Umami Monster by Garage Project of New Zealand

13559085_10103362744245540_4147736811326632652_o 13528573_10103362744330370_6467276501418054591_o 13528422_10103362744215600_5564032141702915854_oRating: 5/5

Umami Monster by Garage Project of New Zealand is a 9% ABV Herbed/ Spice Brown Ale brewed with Kelp, Bonito and Seawater.

It came from the deep. Brewed for GABS 2014, using New Zealand grown Kombu (kelp), Japanese Katsuobushi (dried fermented bonito flakes), smoked malt and seawater in an attempt to capture that most elusive and enigmatic of flavours – umami. Far beyond the boundaries of the accepted and expected, these ingredients combine to create a monster of dark savoury smoke and rich umami complexity. Dear God – what have we created? Definitely not suitable for vegans – sorry.

About Garage Project
We’re a small craft brewery located in an old petrol
station in Wellington, New Zealand. We like pushing
boundaries, reinterpreting styles and challenging
the notions of what craft beer can be. We’re here to
try something new. Just like you.


I obtained this brew along with some other brews I got from When I saw the label on this one I was like oh shit! I had to get it. Being a huge fan of the King of Monsters, Godzilla! I looked into it further. Being made with actual fish flakes, sea water and kelp, it was definitely the sea monster themed beer that I would have never thought would exist. Therefore, to take my chances at the beer and see how these ingredients would work with a beer I brought it to the site. Now as we take on this monster let’s see what we can find, cheers!

Chocolate, anise, soy sauce, molasses, dark fruit raisins, cherries, plums, plum sauce, campfire smoked malts, earthy notes, rich rye bread, citrus oranges, tangerine gummies, Seaweed paper, sushi notes, fish hints, coffee, caramel, vanilla, sea salt chocolate, tamarind and herbs.

Seaweed paper, sushi notes, fish notes, oregano, basil, caramel, Edamame green beans, toffee, coffee, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, sea salt chocolate, salty tejuino maize drink, tamarind, dark fruit raisins, cherries, soy sauce, molasses, anise, maple syrup, ginger spice, garlicky notes, cinnamon, coriander spice, cumin, clove spice, campfire smoked malts, earthy notes, rich rye bread, citrus oranges, tangerine gummies and butterscotch.

Finishing off with sea salt, chocolate, dark fruit cherries, soy sauce, vanilla, caramel, earthy hops aned mild coffee. No alcohol in the taste, Crimson Brown clear to hazy dark body, crisp, smooth and rich mouthfeel along with an easy to moderate drinkability.

Let me be honest, you really have to have an open mind for this one and one who loves delicious Japanese cuisine. If not, then this beer may not be for you and frankly, this is review will be biased as my tastes and cultural interest get blended into this beer. This is the perfect Umami beer! Simple as that. I have never had a fishy beer like this but I definitely want to try it again and pair it with a dish like Ramen, Sushi or any other Asian cuisine. This beer is damn legit and highly recommended as a pairing for meals!

Anime Corner:
King of Monsters, Godzilla and his Kaiju co-stars are presented in today’s review all done by gamerag3 It wasn’t hard to choose what made sense with the label and the theme of the pairing but the hard part was finding an awesome anime picture with Godzilla anthropomorphized into an anime girl. Especially one that was done well and was really bad ass. So these pictures made the best pairings in my mind.


Lips of Faith Series Cigar City and New Belgium Collaboration

891_10101542495004610_434845542_nRating: 3.45/5

Lips of Faith Series Cigar City and New Belgium Collaboration is an 8.5% ABV Chile beer brewed with Anaheim and Marash Chiles aged in Spanish Cedar

We’re about to light up Florida with this Cigar City collaborative brew. Our Belgian yeast tangos with Anaheim and Marash peppers along with loads of citrusy hops to create an ale full of spice. Aged on Spanish cedar to salute our mutual love for wood!

The beer with literally no name, other than the fact that it was collaborated with New Belgium and the awesome Cigar City. Lips of faith series is a good series and has been a hit or miss in some instances. The beers have ranged from Good to Very good and some even Great in the past years. I am not sure if there one I truly disliked or found average (Pluot lol) they came together to brew a beer made with chiles. 

Sweet Honey dew melon, kiwi, apricot, mango hints, mild pepper notes, lemon, oranges, grapefruit and citrus hops, pear, hints of cedar, caramel and biscuit bread

Apricot, pepper notes but no heat, citrus, grapefruit hops,hone dew notes, orange peels, biscuit bread, lemon, grapefruit peel, mild spiciness, tangerine notes, butterscotch, pears, cedar wood and light plum hints

This beer finishes off with lots of grapefruit skins, citrus, grassy bitterness and a bit of pepper notes. No alcohol present in the taste with a moderate drinkability.

A good beer but nothing super intensive. It is more on the hoppy, bitter and a bit fruitier side than anything. The least heat intensive chile beer I have ever tried. The balance to bitterness and what would like to be chili heat doesn’t seem to meld well. On a good note, the aromas are much better than the flavors. Could have been more but hey, at least is a good beer. I feel it is better than Pluot for sure.

Anime Corner:
Sakura Haruno and Kushina Uzumaki from the Naruto series are used in this pairing to represent a pairing of 2 hot heads unleashing the rage which is supposed to be the peppers used in this beer. While the beer may not be hot at all, the intent for the artwork and for what it was supposed to represent was at least done creatively. Sakura has a bad temper at times and has this crazy super strength that comes from her inner being. Kushina on the other hand, nicked named the Red Hot-Blooded Habanero, would become an actually deadly beast. Even before she had the 9 tailed fox embedded in here, she was still a demon in disguise. That crazy attitude, mother of Naruto, is most likely the where the guts to never give up comes from. Some of the colors of the artwork match the label a bit but the nick name and the tempers they have was the intent for a collaboration Chile beer, Sakura being New Belgium and Kushina Cigar city.

Chateau Jiahu by Dogfish Head

934894_10101169744225160_939094302_nRating: 4.45/5

Chateau Jiahu by Dogfish Head is a 10%ABV Herbed Ale brewed with honey and hawthorn fruit and fermented with grape juice.

9,000 year old Chateau Jiahu stands apart as the most ancient, chemically-attested alcoholic beverage in the world.”; “Its re-creation is based on painstaking excavation by Chinese archaeologists of Jiahu in the Yellow River basin, state-of-the-art microanalysis of pottery residues by American laboratories, and the inspired “Neolithic” brewing of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. Chateau Jiahu, then as now, opens a window into the world of our ancestors

It has been ages since I first had this beer. Back then when I bought it in 2011, I was fairly new to beer reviews and such. It has been almost exactly 2 years since my last review so I decided to get this one to give it another go.

Aromas of this beer are of honey, white grapes, biscuit bread, flowers, peach, pear, champagne, apples, very slight estery banana cloves, slight pilsner sugars and peppercorn. The flavors are white grapes, pears, apples, apple cider, champagne, lots of honey sweetness, pilsner sugars, pomegranite, slight cloves, slight coriander, slight peppercorn, flowers, vanilla and biscuit bread. To be honest, this is closer to a dessert white wine. It is fantastic and delicious, yet the pilsnery effect makes it where it is reminicent of a lager but very very nice and amped. First of all, for being 10%ABV, there is no sense of alcohol and because of it’s drinkability, it would taste awesome to anyone who is not really into craft beer. This is a magnificent beer and one I would introduce to people who are new into craft beers. Definitely a recommend for many to try. Just be careful since at 10%ABV, the beer is so good, one could easily finish it the bottle


2011 Review:
A rare piece of beer here. Smells of fruit and honey. The bitterness and alcohol are very masked by the honey and grape sweetness. Some what of a earthy after taste, Highly recommended if found . The beer itself has a history( “Inspired by a beverage found in clay posts in China around 9000 years ago. In keeping with historic evidence, Dogfish brewers used pre-gelatinized rice flakes, Wildflower honey, Muscat grapes, barley malt, hawthorn fruit, and Chrysanthemum flowers. The rice and barley malt were added together to make the mash for starch conversion and degradation. The resulting sweet wort was then run into the kettle. The honey, grapes, Hawthorn fruit, and Chrysanthemum flowers were then added. The entire mixture was boiled for 45 minutes, and then cooled. The resulting sweet liquid was pitched with a fresh culture of Sake yeast and allowed to ferment a month before the transfer into a chilled secondary tank.”