New Zealand is very much an in vogue country in beer terms, especially when it comes to the hops they provide which are DELICIOUS.
Pillar Variant uses three hop varieties: Motueka, Riwaka and Rakau which bring big fruity flavours including grapefruit, lemon and line along with a grassier note that helps really make them exceptional.
In many ways the Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland are similar to the landscape of New Zealand: beautifully bare with a cutting wild edge that does evoke a spirit of adventure and wilderness. Kindred spirits of brewing, indeed .
Pillar Variant: Taste Test
The aroma is delightful, it's not a big fruit-punchy flavour but it's subtly sweet and there's a touch of resinous, herby smell in there too. It pours light, as you would expect from a pale, but with a very vibrant colour that lets some of the fruit scents become more obvious.
The texture is smooth, very fine carbonation helping to make it a very quaffable beer that risks being over way too soon. It's a little bitter but this develops into a lighter citrus fruit style flavour that works really well with the touch of pine, grassy flavour to bring it back into balance.
The aftertaste allows the bitterness of the hops to come through but not excessively, maintaining that fruity hit right to the end. It's basically bloody delicious.
Pillar Variant: Can Notes
All of Mourne Mountains beer cans feature scenes from the mountain range themselves, and they are all AMAZINGLY epic. Seriously, they're well worth checking out on their web shop.
For Pillar Variant they've chosen Doan and it's surrounding mountains, but there are so many vistas on their cans you could get lost in them for hours.
The writing is great, with the 'a' being filled triangles that are very similar to what you'd see on old maps or other bits of cartography. It gives the can a great wild edge that makes it feel like something Bear Grylls would pack in his rucksack for once he's finished drinking his urine.
The silver can lends itself to this too, and the writing in white is obvious enough to read, but doesn't take away from the stunning landscape that is the main feature of the can.
Buy Pillar Variant New Zealand Pale Ale
As is appropriate for such a mysterious region, Pillar Variant is actually quite tough to track down online. We got ours from our local bottle shop Beer Central, but you can get one at the moment from Beer Zoo for just £4.90.
A fan of beer since his first can of John Smiths he snook out of his Dad's fridge, Adam is now a craft beer enthusiast. To offset this 'hobby', he also cycles, runs and plays cricket when not spending time with his family.