Moa Brewing Company - Southern Alps
- ABV: 6.4%
- Bottle Size: 330-ml
- Serving Temperature: 45-50° F
- Suggested Glassware: Tulip or Pint Glass
- Malts: Pale Wheat, Vienna
- Hops: Nelson Sauvin, Citra
Southern Alps pours a golden-copper color with a long-lasting head of tight-bubbled foam. There's a yeasty haze present, as we expect from a White IPA. Feel free to stir up any yeast at the bottom of this bottle-conditioned beer and pour into your glass. White IPAs have become a very popular mash-up of IPA and Belgian Witbier, with the hoppy IPA character merging quite nicely into the spicy, coriander-infused flavor profile of a yeasty Wit. Southern Alps accomplishes this marriage beautifully in the aroma. Look for the spicy and citric coriander to merge right into hoppy notes of grapefruit, lemon, gooseberry, and tropical fruit. Bright and zesty on the palate, we picked up flavors of citrus juice and zest, coriander, mild clove, touches of passion fruit, and peppery notes. The malt backbone is plenty robust to support the hoppy and spicy fireworks while providing subtle touches of toast and hints of caramel. Smooth, medium-bodied, and deftly balanced, this brew impressed us greatly and is among the better White IPAs we've encountered this year. For food pairing options, spicy & citrusy seafood and chicken dishes such as tacos with cilantro would be at the top of our list, along with rich, creamy cheeses. Cheers!
While the remote island country of New Zealand tends to be best known by imbibers for its exceptional handling of the Sauvignon Blanc grape, its artisanal beer scene has been gaining ground quickly. Expressive breweries like 8 Wired, Epic, Yeastie Boys, and Moa have gained an enthusiastic audience in the U.S. (despite usually only being available in limited amounts). And New Zealand’s unique hop-growing industry has been impacting saisons, IPAs and other pale ales, and pilsners the world over. As with grapes, the country’s mild maritime climate and encouraging soil have resulted in a wealth of expressive flavor and aroma hops for brewers to experiment with, including the lemon-lime-like Motueka, orange-marmalade-ish Pacifica, and, of course, the renowned Nelson Sauvin variety, which tends to strike gooseberry notes similar to those of the aforementioned Sauvignon Blanc. As a bonus for being located hundreds of miles from pretty much anything, New Zealand also lacks the pests and diseases common in other hop-growing locales—making it a major international source of organically grown hops.
Moa Brewing Company, located amidst the verdant vineyards of the country’s wine-minded Marlborough region, has been helping lead New Zealand’s craft beer movement since it was established back in 2003. The brewery’s founder, Josh Scott, left behind a promising career in the family wine business (his father actually played a significant role in the area’s viticultural ascent) to pursue his passion for beer, fueled by the brewing knowledge he’d gained from extensive travels in Europe and northern California. The brewery’s name originates from the country’s enormous and extinct flightless birds, and more specifically from Josh’s experience hand-delivering beer to a group of archeologists who’d been working to unearth one. Moa Brewing takes full advantage of its proximity to locally grown New Zealand hop varieties, crafting unfiltered, bottle-conditioned beers that have been some of the most exceptional releases we’ve sampled from that side of the world.
Presently, Moa brews five "Classic Range" beers, eight more adventurous "Reserve Range" beers including this month's Southern Alps, along with a variety of limited releases, sour barrel-aged vintage beers, and several ciders. For more info, visit them at www.moabeer.com.
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