What a gorgeous day. After a very mediocre January, summer’s finally hit Wellington. No wind, clear blue skies, warm and joyful, perfect weather for the fun of the Island Bay Festival, going to the beach, sneaking good beer into The Basin to watch the test, or just relaxing on the deck with a book, a beer and some music.
Some beers seem custom made for such beautiful weather. Beers like Yeastie Boy’s gorgeous golden ale, Golden Perch.
I mean, just look at it, in the picture to the right. Gorgeous. Shining like gold. All that glitters is not gold – some of it is beer, too.
Yes, that was a Tolkien reference, because this ale was brewed for the premier of The Hobbit, and is named after a tavern in The Shire, that serves “the best beer in Eastfarthing.” A quality Frodo noted in The Fellowship of the Ring by choosing to avoid it on their journey east, so as to avoid the inevitable delay.
And I’m sure Pippin and Merry would’ve quite happily spent a day or more at The Golden Perch, if a beer as lovely as this sessionable little beauty was being poured.
Because despite clocking in with a very moderate 4.4% abv, this beer tastes huge. The Nelson Sauvin hops explode out of the glass with aroma, bright fresh passion fruit and grapefruit. In the mouth its sweet and malty, and very very smooth.
So very very drinkable. Light and fruity, it’s a beer that takes me aback every time I drink it with whole bold and vibrant it tastes. Yet not loud or abrasive. The mix between the hops and the malt is perfect and gentle; there’s no harsh bitterness lurking at all.
In a moment of whimsy, I’d almost say this is more like a sparkling fruit drink than a beer. But it is a beer, a sweet and aromatic golden ale. A style that may not be as popular or sexy as others, but I’d say more might be tempted to try it out if they’d only give Golden Perch a sip.
And, fortunately, its relatively easy to find at supermarkets, good bottle stores and on tap at many bars. This is good, because after being released in late 2012 it was another victim of the many and varied issues the Yeasties had getting beer onto the market in 2013. But it’s back, and in bulk, and is worth getting hold of.
A delicious summer beer. Track down a bottle and enjoy it on the next fine day. Extra points if you can get it into the Basin Reserve.