Sunday 23 August 2015

Blog No.3 Moa @ Hop Burns & Black

Thursday 20th August, 6pm, Peckham....where else would you find a North Essex City Boy???? I'm on my way to Hops Burn & Black (so called due to the love of all things beer, hot sauces and good old fashioned vinyl) to try some New Zealand beers from MOA, new venue/new beers, a good start in anyone's book.
Well, the shop itself did not disappoint - a vast array of mainly bottled beers await plus an assortment of cans too, the shelves and fridges are full to bursting, a wonderful sight to behold. You can also purchase a flagon (yes, a flagon not a growler) of fresh beer from behind the counter. All beers can be drunk on site as well as taken away.
On to the beers then, first up was the Sour Blanc 2013 Vintage, which promised quite a lot on the nose, but, not quite as sour on the palate as I had hoped, didn't quite have me puckering up, but, a clean slightly sharp taste/mouth feel. Sticking with the sour theme, Moa Cherry Sour 2013 Vintage was presented next, the cherries provide both the aroma and the lovely pink colour, not too sharp but, a subtle flavour which I really enjoyed especially on a warm muggy evening.
The third beer on the list was the Five Hop, a NZ take on the traditional English Bitter, unfortunately (for me at least), they nailed the style - a bit earthy, twiggy and grassy, basically tasted "brown", not one I would be revisiting anytime soon.
Festive IPA (Red Edition) was the fourth beer, a bit of an autumnal feel to this one, and would certainly have benefitted from being a bit closer to room temperature. I got some toffee/caramel on the nose, but, not too much of this on the palate, rather some nice tropical notes and a lovely long bitter finish - big thumbs up for this one.
Beer no.5 was the Southern Alps White IPA, I didn't get too much IPA to be honest, but, the wheat/citrus notes came through very nicely. A clean beer, would be a good entry level for a wheat beer novice.
Interestingly, beer no.6 gives nothing away in the name - St Josephs. A Belgian Tripel which comes in at an abv of 9.5%, however, it is a very drinkable version this style, I enjoyed this a lot and would happily have had more of it.
Last, but, not least was the Imperial Stout (10.2%) - this was my favourite of the night. Bitter chocolate flavour, velvet finish and one you could sniff and sip late into a cold winters night (where's a real log fire when you need one?).
And, that as they say was that..........well, that's not true and nor would you expect it to be with all those other beers available. A few of us stayed to sample some bottled and fresh beers (my empty flagon now resides at home with an empty growler - must do something about that!), I also purchased a few to take away, and for those of you who are interested I felt that the price point was on the whole just about right.
We also got a bonus tasting of one final offering from Moa - Moa Sour Blanc - 2012 Vintage. The ageing process had definitely helped beer no.1, much softer with all the edges rounded off.

I think Moa have produced some nice beers, I would like them to be a bit more adventurous with their Belgian sours, but, as was rightly pointed out to me, these beers are produced for their home market first and foremost. 
A very enjoyable evening and would recommend at least one visit to the shop when you next find yourself in Del Boy country (we even walked past a Nags Head en route).
Thanks to Hops Burn & Black for hosting the evening, and, thanks to Beer O'clock Show for inviting me along.

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