Author: James Smith, The Crafty Pint
Original Article published on 4 November 2023
It's fair to say both Hawkers and Cloudwater have had quite the impact on the beer scenes in their respective home countries over the past decade, and here they've come together to create a pair of beers that represent the lighter and darker realms of the world of beer. Although, when I say "lighter", neither holds back – even the lower ABV of the pair clocks in above 7 percent ABV.
Starting with the light is Solar Eclipse, the sort of hazy IPA upon which Cloudwater's reputation was established and at which Hawkers have proven to be no slouches either. Brewed with hops from the US (Idaho 7 – a Crafty Towers favourite) and NZ (Nelson Sauvin and Cascade), in the glass it's less solar eclipse than dense sunrise orange. There's a real brekkie juice vibe – mango, passionfruit and a little banana – plus a juicy OJ sprightliness.
Texturally, it's like a doona for the tongue; the flavours are broad and all-encompassing, the finish still pretty clean, the bitterness grippily fruity.
Moving to the dark side and we have Lunar Eclipse, a beer that's something of a rarity. Sure, we've written about heaps of imperial stouts over the cooler months this year, but how many haven't spent time in barrels? It comes across like a more traditional English affair from centuries past: all sticky dark chocolate, stewed figs, a light coating of marzipan, and a bitterness doing its best to poke through the 10.5 percent ABV gloop.