So yeah, our Christmas Offerings at work included a beer which had burnt pohutakawa1 as part of the process, and a beer named after Jesus for no readily-apparent reason. I just loved the irreverence of that. Of course, it didn’t hurt that both beers were really rather lovely, in their very-very different ways.
Martin Townshend’s teeny-tiny brewery outside Nelson is almost exclusively occupied making same pretty-damn-traditionally-English styles of beer. They’re always well made, and many of them have made very popular guest appearances on one or other of our ‘beer engine’ handpulls.2 ‘J.C.’ is a fair touch stronger than its traditional relatives, but hides that extra oomph worryingly-well in a body of nicely complex, steadily-building hoppy fruit flavours.
Verbatim: Townshend ‘J.C.’ IPA 16/12/10 on handpull @ MH, shouted by a regular (from my horrid old pub, in fact) — and how much more Christmassy can you get than a beer named after Jesus? This and the previous do make for nicely irreverent Holiday Beers. This is a bit hazy, but a nice muted paleish orange colour. Easier to drink than it should be @ 5.8%, the hops are fresh and light in the body but build a nice big bitter finish.
1: Note for aliens: The pohutakawa is the ‘New Zealand Christmas Tree’. It blooms around the right time, and does so with cute bright red flowery things, and so nicely hits the stereotypical colours.
2: We used to always have two dark beers — ordinarily Tuatara Porter and Invercargill ‘Pitch Black’ Stout — on handpull, which always struck me as a bit of a waste. We’ve lately settled into a pattern of one dark (porter / stout) and one brown (IPA or bitter) — much better.