History of the NZ IPA

History of the NZ IPA

What is a New Zealand IPA

First and foremost, New Zealand IPAs are made at least, in part with New Zealand hops. They are similar to American west coast IPAs although where they differ is they are usually more balanced than American IPAs and the bitterness is usually less pronounced. They are often lighter in colour with a good malt body that balances out the hops. The New Zealand hops give NZ IPAs a more tropical note with floral, fruity, stonefruit, white grape and sulphur/Diesel like aromas. Citrussy and grassy have also been used to describe the profile.

History of The New Zealand IPA

In 2009 a New Zealand brewer called Soren Eriksen first brewed Hopwired for his brewing company called 8-wired. He liked the big bold American IPAs and wanted to recreate this using the fantastic New Zealand Hops that were readily available. A trailblazer when first released in 2009, HopWired was one of the world’s first IPAs to be brewed exclusively with New Zealand hops.
Today it’s as unique as ever, delivering an enticing punchbowl of tropical fruit, citrus and gooseberry flavours balanced by mouth-filling caramel malt sweetness.

‘’Hopwired was one of the first, true new world IPAs made exclusively with unique NZ hops. In its short life time it has become a modern classic among Kiwi craft beers. Since then, many other IPAs have emerged but we dare say this is still somewhat the benchmark.
Although there is plenty of malt sweetness, this beer is all about the hops. Punchy, aggressive, New Zealand hops that all add up to create wonderful, tropical flavours and aromas. Wine people would talk about waves of passionfruit, limes, tangelos & gooseberries. Luckily we don’t have to go to such detail, so you can just enjoy it without further complication.’’
Cheers – Soren Eriksen – Brewer

Beers to follow 8 Wired’s HopWired some years later were Sauvin Bomb from Liberty Brewing, and Pernicious Weed from Garage Project, these were all 100% New Zealand hopped, and up until Hopwired came out people almost disregarded New Zealand hops as being any good for IPAs.


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