Text: The Jesuit
Tasting: Malice and staff of Hashigo Cult Beer Bar, Wellington, New Zealand
In May 2015, a parcel of Rogues aka the Thirstyboys wandered into a bar, Hashigo Zake Cult beer bar as it happens. The occasion, a tasting of beers selected from the range of Rogue Ales of Newport, Oregon – a long established player in the American craft beer scene (founded 1989).
1. Brutal IPA 6% ABV (Manpoints 5.5)
Not at all brutal by current hop-crazed standards, this beer is more like a beeted up bad boy version of Coopers Sparkling Ale (as described by the Gingerbeardyman). It would pair well with fish and chips or a flavorsome pie.
2. Hazelnut Brown Nectar 6.0% ABV (Manpoints 3.75)
Brown ale enhanced by hazelnut essence, i.e. what it says on the tin, the nectar reminded us of a nutty liqueur. According to the Little One; “peanut brittle in liquid form”. This might work well as a winter warmer. Potential food matches: pork roast, boysenberry ice cream, pancakes.
3. Rogue Farms Fresh Roast (5.7%ABV) (Manpoints 7.0)
“Smells more than it delivers,” opined the Little One. However, the rest of us felt it held its sweetness better than the two preceding beers. Among suggestions for food pairings were roast chicken, Maggi Onion dip and sticky date pudding with custard.
4. Rogue Farms Chipolte Ale (5.5%ABV) (Manpoints 4.0)
Gingerbeardyman declares this beer reminiscent of a bad scotch but he is a cruel man. In reality, the beer is mild, has hints of smokiness, and not a lot of heat. It was marked down on the man points because it purports to be more than it really is. Food match: chicken quesadillas. “You might drink it…,” declared Gingerbeardyman “ …if you didn’t have any chips!”
5. Chocolate Stout (6.3ABV) (Manpoints 7.25)
Nice, smooth, boozy and definitely chocolaty, we liked this so much we drifted into conversation about television current affairs programmes (or lack thereof). Food match: spicy salami on rye.
6. 7 Hop IPA (8%ABV) (Manpoints 8.0)
Hopsessive Grassy as a sauvignon Blanc or a freshly cut lawn opined Mr Horse. Either way it caused Gingerbeardyman to succumb to some cub scout inspired PTSD. We might drink this with a creamy pasta, say carbonara.
7. (Bonus beer) Marionberry Braggat (11.42%ABV)
This beer incorporates 17 ingredients, notably marionberry a cultivar indigenous to Oregon aka (Rubus L. subgenus Rubus) or Marion blackberry. An award winning brew in 2014 and 15…a big way to end the night.