Beer Reviews

Kiwi (the Bird) New Zealand Style IPA

Kiwi (the bird, not the fruit).

This New Zealand Style IPA uses the choicest Southern Hemisphere hops for a profile chockablock with tropical fruit aromas and vibrant melon and citrus flavors. You’ll wanna keep a few of these in the chilly bin. Kiwi (the Bird) is a limited release, available on draft and in cans exclusively in the Hop Box variety pack. Read on to get a panoramic view of this bright and tropical Hop Box-exclusive brew!

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


Malts: Pilsner, Flaked Wheat, Oats

Hops: Motueka, Nelson Sauvin, Talus, Mosaic

Kiwi (the Bird) is available exclusively in the Hop Box: can you talk a little bit about what the Hop Box is all about, and how Kiwi fits in?

The hop box is a mixed pack that allows us to showcase all the different, interesting ways hops can be utilized in modern brewing. The beers in this pack utilize a combination of new varietals of hops, novel brewing techniques, and exciting innovations in yeast. Kiwi (the Bird) features some hops that are grown in New Zealand that recently hit the market and are already fan favorites. 


Kiwi (the Bird) is a New Zealand Style IPA. What makes is “New Zealand Style”?  

The main thing that differentiates New Zealand IPA from other IPA styles is where the hops used in the brew are grown. Nelson Sauvin hit the beer scene as the first popular New Zealand grown hop about 20 years ago, spawning a breeding frenzy that has produced other beloved varietals like Motueka, Southern Cross, and Rakau. Hops express their own terroir, meaning that the region in which they’re grown strongly affects their flavor and aroma. New Zealand hops are unique in that they not only impart the typical floral, citrus, and tropical hop notes, but also bring aromas of melon, sweet berries, and even Sauvingon Blanc grape, which is where Nelson Sauvin derives its name. Kiwi (the Bird) uses both Motueka and Nelson Sauvin, along with a bit of Mosaic and Talus to round out the fruit-forward profile. The rest of a New Zealand IPA recipe is similar to a West Coast IPA, featuring medium-high, hop derived bitterness, and just enough sweet, crackery malt for balance. The result is a beer that’s loaded with intense tropical and citrus aromas, with underdtones of fresh melon and ripe berry. The finish is crisp and dry, allowing the sweet fruit flavor to linger.


What are the notable characteristics of this beer?

This beer is bursting with hop derived fruit aromas, mainly fresh papaya, ripe melon, and bright citrus peel. Hints of cracker-like malt help to balance out the medium bitterness, creating a refreshing beer that lingers with hoppy fruit flavors.


What are some other New Zealand Style IPAs that you dig?

Crooked Stave New Zealand Kiwi IPA, Fat Head’s Nectorious H.O.P. New Zealand IPA, and Wicked Weed New Zealand IPA.

What makes you want to drink this beer?

These hops aren’t the most readily available to brewers in the US, so when I see a beer that features them, I always make sure to grab a pint or two. Both Nelson Sauvin and Motueka have characteristics that are completely distinct to them, and it’s always impressive how directly that translates to the finished beer, creating a brew that’s as unique as it is delicious. Kiwi (the Bird) is a perfect example of this, and is joining the Hop Box just in time to help cool you down during the dog days of summer. Throw on your jandals and get munted.


Appearance: Gold color with slight chill haze and thick, fluffy white foam. 

Aroma: Hop derived notes of fresh papaya, ripe melon, and zesty citrus peel.


Taste: Medium bitterness with just enough balancing malt sweetness allow the fruity flavors to dominate and linger pleasantly.


Mouthfeel: Light bodied with medium carbonation.


Overall: Kiwi (the Bird) is a New Zealand IPA that features intense notes of fresh papaya, ripe melon, and zesty citrus. Medium bitterness and hints of malty sweetness lead to an incredibly fresh and refreshing brew that’s perfect for the remainder of summer and the beginning of fall.


What foods would pair well with Kiwi (the Bird)?

Kiwi (the Bird) would go great with fish and chips, which is popular in New Zealand.


Ideal glassware for Kiwi (the Bird)? A standard shaker pint glass.