Getting in to the Nitty Gristy with Dan Dainton

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I have to say, I have a serious soft spot for Dan Dainton. I genuinely site his brews as being one of the first craft beers that got me in to this insane game many years ago. His Red Eye Rye to me was just spectacular and I still love to drink it, it was a revelation to me. Since then, it has been an absolute joy to see Dainton Family Brewery grow over the years and see what has been coming from Dan’s addled mind. And it has all been good, damn good. His Insane Uncle IPA, Sinister Sister and Grand Pappy’s Whip Imperial Red stand out as some of my favourites, all which I have reviewed in the past.

With rumblings of Dan soon opening his own brewery and taproom in Carrum Downs and giving his labels a massive over haul and relaunch, I managed to catch up with Dan for a chat about where he thinks craft is going, his rye obsession and how his family plays a part in his brews.

dd

Where did your Brew Saga begin?
Along time ago, in a shed, far , far away… I was a young lad living my my uncle and Aunt after my father was betrayed by the empire and… Wait a second… He was never betrayed! You lied to my face Ben!
Oh, where… Shepparton, not unlike Mos Eisley, really…

How is the Dainton Family important to your brand? How has it influenced your brewing and style?
A lot of the time they provide me with great drinking stories and reasons to drink… What, no! I don’t condone that kind of behaviour. They are not unlike most families. There is always at least one weird one and a bratty one and a evil scientist etc etc. I want people to relate to that and feel sorry for me and in that moment of empathy, consume a beer crafted in the sorrows of inevitability of woe.

What was the beer that turned it all around for you?
A friend had come back from overseas, which was amazing for two reasons. 1. That he was allowed to travel overseas after the visa authorities saw Shepparton on his passport and 2. That he decided to come back to Shepparton. Anyway, he brought back a swag of beers we’d never seen and I was intrigued and mesmerized by the fact that you needed a special tool to remove the beer cap. “A bottle opener”, they called it. Astounding. We cracked open the beers and I was hooked. A crisp, herbaceous, bitter, floral and probably oxidized golden liquid poured into my gullet… It was the most exotic thing I had ever seen… A green bottled beer that didn’t taste like wet hay… My first international and inspirational beer… A Carlsburg.

What do you love about the job and the industry?
My job is convoluted and multifaceted, being the brewer and owner. I love making beers, tasting beers, talking beers, visiting breweries, designing labels and writing the crazed little bottle blurbs. Also the mandatory GBW break dancing and lifting fellow brewers over my head.
The industry is generally pretty exceptional in terms of people and passion. I will be interested to see how it copes with rapid growth of breweries and a possible lag of consumer education.

It’s present in pretty much all of your brews, so what’s with the rye obsession?
Rye not?

Where do you see craft beer and Dainton in 10 years?
In pharmacies, 7/11’s, vending machines, airport, planes, busses, on the moon, on Mars… We love what the West Coast of the USA has achieved so far and want to be a big part of where Australia needs to go. Which is right where the California and Oregon are. Growler fills at petrol stations, 10 breweries in tiny towns, Stone IPA tap rooms at airports. I want that. For all of us.

If you had a time machine, what part of brewing history would you go back to?
I’d go forwards. It’s only getting better.

What do you prefer, a fresh beer or an interesting beer?
Fresh IPA’s and hop driven beers are a big part of what I like to drink on a regular basis. Give me an oak-aged 3 year old barley wine and I’ll be pretty bloody stoked. I don’t want an oxidized or infected one… Needs to be in perfect condition.
I do get a little annoyed with the “drink local” mentality sometimes… I’d say drink what the bar staff recommend as fresh.

If someone asked you to put a six pack together for them, what would you put in it?
Do I like them?

YES
Pliney the Elder
Lost Abbey Track #10 Bat out of Hell
Crux Fermentation Galaxy IPA
Knappstein Lager
Spezial – Munich Lager
Pils Urquell Unfiltered and Unpaturized

NO
6 x bottles of my first batch of homebrew…

Dans Beer Hall of the Damned and Brewery will be opening early next year!

Nomad Freshie Salt & Pepper

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I was pretty excited to see this limited release from Nomad. Gose (pronounced gose- uh) is a style that is very rarely seen in Australia. I’ve only ever seen it twice: Boatrocker at GABS this year with their one- off festival beer ‘I Ain’t Afraid Of No Gose’ and Doctors Orders Electrolyte Forte which was at the same festival a few years ago. I absolutely adore the style and really wish it was around more and i’m not really sure why it isn’t more widely brewed: it’s crisp, clean and a brilliant balance of tart sour and savoury. Very unique and seriously tasty. Traditionally brewed with salted water and coriander, the base is fairly basic: wheat and pale malts along with fermentation with lacto- strains and german yeast.

Inspired by the Northern Beaches and breathing the fresh, salty air of the ocean and wanting to put that in a glass, Nomad have stuck to the traditional with this brew and taken full advantage of their surroundings and local resources. Brewing with salt water straight from Freshwater Beach right down the road from the brewery, locally sourced coriander and Tasmanian Mountain pepper they have attempted to bring the beach to the bottle… Let’s see their take on this elusive, unique style.

Style: Gose

ABV: 4.5%

IBU: 15

From Where: Low Buy Liquor, Lilydale

Pour:

Pours a pale orange/ lemon colour with minimal, fluffy white head.

On The Nose:

Fresh and vibrant on the nose with notes of nectarine, honeydew melon and citrus pith. Touches of coriander are coming through too with pepper spice, fresh cut grass and savoury characters.

Palate:

Classic Gose balance. Tart, savoury and spicy with touches of stone fruits. The salt water really shines on the palate giving it a tart, acidic, drying, savoury character with touches of pepper and coriander. Also getting nuances of tropical fruits: think pineapple, peach and apricot. Great puckering sourness throughout too with grapefruit pith and lychee. Brilliant balance all round with a crisp, dry finish.

Final Thoughts:

This is as traditional as it gets with clever little touches here and there. Sour, spiciness, crisp, dry and a brilliant mouthfeel that really knocks it out of the park. I really hope to start seeing more of this style around, and just more variety for that matter: it’s crisp, clean, refreshing with touches of spice and great sour tartness that hits all the right spots on the palate, puckering me up and leaving me wanting more. A brilliant take on a rarely brewed style.

Yeastie Boys: The Spoonbender Series

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I know I am a bit late to the party with these brews. It was kind of one of those things that has been on the back burner and then there was a new release I had to drink, and then another… You know the feeling I’m sure. The Spoonbender series is basically a collaboration series between the Yeastie Boys and other industries, other crews and people that do not necessarily  think the way they do. What they are looking for is the strange. Something that may not have been thought of before because of the variance between the industry. With this series the Yeastie Boys have teamed up with South Australian winemakers Some Young Punks and have used their already fermented and aged botrytis Viognier and have created a candi- sugar to use in the brewing process.

What’s botrytis you say? Very simply put it’s a form of good ‘rot’ on grapes, sometimes known as ‘Noble Rot’. It shrivels and decays the fruit but at the same time greatly intensifies the sweetness of the fruit and adds some very interesting complexity. Noble Rot is found in wines like Sauternes from Bordeaux, Tokaji from Hungary and a lot of German Rieslings and are known for their sweetness, stickiness and a certain ‘honey’ quality. Candi- sugar may also be a familiar term to you as well; it is a brewing sugar used mostly in Belgium to brew styles such as Tripels and Dubbel. It boosts alcohol content without adding too much body, giving that warming, sticky feeling so well known with those richer belgian styles. So with this in mind you can already sort of form a picture of how this will translate to the beer, particularly with the styles they have chosen to brew: Pale Ale, Imperial Porter and a Tripel. So let’s kick off the series and see how it translates ourselves.

slypersuader

The Sly Persuader

Style: Pale Ale /  ABV: 6% / IBU: 20

Pour:

Pours a pale orange lemon with minimal stark white head and fine lacing.

On The Nose:

Getting plenty of stewed apricot on the nose, fleshy orange and candied orange pith, lime zest, fresh peach and smatterings of tropical fruits: think mango, honey dew melon and lychees. Picking up faint floral notes of honeysuckle, chamomile and orange blossom with cereal/ hay dryness.

Palate:

Extremely well balanced pale ale here. Packed full of chewy, stewy apricot, nectarine and peach with plenty of citrus acidity: orange blossom, preserved lemon and lime juice. A slight sticky sweetness in the mouthfeel with a refreshing dry finish of honeysuckle, clove and candied ginger.

Final Thoughts:

A really well structured, balanced pale ale. I expected the candi- sugar to shine through a bit more on the palate but it was definitely there. I guess you don’t want to make a pale ale cloying, that kinda defeats the purpose…  Plenty of sweetness shining through with slight sticky sweetness in the mouthfeel with some dried stewed fruit characters and a dry, refreshing finish. A very interesting little pale ale.

lastdictator

The Last Dictator

Style: Imperial Porter / ABV: 10% / IBU: 72

Pour:

Pours a deep, dark brown, almost black, with light brown tinges on the edges and minimal light tan brown head.

On The Nose:

Getting a sticky vinous grape must quality on the nose with  boozy Christmas cake, rum and raisin, burnt toffee, espresso, vanilla bean and sweet, rich milk chocolate. Plenty of roasted nuts too finishing in sticky red fruits: think cranberries, currants and stewed plums.

Palate:

First hit on the palate is all about rich, roasted malts, espresso bitters and burnt toffee. This softens out to rich chocolate fudge, chewy caramel, vanilla bean and boozy rum and raisin with that sticky grape must sweetness returning again. Getting lots of sweet spice in the mix too: clove, nutmeg and cinnamon sticks with light star anise/ liquorice notes. Mouthfeel is rich, luscious and sticky, coating the entire palate with a hint in honeyed alcohol, just warming the mouth.

Final Thoughts:

This is an absolutely cracking imperial Porter. I feel the botrytis does actually bring something to this brew with that grape must quality, and it appears in every aspect. The nose certainly has a musky, sticky grape muscatel quality to it, the palate also brings a sticky vinous quality to the table too with honey beeswax characters. The mouthfeel is an absolute knockout for me; sticky, unctuous and all kinds of deliciousness. The label puts it perfectly, the botrytis is really ‘infused’ in this brew and plays to the strengths of the style. This brew in my opinion really hits the brief the Yeastie Boys set out to accomplish. Really well done.

sunbeforedarkness

The Sun Before The Darkness

Style: Tripel / ABV: 10% / IBU: 50

Pour:

Pours a hazy burnt orange with minimal off white foam.

On The Nose:

Sweet as sweet can be on the nose with heaps of candied fruit sweetness straight up front. Lots of candied orange zest, sweet orange flesh, dried apricot, notes of bubblegum, citrus blossom, juicy ripe peaches and preserved mango. Notes of cinnamon, sugary caramel and vanilla in the finish.

Palate:

Palate is sweet, spicy and fantastically warm, spreading to all the extremities. Getting those sugary candy fruits here too: stewy orange, candied citrus pith, dried apricot, mango and a grapefruit bitterness with sticky caramel, honey notes and grape must. Sweetness gives way to warm, boozy spices and notes of cedar. Mouthfeel is silky, warming, rich and completely coating. Brilliant complexity.

Final Thoughts:

This one seriously hit the spot and was a clever choice to build around botrytis Viognier. Plenty of sticky sweetness with classic botrytis characteristics: almost like a good olorosso or other sticky sherry it is honey sweet and sticky with layers of complexity. I would have to say, this is one of the best Tripels I’ve ever tasted. Completely and utterly brilliant.

Final Thoughts On The Series:

I have to say, it is seriously commendable for thinking outside the box with this project. It would have been so easy to go for something obvious like barrel ageing but the idea of taking botrytis Viognier, reducing it to candi- sugar and brewing with that was some ingenious thinking. The idea of designing the beer around the botrytis was also very clever as they have been able to ingrate it into the various styles, and it worked brilliantly for the most part. I don’t think it worked quite as well for the Pale Ale as it should have; there are aspects but it didn’t quite hit the brief to me. The Tripel and Imperial Porter on the other hand were absolutely outstanding with the botrytis shining brilliantly and complementing the styles perfectly. Seriously looking forward to the next series if it’s this kind of thinking and ingenuity, this kind of thinking is what makes industries move forward and think outside the boundary of their own profession. Here’s hoping this sort of experimentation continues…

Doctors Orders Zephyr

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So glad to see Doctors Orders finally making it to bottle now. I was particularly excited to get this as I’ve never had the chance to sample but what I have drunk has always impressed. Their Prescription 12 Belgian Black IPA made it into my Top Ten of 2014 and also got my vote for the Hottest 100,  though I was very surprised that none of their brews made it into the countdown… But alas, it was not to be. So lets see what Zephyr holds in store…

Style: Imperial Witbier

ABV: 7.5%

IBU: N/A

From Where: Low Buy Liquor, Lilydale

Pour:

Pours a golden orange with compact white head and fine lacing.

On The Nose:

Some amazing aromatics getting picked up in the glass. Brilliant lemon myrtle, chamomile, dry hay, green apple, juicy nectarine and fleshy peach. Getting light notes of lemon pith, orange zest, coriander and white pepper with candied ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and lolly bananas.

Palate:

Classic witbier notes here, layers and layers of it. It starts with sweet juicy peaches, apricot and nectarine melding into floral lemon myrtle, fresh honey dew and candied orange zest in abundance. Finishing in dry farmhouse lees, notes of fresh cut coriander, wheat grain, star anise and white pepper.

Final Thoughts:

This is witbier brilliantly magnified by a thousand with the classic Doctors Orders touch. Some clever brewing had gone into this with the Doctors twist: Classic but amplified, this is a brilliant brew to think about on a warm summers day. Seriously clever, tasty and another brilliant brew. Can’t wait to see whats coming in 2015, will be watching very closely! Perhaps 2015 will be the year for them to get into the Hottest 100. Fingers crossed…

Brew Saga’s Top 10 Brews Of 2014

I know it’s a stupid cliche, but what a freaking year it has been in the craft beer world, particularly in Australia. We are now finally starting to see the good works of all those independent craft brewers, craft shop owners and bar owners out there really starting to pay off and stick it to big brewing, providing better quality and better education to the consumer. Sure, there is still a massive amount of work to be done, but this niche industry has been going strength to strength all year and winning your average, “Lion” drinking public over or at least have made them think of the quality work that is going on out there. Games have been stepped up and the establishment challenged, and I can only see it getting bigger and better in 2015.

With such a diverse year, it is extremely difficult to pick out highlights. We have seen some brave, bizarre and downright mind bending stuff come out this year and a ridiculous number of new, unknown breweries standing up to really be counted as some of the best producers in the country. I have unconsciously found myself only really reviewing Australian produced stuff these days (sometimes New Zealand, those kiwis are too good to ignore…) because the quality coming out at the moment is just so top notch I don’t need to look abroad. The best, most interesting and experimental beers really are coming out of Australia and you literally do not need to look anywhere else; if you want it, chances are someone in this country is brewing it and it only takes a phone call or email to get hold of it. That to me is just super exciting and I cannot wait to see what 2015 has in store…

So, Top 10… I would rather have a Top 50 but thats way too much. There are so many honourable mentions and brews that just missed out, it seems unfair but I’m pretty happy with what I have come up with. Some where just no brainers, others considerably more difficult to pick out, but here we go (in no particular order)…

 

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Mornington Peninsula/ Stillwater Collab Pepperberry Saison

One of the stellar works to come out of Good Beer Week this year. If you got a chance to try it, you know why it’s here… A really special collaboration. Amazing florals on the nose and a brilliantly fresh palate with a subtle hum from the pepper berry in the background with an impressive estery/ spice finish. Wish there was more…

killersprocketryeipa

Killer Sprocket Rye IPA

I am a rye fiend. But I was good with this list and only picked one, and it was a no brainer which to pick. Having heard such good things I knew it would be good, but it just blew my expectations out of the water. Spicy, fruity, earthy and all deliciousness, this seriously impressed me.

drorderspres12bottle

Doctor’s Orders Prescription 12 Belgian Black IPA

This is one i’ve been obsessed with from the get go. With such an unusual style I thought this has got to be worth a try, and it turned out to be one of my favourite brews of the year. Just incredible. Every aspect in this brew is clearly defined across the palate and nose. Some really clever brewing.

ridersxpa

Riders Brew Co. XPA

This was one of those brews I kept putting off but once I tasted it it blew my socks off, soaring right into my top 10 of the year. I now keep a healthy supply of it… It is just so packed with flavour and cleverly layered that it would be impossible to get bored of or put down. Just too good.

beergeekragequit

Brew Cult Beer Geek Rage Quit India Pale Lager

It was just damn near impossible to pick a favourite from Hendo’s impressive stable, but I did it. It was between this and his ‘Can’t Fight The Funk’ Farmhouse IPA, which I voted into the Hottest 100 this year, so technically there’s two… Everything I have from him is just incredible and really makes you think about what your drinking. This one really made me think: packed with subtlety, nuance but overall a clean, fresh and delicious experience. An absolute cracker and must for the summer months.

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3 Ravens The Druid Belgian Quad aged in PX barrels

This is THE no brainer of the year for me. I know I said ‘no particular order’ but this is number one. Hands down. El Numero Uno. Best experience of the beer year. I’m a massive fan of PX, I love barrel ageing and Belgian Quadruple: the whole triad is there. I only got one and I kick myself everyday for not picking up more…

lasirenewildsaison

La Sirene Wild Saison

You know those up and comers I mentioned in the intro? These guys are on the top of that ‘up and coming’ list… La Sirene has had an incredible year and they are only going to get better. Being producers of solely Farmhouse/ Belgians/ Sours/ Lambics, I can see demand is about to sky rocket for these guys. I said it then, i’ll say it now: La Sirene can and will sit very easily amongst the best farmhouse producers in the world. 2015 will be the year of La Sirene… All of their releases impressed me this year, but the Wild Saison jumped out most for me. Fantastic florals, juicy stone fruits, baked citrus and luscious tropical fruits with lovely drying cereal, flint and apple/ pear malic acid notes.

blackdogDIPA

Black Dog Brewery Junk Yard Dog Double IPA

What can I say about James that hasn’t been said before? One of the most consistent, brilliant brewers around at the moment. Love everything that leaves his tanks. This one really stood out for me because it embodies a lot of his brews. Fresh, floral and fruity on the nose but once you get into it, it turns into ‘The Black Dog”: chewy, resin, pine and serious bitter bitters. Just sensational.

brewboyshopp

Brew Boys Hoppapotamus

This one was a bit of a wild card for me. I had no idea about these guys, only it was a little difficult to get hold of. Given to me as a birthday gift this year I went in with an open mind, not begin sure what to expect… What I got was one of the best pale ales I’ve ever had in my life, leaning more towards IPA though. Masterfully and beyond delicious.

exitsaison

Exit Brewing #001 Saison

It’s pretty difficult to go past the first release from Frase and Grum. Any brewer that makes a Saison their first release are pretty confident in what they’re doing and it proved their best for me. This is an absolute classic, one of the tastiest brews of the year.

Honourable Mention: Red Hill Brewery Imperial Stout 2014

Just beaten to the post unfortunately but too good not to mention. A seriously layered, deep and rich experience this brew had all the good things and was brilliantly balanced. Dangerous too. A majestic Imperial Stout.

That’s it! 2014 done and dusted. I’ve already made it my new years resolution to get even more beery in 2015: more visits, more reviews, more involvement and more delicious beers! Here’s hoping 2015 is a great year for all of us and things just get better and better. See you in the New Year!

Brew Boys Hoppapotamus

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I have been hearing hushed whispers of the greatness that is Brew Boys lately, particularly this brew: Hoppapotamus. I have to give a massive thank you to Chris at Low Buy Liquor in Lilydale for relinquishing this beer from his private stores. My brothers bought it for me for my birthday (who have excellent taste) and he graciously offered it. Thank you all who were involved in this excellent present…

Style: American Pale Ale

ABV: 7.0%

IBU: N/A

Got it from: Chris!! and my Bros… Thanks guys.

Pour:

Pours a hazy copper amber orange with fluffy white head.

On The Nose:

Incredibly floral and fruit forward on the nose: super fresh nectarine, peach blossom, melon, fresh passionfruit, pineapple with fleshy orange and lime. Freshly crushed, floral pine needles in the background and light resin with sweet spice and lychee. Brilliant, brilliant nose!

Palate:

The palate, like the nose, is all about the hops to an insane degree… Dominating fresh citrus sweetness, fresh stone fruits and zesty tropical fruits. Orange pith, grapefruit, lime and juicy nectarine. Finishing in some intense, chewy pine and resin.

Final Thoughts:

This is up there as one of my favourite brews of the year! Just absolutely, amazingly balanced and fresh with hops being the victorious hero of this beer. This brew to me seems to be more IPA than APA though, which is in no way a criticism, it’s the only thing I can think that is even slightly negative in any way. It’s just so perfect! Everything I have come to know and love about the humble hopis here and here in spades… Amazing citrus and tropical fruits with juicy, mouth watering stone fruits. I cannot speak any higher of this beer, just get it. Now.

Garage Project: Hop Trail #1

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I’m always interested to try single hop brews. As a guy who is fairly amateur when it comes to hops (I have a fairly good idea of some them and their characteristics) I always find it fun to get hold of them and see what they have to offer and this particular one was too good to pass up. Now comes this rather brilliant blend of science and brewing from Plant and Food Research and New Zealand hops and Garage Project. The two have gotten together to trial new, unreleased hop cultivars. Let us see what this can contains: in the name of science!

Style: IPA

ABV: 7%

IBU: 55

Got it from: Low Buy, Lilydale.

Pour:

Pours a light straw/ lemon colour with bubbly, fluffy head.

On The Nose:

The nose is bright, fruity and tantalisingly spicy. Notes of lemongrass, white pepper and floral chamomile with fresh pineapple, peach, juicy watermelon and spritzy sherbet characters.

Palate:

That prominent spicy lemongrass note jumps out first with tart grapefruit, lime and pineapple with that watermelon note floating around in the background adding to the mouthfeel. Getting some fresh peach and melon too finishing in a brilliant , lingering bitterness of mint, eucalyptus and fresh pine needles.

Final Thoughts:

When i first heard about this I knew this new cultivar was going in to safe hands. Garage Project is one of the premier brewers of New Zealand and wizards of hop use so I knew it was going to be good. And it was fascinatingly good. This hop I found to be all about the bitters. Seriously bitter bitters, and I think would be a very worthy addition to any brewers hop itinerary. It is an ideal bittering hop with some interesting fruit characters to bring to the game. I really hope this hop makes the cut! Would love to see it in a brew again…

3 Ravens USB

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It was an exciting day when I heard this brew would see the light of day again. As is now common knowledge, a few years ago 3 Ravens as we know it was on the brink of no longer existing but at the last moment was bought up by Mash Brewing and all limited release brews were put on hold until it got back off the ground.  And boy howdy did it: what followed was a pretty brilliant 2014 for them, snatching up the award for Champion Small Australian Brewery and releasing some stunning beers: my favourite for the year is still The Druid, their Belgian Quad aged in PX barrels. You can see my review of that here. But about the beer: this is basically their ESB but on performance enhancing drugs, hence Uber. And using the word Uber sums this up pretty well…

Style: Strong English Bitter

ABV: 6.1%

IBU: N/A

Got it from: Low Buy, Lilydale

Pour:

Pours a beautiful copper amber red with fluffy off white head.

On The Nose:

The aroma is incredibly malt driven (unsurprisingly): The thing that jumps out straight away for me is an ANZAC biscuit quality: oats, honey, golden syrup and a delicious fresh baked biscuit note. Getting light notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, spicy candied ginger and boozy raisin with dark fruits.

Palate:

Classic English strong ale in the palate with uber malt. Lots of honey, toffee and sticky caramel with lots of fresh rolled oats, hazelnut, walnut, almonds and dried coconut. The mouthfeel is like sticky, coating golden syrup with very fine bitters finishing it off. Getting some sticky stewed fruits in there too: apricot, raisin, cherry and currant.

Final Thoughts:

This is an absolutely fantastic ode to the classic English Strong Ale. 3 Ravens have treated this style with the upmost respect and have done it so much justice you could easily say this could sit in an English pub on a hand pump and know one would know it was brewed in Melbourne, it’s that good. Classic oatmeal, golden syrup, treacle and plenty of toasted nuts with fine bitters and stewed fruit sweetness. An absolute winner.

Brew Cult Can’t Fight The Funk Farmhouse IPA

brewcultcantfightfunk

Style: Farmhouse IPA

ABV: 6.2%

IBU: 50

Where to get it: Low Buy Liquor, Lilydale

This rather beautiful looking beer is the first in the Brewcult ‘Psychedelic’ series, just recently re- brewed and re- released for a limited time. Very happy to have gotten a hold of one of Hendo’s brilliant beers. Hendo is known as a rather colourful character and that is something that really shows itself in all of his brewing endeavours: Beers with character, great flavour and just off- beat enough to give any craft beer nerd a beer- ection… Basically what we’ve got here is a rather delicious take on the American IPA with saison yeast thrown in and a generous new world hopping and old school brewing techniques. Lets see what is in store with Can’t Fight The Funk…

Pour:

Pours a brilliant copper orange with generous white fluffy head.

On The Nose:

The nose is a brilliant, effervescent smorgesbord of juicy stone fruits and tangy citrus. Getting stacks of ripe peach, fresh, mouth watering apricot and zesty mandarin. Layers of lime zest and fresh grapefruit juice accompanying notes of sweet turkish delight, juniper, bramble and sweet spices.

Palate:

Palate is fresh and juicy with heaps of fruit sweetness balanced out with cracking, lingering bitterness in the background. Getting lots of white nectarine, ripe peaches fresh mango and lots of honey dew melon and cantaloupe with sweet, sticky stewed fruits and raisins. Finishing in a drying white wine vinous note with plenty of lime juice and sticky, floral resin bitterness. Getting light notes of cinnamon, star anise and nutmeg.

Final Thoughts:

What we’ve got here folks is the feel good hit of the summer…When I first drank this I could of sworn it was a white IPA: alcohol is hidden brilliantly by all the juicy fruit sweetness, sticky stewed stone fruits and crisp citrus acidity. A fantastic white wine quality through out: fresh, crisp and juicy with brilliant lingering sweet spices and plenty of citrus zest. Very fresh, very tasty and classic Hendo…

Ekim Brewing Co. Slammer

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In the past couple of months I have really discovered the joy of the Sydney craft beer scene and I got to say: watch out the rest of the country because Sydney is taking the reins. With guys like Doctors Orders, Dennis Brewing, Nomad and the newly opened Modus Operandi turning heads, I can very easily see Sydney taking the mantle of Australia’s best craft beer producer. To add to this list we also have Ekim Brewing, who doesn’t like a beer sporting vikings? I have heard nothing but good things about Ekim and was very excited to come by the Slammer: as a new brewery, their stock isn’t massively available down here in Victoria and anything is a good thing! Brewed with heaps of agave and single hopped with Sorachi Ace hops, let’s see whats in store for with this tequila pale…

Style: Tequila Spiked Pale Ale

ABV: 6.0%

IBU: N/A

$$: $5

Pour:

Pours a hazy, rich golden amber colour with fluffy white head.

On The Nose:

The tequila spiking really jumps out on the nose: smooth, rich, creamy and warming with lots of spicy, herbacous notes thanks to the agave with dry, zesty lemongrass notes coming from the sorachi ace hops. Also getting some sweet spices like star anise, cloves, and sweet honey with minty/ medicinal characters.

Palate:

Fresh and crisp, the agave and Sorachi Ace balance fantastically. Getting lots of crisp lime and grapefruit flavour and acidity, creamy malic notes, spicy lemongrass and liquorice with sweet honeysuckle and sweet spices. Finishing in a minerally, steely character.

Final Thoughts:

This is a clever take on the conventional pale ale. Brewed using agave and sorachi ace hops this is a brilliant and harmonious balance of spicy lemongrass and awesome, crisp citrus characters with rich, creamy, herbaceous minty, medicinal and minerally notes. This is brilliantly dry, super refreshing and far too sessionable for its own good: a classic summer brew with all aspects brilliantly integrated. Fingers crossed, Ekim will start making it to Victoria more often because it is delicious!