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Hopwired | 8 Wired Brewing Co.

121 Reviews
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Brewed by:
8 Wired Brewing Co.
New Zealand (Aotearoa) | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
We're pretty sure HopWired is the first bottled new world India Pale Ale made with NZ grown pale ale malt and 100% unique NZ hops. We bet you'll find nothing else like it on the shelves.

Although there's plenty of malty sweetness, this beer is all about the hops. But unlike an American IPA, which will mainly challenge you with grapefruity and pine-like flavours and aromas, the kiwi hops used in HopWired produce something more like a tropical punchbowl: Passion fruit, limes, oranges and Sauvignon Blanc grapes to name but a few. A local Marlborough winemaker even said it smelled like gooseberries... Gooseberries? When did you last actually smell a gooseberry??

Decide for yourself, or just enjoy it without further complication. Cheers!

70 IBU

Added by ADZA on 11-26-2010

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Reviews: 121 | Ratings: 343
Reviews by Reaper16:
Photo of Reaper16
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle -- no bottling date -- served into a tulip glass

Pours a murky, septic-looking dirty dishwater brown color. It looks in turns like an Arnold Palmer and the contents of my toilet after I've taken a pee/poop combo. Unpleasant is the word that comes to mind. Also: poopy-pants color. That exact phrase came to mind. When held to direct light, it doesn't appear to have any floating yeast particles, which I initially thought were to blame for this ugly color. Alas, this beer's New Zealand-grown barley must be to blame. Close to a finger of thin, off-white head dissipates with a quickness.

There are lots of interesting flavors at play here. It's a shame that this bottle is old. It tastes past its prime (thanks Shelton Brothers, for importing this beer, but try to get it to the U.S. quicker next time). It is more than a little malty. The typical crystal malt overload of an IIPA is present, though this New Zealand-grown malt has an interesting greenness to it, like brussel sprouts. The hops, while dying off, are still strong enough to give you some unique flavor combinations: grapefruit, of course, but also an intense grassyness, lime, persimmon, gooseberry. It's the gooseberry & grass that is perhaps most typically New Zealand in profile. If you are familiar with New Zealand Sauvingon Blanc varietal wine, specifically from Marlborough (where 8 Wired Brewing is also located), then you will recognize these flavors. The same terroir that so flavors grapes grown in Marlborough also lend similar flavors to the region's hops. I'm big into New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc because it tastes like hops, so the taste reinforcement here does wonders for my palate. If only the beer were fresh. At this point, I'd do an awful lot for a fresh bottle of this. I'm scoring this a 4.0 anyway, because I can tell that Hopwired will melt faces if fresher.

I mention the smell after the taste because 1.) I forgot to write it earlier, and 2.) the aroma is showing the effects of age more dramatically than the taste is. Caramelly malt aromas dominate. It's green, again, like a bit of alfalfa. I get some of the gooseberry/boysenberry thing going on, a considered grassy note, and some dim orange. This bottle smells like it has the potential to be great when fresh.

This is a medium-bodied IIPA; not on the thin side, not on the thick side, but rather decidedly medium-bodied. I prefer the thinner IIPAs but I can live with this. The carbonation feels nice and smooth here. You can tell it's there, but it isn't prickly at all. It works well with the tropical, somewhat vinous flavor profile.

I was extremely excited to try this beer. Unfortunately, it's old. If I ever get a fresher bottle I will be glad to revisit and update this review. Assuming that every bottle on shelves in the U.S. right now is as old as the one I'm drinking, I can say that this is a unique IIPA with potential, but is little more than "solid." Do buy if you're a big IPA fan and/or you enjoy New Zealand white wines.

 3,008 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of beerhunter13
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of MadScientist
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of dandaugherty1221
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of PeteyPabs
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Color is reminiscent of good apple cider - dark and a bit hazy. Thin head, though it holds up.

A burst of tropical fruit dominates: pineapple and orange. Bright and sweet.

The tropical fruit trend continues. The sweetness is disarming - like nothing I've come across prior. Sharp hop bitterness shows up on the back end and doesn't linger.

Light body and medium carbonation. Extremely drinkable, as you'll probably be on a desperate search to figure out what exactly you're tasting.

Stumbled across this beer and decided to try it based on its promise of being a more exotic alternative to the standard American IPA. Also has a nice label, which is very important if you're a sucker of that sort of thing. It lived up to the promise.

 738 characters

Photo of tednkelly
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.31/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

500mL bottle from the LCBO, part of the spring release. Around 6 bucks - not bad for a pint of good NZ craft IPA.

Poured into a nonic. Light caramel copper, about a half inch of head, with some terrific lacing and nice retention on the head.

The label and website describes this brew as being an all NZ brew, using NZ malts and hops - Nelson Sauvin, as well as two of the most Kiwi-sounding hop varieties one could imagine: Motueka and Southern Cross. This unique character certainly appears in the nose for this beer, which is certainly piney and strong malted grain, but the fruit is not the typical pithy grapefruit. It is something else - wine, tropical fruit, a few other odds and ends I can't quite pick out. Certainly highly enjoyable, and of its own kind.

Tastes much as it smells - a terrific blend of strong bitter pine and grain alongside subtle grape, guava or papaya (who am I kidding, I can't tell - call it non-citrus tropical fruit). A true sipping IPA. Nicely carbonated, mild bodied.

I've yet to be disappointed by a NZ craft beer; this is the first one that really brew me away. The Nelson Sauvin gets full billing here, and does superbly to help create a unique, tasty IPA. I will certainly be back for more of this.

 1,241 characters

Photo of innominat
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of mjtiernan
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of virinow
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of chickenm
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of BGDrock
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear copper; big, egg-white head with strong retention and lacing

Aroma: bright citrus - orange grapefruit, lime - hinting at sweet and bitter; some spruce elements as well but generally it's on the fruity side

Taste & Mouthfeel: lightly oily, creamy texture; starts with a mild, simple, sweet malt flavour, but then the hops rush in with biting resin bitterness just barely caressed with lingering caramel malt; the citrus elements of the nose aren't present, this is all spruce tips; after time, things start to balance out and tropical, floral fruits gain the strength to balance out the hops very well -

Overall: it really becomes something interesting about halfway through, could make for a good sessionable beer with fresh, vibrant attributes throughout

 776 characters

Photo of ste5venla
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Iparedman
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of biboergosum
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle, a nice surprise to see the first Kiwi microbrewery available in Alberta.

This beer pours a crystal clear, medium golden amber hue, with two bulbous fingers of silky and foamy off-white head, which leaves a few aggressive flourishes of whipped cream lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.

It smells of bitter citrus rind, acerbic pine resin, blended tropical fruit, earthy black tea, and lightly toasted and somewhat buttery, grainy malt. The taste starts with a strong pine and spruce tips bitterness, some sugar-free grapefruit and lime fruitiness, with a few tropical fruit notes lending some subtle sweetness, until the bready, moderately caramelized malt brings up the rear, which is more or less free of any alcohol intransigence.

The bubbles are a tad playful, but harmless enough, the body a decently solid middleweight, but with a slightly tacky cloyingness, one which precludes outright smoothness. It finishes off-dry, the bitterness barely losing a half-step, and the fruitiness and malt doing well to keep things between the ditches.

A commendable strike into the heart of the American IPA West, despite the label's protestations to the contrary. I'm not getting a lot of the proclaimed Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc wine characteristics, beyond a minor tic in this otherwise textbook (in a good way!) bitter hops/adequate malt archetype of the west coast Yankee way. Good on 'em for trying, but the ideal seems to just resist change.

 1,468 characters

Photo of AlexChillton
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Griffith
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of Metalmonk
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not only a new brewery for me, but probably my first-ever New Zealand beer. Pours a seriously opaque dark sunset/burnt orange color, which leaves a ton of lace on the glass after the finger-thick dirty white head drops to an eighth-inch skim. Good lookin'.

Incredible aroma. Herbal, minty, fruity and honey-sweet, the hops here are intense yet tastefully balanced against the malt. But, no doubt this is a hop lover's beer, and I haven't even tasted it yet...

The flavors on the tongue don't impart anything I didn't detect in the aroma, except for being a little more resiny overall. And magnified on the tongue, for sure. Tropical fruit abounds, and a pointy but not sharp mint/herbal/black tea taste embeds itself. Some honey in the background, with a deep toffee maltiness that has presence but only acts as a foundation for the complex and unique hop characteristics. Finishes somewhat dry, and with a completely unexpected flash of black licorice, but with all of this other stuff going on directly on top of the tongue, could very well be a sensory illusion. Whatever the case, I'm digging it.

Smooth, slick, resinous but somehow not sticky, this is texturally bright and buoyant and works well with the dazzling flavors on display.

A unique take on hop-centric beers and, more specifically, a stand-alone IPA. Big and bold of flavor, but so well-balanced in every aspect that it's one of the more drinkable of its type. I'm a fan.

 1,442 characters

Photo of bigsquirrel
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very pleasant and flavourful IPA. Unusual white wine flavours, citrus, mango, melon, berry, apricot. High IBU. Very good taste profile but for hopheads. Huge head, retained at three-quarters of an inch. Hop aromas are floral and citrus. Dry aftertaste. Carbonation is suitable, making it into a bt of a brut.

 308 characters

Photo of mcthfg
4.49/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Vanz
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of bsizzle74
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of woodchip
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

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Hopwired from 8 Wired Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 121 ratings.