Grimbergen Dubbel


27072982_806287862888694_6395039682140943563_n“Grimbergen Double-Ambrée – dark-coloured ale with the bittersweet flavours of caramel and dried plums, made from double-fermented hops and malts.”

Glassware: Trappist tulip.

Appearance: Deep mahogany colour with a wispy head that peels back to a film. It laces extremely well considering the lack of retention.

Aroma: Dark, malty and yeasty with some bitter chocolate on the flank. Quite the hop profile cutting through – earthy and somewhat floral which is infrequent for Belgian dubbels….nice touch though. Getting that banana runt and clove as we begin to scratch the surface. Underpinned by notes of tobacco, white bread and fig. Very good.

Flavour: Super earthy. Tonnes of fig, tree bark and grains which embrace some of that spicy and slightly fruity Belgian yeast on entry. Picking up plums, brown sugar and raisin through the mid as it delivers a dry estery finish full of pear, apple pie and cocoa on the back end.

Mouth feel: Creamy texture and quite high in co2. Only 6.5% ABV so the booze certainly doesn’t dictate. Medium-full body. Very well structured.

Overall: An extremely well brewed dubbel. Although it lacks a lot of that typical sweetness it makes up for it in the form of this kind of raw and earthy character. It’s no Westmalle but it’s still a bloody decent offering.

La Sirene ‘Fleur Folie’ Saison


27332490_806295916221222_7979017734857601296_n“Fleur Folie (literally meaning blossom madness) is styled along a classic Saison Miel and on opening a bottle overwhelms you with fresh aromas of Wild Honey Flowers, pepper and spice. This beer is deep gold in colour with an orange hue and has a soft malt backbone, layered complexity and sweet malt tones which are rounded off with a dry prickly finish. The classic Belgian yeast imparts a kiss of tartness and orange blossom tones including a textured mid-palate with a lingering hop earthiness and lively effervescence to finish. We hope you enjoy our Folie as much as we do.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Cloudy off yellow colour with an enormous three and a half finger head on top. Slow and steady reduction with thick, patchy lace strewn down the glass.

Aroma: Really interesting, lots of depth and layering. We’re picking up tart lemons, sulphur, angostura bitters, florals, peppery spice and lemon sherbet. Some earthy tones but it’s nicely countered by a mild honey sweetness. Just a hint of yeast which imparts those banana, clove and funky barnyard notes. Lovely.

Flavour: Not as convincing as the nose, all the beautiful aromas don’t seem to follow through to the palate. It’s mostly dry and musty with light acidic and tart citrus out in front. Champagne yeast, some citric hop bitterness and peppery spice on the close. Nice endurance on the rear though.

Mouth feel: Dry, musty but also quite vibrant and effervescent. Highly carbonated. Fairly light body with a well tempered 6% ABV.

Overall: Some good points and some not so good. We still don’t understand why some brewers persist with the green bottles? With the risk of being light-struck and all. Lovely aromas but unfortunately that didn’t translate to flavour. We’ve had better from La Sirene.

Schloss Eggenberg ‘Samichlaus’ Doppelbock


27540440_805952042922276_4121141276573435138_n“Brewed only once a year on December 6. Samichlaus is aged for 10 months before bottling. This beer is perhaps the rarest in the world. Samichlaus may be aged for many years to come. Older vintages become more complex with a creamy warming finish. Serve with hardy robust dishes and desserts, particulary with chocolates, or as an after dinner drink by itself.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: It hits the glass with a deep ruby red glow. It only manages a short beige head that collapsed to a halo but still works a wavy lace as we imbibe.

Aroma: Extreme indulgence. Unbelievably rich and complex with booze-soaked dates and raisin, Christmas cake, toffee, spice, cognac, residual sugars, gluhwein, fig jam and glazed cherries. We could practically sit here all arvo and pick out another half a dozen or so but we’ll move on. Absolutely superb.

Flavour: Holy moly! It’s nearly edible. The progression of flavours is next level, opening with Christmas cake, stewed cherries, cognac, residual sugars and toffee then flowing in to super sweet caramelised malts and a crescendo of burning alcohol. It develops a nutty flavour early in the ultra sweet, sugary and yeasty finish. The length is incredible too, really sitting on the tongue.

Mouth feel: Sticky and saturated. Full body and low carbonation. 14% ABV… What can we say, it’s quite vigorous.

Overall: Simply amazing. It’s straddling that line between beer and aperitif. It could be very slowly quaffed, enjoyed with a good Cuban cigar or as a digestif after dinner. Really impressive.

Wayward Brewing ‘Oatis’ Oatmeal IPA


26994031_805948949589252_7652487186986962852_n“An ultra smooth Golden Oatmeal IPA (India Pale Ale) bursting with grapefruit, pineapple, lime zest and apricot hop aromas, perfectly balanced by a malt backbone of sweet toasted malt and silky smooth oatmeal. Originally brewed for GABS 2015.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Just about translucent amber which is capped with a loosely packed two finger head. Steady reduction and patchy lace as it ebbs.

Aroma: Brilliant! It has this heady butterscotch sweetness that tantalizes the olfactory’s. It’s backed up with tropical fruits like lychee, passion fruit and ripe pineapple alongside a somewhat sugary berry note – blackcurrants maybe. More caramel, stonefruit, grapefruit and doughy malt as it settles.

Flavour: Showing a bit more hop to malt balance. Tonnes of super sweet caramel and tropical fruits with a subtle zesty citrus joining the party mid way. It really starts to take on the stonefruits late as it finishes sweet and fruity with decent length in the tail.

Mouth feel: Really smooth and silky – certainly due to the oats. Well rounded bitterness (75 IBU) and an extremely well concealed 6.5% ABV. Medium body and co2.

Overall: Probably our favourite of the core range. So damn approachable for its size and weight. Quite well priced for a 750ml bottle too (about $11in most bottle shops). Delish!

Deep Creek Brewing Co ‘Undercurrent’ Pilsner


17523141_805944729589674_2396578181882252725_n“Point breaks, sunshine, crisp beers on hot days. This easy drinking pilsner has a calm malt profile, with an undercurrent of lemon zest. We take its traditional bohemian beginnings, and introduce a taste of New Zealand with the addition of local hops, to produce this latest wave in the Deep Creek set.”

Glassware: Footed flute.

Appearance: Slightly milky straw yellow colour with a two finger mound over the top. Good head retention and healthy lacing in the glass.

Aroma: Mostly citrus and passion fruit with a dry and grainy cereal malt structure. Slightly tart lemon/lime, young sauvignon blanc, subtle spice and hay also in the make up. All very nice and refreshing but it’s a bit restrained and underwhelming.

Flavour: We’d say there is a bit more pronunciation on the malts – hay, cereal and grains with a mild fruity hop developing mid way. Not a great deal of depth as it rolls in to a light, fruity finish which pulls up a bit short on the back end.

Mouth feel: Super smooth texture. Light on, mild bitterness and mild-moderate co2. Effortless but a little weak.

Overall: Middle of the road pilsner here. While it’s uber seesional it seems to lack depth and character. It’s a 50/50 traditional to new world pilsner with the Bohemian malt bill and a NZ hop profile but we’ve had better to be honest.

Alchemist Beer ‘Heady Topper’ Double NE IPA


27331889_805787122938768_6866065208622232993_n“In early 2011 we built the Alchemist Cannery, a 15 barrel brewery and canning line, for the production of our flagship IPA Heady Topper. The first cans of Heady Topper rolled off the line just two days after Tropical Storm Irene demolished The Alchemist Pub and Brewery. Today, we move all of our beer weekly in a concerted effort to provide the freshest, hoppiest packaged IPA on the market.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Hazy AF! Orange/mustard yellow colour with a steady finger of off white foam perched on top. Good head retention and fine lacing on the glass.

Aroma: We hate to sound like a broken record but it’s another full on breakfast juice bomb. Packed full of orange, mango, pineapple, guava and apple. Nicely underpinned by some piney, herbal and grapefruit notes. Delicate hints of aniseed and grass too. Hardly any malt to speak of. Doesn’t matter though, the amount of hop character is just mind blowing.

Flavour: Although it hits its typical juice bomb note there is a decent amount of herbal/botanical character to it. Wet grass and vines come through along with a sappy pine sweetness. Loads of citrus, tropical fruit and just the slightest hint of earthy forest floor. Clean bitter finish with a piney and citric aftertaste.

Mouth feel: Resinous and sappy. Suggestions of creamy-ness there too. 120 IBU – hefty but well contained. 8% ABV also well hidden.

Overall: As far as NE IPA’s go this is by far the best we’ve had. Yes, there is the cult following and the utter rarity of it but the high quality and complexity is what hands it its judgement. If only they would distribute outside the Vermont region! World class.

Lawson’s Finest Liquids ‘Sip Of Sunshine’ Double NE IPA


27073236_805783982939082_1044619287707647765_n“This lupulin-laden India Pale Ale is packed with juicy tropical fruit character, bright floral aromas and delectable layers of hop flavor. Pour mindfully, inhale deeply and enjoy a tropical vacation in a glass. Always store cold, enjoy fresh and stay cool!”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Nice amber hue with only a slight haze – no where near as hazy as other NE IPA’s we’ve tried. It constructs about a finger of head before reducing to a halo with reasonable lace as we hook in.

Aroma: Rather punchy for a NE IPA. Kind of has a bit of West Coast style aggression to it with its pine, grapefruit and orange peel. It still offers a nice creamy juice bomb character though – plenty of pineapple, orange, mango and peach with a delicate grainy/bready malt at the base.

Flavour: Quite acetic, comes on strong with piney/resiny hops, grapefruit and tropical fruits. The edge is taken off with a mild sweetness which is carried through on the back of some juicy fruit and honey. Pineapple, orange and subtle apple juice to round it all off. Good sturdy bitterness sitting on the tongue.

Mouth feel: Pretty smooth and silky for a beer of its size (8% ABV). It keeps a nice medium weight with perfect co2. Could so easily smash another 5 of these.

Overall: Phenomenal drop. It kind of strokes that borderline between West Coast and New England IPA’s. Tonnes of juicy fruit but also a pronounced pine and clean citrus profile as well. Just a cracking IPA.

Tree House Brewing Co ‘Very Green’ Double NE IPA


27337226_805778969606250_4471194439062104119_n“This classic Tree House Double IPA is created with a massive kettle and dry hop punch of Australian and American hops.  It opens in the glass with huge notes of ripe pineapple, pithy citrus, and dank saturated hops. As it warms it shows its depth and complexity. . . Sweet bits of malt intermingle with straight Tropicana. It has a soft but pointed bitterness and a rich, velvety mouth feel. She drinks much like Green, but with more of everything to love – including a greater potential to get carried away.  Proceed with caution!”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Super cloudy yellow complexion, really takes on that fruit juice aspect. It holds a short white cap which dispenses a wavy lace as we imbibe.

Aroma: Again, it’s all about that brekky juice – pineapple, mango, guava, apple and orange. Some subtle grapefruit cutting through as well, a bit pithy and acidic in its delivery. Some dankness, maybe some creamy notes and a suggestion of grainy malt. The full package!

Flavour: Breakfast juice bomb! Waves of creamy pineapple, guava and citrus wash over and make way for a somewhat dank and pithy middle. The grapefruit notes ramp up before it finishes ultra bitter and citric on the rear. Really good length on the close as well.

Mouth feel: Creamy but also quite dry and astringent. The 8.6% ABV provides a nice warmth on the palate. Aggressive bitterness in the swallow.

Overall: We’ve tried our fair share of NE IPA’s and this one here is in a class of its own. Anything from Tree house is as rare as hens teeth as they only sell them from the cellar door in Charlton, Massachusetts. Luckily we had a mate who was willing to share some with us! Brilliant drop.

Stockade Brew Co ‘Old Money’ 2017 Barrel aged bourbon Stout


imageWell it’s about time we got around to this. We have heard so much good stuff about it. So this drop has been aged in Kentucky oak barrels. It uses Cluster, Centennial, and Cascade hops and 4 different malts, including chocolate. It has an IBU of 28. Oh yeah..and its 12.5% Alc vol. Here goes…

Poured into a shaker we see impenetrable black with lots of tiny carbonation seen bubbling away. The head fades quickly leaving a tan rim. On the nose its rich and complex. We get roasted malts, bourbon, chocolate, dark stewed fruits, brown sugar/molasses, vanilla, and some espresso. Heaven. First sip is ridiculous. It’s so smooth and balanced. This is supposed to be 12.5%?! Warming bourbon surrounds the mouth. It’s surprisingly light on the palate. We were imagining this oil slick. Bitterness is really restrained and the sweetness of the chocolate just slow burns without being prominent. More flavours of vanilla, chocolate, bourbon, oak, booze, fig, and raisin. Got a lovely earthy base flavour. This must be the hops? Obviously low carbonation in the mouth. It’s definitely a sipper. A warming glow around the forehead tells me the 12.5% has registered. Just so well hidden. It’s right up there with the ramjet or Founders in terms of flavour and balance. As it warms up and we sadly near the end its just so oaky with bourbon, vanilla and dark fruits. Was it worth it? Absolutely. Will I go and buy another 4 pack because we are going to have another and I really should cellar these? Absolutely. Is it a 10/10 beer? Absolutely. Stockade Brew Co know how to brew a dark beer that’s for sure.


Boatrocker Brewers Oatmeal Oyster Stout


26907231_802424703275010_7022751970775280188_n“We started with a classic Oatmeal Stout and added 12 kilos of fresh oysters to 1300 litres of wort. This created a subtly briney, full bodied English style oatmeal stout brewed in collaboration with our good friends, Pambula Oyster Co.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Jet black, maybe just an inkling of light penetrating around the edges. Sturdy two finger mound with good retention and fine lace as it subsides.

Aroma: Hearty yet well balanced. Brilliant application of the oysters here – briney and slightly salty, the perfect way to offset the big roasty malts, chocolate and oats that are in absolute abundance. A little bit of coffee, a touch of molasses sweetness and salt water to round it out.

Flavour: A little slow to get going to be honest. Certainly displaying the salty and somewhat gamey oysters initially with a delicate backing of nutty malt. She definitely intensifies as the soft nutty notes become roasty, eventually leading in to a robust finish of coffee, roasted malts, dark chocolate and mild soy sauce.

Mouth feel: Mineraly and kind of watery in texture. Unexpectedly thin for a Boatrocker stout. The light-ish 5.4% ABV could be playing a hand in that though. Mild-moderate body and co2.

Overall: Not exactly what we were expecting. It’s actually much more approachable than it looks. The addition of oysters is well presented and that dark roasty base is there to balance. Not bad, it’s just lacking the knock out blow in our opinion.

Hawkers Beer West Coast IPA


26907715_802421946608619_1605172348396349614_n“Not for the faint hearted. A big hoppy bitter West Coast style IPA with huge floral, fruity, and piney aromas.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Slightly hazy golden orange complexion. It only manages a small fizzy head that reduced to a halo with some patchy lace work left behind.

Aroma: Really hitting that West Coast IPA trait with its big and clean pine and orange citrus notes. Tonnes of tropical fruit, stone fruit, light florals and pithy orange peel backing up. Dry and bready malt profile, not doing a whole lot to pull those big, punchy hops back…and that’s the way we like it!

Flavour: Zesty citrus, pine, hop oils and passion fruit on the fore. Stays clean as a whistle as it surges through the mid, picking up a hint of grapefruit as it delivers a crisp and tidy finish with plenty of lingering pine and zingy citrus sitting on the tongue.

Mouth feel: Sharp and snappy. Ultra clean with a somewhat oily texture. 75 IBU – contained brilliantly. Well masked 7.2% ABV with just the right amount of co2.

Overall: Hawkers do it again! It should come as no surprise though, the quality of their range clearly shows the head brewer knows his stuff. True-to-style West Coast IPA, she’s aromatic, punchy, bitter and assertive. Excellent offering.

Badlands Brewery ‘Brewbacca’ Kolsch


26805304_802420279942119_5627428553504935138_n“This ale is based on a Cologne style Kölsch. A subtle, warm and cuddly beast, Light biscuity character from the German Pilsener malt marries with soft and understated aroma and citrus flavours from Hallertau hops, the King of German noble hops.”

Glassware: Tumbler.

Appearance: Straw gold with excellent clarity. It constructs a frothy two finger crown that holds its shape well. Healthy lace seen as we go.

Aroma: Uber grainy and earthy with a nice floral bouquet in support. More of a biscuity malt opposed to the usual rice crackers and hay. Kind of dry, kind of musty with a very subtle hint of wet paper. Undertones of rockmelon/paw paw, mild yeasty funk and spice filling it out. Good nose, full of character.

Flavour: It comes on quite strong for a kölsch. Tonnes of grainy malt, citrusy hops, straw and light florals on entry. Really good carry in to the mid where a subtle earthy note picks up a bit of cheeky spice. Slight musty-ness before it rounds out on a mild finish which shows straw and grainy malts in the tail.

Mouth feel: Light on, slightly drying and slightly lean. Moderate bitterness (25 IBU) and good co2. Super sessional.

Overall: A very well brewed kölsch. Cool strip too – love the natural timber looking background with the spin off of chewbacca from Star Wars….very eye catching.

Hairyman Brewery ‘Cory’s Claim’ Dark Ale


26734417_801079720076175_8203168726081252977_n“On February 4th 1852, George Cory set out with his pack horses for his fellow gold miners at Sofala. It should have been an easy two-day journey along flat tracks. Eight days later George arrived completely buggered. He told of how for days he had been chased to hell and back by the legendary ‘Hairyman’. To spare his poor nags it had been necessary to lighten their loads, which for the record consisted of six firkins of fine dark ale, rich in hops. Fortunately, George had managed to bring though almost a whole firkin. His mates were just glad to have their cobber back safe after his ordeal at the hands of that fiendish mongrel.”

Glassware: English pint.

Appearance: Deep cola hue with a short cap over the top. Steady reduction and a spotty lace working its way down the glass.

Aroma: Quite similar to their lager and by that we mean similar in composition. The nose is brimming with nuts, chocolate, coffee, vanilla and caramel/toffee. A hefty malt structure is providing that subtle roast/smoky character at the base. Very basic but executed to perfection.

Flavour: It comes on quite strong actually. An unexpected bitterness quickly lays down for the nutty malts, chocolate, cocoa powder, coffee and caramel. The lingering bitterness takes on some of that roast through the mid as it delivers a bold finish which offers hop bitterness, roasted malts, coffee and nuts in the tail.

Mouth feel: Very slick and velvety but also a touch dry and forthcoming. How they’ve achieved that with only a 4.7% ABV is phenomenal. Good weight. Mild-moderate co2.

Overall: It has been many years but we think the Lord Nelson ‘Old Admiral’ has finally met its match! It has lambasted a long reign at the top of the table when it comes to dark ales but this right here….this would give it a run for its money. Superb.

Sauce Brewing Co ‘Bubble & Squeak’ NE IPA


26804833_801083326742481_5948176274006242207_n“Our hugely popular New England IPA is now available in 500ml cans! Overloaded with late whirlpool and dry hops, this hazy tropical fruit bomb is all the rage. 6.5%”

 Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Super cloudy mustard-ish yellow gold with a thumb of reasonably well retained head perched over the top. A mix of spotty and streaky lace clings to the glass as we indulge.

Aroma: Sticking to its uber juicy roots as it erupts with pineapple juice, mango, lychee, papaya, blended citrus and a unique scent of coconut cream. Subtle malt profile – bready if anything but it fuses in to that breakfast juice character so well.

Flavour: An exact mirror image of the aroma. More of that Brekky juice medley with a mash up of pineapple, orange and mango. It could just be the proteins that are a by-product of brewing NEIPA’s but we always seem to taste a somewhat creamy vanilla and or lactose-esque flavour. Closing on a mild fruity finish that pulls up a bit short.

Mouth feel: Creamy AF. Somewhat mineraly as well. Kind of dry with a well concealed 6.5% ABV.

Overall: We’ve been fanatics of the IPA style for over a decade now so one would think the new variant would excite us. It doesn’t…..that much. Yes, OK its juicy and flavoursome but we can’t quite grasp why the style is so popular. It’s a good beer but it’s hardly memorable. Not bad.

Dainton Family Brewery APA


26239860_800877030096444_7081916706989523821_n“The first recipe brewed and released out of our Carrum Downs brewery, this American Style Pale Ale showcases several varieties of American hops. This lends a firm yet approachable bitterness, balanced by a touch of malt sweetness that makes this a very sessionable beer.”

Glassware: Shaker.

Appearance: Light amber in colour. Our pour generates a loosely packed two finger head that falls away pretty quickly without a great deal of lacing in its wake.

Aroma: Nice and hoppy with that trademark orange citrus zing lifting out of the glass. Juicy wafts of grapefruit, peach, nectarine and paw paw punch through with strong support of pine and slightly dank resins. Loving this malt backing too – she’s offering bready overtones with just that subtle caramel to sweeten the deal. Lovely.

Flavour: It’s all about the hops on entry. They’re citrusy, piney and fruity with an ever so delicate touch of spice. The middle takes on more bitter characters like grapefruit and orange peel before it delivers a nicely balanced finish with hints of toasty malt and zesty citrus.

Mouth feel: Clean and slightly dry with a creamy texture. 40 IBU and 5.2% ABV – both very well behaved.

Overall: It’s got serious potential. We love how APA’s always have that little bit extra oomph compared to a standard pale ale. This one has that in spades. It could be one hell of a session beer that’s for sure.

Hairyman Brewery ‘Follet’s Fable’ Pacific Lager


26804578_800873353430145_4946493058001177208_n“In July 1791 while exploring the Hawkesbury River system, Matthew Follet’s small boat became separated from his companions. After days of frantic search, they found him on a river bank far down-stream, bedraggled, red-eyed and with a shocking story. He had been passing through a wild, narrow gorge when a monstrous ‘Hairyman’ had descended on him and forced his boat against the rocks. Follet had hammered the bugger, but with the vessel fatally holed he had just one option: two barrels, lashed together and emptied of their contents (the expedition’s ration of cool, clear satisfying Pacific Lager), had made a crude but effective raft to escape on. In view of all that Follet had gone through, it was thought best to cut short the expedition.”

Glassware: Footed Flute.

Appearance: Crystal clear straw golden complexion. A finger and a half of creamy white head forms before reducing to a healthy overlay. Some patchy lace sticking to the glass as we go.

Aroma: Basic lager nose but it’s super clean and enhanced by a delicate citrus hop profile. The malts offer hay, cereal and grains with a somewhat earthy undertone – again delicate and very well tempered. So simple but so well executed.

Flavour: Really well balanced upfront, we taste a gentle wave of citrus washing over the tongue. There’s a nice addition of grainy malt and peppery spice also coming along for the ride. Hitting a slight earthy note midway before rolling in to a kind of woody, semi dry finish. Fairly decent length provided on the way out.

Mouth feel: Light on, crisp and effortless. Nice and refreshing co2 and mild-moderate body. The ultimate quencher.

Overall: It’s not breaking any sound barriers but we get the feeling it’s not meant to. It’s simply hitting its mark with precision. Probably one of our least favoured styles but this one we can dig. Just a solid craft lager.

Hairyman Brewery ‘G.P.A’ (Gutsy Pale Ale)


26993417_800869213430559_7336943258026843190_n“Chock a block with big hop hero’s Centennial and Pacifica, brimming with citrus and floral aromas offering hints of earth and spice for balance. Solid bitterness to keep it in the big India pale ale style. Bronze Award Winner of 2017 Sydney Royal Beer & Cider Show in the India Pale Ale Category.”

Glassware: Shaker

Appearance: Deep and intense amber hue with a short cap emerging on top. The head holds its shape and works a fine lace as it ebbs.

Aroma: We can see where the name ‘gutsy’ comes from. Getting a sweet caramel malt structure with a slightly dank, citrusy and herbaceous hop profile cutting through. Some light earthy notes hanging around along with a delicate floral undertone. Packing in some robust aromas here.

Flavour: Very similar to the aroma but with a more pronounced orange citrus character. Again we see it backing up the aroma with a dense caramel malt sweetness and dank hoppy notes which is boosted by a bit of a burn from the 6.3% ABV. The finish is bitter and drying with a bit of aggressive hop and boozy warmth in the back end.

Mouth feel: Dry and bitter but also quite chewy and full-ish with a vibrant co2 and a feisty 46 IBU.

Overall: A very enjoyable drop with plenty of attitude. Our first review for this brewery and they’re off to a flyer. What’s better is that they’re just down the road from us! Winning.

Feral Brewing ‘F 15’ BBA Imperial Brown Ale


26196331_796753763842104_7976658623485187260_n“A dogfight 15 years in the making, this anniversary ale celebrates all the Mavericks who helped us throughout all our brewing adventures. Aged for six months in Heaven Hill Distillery bourbon barrels. This special brew also pays tribute to the weird and wonderful WIll Irving, as he’s knocked up more flight hours in the Swan Valley brewhouse than we’ve got knocked up geese. A champion in the brewery, he’s crafted one of the most diverse and respected ranges of beer anywhere on earth. Australia’s beer landscape today is an infinitely better place thanks to him. Cheers mate!”

Glassware: English pint.

Appearance: Dark cola hue with a short yet extremely well retained head forming on top. We’re seeing a wavy lace dispensed as we imbibe.

Aroma: Ooph….complex! What initially came off as a subtle hint of sourness quickly takes shape as the result of aging in Heaven Hill bourbon barrels. Hints of toffee and vanilla come through with a surge of wet oak barrel in support. Some nutty undertones here and there with a suggestion of metal creeping in. Subtle chocolate, prunes and molasses filling it out.

Flavour: We’ve given this bad boy about 30 mins to come up to room temperature….almost. Lots of bourbon flavour upfront – caramel, toffee, vanilla and rye spices. A bit of nutty malt, some dark fruit sweetness and a light roast gets another helping of spice as it finishes toasty, slightly dry and woody. Excellent length on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Steady and quite approachable. No harsh burn at all which is incredible considering the 9% ABV. Slick texture, moderate co2 and body.

Overall: What started with a bit of apprehension has finished with total satisfaction. Come to think of it, it is unbelievably smooth and so well balanced for its weight. Certainly improves as it warms too. Impressive drop.

Dainton Family Brewery IPA


26230683_796753597175454_8045318582627705889_n“It’s a beer that takes heady inspiration from the US, piling on additions of Columbus, Simcoe, Citra and Mosaic to create a beer that, over the course of a glass, acts as something of a checklist for flavours and aromas you expect from New World hops. Lime and pineapple aromas: check. Grapefruit marmalade: check. A touch of capsicum: check. Some herbal, earthy touches: check.”

Glassware: IPA glass. 

Appearance: Hazy golden orange body that’s capped by a big three finger head. It slowly reduced to a wispy overlay which leaves a smattering of lace sticking to the sides of the glass.


Aroma: Heady, punchy and undeniably American. The olfactory’s are bombarded with grapefruit, orange peel, pine, passion fruit, unripened pineapple, woody spice, jam and a sweet caramel malt at the base. It also has this certain dank quality to it as well. Superb aroma.

Flavour: Nice follow on from the nose. Strong initiation by the grapefruit, pine and tropical fruits but it’s the caramel malts hitting their stride through the mid palate. It’s only short lived though as bitter citrus, pine and orange peel take back the reins and finish on a dry bitter note with reasonable length in the tail.

Mouthfeel: Dry overall texture but the malt bill offers a slight chewy-ness. 6% ABV is well behaved and the 55 IBU is assertive but still amicable.

Overall: Dainton have undergone a bit of a re-branding of late and apparently this IPA is the new version of their old ‘insane uncle IPA’. On its merits it is a good IPA – big and ballsy but without that hefty ABV. Memorable? Not so much….but a nice drop that’s for sure.


Thunder Road Pilsner


26230850_796614927189321_8476735551936545689_n“Whilst this is a premium classic style that everyone will recognise as familiar, few could imagine a Pilsner with live yeast and freshness for 24 months or more.  Light in colour, full strength classic European design with a refined floral hop aroma and a hint of citrus.  This is a refined Pilsner with extraordinary prestige and character.”

Glassware: Footed flute.

Appearance: Clear golden colour with a sturdy two finger head perched on top. Steady reduction and some nice lace work as we go.

Aroma: Definitely has some traditional aspects to it. It’s a semi sweet and grainy malt base with a touch of honey and white bready notes in support. The hop bill is somewhat muted but we’re still able to pick up an earthy and slightly floral complexion with an undertone of spice, cereal and hay. Not bad.

Flavour: We’d say it comes on from more of a malty angle. Grains, honey and rice crackers to the fore with a bready/doughy note in the middle. A gentle bitterness is introduced before it rounds out on a sweet and slightly floral finish.

Mouthfeel: Not like most pilsners to be honest. The usual light and crisp texture so synonymous with the style makes way for a fuller and stickier feel. Still, it’s approachable and easy to put back.

Overall: Quite the versatile pilsner. The somewhat heavier approach opens it up to enjoyment in less warmer weather but still keeps to its light and crush-able roots. Decent offering.