Total Score: 7.5/10
Although I’ve only had one Garage Project brew thus far (their Venusian Pale Ale), I do admire their experimental approach to brewing and the craft involved in said approach. It was in this spirit that I happened upon Hāpi Daze at the local Murphy’s; Dan. First thought that sprung to mind was “Oh good, Dan Murphy’s might actually start expanding their beer range for the first time in years…” followed by “… I do enjoy a decent Pacific Pale Ale as well – instabuy スーパー! [I always exclaim things in Japanese when I get excited]”.
Poured from a 330ml can into a nonic pint.
A: Presents with an appetizing cloudy tangerine body and boisterous fluffy 2cm white head that reduces to a half centimetre leaving lace patterns on the side of the glass. Good protein content in that head as the astute beer connoisseur would note. 9/10.
S: I admit I have a bit of a love affair with New Zealand hops – specifically the aroma (more than the flavour – which I often find lacking somewhat) Hāpi Daze is no slouch in the hops department either, with notes of: Cumquat, Kiwi fruit, stone fruit and honey dew melon rounding out a hop driven aroma that is sweet with tart and bitter notes. There is a thin malt base providing a biscuity sweetness as well (I refer to the Australian-English not American use of the word “biscuit” in all of my reviews in case you hadn’t noticed). 9/10.
T: Flavour once again, as it so often does with Kiwi hopped brews, fails to live up to the aroma hype. That said the hops are present, and showcased well in this 4.6% ABV lightweight… well lightweight to a regular Russian Imperial Stout drinker like myself anyway. The above noted aromas are present and are finished with an acidic citric bitterness that would be right at home in a glass of Sauvignon Blanc (an artefact of the Nelson Sauvin hop). Overall taste is strangely assertive yet light. 7/10.
M: Mid to light bodied with a sharpish (though it could be the acidity) carbonation. 7/10.
D: I like Hāpi Daze, especially the Fonz, it’s fresh, refreshing, eat fresh (no wait that’s Subway) with a bit of that acidic citric bitterness at the end that says “Oi, I aint going dun without a fight bru!”. Garage Project have hit on a marginal winner here, if only they could get the price down to a competitive level (@ $22 a 4-pack it isn’t really competing with similar brews, eg: Little Creatures Pale Ale). 7/10.
Food match: Fush and chups… or salmon steaks… or fried calamari rings.