After taking a couple of days off for a craft beer tasting and a Buffalo Bills football game, my “12 Beers” series returns. And when I picked up this beer off the shelf, I was very curious about it. The beer I chose for the number “8” was Hopwired New Zealand Ale IPA by 8 Wired Brewing Company.
Although this beer has been around for a number of years, I had never noticed it until I was perusing the “overseas” aisle in Premiere Gourmet. I purchased a 16.9 oz. bottle of Hopwired IPA, distributed by Shelton Brothers.
Sadly, the 8 Wired Brewing Co. website appears to have many fatal errors, so I can’t bring you my usual background on the company. All I know is that this brewery is located in Warkworth, New Zealand.
So let’s dive right into the beer review. Here’s a picture of my 8 Wired Hopwired New Zealand IPA:
8 Wired: Hopwired I.P.A.
Style: American IPA
And here’s a photo of the back of the bottle, providing some production details.
Here is where I need to discuss one of my pet peeves with beer reviewers. I could easily write that this beer contained lots of tropical flavors, which it does. And I could also tell you this beer contained waves of passion fruit, limes, tangelos, and gooseberries. And that would be exactly what the label says this beer should have.
But I would be lying to you. Why? Because I’ve never, to the best of my knowledge, tasted a gooseberry! And although some of you may have seen a gooseberry before, I have never even seen a gooseberry. Curious about gooseberries now? Yeah, me too. So here’s a picture of a cultivated Eurasian gooseberry.
I can discern some of the flavors described on the label. I do get tropical fruit flavors. Mango, sure. Lime, yes. Orange, definitely. Is there another fruit flavor that might be what I expect a gooseberry to taste like given the picture above? This fruit looks like a grape-orange hybrid to me. But I’m not ready to proclaim my knowledge of the gooseberry just yet.
All joking aside, Hopwired is a pleasant surprise. The beer possesses a strong malt character, with plenty of sweetness. This sweetness does balance the citrus content in the beer, although this balance leans heavily on the malt side.
It’s hard for me to imagine how long it takes to get a beer from New Zealand to a shelf in Buffalo, but I would expect that this beer is exceptional fresh at the brewery. Howired is still an above average IPA and one I would recommend if you enjoy hop and malt-heavy flavor packed IPAs.
I wonder what this beer would taste like when paired with a gooseberry pie?
This is Day 8 of 12 Beers for the New Year. To see the other reviews, click here:
Day 7: Rogue Farms 7 Hop IPA
Day 6: Sixpoint Brewery: Global Warmer
Day 5: Upright Brewing Five
Day 4: Dark Horse 4 Elf
Day 3: Ommegang Three Philosophers
Day 2: Two Roads Road 2 Ruin
Day 1: Brooklyn Local 1