: "Kiwis are notorious for developing an enthusiasm for local commodities only after a thumbs up from the more discerning parts of the world. In the case of Nelson Sauvin hops we think that’s a little unfair. Tuatara and Sauvin were released into the world at about the same time so we knew them back in the day. We’re celebrating with Sauvinova, a single hop pale ale exploding with the distinctive tropical gooseberry notes that made its Sauvignon Blanc namesake famous. Tasting Notes: Full malt body copiously hopped with Nelson Sauvin displaying mouthwatering gooseberry, pineapple and grapefruit flavours. Balanced bitterness."

We say: Another stunner from the Tuatara crowd. Tuatara is one of the five breweries that make up the NZ Beer Collective, and with their stablemates they've helped us build our much-treasured reputation for the best NZ beer selection in the UK. This is a fabulous showcase for the mighty Nelson Sauvin hop, hailing from Jen's Kiwi hometown and lauded all over the world. Dankly resinous, this pale positively bursts with flavour and - along with the "air-hopped" Conehead IPA, is our favourite Tuatara brew.

New stuff in store: 28 May

As the UK's (the world's?) only craft beer and hot sauce shop, we've been looking forward to the British release of Rogue's Sriracha Hot Stout for ages. Brewed with Huy Fong, the best sriracha sauce on the planet (aka Rooster Sauce), it's pretty epic - and it's in store now. Buy it on its on or bundle it with Huy Fong's iconic sauce for super sriracha value at a very special price.

Other beery goodness this week includes a massive shipment of New Zealand beers with newbies from 8 Wired and Renaissance Brewing, as well as restocks of all your favourites from Yeastie Boys, Tuatara and Three Boys in bottle and on flagon-fill too.

We also finally welcome Left Hand Brewing to our shelves - their Milk Stout Nitro has to be tasted to be believed.

Brewdog's 'terminally hoppy' Born To Die IPA is in - but won't last long. Plus we've also got shedloads of Beavertown cans in, including but not limited to the brand new Power of the Voodoo Triple IPA and re-ups on Bloody Ell and Neck Oil.

In hot sauce news, to celebrate our six-month anniversary, we've launched our very own hopped hot sauce. HBB1 Hopped & Burning Hot Sauce has been created with UK hot sauce queen Miranda Pellew of Chilli Pepper Pete in Brighton, and is based on the Middle Eastern sauce zhoug. Rich and tangy, it brings together coriander, parsley, cumin and lemon juice with jalapeno and Thai chillies, plus an infusion of Summit hops from Peckham’s own Brick Brewery. It's amazing with Middle Eastern cuisine, mind-blowing with all things BBQ and goes pretty well with a beer too. On sale from Friday!

And join us on Saturday afternoon when we officially launch Whitey's Bad Boy Jerk Sauce in store. Whitey himself will be in session too, with tastings for all, though without his jerk drum this time (keep your ears peeled for a proper jerk session going down in the forecourt before the summer is out).

The Kiwis are coming

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When we first started planning the beast that would become Hop Burns & Black (in March 2013, would you believe it - good things take time), we knew that we wanted to be specialists in New Zealand craft beer. Our firm belief is that the Kiwi craft beer scene is one of the most exciting on the planet - and that's not just because we were born there....

When we opened at the end of November, our single biggest order was for a mega-shipment of New Zealand beers from the mighty Yeastie Boys, Tuatara and Renaissance. You thirsty folk pretty much drank us dry on most of our lines by the end of January, so it was a relief to hear there was more on the way.

In great news for British beer fans, Yeastie Boys, Tuatara and Renaissance have joined together, with Three Boys and 8 Wired, to form the New Zealand Craft Beer Collective with the goal to bring the best of NZ beer to the UK. A new distribution network means we'll be seeing more NZ beers in more places more often. This is ALL GOOD.

In the meantime, we've nabbed an unholy amount of the Collective's first shipment and you can find it on our shelves, in our fridges and on #flagonfill. We aren't exaggerating when we say that some of these beers will rank among the best you've ever tasted. 

We're holding a tap takeover celebration from 5pm on Thursday 19th Feb, with four great NZ beers on #flagonfill and loads of free tasters, and our shelves and fridges are bursting with Kiwi booze,  

But while we've nabbed as much as we possibly can, we still have very small amounts of some lines, so you really don't want to snooze on this. Come on down and check out what might just be the UK's largest retail range of NZ craft beer - 30+ different beers and counting. And every single one of them rocks.