Total Score: 7.25/10
Fifteen hundred odd beers* into my personal beer journey and I guess you could say the feeling of discovering something new has gone… or has it? Kiwi brewer Garage Project, who I’ve never been too keen forking out $18 for one of their brews, have piqued my interest with this VPA that contains “Venusian Spear Fungus” among other things, now I just had to try a beer with fungi. If this goes well I’ll be reviewing their Indochine Pale Ale: Death from Above next.
Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.
A: Hazy orange body with a bone coloured head which settles down to a light lace on top, and some bizarrely large carbonation bubbles knocking about. 8/10.
S: The classic IPA hop combo of pine/citrus is there, no surprises with that, but there is a lingering treacle sweetness layered in along with a touch of fresh basil. Colour me triple piqued now. 8/10.
T: So what we have is a tasty, but fairly typical, IPA in all its sweet and pine/citrus hoppy glory. I like it but at the same time I’m disappointed that a beer brewed with fungus isn’t crazy-goofball-off-the-wall unique… I suspect that in brewing with bold hops, and the quantity of the ingredients I’m not getting that Garage says is in their brew (lemongrass, kaffir lime leaf, Venusian Spear Fungus) is underbalanced compared to the hops. I did however note on a second sip a kaffir lime/lemongrass aftertaste. Not sure what Venusian Spear Fungus tastes like though. 7/10.
M: Medium bodied with a light but dense carbonation, surprising given the large bubbles. 7/10.
D: Now I’m wondering if there are any other fungus beers out there… I imagine there’s someone as eccentric as me that has thought about and done it… Anyway I did enjoy this as a stock standard IPA. The balance is good, and it doesn’t scream 7.5% ABV, so that is good too. I will get my hands on their DfA as it sounds like an interesting brew. Overall this is good but nothing wow. 7/10.
Food match: I had a Lebanese zaatar with this beer (a flatbread cooked with ground oregano and other spices) and it went down well, but Thai/Vietnamese would also work too.
*That is to say I estimate that I’ve tried around 1,500 different beers over the last 16 years I’ve been drinking said delightful amber fluid, my review tally stands at 460 with this review though.