Tag Archives: wellington

ParrotDog DeadCanary Pale Ale

Here we have another kiwi addition to the tasting records! Wellington-based ParrotDog (no space between the two nouns, CatDog style) have four regular beers, presented with clean, convincing marketing – all about parrots and dogs. I can get on board with that. The four beers include the Bloodhound Red Ale, BitterBitch IPA and the Flaxenfeather Blond Ale. I tried the DeadCanary recently and was quite satisfied.


This 5.3% ABV pale ale is perfectly balanced for my palate. My glass was a nice gold, had a solid head with deep hazing and was served icy cold. Hop aroma was fruity with a creep of caramel malt seeping from behind the lines. Flavour has hints of dust and sweet synchronicity. It’s a nice New World-style ale with a bit of body that wouldn’t go astray in any bar in Melbourne.


Its mouthfeel was silky smooth, a bit of velvet, but doesn’t coat or retain much at all. I could sip this ale for hours. Not much more to say from my notes!

I drank this beer at The Gertrude Hotel.

Panhead Port Road Pilsner

Panhead Custom Ales are a kiwi collective exporting ales and a single lager over the ditch to Australia. They’re based near Wellington and are pretty well-regarded in their home country, recently placing second in the NZ Society of Beer Awards. I would love to get my hands on their Vandal NZ IPA, but I haven’t seen it around here.

In the meantime I had to settle for their Port Road Pilsner. Right off the bat, this wasn’t a terribly enjoyable beer. It looks the goods, a nice clear pale straw colour and fine white bubs. A New World hop aroma was present, backed up by robust saaz-y spice. It smelled a little alluring, nontraditional hoppiness, but still clean. Mouthfeel was spot on for a pilsner; no complaints there. Unfortunately the flavour threw me right off. The lager was unbalanced, acrid and firmly bitter. It reminded me of a muted pale ale I brewed last year – in a bad way.

A nice lemony smoothness rode along with the bitterness, giving the drinker something else to chew on if so inclined. European Pilsners were hopped much higher in the past and I think that’s where the Port Road Pils is trying to fit in, but overall it was far too dry and caustic for me. So alas, on the whole a little unsatisfying, but I’m still keen on that Vandal NZ IPA … if I can ever get my hands on it.

I drank this beer at the Terminus, Fitzroy North.