The winter onslaught is in full swing outside and I’m inside working up a thirst as the fire warms me up. A fire conditioned thirst is a fine thing but it takes a special type of beer to quench. Lucky I have an obsessively well stocked beer fridge. In fact, recently, my beer fridge has overflowed into a second beer fridge. Life is good, I say.
I search around for an ale, pushing aside many aggressive, hop loaded, summer appropriate brews before digging myself out a Croucher Pale Ale. I managed to go through summer without reviewing anything Croucher and I’m ready to mend my ways.
Croucher started by brewing their own beer on-site in Rotavegas, but more recently have taken to contract brewing at Steam alongside the likes of Epic. They have done the Croucher Pilsner and the Croucher Pale Ale for a while now. In fact I remember the Pale Ale winning a Bronze medal in it’s category at Brew NZ 2006. More recently they added Croucher Patriot to the range. I tried the Patriot at Galbrieths on tap when it was released and loved it.
Back to the Croucher Pale Ale, it’s amber coloured, 100% transparent with a medium sized white head. The aroma it kicks off is organic, with grass and pine notes wafting skyward.
Taking a mouthful, caramel and toffee sweetness dominates at first then pass you to a crisp bitterness which finishes with a long grapefruit peel and passionfruist aftertaste. There is also a healthy dose of malt.
It is clean, crisp and malty, with the bitterness perfectly balanced. On this wet, fire warmed day this is the perfect drop, reminding me of summer with grass that isn’t floating in water or mud.
Makes me think I should go dig out a Croucher Patriot and keep on writing.