My shout: Tui pale ale misses the mark

Every now and then you find a beer that absolutely delights and surprises.

It can be from a teeny-weeny nano-brewery in the country, a hip urban craft brew house in Brisbane, or indeed, occasionally, something a little special from one of the major brewers around the world.

You get that magic moment of "wow" in the mouth and think, if I was a brewer, that is a beer to which I would happily lay claim.

Unfortunately, the East India Pale Ale from the Tui Brewery in New Zealand is not one of those beers. It's just that it is, well, a really ordinary beer, in the way that any sort of India Pale Ale should not be.

Rather than the expected smack in the mouth of hops, you get a reasonably sweet and malty mouthful of a darkish lager.

East India Pale Ale was originally designed to head straight past the real India and travel on to the far-flung reaches of the British Empire in the form of Australia and New Zealand.

To be honest, for me it is like this one didn't stop there, but continued northwards in the Pacific until it metamorphosed into a Japanese lager without the crispness of a Kirin or Sapporo.

Many, many years ago I had a driving holiday in NZ with my brother and a mate, and one of the pleasant memories of that time was enjoying a pint of DB in numerous hotels across the north island.

Tui is one of DB's best-known brands. It started brewing as Wagstaff's, beside the Mangatainoka River, the waters of which (it is claimed) give the beer its special flavour. They also have some of the best TV commercials around (put "Tui beer commercials" into YouTube and sit back and enjoy).

All of which conspired to heighten my expectations of the East India Pale Ale, the delivery of which, alas, fell well short of the mark.

Hugh the Neighbour, who has the happy knack of being elsewhere when I bung on a dud beer, was at a wedding last weekend, and so missed out on another beer that is best summed up at as misdescribed.

Yes, you can drink it.

Yes, it has an entertaining back story on the website.

But don't think it is anything like the normal IPA.

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