When I think of the world's great brewing cultures, New Zealand isn't normally in the first, or even the second tier. I don't know, in fact, that I'd ever given them much thought. I just assumed that they made pisswater lager like the few Australian beers that make it here (although I've since been told that Australia does have a good craft brewer, Cooper's, so I'll have to check them out).
That's why I was rather shocked to hear that The Jug Shop was hosting a tasting of beers from no less than three Kiwi brewers: 8 Wired, Moa, and Epic. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the tasting, but Eric the cicerone was kind enough to open the cases of beer early and sell me bottles of about half the beers - Moa Imperial Stout and St Joseph's triple; 8 Wired iStout, Fresh Hopwired, and The Big Smoke; and Epic Armageddon IPA.
Armageddon, as you might guess from the name, is much more aggressively hopped than The Smell. The focus, surprisingly, is US hops, which tend towards citrus/grapefruit characteristics. It's moderately puckery and not too bitter for such a hoppy IPA. The color is golden-coppery, and I think it could do with a little thicker mouthfeel and residual sweetness to balance the hops; instead, it feels a bit on the week and watery side for the strength of the hops. But still, if you like a really hoppy IPA, it's not bad.
Armageddon IPA, from Epic Brewing. Unknown IBU, ABV 6.66%.