Beer Reviews

Cloud Harvest 08: Whangamata

Whangamata marks the eighth entry into our Cloud Harvest series, a rotating roster of Unfiltered Juicy IPAs. Taking its name from a coastal beach on the North Island of New Zealand, Whangamata soars with juicy hop flavor. Amarillo, Citra, Galaxy, Pacific Sunrise, and Cascade hops impart waves of tangerine, berry and mango notes. Stay tuned for upcoming releases in the Cloud Harvest series!

Reviews are done by our Sensory Specialist Travis Houston, a Certified Cicerone and FoBAB judge.

Malts: Pilsner, Wheat, Carafoam, Acidulated, Naked Oats

Hops: Pacific Sunrise, Amarillo, Citra, Galaxy, Cascade

Cloud Harvest 08 (Whangamata) is the eighth iteration in our Unfiltered Juicy IPA Series. Just to refresh, will you talk about the rotational nature of this series. What is up with the names?  

The names of all the Cloud Harvest releases reference a picturesque, often tropical location. These are all real locations, but we use a bit of imagination and embellishment to create a properly dreamy scenario in which to experience these juicy, fruity, lush, tropical hop flavors. Blue skies, rolling waves, warm sands, and interesting geographic idiosyncrasies from the locations are all woven into the story of each release. Whangamata, for instance, is a coastal beach on the North Island of New Zealand, and from the coast you can see the Whenuakura Wildlife Sanctuary, which is nicknamed “Donut Island” because of its torus shape. The description on the Cloud Harvest 08 can is trying to capture this beautiful, unique landscape in a surreal way. We all could use a brief mental staycation. Close your eyes, take a sip, and get your head in the clouds! 

To oversimplify, the impetus for the Cloud Harvest project was experimentation with new hopping technology, yeast strains, biotransformation, extracts, and other hop “juice looseners.” Can you talk a bit about the science behind these juicy IPAs? 

Cloud Harvest IPAs are our opportunity to push the envelope with emerging techniques and technologies. Lots of stuff has happened in recent years in terms of the way we hop beers, not the least of which is the way that certain yeast strains interact with thiols and terpenes in hops, or biotransformation. We can achieve all manner of fun, fruity, juicy flavors that were difficult, or sometimes nearly impossible not that long ago without adding actual fruit. The Cloud Harvest series has been all about harnessing the power of biotransformation, exploring new hop varieties, and having fun with advances in hop tech. The results have been consistently tasty!

What makes Whangamata (08) stand out from the previous Cloud Harvest releases? 

These releases all feature exciting new hops. You’ll always see some classic, citrusy favorites, like Citra and Cascade, alongside other, newer stars. Whangamata features Pacific Sunrise, a New Zealand hop that has a LOT going on, from classic citrus notes to stone fruit, pinesap, and berry notes. The result is a low-bitterness brew with loads of citrus, mango and berry flavor and a bit of extra depth and complexity. This one is an internal favorite at the brewery!

What makes you want to drink this beer? 

Like the previous Cloud Harvest releases, this one is very tropical and fruit-forward. Acidulated malt gives it a little extra tartness, and the oats give it a creamier mouthfeel, which complements the hop flavors quite nicely. This one keeps you coming back!

What are some of your favorite recent IPAs that lean into a juicier, softer hop profile? 

Bell’s Official Hazy IPA and Sierra Nevada’s Hazy Little Thing are both readily available. If you want a bit of a challenge, seek out anything by Monkish, Treehouse, or Trillium: you may have to put in some effort, but it will be well worth it. 

Appearance: Light gold and hazy with fluffy white foam.

Aroma: Bright, tropical pineapple and papaya with lime peel and peach notes rounded out with a subtle grassy finish.

Taste: Meyer lemon, juicy mango and ripe berry with low bitterness and a mild perception of sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and juice-like with lingering fruity sweetness.

Overall: Whangamata is light gold and hazy with fluffy white foam, and features notes of tangerine, berry, and mango. 

What foods would pair well with Cloud Harvest 08? Fresh fish tacos with a spicy mango salsa would be bangin’ with this one. 

Ideal glassware for Cloud Harvest 08? Standard shaker pint is the way to go! If you wanna drink it out of a coconut shell or a cored pineapple, live your best life—we aren’t here to judge…