Top Ranked Contender by Fierce Beer
Brewed in collaboration with the New Zealand Beer Collective, This IPA uses an experimental New Zealand hop variety that will be named later this year. Floral notes paired with tropical fruit and a low bitterness create a super sessionable take on the style
The live tasting of this beer was on 30th July 2020 #BeerBods
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It takes some guts to put something like 'you're probably going to hate this, but...' on your first batch of bottle labels. But that’s exactly what two former oil and gas workers, Dave Grant and David McHardy, did when they launched Aberdeen’s first-ever microbrewery in May 2016. That one line of text spelt out their intention to make some of the most crazy-ass beers that British beer drinkers have ever seen.
The two Daves met on a brewing course up in Sunderland. “We got up and told pretty much the same story: ‘I am in the oil industry but now I want to be a brewer’ – it was a bit weird,” Grant says. “We started talking, and everything fell into place very well. I liked the beers he was making, he liked the beers I was making, and the rest, as they say, is history.”
Four years on and Fierce Beer have more than established themselves within the industry. Capacity has grown rapidly since they started back in 2016 and they are now capable of brewing 800,000 litres of beer a year, exporting to 15 countries and counting.
For this week’s beers, Fierce has teamed up with the New Zealand Beer Collective. Formed in 2015 The New Zealand Beer Collective have the simple aim of bringing some of the best beers their country has to offer 12,000 miles to the UK.
Starting out with a handful of partner breweries including the likes of Yeastie Boys, Tuatara and 8 wired, NZBC helped address the issue of export costs that prove unscalable for a lot of small breweries over in New Zealand. In 2016 they set up a permanent base in the UK and since have begun to showcase not just beers but native New Zealand ingredients too, primarily hops.
Tonight, you will have one of two beers in your case, Undisputed Champion or Top Ranked Contender. Both beers feature New Zealand hop varieties imported by NZBC.
Undefeated Champion is a single-hopped IPA showcasing the undisputed champion of New Zealand hops, Nelson Sauvin. Undefeated since 2000 thanks to its stunning aromas and flavours, tropical notes of lychee and mango pair with a soft, full-bodied mouthfeel in this simply stunning example of the east coast style.
Top Ranked Contender is again a single-hopped IPA showcasing an experimental New Zealand hop that is still yet to be named. Big hits of tropical fruit are balanced against a lasting bitterness.
Will the Top Ranked contender be a match for the Undefeated Champion? You decide.