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.

Label:
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.

==Introduction==

I obtained this brew along with some other brews I got from Craftshack.com. 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!

Aromas:
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.

Flavors:
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.

Aftertaste:
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.

Overall:
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 ofdeviantart.com. 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.

Sources:
http://gamerag3.deviantart.com/art/Cover-for-Godzilla-Female-Personification-Project-463927584
http://gamerag3.deviantart.com/art/Burning-Godzilla-462392207
http://bjsinc.deviantart.com/art/Godzilla-458348844

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MechaHopzilla by Nola brewing

10547584_10101994845206180_352561156745056685_n 10552461_10101994846199190_8633115024396018513_nRating: 4.5/5

MechaHopzilla by Nola brewing is an 8.8% ABV Imperial India Pale Ale.

Label:
This “Hop Monster” is an American Imperial IPA boasting Bravo, Columbus, Centennial and Citra Hops. Beware of MechaHopzilla’s powerful flavor and it’s attack of half pound per barrel dry-hop aroma. Not for the faint of heart or palate. Hop heads, this one’s for you! Brewed with love, brewed in New Orleans.
___

I love Godzilla and all the other Kaiju monsters! This one is probably my favorite label from the beers I have received thus far in this package from my friend Aaron Mendiola of www.beermetaldude.com. I have heard of a Hopzilla beer and even tried the Dogzilla beer long ago. However, a MechaHopzilla beer, this is freaking awesome! I have no idea what to expect from this beer but since it is an IPA, I can only hope it is a monster of a hoppy beer. Thanks again Aaron and cheers brother!

Aromas:
Grassy, Piney, floral and grapefruit hops, caramel, biscuit bread, tangerine, oranges, lemon peel, tropical fruit hints like mango, papaya, prickly pears, dragon fruit, brown sugar, toffee, orange gummy bears and rye bread.

Flavors:
Grassy, piney, grapefruit, floral and citrus hops, caramel, tangerine, orange preserves on biscuit bread, tropical fruits like guava, papaya, dragon fruit, prickly pear, mango, brown sugar, toffee, orange gummy bears, bubble gum hints, lemon peel, rye bread, peach, apricot and butterscotch hints.

Aftertaste:
Caramel, grassy, pine, grapefruit and tropical hops linger. No alcohol in the taste, a moderate to sipping drinkability, medium body, medium mouth feel as well as crisp and refreshing.

Overall:
This IPA is very good. Aside from the Godzilla and Mecha Godzilla reference, this one truly does work with the caramel and malty aspect of IPAs. The balance of this works while still maintaining a caramel sweetness, the hop complexities definitely make for one really good and hoppy IPA. If you do not like malty and hoppy IPAs, then this one may not be for you. Personally, I enjoy these myself so I recommend it.

Anime Corner:
Akane Yashiro, Titanosaurus and Mecha Godzilla were used in this pairing for the obvious Mecha Godzilla reference. I tried to find something that also pairs with MechaHopzilla’s colors and in this case, it was the Mecha Gozilla III’s shoulder cannons. The fact that it comes in can also helps the pairing out so well. The bitterness is definitely represented by Mecha Gozilla’s onslaught.

Speaking of which, it turns out that Toho had sued Nola over this beer. I hope they can still use the reference because honestly, this is one bad ass monster of a beer!
http://www.fox8live.com/story/23392839/toho-sues-nola-brewing-over-mechahopzilla-beer

Sources:
http://i.imgur.com/CLTMzsY.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/bVrKySg.jpg