By The Gentleman
My fondness for interesting looking labels is well known and for my birthday I was lucky enough to receive a wide variety of beers with interesting labels from The Lady. One of those beers was another New Zealand number, the Yakima Monster, this time from Liberty Brewing Company. I’m starting to think these New Zealanders are on to something when it comes to pairing good beer with cool labels.
Liberty Brewing, like most good craft brewers, started from a passion for beer. There was also the added caveat of not having ready access to good beer in some of New Zealand’s more out of the way locations. Home brewing was the first course of action before the unexpected opportunity to take over a home brewing supply company, Liberty Brewing. In a move to show how much Liberty trusted the gear they were selling, and to stand out from the crowd, they started brewing beer made with the supplies they sell to showcase how good it was. The Liberty stuff was so good that it was soon in demand all across New Zealand, and made it’s way across the Tasman to Australia.
The Yakima Monster is an American Pale Ale made with hops from Yakima, Washington. Yes I know, I was also conjuring up the very images of Japan and all sorts of Godzilla-esque monsters the label specifically warns you against. It’s not an overly bitter beer, with a 45 IBU, but it’s listed as their ‘Strong APA’ at 6.0% ABV. I’d actually been eying up another beer in the Liberty range, the Sauvignon Bomb, based purely on the label. Most of the labels we have featured on here are stylish, elegant pieces of design, but the Yakima Monster is just downright cool. It brings back all sorts of memories of zombies, monsters and ghouls from old TV shows and video games that I used to watch and play as a kid. It also gets bonus points for the dripping blood font. Everyone knows the best monster films, shows etc use the dripping blood font. It’s the calling card for awesome monster horror. The Yakima Monster is just a cool, fun label.
The Yakima Monster was also a bit of a special tasting as I finally got around to buying some proper beer glasses. I feel like less of a failure as a drinks blogger now that I have more glassware. Pouring it out it had a relatively small head and a rather hazy orange, gold colour. The aroma was not as strong as I was expecting but you still got a good hint of fruity flavours, quite a tropical scent really. The taste was very fruity with a bit of pine herbal flavour as well. It provided a slight numbing sensation although not as strong as I’ve had before. Liberty certainly weren’t lying when they said they’ve created a beer that anyone can go ‘Wow that tastes fruity’, but there are some other more complex and intriguing flavours. The overall herbal flavour was really interesting after the really bitter beers I’ve been drinking and provided a nice contrast to the sweet fruits. The aftertaste was slightly bitter but not overwhelming. It quickly went away to give a sweet finish. It also didn’t feel like a heavy or overly strong beer. That finish and the lack of an overly bitter taste made the Yakima Monster a really drinkable beer.
On The Shelf has had a decidedly New Zealand flavour recently, and will hopefully continue in the future with the Sauvignon Bomb, but as an Australian this experience is concerning. We can never let New Zealand do anything well, ever. So, this means I’m going to have to try extra hard to find some awesome looking and tasting Australian craft beer to set things straight. In the meantime, I’m more than happy to sit back and enjoy Liberty Brewing’s Yakima Monster.Cheers!