CRAFT BEER CORNER
CLASSIC BEER & WINGS
THE SUBURB OF Upper Hutt has not been known for craft beer historically but today, with the active support of the local council and sympathetic landlords, it hosts four craft breweries – the established Kererū Brewing and Panhead Brewery, along with newcomers Te Aro Brewing and Boneface Brewing Company.
Boneface opened in March 2017 and is planning to produce 100,000 litres of beer in its first year. Founder Matt Dainty is an experienced brewer, having worked for the award-winning Renaissance Brewery in Blenheim for several years. He was drawn to Upper Hutt because it offered affordable space but was still close to Wellington.
The growing range of Boneface beers have distinct comic book-inspired artwork, which makes them stand out on even the most crowded shelf. The Boneface Hoptron (5.5 per cent) is an approachable introduction to the wildly popular American pale ale (APA) style. Hoptron has a pleasingly dank hop character with notes of fresh grapefruit, peach and grass. This hop profile is balanced by a firm caramel malt backbone then finished by a dry, measured bitterness. It is balanced and flavoursome.
Matching beer and wings risks being a cliché but it’s a classic combination for good reason. Hoptron cuts the richness of the succulent turkey wings (page 72), cleansing the palate, while its hops cool the spicy buffalo sauce and its fruitiness counters the vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. Try to use turkey wings (though chicken works), and do not skimp on the hot sauce.