Fresher is Better

Fresher is Better

Fresher is Better

This idea of hops fade fast is quite new. For ages, hops were seen as a preservative that helped beer survive those long journeys on rickety ships that sailed to replenish arms and ales in whatever warm part of the world the Crown had decided to colonise that month. Nowadays we're searching wildly for canned on date stamps and thinking twice about buying something that came off the line more than a month ago. I've even heard of people who won't drive out-of-state to buy beer unless they've recently had the car air-conditioning serviced.

I talked about a Hopfenweisse from Cloudwater last week, and about how I thought it had lost some appeal because I'd been extremely slow in getting it from can to glass. I felt like I owed Cloudwater another chance, so have been keeping my eyes peeled for anything in the hoppy-wheaty department with their name on it. Well the stars aligned on Saturday and I was treated to a tasting of Cloudwater's 6th Birthday Beers - one of which turned out to be a (delicious) NZ Hopfenweisse.

Beer is a fantastic way to celebrate a birthday: beer drinkers sometimes like to celebrate by purchasing a special beer, and more and more, we see beer brewers celebrating by brewing a special beer. Cloudwater has been brewing up birthday brews since their very first birthday five years ago. The main focus of their first birthday was on their second-ever (!) DIPA, but they also brewed an Imperial Stout for the occasion.

Since then, Cloudwater's birthday brews have always included a DIPA, which is a nice tradition to have. Some years its just the DIPA, other years they throw a few more styles into the mix. Like this year for instance, which saw them brew a DIPA (as expected), a TIPA and this Hopfenweisse with New Zealand hops. I did get around to trying the DIPA and TIPA, which were also fantastic, but I didn't take very legible notes on those so let's just do the one beer today.

Can You See My Screen? | NZ Hopfenweisse

Alc 6.5% | Canned on 4.2.2021


Hazy deep gold verging on amber.


Papaya! ...and banana smoothie.


Stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth Banoffee Pie with a lovely dry finish. Hints of fruity citrus in the background just barely make it through.


If wheat ales are your thing, this is fantastic. Creamy and banana-burp-inducing. The hops are less noticeable than in the last Cloudwater Hopfenweisse - maybe those classic NZ fruit and citrus hop flavours can hide behind the esters and phenols a bit easier than other hops. It's got an IPA start that doesn't last more than a second before fading to literal Banoffee Pie.

The Banoffee is so strong here that I'm going to talk a bit more about Banoffee. Banoffee in a beer is new to me, but I'm quite experienced with it when it comes to solid desserts. If you get the chance, try the Banoffee Pie on Paros at a beach bar/restaurant/generally-amazing-place called Magaya. After tasting the Magaya Banoffee, your next logical stop would have been the Jazz City Milk Bar in Sydney, but it looks like that's been closed for a while. Given that neither option is very helpful if you're after a quick Banoffee fix, I can only recommend grabbing a can of the Cloudwater to enjoy on the couch.