Our resident beer writer (best job in the world, right?!) has sipped his way through everything from Emu Export to more oat cream IPAs than you can shake a hipster at.
Trying out this week’s sip, Simon Collins gives his verdict on the Tinnie of the Week and whether it’s worth cracking one with a mate.
Zappa Juicy Single Hop NEIPA
WHERE’S IT FROM?
Melbourne’s oldest independent brewery, 3 Ravens.
These mothers’ of craft beer invention have turned heads nationally with fun, sometimes on-trend and occasionally too-trendy beers ranging from the Creamsicle series of fruited cream sours Pina Colada, Cherry and Orange Sherbet to the kick-arse Pink Boots collaboration Freya Red Rye IPA.
Zappa leaps out of their more advisable Juicy series, which has just birthed a Mandarin iteration and is generally top notch.
Head brewer Brendan O’Sullivan grew up in Perth and studied engineering before getting a job as a “beer taster” in 2004, where he clearly developed a taste for experimentation akin to its namesake, Italian-American prog-rock maestro Frank Zappa.
Camera Icon‘Zappa Juicy is fantastic and, even better, not for everyone.’
O’Sullivan has lived in Melbourne since 2011 … but we’ll claim him.
Of course, Zappa once said: “You can’t be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline … in the very least you need a beer.” Right on.
WHAT’S SO SPECIAL ABOUT IT? Zappa Juicy is fantastic and, even better, not for everyone.
O’Sullivan comments that “Zappa is a fascinating but divisive hop, probably much like its namesake” that offers dank, almost barnyard aromas and mango, passionfruit and spicy flavours.
There’s a lot going on, so let’s nerd out a bit.
According to 3 Ravens, Zappa is an American “neomexicanus” hop variety found in the mountains of New Mexico.
“Zappa evolved in the wild and is described as impulsive, complex, unique and difficult to pigeonhole — it seems to speak to everyone differently,” the Thornbury brewer said via email.
“Low alpha acids and generous oil content make this one an exciting prospect for a smooth soft beer with minimal bitterness and complex hop flavour and aroma.”
Camera IconFrank Zappa once said: ‘You can’t be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline … in the very least you need a beer.’ Right on. Credit: Michael Ochs Archives
O’Sullivan added fruit starch via a small amount of peach puree to boost the cloudiness of this unfiltered beer and the “retention of insoluble but delicious hop oils”.
That’s all great. My notes say “juicy” and “fantastic”, which also covers it. (I drank Zappa Juicy alongside 3 Ravens’ Very Juicy, which I described as a “superb, dank, juicy IPA”.)
SHOULD I SHARE IT? The only advice I can really offer right now is to paraphrase the great man. Don’t eat the yellow snow and maybe keep this one to yourself.
WHAT’S THE DAMAGE? About $9 a single and $32 for a four-pack of Frank.
RATING? 🍺 🍺 🍺 🍺.5 cans out of 5. And I’ll leave the final words to Frank Vincent Zappa.
“I noticed even the crickets acted weird up here.
“And so I figures I might just drink a little beer.
“I said ‘Gimme summa that what yer suckin’ on …’
“But there was no reply ’cause she was gone!”
Bit of a weird feller that Zappa bloke. Terrific beer, though.