The Bruery ‘So Happens It’s Tuesday’ BA Imperial Stout


33825687_862077533976393_3398614720905740288_n“Our infamous Black Tuesday® stout is named in honor of the great stock market crash of 1929. So Happens It’s Tuesday is similarly dark and delicious, but in a more affable format, reminding us that there is always a bit of good to be found within the bad. Things happen, life goes on. This beer can be enjoyed in all of those moments and seasons.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Impenetrable black pour which holds a sturdy three finger head on top. It gradually recedes to a film with some spotty lace in its wake.

Aroma: Completely and unequivocally massive. It reeks of bourbon, charred oak, cocoa, toasted malts, molasses, dark fruits (prune, raisin, fig), vanilla and chocolate. There is a pretty hefty booze presence in there but everything is so in-sync that it just sings! Simply divine!

Flavour: Sweet baby jeebus that is good! There’s rich and intense flavour coming in from all angles. There’s waves of oak, bourbon, licorice, chocolate and vanilla wrapped up in a warm alcoholic blanket. An astringent dark fruit sweetness (kind of like booze-soaked raisins) annexes and flows through the mid. The bourbon, chocolate, oak and toasty malts return for a big, warm and drawn out finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body with a slick and oily texture. 14.6% ABV….yep. Fierce!

Overall: Well it ain’t a Tuesday but it does happen to be a Wednesday! So Happens It’s Tuesday, S.H.I.T for short, (we wonder whether that was intentional) is an absolutely mammoth beer so proceed with caution, but most of all relish in its boozy, rich complexity because it’s absolutely superb.

Russian River Brewing Co. ‘Sanctification’ Sour Blonde


33621327_861550544029092_892458774923575296_n“Technically, this is neither an ale nor a lager. The base recipe is for a Golden Ale, but we do the primary fermentation with 100% brettanomyces. The brett gives it some sour notes but not as much as if it had been aged with lacto and pedio. It’s rather refreshing on a warm day!”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pale golden hue which caps off with a wispy head that instantly peels back to a ring. Minimal lace as it ebbs.

Aroma: It certainly has a dominant funky Brett scent but it’s well tempered. The usual suspects i.e bitter/tart citrus (lemon, lime, grapefruit), spice and aged vinegar are there but with a somewhat earthy barnyard character to it. Hints of that sugar crusted candy as well – meringue, froot loops and lemon drops. Fine aroma.

Flavour: Brilliant transition from the nose. It’s funky and sour but that’s mostly from the tart lemon and vinegary notes. It softens in to a fruity middle, but not in the fresh way, more artificial-like as it hints at fruit tingles and candied citrus. Hints of Belgian yeast esters, pear/apple and earthy spice round off on a slightly dry and lengthy finish.

Mouthfeel: Light and fizzy with a rather mineraly texture. Booze (6.75%) is well hidden. Slightly acidic.

Overall: There’s something here for everyone. It is 100% Brett fermented so the sourness does come on strong but it tapers off nicely for the more novice sour drinkers (like us!).

Firestone Walker 2017 ‘Bravo’ BA Imperial Brown Ale


33540538_861542030696610_5845851364923539456_n“We proudly present the 2017 Vintage of Bravo, our Imperial Brown Ale aged in retired American oak bourbon barrels. Although Bravo was the first strong ale brewed for our Anniversary Ale blending program over ten years ago, it has yet to see its own bottled release, until now. Balancing rich toasty and chocolate malt flavors with a gentle balance of noble hops, Bravo is brewed to showcase barrel flavors with massive bourbon barrel notes that morph as the beer warms in the glass.”

Glassware: English pint.

Appearance: Light mahogany with burgundy hues. It doesn’t produce much head, eventually settling to a halo with thin rings clinging to the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Biiiiig!! Lots of nutty uplift initially. Excellent follow up from those caramelly sweet and woody American bourbon oak barrels. It flows in to soft creamy vanilla, burnt brown sugar, cola syrup and an earthy spice like nutmeg or star anise. And who could possibly miss that stinging booze burn?! Phenomenal nose.

Flavour: It’s as big as Ben Hur but there’s so much nutty chocolate malt to offset it. Waves of sharp bourbon oak roll through with a touch of dark fruit (figs, dates, licorice etc) late in the mid. A bit of alcohol warmth early in the finish with lingering notes of bourbon, charred oak and serious dryness in the tail.

Mouthfeel: Chewy and somewhat creamy yet sharp and a touch leaner than we would have liked. 13.2% ABV and 28 IBU.

Overall: Outstanding offering. It’s huge, boozy and malty so this baby will age gracefully. Yes OK it’s probably obvious but let her come up to just below room temperature before cracking this bad boy. Let it open right up. Brilliant drop.

Bear Republic Brewing Co. Rare BA Sangiovese Kolsch


33622899_861232870727526_1648111236467916800_n“Dry Creek Sangiovese juice from Orsi Family Home Vineyards blended w/ light Kolsch and refermented in oak barrels. Fruity grape notes, oaky mouthfeel, and a crisp Kolsch finish.”

Glassware: Tumbler.

Appearance: We’re seeing a pink-ish red hue with a short head that vanishes instantly. And no head = no lace!

Aroma: Tart citrus overtones with red berries and soft oak tannins in support. It gives off a super refreshing effervescence, kind of how a lemon, lime and bitters would. Definitely getting a hint of the vinous red wine coming through with that surprisingly pleasant lacto funk cutting in. Lovely.

Flavour: It comes on a bit stronger than anticipated. Tart citrus and sharp lacto/pedio funk cutting through those oak tannins and soft vanilla notes upfront. More of that red wine and berries through the mid leading in to a mildly tart and drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Quite light on actually – must be due to the lager/kölsch body. Big and bitey 8.7% ABV to counteract it though. 15 IBU with a vibrant co2.

Overall: A thoroughly pleasant beer. It would be the perfect substitution for a rosé or a sparkling red which would pair beautifully with either spiced duck, pork and cheddar based cheese. Hits the spot!

Founders Brewing Co ‘Dankwood’ BA Imperial Red IPA


33573405_861152690735544_6683822814635491328_n“What do you get when a big, bold imperial red IPA meets an oak bourbon barrel? A palate stunner that’ll send your senses spinning or, as we like to call it, Dankwood. Rich caramel notes emerge from the depths of the IPA, highlighting strong malt character while the bourbon barrel-aging develops the complexity. A dank, sticky and slightly sweet sipper, Dankwood is the perfect alchemy of wood and hops.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Very deep amber with a thumb of puffy tan foam perched on top. It’s reasonably well retained and leaves a streaky lace drag down the walls of the glass.

Aroma: Dank, boozy, sweet and syrupy. Over ripened stonefruits such as mango, rockmelon, paw paw and pineapple which seem to accentuate the super sweet syrupy notes (not to mention the hefty 12.2% ABV). Certainly picking up undertones of the bourbon oak, it’s quite subtle but there to be found. As it settles it almost gets this amaretto scent to it. Potent but very elegant.

Flavour: It hits every corner of the flavour spectrum! It’s rich, sweet and syrupy but it’s also dank, bitter and hoppy with its hints of grapefruit and orange peel early in the mid. Nutty malts, toffee, caramel and burnt sugar finish with a liqeur-ish note, stewed fruits, port and a subtle jaffa-like flavour that really goes the distance on the back palate.

Mouthfeel: Sticky, dense and resinous with an intense booze burn. At times aggressive IBU (65), wouldn’t want it to be much higher to he honest.

Overall: It’s a great drop but my goodness it’s an onslaught to the senses. Points for complexity, body and fun factor but it’s just slightly palate wrecking.

Russian River Brewing Co ‘Blind Pig’ IPA


33487291_861202230730590_6013106260537245696_n“Blind Pig IPA was originally brewed by Vinnie at Blind Pig Brewing Co. in Temecula CA. Inspired by the original Blind Pig IPA, this beer is loaded with hop character but only has 6.0% ABV. ”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Golden pour with excellent clarity. Quite a short head and minimal wavy lace being strewn down the glass.

Aroma: We’re getting that hallmark American IPA nose led by pithy grapefruit, pine needles, citrus rind, fresh herbs, some orange citrus and light florals. The malt profile is so clean it ain’t funny. We’re more inclined to say it’s grainy with some husky and sweet notes as well. Solid!

Flavour: It has that typical all-encompassing bitterness with a dry and pithy astringency in support. We’re picking up a light grainy/biscuity malt that softens the mid palate before the brawny bitterness returns with delicate honey, citrus acidity and pine needle on the close.

Mouthfeel: Incredibly crush-able. Dry and slightly warming (6.25% ABV) with mild-moderate body. Co2 is spot on. Dangerously easy over the tongue!

Overall: Extremely well presented IPA. After all it is Russian River! We hate to stack it up against Pliny but we can’t help it, somehow it finds itself in its shadow but it still has this super clean feel with enormous session ability…..just like Pliny!

Cascade Brewing ‘Melonious Blonde’ BA Blonde Ale


33475220_861172754066871_3884715116557500416_n“Melonious Blond is a blend of blond and wheat ales aged in oak barrels for up to 14 months with cantaloupe and Summer Kiss melons. Showcasing Oregon-grown fruit harvested at peak ripeness, Melonious Blond offers notes of fresh summer melons, orange blossoms and sour candies, with a hint of honeycomb and green peppercorn.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Slightly hazy golden hue. She caps off with a thumb of fizzy head that reduced to a ring. We’re seeing a wavy lace pattern clinging to the glass as we imbibe.

Aroma: Smells of classy champagne, freshly cut grapefruit, citrus rind, earthy florals, pithy orange, young sauv blanc and lime juice. Something kind of chalky in there, a bit tannic and a little fleshy like melon, paw paw and peach. Rather acidic but well carried by the amount of fruits. Quite an impressive number.

Flavour: It’s a total incursion on the palate. Tart citrus, bitter hops, lemon warheads and unripe stonefruits on entry. That typical rush of saliva brings fleshy fruits like peach, apricot and nectarine before it finishes on a dry citric base which offers hints of fruit tingles and subtle peppery spice on the rear.

Mouthfeel: Chalky, dry and slightly acidic – as most of these beers seem to go. The 6.8% ABV, although somewhat strong, is well contained. Mild-moderate body.

Overall: We’re not pretending to be sour experts but this is pretty bloody good. It’s sour as hell but the stonefruits along with the earthy florals and peppery spice pull that back in to line. Very, very impressive.

Modern Times Beer ‘Avalon’ NE IPA


33380530_860772567440223_2147041425282301952_n“The progeny of London yeast and a breathtaking plethora of juicy hops, this 7% stunner promises to be a hazy IPA of the highest order. Prepare your taste receptors for a rousing chorus of tropical wonderment that will have you singing its praises long after the final sip.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Hazy orange with soft golden highlights. It builds a finger of foamy head which reduces to a halo. It posts a consistent set of rings as we imbibe.

Aroma: Absolutely on point. Crammed full of brekky juice fruits – mango, pineapple, guava and orange with the slightest hint of apple/pear on the flank. Muted grapefruit, kumquat, stonefruits and passion fruit in there too. Somewhat buttery malt profile, kind of reminds us of Anzac cookies. Superb!

Flavour: Creamy tropical fruits to the fore – brekky juice galore! All those aromas transition in to flavour with added notes of apricot and peach. It’s unbelievable how smooth it is through the mid, the bitterness is muted, there’s a mild spicy/herbal note and a citrus accent that rolls in to a dry yet pleasant finish.

Mouthfeel: Creamy texture. Seriously well masked IBU (50) and an even better concealed ABV (7%). Medium body, mild-moderate co2.

Overall: We want to say it’s as good as heady topper but it just falls short. Pretty much faultless but as it’s not as good we can’t give it a 10….even though it probably deserves it!

Pizza Port Brewing Co ‘Swami’s’ IPA


33059434_860734897443990_3732481542644039680_n“Swami’s IPA is a special beer to the Pizza Port family as it was the first IPA brewed in our original location over 20 years ago in Solana Beach. With a more traditional hop profile, this beer is the quintessential example of a West Coast IPA as it showcases the fresh bitterness of citrus and pine. Swami’s is named after one of the most famous surf breaks in San Diego county, which, as perfectly depicted on the can, is always crowded with surfers and paddle boarders alike. The break itself gets its name from its proximity to a Self-Realization Fellowship, a landmark in Encinitas that is also perfectly pictured on the can. Whatever your form of meditation is, we hope that each and every sip contributes to your own self-realization! Hops: Chinook, CTZ, Cascade, Centennial, Citra, Simcoe.

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Clear golden pour which caps off with a finger of loosely held foam. It peels back to a fine film which manages to work a healthy lace down the glass.

Aroma: It’s got a bit of everything. Stonefruits, tropical fruits, citrus, little jabs of pine, tangy orange along with tangerine and ruby grapefruit. Somewhat yeasty too – light phenolic citrus and spicy floral tones with little malt in the background, light and bready/grainy in our opinion. Really nice.

Flavour: Quite the citrus bomb upfront. More pronounced grapefruit, orange peel and sharp piney notes which carry a bit of that boozy warmth with it. She really intensifies midway, all that grapefruit acidity, pectins and hop bitterness hits a crescendo then tapers off in to a dry but well tempered finish.

Mouthfeel: Typical IPA intensity. Bold, bitter and drying with a bit of boozy warmth (6.8% ABV) in the swallow. Medium body and co2.

Overall: A solid IPA with plenty of big and slightly aggressive aromas and flavours to back it up. Good body and an assertive IBU (72). Would buy again, if we could get our hands on it in Australia!



Barrel House Brewing Co IPA


33226089_859774800873333_4078472052036599808_n“We built this delicious unfiltered West Coast IPA around a unique blend of specialty hops delivering mouth-watering juicy dankness. Put it in your mouth; you can thank us later. Cheers!”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Slightly hazy gold with soft amber highlights. We’ve got a finger of puffy white foam that persists and draws a soapy lace as we indulge.

Aroma: Lots of tropical fruit hop notes. Wafts of mango, pineapple and melon with light citrus accents. It’s hinting at grassy hops, maybe just a flutter of dankness in there. We’re also picking up a resinous pine with a soft caramel malt sweetness to balance it all out. Not bad.

Flavour: A little bit less tropical fruit and more resinous pine and a touch of candied citrus (mostly lemon and lime) on entry. Becoming quite pithy and acidic through the mid palate. Very mild malt sweetness rolling in to a drying finish with the acidic bitterness and slightly warming booze in the tail.

Mouthfeel: Dry and somewhat astringent with that big 76 IBU developing in the swallow. Minimal balance though, making it aggressive and kind of unapproachable.

Overall: Not quite what we were expecting (or hoping). It’s slightly unbalanced with a piercing alcohol warmth and aggressive bitterness which only intensifies as it settles in the glass. Decent enough but it needs some fine tuning in our opinion.

El Segundo Brewing Co ‘Steve Austin’s Broken Skull’ IPA


33248908_859710287546451_5722336265928441856_n“A bad-ass 6.7% IPA designed by Steve Austin and ESBC for the working man & woman. It features Citra, Cascade, and Chinook hops to deliver big flavor with an easy finish. Now stop reading and start enjoying this awesome beer!”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Slightly hazy golden amber with a pillowy thumb of white foam over the top. The head holds its shape well, settling to a decent overlay which weaves a wavy lace down the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Choc a block full of those hallmark West Coast IPA scents – citrus (orange, tangerine, lemon, Ruby grapefruit), pine needle, mild jammy notes, melon and light florals. Somewhat of a doughy malt structure, hitting crusty bread notes in its delivery. Pleasant and pretty well balanced.

Flavour: Well transitioned in to the flavour profile. An even fusion of orange citrus, piney undertones and bready malts to the fore. Subtle hints of grapefruit acidity coming through the middle and leading to a smooth finish where the bready malts appear to carry the hops very nicely. Length is pretty good.

Mouthfeel: Drying texture and moderately bodied with reasonably well hidden bitterness (39 IBU). 6.7% ABV also nicely contained.

Overall: A fairly crush-able IPA. Quite impressive considering the ABV too. Although nothing really seems to stand out, it’s just a nice and simple mid arvo thirst quencher.

Goose Island Beer Co 2017 ‘Bourbon County’ BA Imperial Stout


33183998_859652774218869_3584134304248102912_n“The Original Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout. Intense aromas of charred oak, vanilla, caramel, smoke.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Pitch black with a short brown head forming on top. It reduced to a ring with minimal lace sticking to the glass.

Aroma: Heaven! Absolutely crammed full of bourbon, roasted sweet malt, vanilla, coffee, charred oak, molasses, licorice, dark chocolate, dates and subtle smoky notes. We don’t think there’s anything else one could want from a big bourbon barrel aged imperial stout. It’s as good, if not better than KBS, Old Money and Ramjet. Superb.

Flavour: A mouthful of everything that made the aroma so good – trick loads of bourbon, charred oak, vanilla, cocoa/chocolate, roasted malts, dark fruits and mild smoky notes. The ABV (14.7%) is incredibly well concealed but offers that gentle warmth through the mid. She’s big and roasty in the finish but nicely tempered by a bit of vanilla and sweet toffee malts.

Mouthfeel: Dense and chewy with full body. It offers a subtle carbonation with a very well hidden alcohol warmth.

Overall: Brilliant, no better way of explaining it. It’s up there with the best Imperial stouts we’ve ever had the pleasure of drinking. We can only imagine what a few years aging could do. Very impressive.

Dogfish Head ‘120 Minute’ Imperial IPA


33216258_859400270910786_4601829974721167360_n“Clocking in at 15-20% ABV, 120 Minute IPA is continuously hopped with a copious amount of high-alpha American hops throughout the boil and whirlpool, and then dry-hopped with another pallet of hops. Unfiltered and abundently hoppy, it’s the Holy Grail for hopheads!”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Nice bright amber hue with a thumb of persistent head perched on top. Thick lace decoration as we hook in.

Aroma: Holy moly! This is massive. First thoughts are dank, extremely boozy and aggressive with a sweet toffee malt structure. Tonnes of stewed dark fruits, cognac/sherry, burnt orange, tree sap, syrup and resinous pine oils. The booze content (16.5% ABV) is fierce and really stings the nostrils! You could very easily mistake this for an American style barleywine. Absolutely mammoth.

Flavour: It opens with a huge palate wrecking warmth, stewed fruits (apricot, plum and raisin) and sharp resinous pine notes cutting in. More of a sweet orange accent, syrupy toffee/caramel malts and cognac/sherry midway. It all intensifies in to a sweet, dry, warming and complex finish that goes the distance on the back palate.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, thick and dense in texture with some oily-ness to it. Average co2. Certainly for the more adventurous.

Overall: We’ve been waiting years to try this beer and it isn’t exactly what we expected. It’s excessive and aggressive! A super quaffer. To be honest the 90 minute is better!

Bear Republic Brewing Co ‘Hop Shovel’ IPA


33057439_859388410911972_951652138751098880_n“Hop Shovel is dry, but with a soft and rounded mouthfeel achieved by using a high proportion of wheat and rye. Hop varieties Mosaic, Meridian, and Denali provide an abundance of flavor and aroma.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Clear gold with some fine suspended sediment floating around. Active co2 which builds the finger of fizzy white head. Decent retention with a thick, streaky lace as we go.

Aroma: Quite dank and musty with a strong grainy malt on the flank. Big and dank pine notes, wet forest floor, marmalade, kind of husky, boozy tropical fruits, blood orange/ruby grapefruit and a bit of warming booze. Maybe some delicate sweet caramels at the base too. Quite well balanced.

Flavour: It has a nice and bitey bitterness upfront along with soft herbal/spicy hop undertones. A good swish around the mouth offers a more restrained bitterness but a lifted citrus/orange note with the yellow grapefruit in support. The citric pectins become quite strong as it nears the dry and bitter finish. Good duration on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Dry, medium bodied and super bitter. Can’t find an IBU but our guess would put it around the mid 60’s. Pretty adventurous for the casual craft drinker.

Overall: She has all the hallmarks of a decent IPA – bitey, sharp and bitter but maybe not as well balanced as it could be. It certainly doesn’t detract from its appeal but it’s nothing to write home about.

Stone Brewing ‘Stygian Descent’ BA Imperial Black IPA


31958028_852595801591233_5676943246203289600_n“Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA practically named itself. The perfect melding of dark malts with a downright indecent amount of hops forges a complex flavor profile of assertive dark roastiness and big, bright hop notes for a singularly sublime experience.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Predominantly black with a faint cola edge. The pour aroused a huge three finger head which retains exceptionally well. Tonnes of soapy lace sticks to the glass as we imbibe.

Aroma: Really dominant bourbon notes initially. Lots of woody oak tannins, spice, vanilla, treacle and mild smoky tones in support. Can’t find any real hop character, just a whole lot more roasty dark chocolate, charred wood and earth. Getting a subtle hint of the peppery rye as it warms.

Flavour: Pretty much follows on from the nose – top notes of sharp and semi sweet bourbon with piercing booze, woody oak tannins and burnt chocolate. Tasting some of that earthy spice on the flank as very very subtle hints of pine/spruce come through the middle. Roasted malts, toasted grains and spicy whiskey are finished off with a warning booze burn in the tail.

Mouthfeel: Nice and full. Well warming (11.6%) with medium co2 and a well tempered 90 IBU. Aggressive but surprisingly smooth.

Overall: It’s certainly a complex little number. The time spent in KY bourbon and rye whiskey barrels is the biggest contributor along with the subtle smoky notes. Look, it’s nothing to write home about but it’s still a decent drop.

Dainton Brewery ‘Big Bad Bourbon’ BA Barleywine


31949632_852566928260787_2812730604196462592_n“Beer description: This beer is a bit mad, like us. And stupid, unlike us. Aged in three different types of bourbon barrels and brewed with a Belgian yeast. Tastes like vanilla, fights Ken.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Sort of copper sort of cherry red thing going on with an inch of loosely held bubble on top. The head quickly vanished and leaves nothing but a foaming island in the center.

Aroma: It’s unique that’s for sure. We’re putting that down to the use of rye, which with its spicy notes, slightly offsets all of those uber sweet and rich caramels, toffee, port and residual sugars. Definitely picking up the bourbon and woody oak accents as well, very nice touch. Some earthy spice, fig, gluhwein and apple/pear cider just to make it a bit more complex!

Flavour: Not quite as aggressive as anticipated. It comes on strong and warming but it’s nicely softened by the rich and smooth caramel, toffee and syrup. The earthy spice plays a good support role as it hits a sharp sherry/brandy note in the middle. Clove, stewed oranges, bourbon, residual sugars and fortified wine finishes it all off.

Mouthfeel: Oily and somewhat gelatinous. The 14% ABV provides a hefty warmth but that’s to be expected.

Overall: Not bad. Probably one we wouldn’t seek out again but in saying that it’s seriously complex and very comforting. One to crack on a cold winters night we reckon.

Mornington Peninsula Brewery ‘Squid Rising’ NEIPA


32086386_852528854931261_5501193304710053888_n“Created from the depth’s of a brewer’s complex mind comes Squid Rising. A stronger, meaner New England IPA. It’s fat, it’s cloudy, it’s mouthwateringly juicy and shatteringly hoppy!”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Cloudy mustard yellow with a soft orange tint. It builds a nice two and a half finger head that persists, leaving a thick and soapy lace as it ebbs.

Aroma: Brekky juice…tick, ripe stonefruits…tick, creamy…tick! It has all the hallmark NEIPA characters thus far. It also possesses that subtle tangy sweetness that we get from blood orange and tangerine. Definitely some herbal accents in here too – mostly aniseed along with a flutter of lemongrass. Lovely stuff!

Flavour: A big impression of juicy stonefruits upfront. Think mango, rockmelon, peach, pineapple and orange. Just a slight pronunciation on this creamy peach note through the middle as it leads in to a smooth citrusy finish which also offers a blend of fleshy paw paw and grainy malt on the rear.

Mouthfeel: Mostly creamy with a kind of chalky texture to it. Minimal bitterness with a well concealed ABV (6.5%). Medium body, mild-moderate co2.

Overall: Unlike their cousin’s from the West Coast we’re still to find that Aussie NEIPA that blows us away. Take nothing away from this though, it is a very good interpretation but it just falls short of being memorable.

Capital Brewing ‘Rock Hopper’ IPA


31942755_852239014960245_6340953591120920576_n“Big and juciy, this west coast IPA was brewed to celebrate the journey to our favourite remote places. The forward hop flavours are bursting with citrus and stone fruit (peach) flavour and aroma. It’s got a dry finish and Subtle malt flavours. It’s as if you’re drinking a refreshing fruit punch.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Relatively clear honey amber with a fluffy two finger head emerging on top. The head is well retained and works a healthy lace down the glass.

Aroma: Fresh and clean with top notes of bright citrus, tropical fruits, pine, passion fruit and cedar wood. Maybe a touch of unripened stonefruits creeping in as well. Somewhat of a grainy yet semi sweet malt profile at the base. Fairly well balanced and alluring aroma.

Flavour: Showing a bit more West Coast aggression. It opens with that distinctive bitter citrus – grapefruit, orange peel etc followed by unripe melon and a touch of malt sweetness. It hits a mild crescendo midway and tapers off in to a crisp and dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Moderately bodied, crisp and rather approachable. Average carbonation with some warmth from the booze (6.1%) just showing through.

Overall: Nothing memorable but it’s still a very solid IPA. These guys are doing a good job of brewing consistently good and honest beers. Keep em comin’!

Mountain Goat ‘Rye Fighter’ Double Rye IPA


31363344_848141705369976_4912469926855311360_n“Our latest Rare Breed has been dedicated to the hero of one of our favourite video games, Street Fighter’s Ryu. Ryu means ‘plentiful and abundant’ and this is exactly how we would describe the hops in this brew. In addition to Amarillo and Calypso pellets, we used Simcoe Lupulin and Ekuanot Lupulin. Lupulin powders are extra concentrated and oozing with highly resinous natural oils, resulting in a dense hop flavour and a strong, balanced bitterness.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Relatively clear amber pour with a thumb of foamy white head over the top. It holds its shape well and weaves a soapy lace down the walls of the glass.

Aroma: Tonnes of citrus in there – mostly lemon, grapefruit and orange peel with flashes of pineapple, melon and peach. We’re also picking up a hint of Earl Grey tea which works tremendously well with the spicy rye malts. The booze (7.8% ABV) is peeking through a little with just a slight touch of malt sweetness on the flank. Lovely!

Flavour: A bit of a citrus bomb on entry. It explodes with grapefruit, lemon and orange peel before its reinforced with the spicy rye malts and super subtle notes of umami. The citrus bitterness intensifies late in the mid and compliments the dry, spicy and citric finish which goes the distance.

Mouthfeel: Dry and really well rounded. It coats the whole mouth nicely. 7.8% ABV and 66 IBU – both aggressive yet well tempered. Medium body and co2.

Overall: How could these 80’s babies refuse a Street Fighter-themed double rye IPA?! Impossible! Especially when rye IPA’s are one of our favoured styles….along with Ryu (sorry Ken, you were never as good!) Solid drop – flavour and inspiration wise.

Dainton Brewery Blood Orange New England Rye IPA


31296031_848393518678128_127986623806701568_n“Blood Oranges are awesome. They give you a vitamin C hit and you get to pretend you are a fruit vampire, sucking the life out of your helpless victim. Sweet. We’ve really jumped on the NEIPA bandwagon -though we have Daintonfied it- Rye + Blood OJ. Fruity Hop Fun! Woo!”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Cloudy light orange colour which is topped off by a rocky two finger head. It slowly reduced to a film which works a streaky lace drag down the glass.

Aroma: We’re getting some really lovely blood orange notes emanating. They’re ultra fresh, zesty and tangy….just heavenly! Mild hints of orange peel, grapefruit, peppery spice, stonefruit and grassy/herbal hops fill her out beautifully. Not to mention the adjunct notes of mandarin, kumquat and tangerine. Brilliant.

Flavour: There’s an excellent fusion of hallmark NEIPA flavours like apricot, peach, mango and grapefruit that marry up with the tangy and zesty characters of the blood orange. It’s subtle through the mid palate, sticking to its roots with mild bitterness and co2 yet the flavours progress in to a zesty, slightly dry and spicy finish with food length.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, smooth and all-encompassing. Incredibly well hidden ABV (6%). Dangerously sessional!

Overall: We’ve been totally swept up in Dainton’s new re-labelling and their quest to craftify their range. Up until now we hadn’t been that impressed but this blood orange NEIPA has renewed our faith!