M.P.A | Renaissance Brewing

very good
50 Reviews
no score
Send samples

Brewed by:
Renaissance Brewing
New Zealand (Aotearoa)

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ADZA on 12-09-2009

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50  | next → last
Reviews: 50 | Ratings: 82
Photo of StJamesGate
3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy oxblood, almost brown, with off white creamy head that fades fast and crusts.
Stewed peaches, caramel, candy apple, resin and strawberry - deep.
Toffee, peach cobbler and pomegranate then orange peel, passionfruit and pine sap hops.
Fresh apricot finish and long luscious bitter linger.
Medium, lots of cling, round.

Single hopped with Rakau.

Big, fruity, chewy, bitter IPA. Darker and maltier than maybe it needs to be - verging on being an Imperial amber or English barleywine more than a DIPA. It's a shame because the malts tip the balance so it's not the best example of how fruity NZ hops can be (like, say, Tuatara Double Trouble.) There's also a dank, earthy thing, like Simcoe, that I'm not sure belongs. Could learn from Cali on how to let the hop sing.

Needs a lighter (or more confident) hand.

 817 characters

Photo of BrewerB
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at City Beer Store today for 9.99.

Pours a dark orange approaching copper. Good not great clarity. Light tan foam with great retention. Tropical fruity aromas with passionfruit and stone fruits being most prevalents. A biscuity/toasty malt aroma making it through as well. Biscuity malt backbone flavor in support of a mango/peachy hop character. High level of bitterness but impressively smooth. Some lingering fruit on the back end. Moderate body, a tad chewier thank your typical DIPA.

 505 characters

Photo of ngeunit1
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a cloudy orange-amber with a finger of frothy off-white head. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of grapefruit, pineapple, peach, tropical fruit, and earth hops with sweet caramel and bready malts, with some biscuit.

T - Starts off with sweet caramel malts with grapefruit, pineapple, peach, and other tropical hops with some bitterness. Through the middle, some earthy and piney hops come through with some more bitterness and some bready and biscuit malts. The finish is a mix of sweet bready and caramel malts with tropical fruits and earthy resiny hops and bitterness.

M - Medium-plus bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth and resiny with a dry and bitter finish.

D - Very drinkable. Very interesting hop profile, but overall good mix of hops, malt, and bitterness.

 841 characters

Photo of AaronHomoya
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very hazy orange/auburn color. Light tan head. Seems to actually be some hop floaties suspended in the beer.

Aroma is actually more caramel malt heavy to me. There is plenty of hop aroma too, though. Some raisins, mango and grassiness. Alcohol pokes through too.

The flavor is initially rather dark with caramel and roasted malt, raisins and other dark fruits. This shows in the finish as well. In between there is some hop flavor. It is not strongly citrus or pine like a US hop, but more fruity and floral.

Mouthfeel is full. Not strongly carbonated.

Overall a fine beer, but seemed far from an explosion of hops to me. Does go nicely with Indian food.

 667 characters

Photo of Nerudamann
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

Look – somewhat dark amber color, hazy, with about a finger’s worth of foam that dissipates somewhat quickly.

Smell – earthy, fruity, type of smell. Smells like a somewhat strong ale. Interesting smell from the new Rakau hops.

Taste – very interesting earthy quality to the hop taste. Pretty close to the smell, but there’s an intriguing muskiness in the middle that permeates into the finish and aftertaste. The bitterness really only shows up in the aftertaste, and even then it’s not too oppressive.

Mouthfeel – pretty well-balanced, but leans a little bit on the creamy side.

Overall – very good-tasting and interesting brew. Nice to try something a little different.

 734 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.45/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

...And it seems that the influx of new hop varieties continue their endless trek. Resistance Brewing explores the fruity, woody, and winy taste of Rakau hops in this Imperial IPA that celebrates the Marlborough countryside.

Richer than the average IPA, the dark russet redish-brown ale has a nearly burgundy nature to its hue. Releasing a semi-structured dense foam cap, the beer retains its foam and resists the sprite effervescence of typical IPAs.

Malty-rich aromas start with slightly scorched caramel, toffee perhaps, and with elements of sorghum, bread crust, and light molasses. A perpheration of vinous wine, wood, tea, and tobacco frame the secondary notes that rise to decorate the malty focus.

Sweet malty taste is met with a rich bready taste of both sorghum and biscuit flavors. The full flavor of malt is counter acted by hop flavor that seems red wine-like, gin-like, and with flavors of mango, cider, and passion fruit before turning woody, herbal, and grassy in its bitterness headed into finish. The malt-sweetness also borrows mature and gentlemanly flavors of fresh cut tobacco, mulled tea leaves, and root beer.

Fuller than the expected imperial IPA, the lighter carbonation and effects from residual sweetness play heavy on the palate and prevent the dryness that's expected of pales. But the release of carbonation leads to a sticky cola-like texture on the palate before the semi-dryness from hops usher in the acetone and acetic character of warm alcohols to finish the beer.

Complex and flavorful throughout, the beer seems to compare favorably when up against beers like Belhaven IPA which isn't an IPA at all, but simply an exploratory ale that introduces new flavors and combinations than have ever been tasted before. And that's good enough for me.

 1,783 characters

Photo of flexabull
3.72/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer was suggested to me by a Kiwi as a nice hoppy New Zealand beer, so after checking a few stores I finally found this, wasn't cheap though.

Pours a hazy orange color with a nice big white head.

Aromas are stinky, resin, floral, earthy (mushrooms?) some ripe fruits, and white wine notes.  A bit odd, but nice.

Taste is hoppy, but not overly so.  Resiny, with a musty earthiness, light citrus, oranges, white wine, and general bitterness.  Finish is dry, with a lingering hop bite. Alcohol is well hidden.

Mouthfeel is full and smooth.

Overall, a nice DIPA, more of a standard IPA to an American west coast palate, but still quite tasty. Drinkable, but not a great value. I prefer Epic and 8 Wired's hoppy offerings to this one.

 741 characters

Photo of allforbetterbeer
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. This must be new in the US as I have never seen it and it only has 17 reviews on BA so far.

A strong pour yield one finger of head that slowly fades to a spotty layer on the surface. The body is hazy orange with an amber tint.

The hops are different than anything I have smelled in an IPA yet, and I suppose this is all due to the Rakau hop, which to my knowledge I have never tasted until now. The aroma of the hops has more vegetable stalky, earthy, elemental aroma than more common American or English hops. It seems to be a greener and more fibrous aroma than the bright citrus bombs of the Pacific northwest US. Peaches and cheese come to mind as I sniff.

The flavor isn't as bitter as expected, and has a thick hop oil quality that I find to be quite nice. The Rakau hop is center stage according to the brewers, and I believe them. This is one of the first DIPAs I have tasted that really is unique in flavor- which is saying a lot. The green/earthy/vegetable/stalky/almost cheesy hop aromas are translated into flavors on the palate, and it does well. The malts are more forward than some DIPAs, but I prefer being able to taste them a little to not knowing they are there at all.

The mouthfeel is slick and smooth, with lower carbonation and a fairly full body. I almost always prefer lower carbonation.

Conclusion: I love tasting a new hop variety! The flavor itself doesn't strike me as awesome, but then again neither did American or English hops when I first tasted them. I think if I drank this more the new flavors would grow on me the same way more common hop flavors have. Maybe it is just the "new factor", but I feel that the hop flavors in this beer are very complex and have an uncommon depth and range of flavor.

 1,763 characters

Photo of beergoot
2.61/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Dark orange body, honey-like; thick off-white head. Great lacing.

Smell: Heavy sweetness, apricot, earthy hops

Taste: Overly sweet; dull hop bitterness; alcohol warmth dominates over hop bitterness at the finish.

Mouthfeel: Thick and chewy, almost syrupy

Overall: I don't see this as being anything like an American IPA. It lacks the floral hoppiness that those kinds of hop bombs and the taste is just too sweet and overpowering. The malts and hops seem to lack any kind of coherent balance and clash more than come together. Who knows, this may have been an old bottle that just didn't travel or age well.

 623 characters

Photo of danieelol
2.99/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Pours a rather dark red golden with nice head and really good lacing.

Aroma is very muted. Honey, ginger, some floral notes. Hops in this one seem spicy and ginseng-like. Bit of plastic and spider's web. Definitely spicy.

Taste is a soft malty honey syrup. Then I'm pulling some nutty flavours out of it.

Mouthfeel is thickish and syrupy with decent carb.

Not sold on these Rakau hops. Polished beer, but I don't really get what it's supposed to be doing for me. Really don't get any strong doses of flavour from this at all, from either hops or malt.

 555 characters

Photo of spdyfire83
4.32/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

21st Review – from notes
Bottle into NB snifter

L: Light banana color (almost burnt khaki). 0.5 fingernail head on vigorous pour.

S: Very earthy and malty with a hidden hint of hops.

T: Smooth malt character straight to bitter hop bite; however, a very sweet touch on the back of the tongue. I like it!

M: Well-balanced start to finish. Nothing overly done...just very, very nice.

O: Very enjoyable IIPA! The Rakau hop is quite earthy, but it accents this beers boldness very well. Great job Renaissance Brewing of NZ!

 525 characters

Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan
4.94/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Deep amber IPA color with a consistent head. Lots of sediments floating around. Slightly hazy unfiltered look. Looks straight from the farm. Pours a 1/4 inch foamy head with micro bubbles.

Smell: I get lots of floral hop aromas. Big fruit smells, especially orange and tropical fruit (passionfruit and mango).

Taste: The perfect amount of bitterness that is subdued and balance beautifully by a english style malt base. The caramel and pale malts blend to create a nutty ESB style malt profile. It finishes great with a eye awakening punch that makes me glad to be alive and drinking beer.

Mouthfeel: Chewy, oily and delicate. A finely balanced body slides down my throat.

Overall: Great recipe, unique flavors for a DIPA. This beer has a fantastic presentation and great drinkability.

 801 characters

Photo of laituegonflable
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a burnished orange colour, lots of haze in the body. Head is beige and dense, retaining a nice crown with a lovely cradle of lace around the glass. Excellent IPA look.

Smell is very hoppy. Lots of floral character with rose and frangipan notes, plus citrus and fresh cut grass. It's a light smell, but there's a devilish spicey note to it as well. Nice juxtaposition of the bitter with the sweet, and all just hops.

Taste is intriguing, but on first impressions can't say it's entirely successful. Starts with sweet grain notes, pearl barley with some cornbread and walnuts that altogether lasts to the end of the palate. Hops come through late-mid with more of their floral/fruity character, but this doesn't last long. The finish - albeit late - is all hop oil, resinous and bitter. It's not a flavour I dislike, but I was expecting the hops to cut through the malt a bit more at the front, as well as give off more flavour, not just bittering up.

Nice texture, maybe a bit sharp on the back from all the hopping going on. Good and full.

It's a good beer, and I can see peeps digging this, but to me it's the wrong end of the double IPA spectrum. Big hops and slightly off balance.

 1,193 characters

Photo of juju7
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

No freshness date'- I'm surprised I bought it, but glad I did.
While I would say this isn't the freshest example of this beer it still holds together as an interesting brew.

Nose is of dusty, raisins and dried, oxidised fruits with a caramel background. Definitely not what you'd expect from a DIPA but not unpleasant. On the palate the alcohol has started to come through quite a bit. It's almost like a Tokay, fortified wine feel. That being alcohol and sweet dried fruits.

A somewhat unique taste, even if it's not in it's prime drinking window or how the brewer intended it to be interpreted.

 599 characters

Photo of ElGordo
3.72/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Found this at Belmont Station and figured I'd pick up a bottle to quaff while booking the details for my upcoming trip to NZ. Poured from the 500ml bottle into a Maudite snifter.
Body is a cloudy deep orange color, topped by a small, creamy, off-white head. Lots of suspended solids. Aroma of sweet, bready malt mixed with a big dose of citrusy hops. Prominent notes of biscuit and grapefruit are offset by subtler hints of grass and sweet pineapple.
Palate is mostly sweet malt up front, with the citrusy notes of the hops coming through on the swallow. Nice notes of biscuit and pineapple again. A big flourish of bitterness emerges on the finish but doesn't linger long. Instead, a mildly chalky character of the malt hangs around for a couple of moments after the swallow.
Body is full, just a touch creamy, but actually a little thin for a beer of this magnitude (both bitterness and strength). A very nice effort, with a different hop profile that is a nice change of pace from what we get here in the northern hemisphere.

 1,031 characters

Photo of Kegatron
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a hazed deep copper in the glass, with 1 ½ fingers of off-white head. This retains with a rich ½ finger, which leaves back a huge creamy cascade of lacing that settles into a ton of spotty froth down the sides of the glass. The aroma smells herbal, earthy, and piney, with softer underlying textures of soft fruit and toasted grains. This is initially pretty nice but as this hits room temp, the alcohol hear comes out in a big way, and starts to dominate the nose with a LOT of spicy alcohol warmth.

An earthy citric bitterness and herbaceous character stands out first in the taste and I’m even getting a smack of tart and zesty lemon flavors coming out as well. A sticky tropical fruitiness mingles with the sweetness of the malts on the edges of the profile, before giving away to more of a toasted graininess in the backend. This finishes resinous, spicy, and dry, with a deep earthy pithiness that lingers on the tongue. The mouthfeel is medium to fuller bodied, with a softer and creamy carbonation that then gets pricklier in the mouth. Like the nose, a good bit of alcohol sweetness and warmth comes out in the body, but it isn’t as bad here and this overall stays fairly smooth for the size.

I was unfamiliar with the Rakau hop and this seemed like a pretty good intro to it, displaying a pleasant combination of fruit, pine, and earth. My only complaint here was the alcohol presence, which seemed to come out a bit more than you would think for an 8.5% beer (especially in the nose). Still though, I felt like I got my moneys worth out of this bottle. I’d be willing to check out another selection from these guys again.

 1,686 characters

Photo of avalon07
4.13/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had an orange-brown color and a thick, cloudy consistency. There was an inch of long-lasting, foamy head. Good lacing.

S: A solid aroma of hops, citrus, pine, and malt.

T: Tasted of a little citrus (lemon), pine, hops, malt, and some caramel. A well-rounded flavor. Surprisingly, the hops don't dominate every other ingredient.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a somewhat slick finish. Medium-bodied.

D: An extremely drinkable DIPA.

 482 characters

Photo of eric5bellies
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from my Duvel Tulip

A - Pours a classic IPA colour of clear amber with a nice white head that retains OK.

S - Aromas are quite hoppy floral

T - Quite sweet flavours and some real nice, quite strong piney notes and a bitter finish.

M - Medium to full body and carbonation that makes for a balanced drop.

D - This is the best IPA from the southern hemisphere that I have tried.

 387 characters

Photo of spicelab
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a rich bronze, busy effervescence. One-finger off-white thick head. Good retention.

Muscatels, raisins and biscuity malts initially. Tropical, citrus and piney hops gradually emerge however. Slight phenolic notes.

Muscatels, dates and dark fruits even more prominent at first, more reminiscent of a quadrupel or barleywine than an IPA. Shortly after, pine needles, lemon peel and strong resin notes creep up until they absolutely dominate. The eventual bitterness is deceptively high.

Alcohol very apparent; acidity is quite high and almost unpleasant. A pleasant chewiness from the resinous hops.

Drinkability not great for mine. Alcohol seems too high - to the point of dampening the hop and flavour profile.

 720 characters

Photo of shambeano
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

shared this one with a friend.

A-pours an ambery brown. about a centimeter of head quickly subsides. looks good.

S- smell is a little subtle. tiny bit of non descript floral hops but nothing is really jumping out at me there.

T- straight up there is a sweet fruitcakey sweetness, very quickly followed by the bitterness. pretty nice, although nothing is really jumping out at me, its hoppy but i cant realy take that further, is sweet and bitter. rounded and enjoyable.

M- pretty full, covers most of the mouth, bitterness stays for a little well but the finish is pretty dry.

D- drinks pretty well, the 8.5% is very hidden, and it is not particularly thick. the dryness though does make you want to take another sip, adding to the drinkability.

 753 characters

Photo of dgilks
4.23/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am allowing my review below to stand as it is based on the bottle I consumed in New Zealand when it was fresh and close to the source. The next bottle I've had back in Australia doesn't have the same freshness but it still very good. It's probably more of a B+ beer when not as fresh.

Big, overripe fruit aroma. Lots of banana, pineapple and kiwi with a touch of gooseberry. Rakau is interesting to say the least.

Slightly hazy copper colour with a reasonable sized off-white head.

Well rounded, smooth hop flavour. The ripe tropical fruit and gooseberry note is good though some people may call it sweaty. The biscuity malt background lays a good foundation for the hops and the bitterness which is high doesn't come through as high as it allegedly is.

Medium body and moderate carbonation. Suitable and it works well.

A tasty beer which shows off a hop that could really be described as "Super Sauvins". Clean bitterness with lots of flavour and aroma and while I like it, some people may not like it.

 1,012 characters

Photo of mulder1010
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ML poured into a tulip

A-- Poured a dark orange brown color (almost rust like). Nice reverse cascading off white head that grew to one finger in height and held its form well. Very little visible carbonation and just small rings of lacing through drinking.

S-- Candied citrus. Mostly Lemon and orange, grapefruit and pine in the background. Small amount of oily residue smell. Much sweeter than other DIPA's that I have had and not as bold. A lot of carmel smell in this.

T-- Juicy Orange and peach forward taste. The peach is very unique and nice. Peach really resonates in this. More crisp than aggressive to me. Pine and grapefruit are there but are much more muted and do not attack like other DIPA's do.

M-- Low carbonation and crisp feel to this. Touches of carmel are present and the grapefruit and pine are middle to the back of the feel. Peach just stands out in this though.

D-- Alcohol becomes present in this about halfway through this. Still very drinkable and can have 2 of these easily. Can tell this was thought out well. As the beer is very well balanced in the hop and in the malt taste and feel. Not in your face like US DIPA's are. Different and well done.

 1,185 characters

Photo of jbowers56
3.72/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Murky dark copper colour with a 1 finger cream coloured head. Doesnt leave the best lacing.

Smell is suprisingly citrussy. Some pine in there as well. Much less present than expected is that typical new zealand hop sweet fruity quality, but it's there in a perfumy peach scent. Also some rich caramel and syrupy notes from the malt. Very nice. Could be more intense perhaps.

Flavour is a little sweeter than the nose suggests and the stone fruit qualities of the hops are more present, though some pine and citrus are evident especially in the after taste. Sweetness has a light caramel flavour to it. Bitterness is alarmingly soft. It is certainly there, and not in a small way - however the actual nature of the bitterness is incredibly smooth.

Mouthfeel is interesting, quite low carbonation which I think works well. I would like it to either feel lighter, or be obviously more creamy in it's texture.

Overall, good but lacks the robust strength of flavour found in the best examples of the style.

 1,005 characters

Photo of jahsausage
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber, with a long-lived 1cm head, much longer-lived than my two earlier pale ales from this brewery in my tasting. The smell is awesome, stinky pine, very strong. On first taste fior some reason I get hints of the smoky sweet flavour of manuka honey. Near the end the sweetish alcohol competes with the bitterness which is a new and interesting flavour balance. This is a very nice beer, would love to compare it to other DIPA as this is the first i've had.

 471 characters

Photo of ADZA
3.89/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of those breweries that just produces some nice quality brews and i was suprised to see this one in my favourite bottleshop,on the back of the label it says this brew was made to showcase the Rakau Hop and ive never heard of this hop before but i must admit they do a very good job of showcasing this Hop and the M.P.A means Marlborough Pale Ale New Zealand's take on an ADIPA,the brew pours a deep copper hue with average carbonation that leaves a small one finger head and minimal lacing,the aroma is straight fruity/piney hops but not one or the other just a exact cross of both fruity and piney with some underlying caramel malts,it has a nice full mouthfeel with with the smell coming thru on taste its quite a nice unusual taste that i quite cant put my hand on but i must admit its very pleasant indeed and the aftertaste is very nice with little bitterness and no alcohol warmth aswell its definately one of those Hops that ive had little to do with but would be very interested to hear about other brews with this variety a good and interesting beer if you can get your hands on it.

 1,103 characters

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50  | next → last
M.P.A from Renaissance Brewing
3.82 out of 5 based on 82 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.