Craft beer in New Zealand has come along way in the last 10 years. From a focus on lagers and the development of the New Zealand hopped Pilsner, through the rise of hoppy pale ales , into a lupulin arms race to see who could create the biggest Double IPA and now into the broadening world of sour beers, barrel aging and session beer. The rise of the session beer has in part been kicked off by the changes to the drink drive laws and has seen brewers set themselves the challenge of creating flavoursome beer at low alcohol. Many of these beers have taken the form of low abv IPA’s , a handful have gone down the session saison route but for us it was always going to be the English tradition that we followed. And why not considering England has been leading the world in flavoursome low strength beer for 100 years.
This coming week will see us launch O.S.B. or Omahi Special Bitter for long. The observant out there will notice we did release a very small batch under this name in 2014. Now with our own brewery it seemed the right time to bring it back , at a lower ABV and with a very different hopping and a slightly tweaked grist. This time we have used some of the awesome whole flower NZ grown Styrian Golding hops we contracted at the last harvest alongside NZ Goldings and NZ Fuggels in pellet form to create a lightly spicy , plumy hop character. We have combined NZ Mild , NZ Pale Ale, Scottish Crystal and a touch of Scottish black malt to create a tawny copper coloured beer with some nice toffee and caramel notes. Then we bring it all together with our marmalady English yeast strain. O.S.B. will be popping up on both fizzy taps and handpump in the weeks to come.
Full specs are here