When I glanced at this beer on the shelf I initially dismissed it on the strength of the 'west coast' printed on the label. I thought it to be another American pale ale of the hop driven variety, that while more than likely a satisfying drop, could be overlooked in favour of something a little more eclectic. But then the '1868' in smaller print caused me to reconsider what with the craft beer scene in the US being unable to claim such a vintage. Turns out this beer is from New Zealand and so perfectly fitted my whimsy for something a little different.
I might have done better to leave it on the shelf. The label boasts of burnt sugars and blackberry - which are there without doubt, particularly the blackberry, but the whole thing is weak and insipid and even looked worn out, not managing to retain the slightest bit of the wispy foam that I coaxed from it. A bit of a disappointment but not entirely unexpected. Beer from the southern hemisphere isn't renowned for its challenging flavour but I held out hope after my experience of Brew Moon a few years ago. It's all part of the fun when hunting beer.