Category Archives: Lager

Black Hops Brewery ‘Lay Day’ Tropical Lager


28471650_823187207865426_2322305872262332416_n“A super sessionable lager brewed with pilsner malt and rolled oats to give a smooth, velvety body. A big late addition of New Zealand and American hops delivers a refreshing aroma of tropical fruits.”

Glassware: Flute.

Appearance: Light golden colour with 100% transparency. It holds a thumb of white foam for a minute or so before receding to a collar. Laced quite well though.

Aroma: Clean and really refreshing. Subtle fruity hop characters lead out with classic pilsner malts tucked in behind – grain husks, honey and crackers. Hints of straw and fresh citrus also getting a look in. Nice new world-style lager aromas.

Flavour: Follows the nose with its crisp, refreshing and fruity hop profile. Nice easy progression in to the grainy cereal malts, dry and crackery with a woody undertone to it. Super light and clean finish. Very pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and light as a feather. Just a flutter of hop bitterness (25 IBU). Very approachable.

Overall: Well after visiting the brewery and sinking a couple of these on a balmy 30 degree arvo it’s hard not to show a little bit of favouritism, but it really is a perfect and seriously crush-able summer session beer. Hits the spot.

Shenanigans ‘Flight Path’ Dunkeled Edition


27657341_813147645536049_8351225016265706038_n“Flight Path is usually a hoppy red ale infused with Flight Path, Double Roasters ‘house coffee blend’ but not this year. This year we couldn’t decide if we would re-brew Flight Path or Malt Assault for our winter release. After a lot of thought, we decided to brew both – in the same tank. This is a big brown malty lager with a late hit of American hops, & finished with cold drip coffee made from Flight Path coffee blend by Marrickville’s finest, Double Roasters. It’s a Malt Assault on the Flight Path.”

Glassware: Dimpled mug.

Appearance: Deep chestnut brown with a two finger cap resting on top. The head peels off but still manages a healthy lace as it ebbs.

Aroma: Intriguing to say the least. Certainly getting a lot of the coffee coming through with its alluring roast and subtle bitterness. It actually works particularly well with the malt sweetness, kind of off setting it if you will. Undertones of earthy truffle, cocoa, charcoal and salted caramel filling it out.

Flavour: Nicely dominated by the coffee although it’s still well tempered and allows a lot of the malt sweetness to creep through. Becoming more earthy and slightly roasty as it rolls in to a somewhat muddled finish with a dry toasty note enduring on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Nice and slick, medium-full body with a dryness developing late in the piece. Nicely carbonated.

Overall: What a mish mash! It would make sense though, the beer is literally a blend of their Autumn and Winter seasonals spiked with a good helping of cold drip coffee. Can’t say we’re totally blown away but it’s a reasonably good offering.

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.

Beer Farm India Pale Lager


24301165_778617502322397_134624959003935796_n“Beer description: The beer the brewers make for their own selfish pleasure. Brilliantly pale and sparkling with only the faintest of maltiness. A crisp bitterness, fermented cold and lagered for weeks this is a classic beer style at its finest. Celebrating the vibrant stone fruit and flavours and aromas of American hop varieties.”

Served in a shaker. Pours a clear, light straw golden colour. It forms a thumb of foamy white head which is retained quite well. Lacing is scarce and streaky as it subsides.
The nose is light, hoppy and crisp with a nice balance between the grassy and piney hops and the corny and crackery pilsner malts. Picking up some citrus undertones in there too – subtle orange and rind. Some boiled vegetable notes creeping through too. Nothing to write home about but it ain’t bad.
Well it hits its mark we will give them that….it’s literally just a highly hopped lager. Grainy and starchy with hints of rice crackers upfront. The hops inject some lovely grassy notes, citrus, pine and gentle stonefruits. Picking up an earthy character before it finishes dry and slightly herbal with some good duration on the back end.
Nice texture…crisp and zippy with a vibrant co2. Light on and super seesional. 40 IBU and 5.2% ABV – enough to make it interesting.
We’re a little undecided on this one. It’s a beer that we wouldn’t even look at if there were better options but if choices were limited it would be a satisfying drop. It’s a perfect summer festival beer with its slightly lifted ABV, flavour profile and session ability. Plus it’s in a can! But will festival promoters ever put it on? We won’t hold our breath.

Bucket Boys ‘This Is Rice Country’ Rice Lager


21191901_742407699276711_3636363395924993349_n“Acid on the sleeve. Ether in the trunk. Lawyer in the bath. Reptiles at the zoo. Poolside at the Flamingo. Excess while entertaining, seldom ends well. So when creating this lager, we layered in Sorachi hops for a fruity hit & made sure to add just the right amount of rice, drying it out while giving it a more muscular alcohol kick. This is rice country, after all.”

Served in a shaker. It offers a clear golden pour with a wispy head that rapidly reduced to a fine film. A wet streaky lace is left sticking to the sides of the glass as it ebbs.
The nose has that typical lager aroma – slightly corny with a hint of earthy/herbal Hop and semi sweet malt but the addition of Sorachi hops is, although subtle, a very nice touch that provides a little citrus zing. The use of rice is detectable and offers a dry and grainy undertone. It’s an above average aroma, quite good.
The corny DMS-like characters transition on to the palate with that bitter/earthy hop to follow. Grainy malts present through the middle leading to a dry finish that shows notes of rice and potato on the back palate.
The texture is crisp, dry and fairly light on with reasonably good body to back it up. The 5.4% ABV is subtle but gives it a nice little kick. Just a bit too mainstream for our palates though. Not to say it isn’t seesional and offers much more than your everyday cheap lager, we just can’t see ourselves returning.

Fox Hat Brewing ‘Lusty Lager’ Strong Lager


image“A strong, hoppy lager, fermented cool and clean and hopped with a heavy hand To the eye – A dense pure white head greets the eye. Golden orange and brilliant in clarity – lusty is a most attractive beer Up your nose – Breathe her in, shes clean and fresh. Notes of apricot, melon and tropical fruit fill your nose, and hints of spice and cedar follow In your mouth – her svelte malt body leads to seductive flavours. A lusty bitterness and clean crisp finish which belies her 6% alcohol.”

Served in a flute. Slightly hazy golden body with a huge three and a half finger head emerging on top. It retains really well and weaves a fine lace down the glass.
The aroma is driven by the hops which in this case impart notes of sweet fleshy stonefruits like rockmelon, mango and apricot. Maybe just the slightest pronunciation of orange citrus in there as well. A nice dry and doughy malt structure fills it all out.
Light on, silky smooth in texture with mild-moderate Co2. Just the slightest hint of warmth from the 6% ABV but ultimately it’s well concealed. Very approachable for its size.
She begins on a malty note upfront – dry and doughy flavours mainly with very subtle notes of wood chips developing mid way. A splash of that fruity hop sweetness is introduced late as it delivers a finish full of delicate bitterness and grainy cereal malts on the rear.
As we aren’t the biggest fans of lager we did have our reservations but we’re please to say that this bigger-than-usual lager has stepped up. Although it’s not an overly memorable drop the lifted ABV and IBU (48) gave us the sense that we were consuming something much bigger and flavoursome than your every day craft lager. Not bad at all.

Wayward Brewing ‘Fusami Victory’ India Pale Lager


16105846_631311670386315_3566024478862326293_n“A hybrid style delivering all the things you know and love about an IPA with the crisp clean malt character of a Pilsner from a long, cold fermentation. Massive hop additions deliver tropical fruit and angostura bitters.”

Served in a footed flute glass. We’re met with a pale golden hue that’s capped off by a two finger head. Retention is good but it eventually settles to a healthy overlay that dispenses a fine lace as we imbibe.
The nose is hitting its mark well – it offers a lifted fruity hop character with the ultra clean Pilsner malt base underneath. The tri-nation hop bill from NZ, Australia and the U.S provides a mix of citrus, stone fruit, herbal, grassy and somewhat floral notes that all come together really well. A subtle note of corn flakes represents the malt. Nice, clean and summery aroma. Decent.
There’s a fairly good weight to the body considering the style. The 6.1% ABV would be driving that but the body is still full-ish and the texture is clean and mineraly. Nice hint of bitterness (55 IBU) in the swallow.
The flavour also hits its mark with this trio of hops forging a delicious bond with the grainy malts upfront. Not a lot of variation in flavour but the positive is that it’s held up well through the mid and punctuates with a firm finish that offers clean and slightly grassy hops on the back palate.
Fairly solid drop here from Wayward. If our memory serves us correct the last time we reviewed one of their beers was back in 2014 – the Eisbock which was incredible. This one isn’t on the same level but it’s clean, crisp and super easy to put back. Not bad.

Akasha Brewing Company ‘Trade wind’ Lager


15673010_620783754772440_832090234719019877_n“Suited perfectly to the Aussie climate, the Tradewind is a hoppy twist on a classic pale lager. Brewed using a clean German lager yeast and seamlessly paired with the passionfruit and citrus flavours of Australian Galaxy hops, we have ‘breathed’ new world life into an old world style”

Served in a shaker glass. The pour is bright and golden amber in appearance. A short white head emerges on top before it’s reduced to a film that works a healthy lace trail as it ebbs.
The aroma certainly offers a lifted fruity hop character with hints of subtle spice and bubblegum in the background. There’s a subtle floral bouquet coming through as well. The malt is clean and slightly biscuity and fills it out well. Nothing crazy just a nice, straightforward new world lager aroma.
In the mouth it’s light, crisp and palate friendly. Mild bitterness (25 IBU), well carbonated and effortless in the swallow. Super sessional number.
Upfront the flavour provides a subtle hoppy fusion of citrus and light florals. As it progresses the typical cracker/grainy flavours appear with a delicate bitterness offering some contrast. The finish is light and slightly dry with traces of summer fruits on the back end.
We like what Dave has done here. He’s kept it pretty traditional but the substantial addition of Galaxy hops gives the beer that snappy, fresh and new world impression. It’s proper bang-able, flavoursome and most importantly….crafty. A definite go to craft lager.

Black Dog Brewery ‘Drifter’ Lager


14666300_579328835584599_8450525831849154167_n“Drifter is a new world lager based on a German pilsner. This brew has combined pilsner, ale, carapils malt along with a touch of malted wheat and hopped with Aussie Enigma and Topaz grown by HPA. Our Macca was a drifter, roaming the neighbouring farms to stop in and say hello to his fellow canine compadre’s often spotted running along the fence lines. Drifter AKA Macca the Black Dog legend will live on.”

Served in a shaker glass. Pouring a bright and relatively clear amber hue with a stubby finger of off white foam over the top. The head eventually recedes and establishes a thin film with surprisingly healthy lace trails on the glass. Although the aroma is mainly a malty affair, Aussie Enigma and Topaz hops adds zippy citrus overtones while a kind of boiled candy sweetness is offered in support. The malt profile on the other hand provides a mix of honey, biscuits and rice crackers with a subtle earthy/floral pot pourri character. Very laid back and approachable on the nose. As expected the body is light on, a little watery but punctuated with a mild bitterness in the swallow. Definitely a summer session beer. The flavour pretty much follows on from the nose – we get light citrus and stone fruit notes hinged on a base of honey-forward pilsner malts. Subtle grainy and or hay accents do come through as it rounds out with a delicate bitterness along with a grassy/herbal hop note on the back palate. Well one thing is for sure, it’s a very simple beer. At only 4.7% ABV it would be one to reach for if you were attending an all day event where you want to knock a few back but don’t want to be so trolleyed that you end up hitting on your best mates misses. No one wants that! Not bad.

Young Henry’s ‘Dr Rot Fifer’ Vienna Lager


14344145_567940323390117_4414448088743669398_n“Young Henrys and Oz Comic-Con have teamed up with legendary artist Doug Holgate to produce the most sinister brew ever known to man. Enter the malevolent Dr Röt Fifer. From lofty peaks to cobbled streets, The Doctor is renowned for two things: his hypnotising pipe melodies and his Vienna Lager. With a splash of black magic, Young Henrys and Oz Comic-Con have bottled The Doctor’s copper concoction to present the Official Beer of Oz Comic-Con: Dr Röt Fifer’s Vienna Lager.”

Served in a shaker glass. Rot Fifer presents an attractive copper complexion with good clarity. The fluffy pancake head swells to about two fingers before establishing a healthy overlay that leaves a set of messy rings as we imbibe. Our first impressions of the aroma are very raw and rustic. A strong freshly cracked grain character leads out with notes of hay, toffee, figs, earthy malts and toast in support. The aroma kind of has that alluring smell you get when you walk in to a brewery that’s just their grains through the mill. It offers a nice sweetness too, we want to say honey but it has more of a melted caramel viscosity to it. Decent. It’s actually a really nice aroma. In the mouth it’s well weighted with a super smooth, almost velvety texture. Co2 is mild-medium and the 5.3% ABV is expectedly passive. The flavour seems to follow on from the nose, albeit indirectly. The prominent malt backbone dominates the front palate and even hints at dark stone fruits at times.Toffee notes also come through as that taste of freshly cracked grain we picked up on the nose returns in flavour. A subtle toasty note pops up through the mid and lays a platform for the dry, nutty finish to endure on. Putting our lack of interest in comics aside, this Vienna Lager, simply on taste and aroma has impressed us. She’s smooth on the palate, full flavoured and well bodied. Quite sweet though, and maybe a little cloying by the end but it doesn’t hinder the overall quality of the beer. A decent offering from Young Henry’s.


Stone and Wood ‘Big Scrub’


imageWith only 1% left of the largest sub tropical rainforest on the east coast, the remnants of Big Scrub serve as a reminder to preserve the beauty of our backyard. This is a new age lager that balances the subtle malt foundation with a firm bitterness and dry finish.

Poured into a schooner glass, we get a big 15-20mm white fluffy head with a mixture of bubbles tha retains really well. Decent carbonation coming up through the glass here. It’s got a cloudy straw coloured body. Typical lager hop here, and light malt mainly on the nose. In the mouth you can tell this is not a commercial lager, but it’s not that far off. There is a sweetness to the malt, with contained carbonation. Lots of grassy notes here on the palate, and there could easily be herbs thrown in here to add complexity. Really smooth on the palate, with a dry bitterness but definitely not overpowering. It all glides down effortlessly, as the body is only mild to medium (Alc vol of 5.5%). Just mild restrained sweet caramel, cereal notes and very mild floral hops. We not really sure where the whole ‘greeny, environmentalist’ thing comes in…yes there are grassy, herbaceous notes here and maybe we need to check their website and see whether additives out of their ‘backyard’ are included but we just get a slightly fuller, smoother lager. There is nothing wrong with it, it’s just mediocre. Entry level craft beer here.

Hofbrauhaus Munchen Dunkel


12743867_479722645545219_3475417823195600727_n“Dark beer existed in Bavaria long before light beer. This was the first type of beer to be brewed at Hofbräuhaus when it was founded. Today, when beer-lovers all over the world talk about dark beer, they usually mean a Munich style beer. Today, Hofbräu Dunkel – the archetypal Bavarian beer – is still as popular as ever. With its alcoholic content of around 5.5% volume and its spicy taste, it’s a refreshing beer that suits all kinds of occasion. A beer in the traditional Munich style!”

Served in a dimpled mug. This deceiving little Bavarian offers a deep mahogany upon first glance but reveals a bright ruby red hue when held to the light. A healthy two finger head forms and is actually retained quite well as it settles to a thick overlay with scores of lace clinging to the walls of the glass. Looks fantastic! Smells very malty. It has that distinct spent grain aroma we get when we first walk in to a brewery. There’s a plethora of roasted malt qualities backing up here. We get toffee and caramel coming off firmly as well as dried fig, carob, honeysuckle and cocoa. A touch of yeasty spice pushes through too. Very nice. A decent weight is held in the mouth. Good carbonation level too. We’re loving how the smooth malty texture is counteracted by a slightly dry hop character. Great overall balance on the palate. We’d have to say it’s quite complex upfront. The sweet and grainy lager characters blend beautifully with the dark, almost caramelized malt features on entry. Hints of a nutty malt come forward as earthy, roasted notes carry across the mid delivering a slightly dry and toasty finish. Length is pretty good too, a lingering roasty dryness begs for another sip. We’re quite skeptical when it comes to German beer. It’s a common occurrence for us to find some fault in their style of brewing but this is literally faultless. It was highly enjoyable. Just imagine a love child between a bock and a kolsch. This is what it would taste like. Delicious.

Pacific beverages ‘Vonu’ Lager


image“Vonu is a clean, crisp lager beer, brewed with tropical water in the heavenly Fiji islands.”

There’s a saying in Fiji which goes “on Fiji time” meaning stress less, smile more and kick back. And that’s exactly what I’m doing while the 2nd hop head stresses out at work back in Sydney! After a tough day sun baking, jet skiing, swimming and cocktailing, nothing goes down better than a crisp lager as the sun sets. This is the true meaning of being “on Fiji time”. Poured from the bottle in to a flute glass. The bright golden appearance offers brilliant clarity, allowing me to see straight through on to the blue ocean and green palm fronds. The aggressive pour struggles to arouse much head, knocking up about a fingers worth before it gradually recedes to a collar with minimal lace. The nose is soft, grainy and quite fruity. Aromatic wafts of mango, paw paw, pineapple and rockmelon are not only a welcome surprise but a delight to take in. There’s a decent little balance struck here too as a slightly grainy malt base evens it out. Maybe a touch of doughy/bready malt in here too. The perfect elixir for sub-tropical weather. In the mouth it’s crisp and light on with a vibrant Co2 level. Just washes over the palate with ease but without being thin and watery like a Corona would. Super sessional. The palate is being provided with a subtle bitterness that cuts through the slightly corny/DMS fore-flavour. A hint of stone fruit sweetness develops before the doughy/bready malts carry forward through the mid while a crisp, dry finish rounds out this respectable lager. I’m stoked I found this beer, with very limited options (and staying well clear of crap like Heineken and VB) the only other options are Fiji bitter (very ordinary) Fiji premium (ordinary) SP (worse than the bitter) and Fiji gold (the worst of the lot). So, my friends if you choose to visit this stunning island nation be sure to stick to Vonu (meaning turtle in Fijian). Now I’m off to tend to my sun burn.

Sierra Nevada ‘Beer camp 2015’ India pale lager


image“Last summer we teamed up with San Diego’s Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits for a hop-head twist on a crisp lager. We remixed this encore which is loaded with whole-cone hops in the brew kettle and in our Hop Torpedo to deliver a bold aroma backed by smooth malt flavour. This hop-heavy beer combines intense citrus and floral hop flavours with the clean, classic malt body of a hearty blonde lager for a crisp but aggressive take on the India style pale lager”.

Served in a shaker glass. The slightly hazy golden pour generates a one and a half finger cap which steadily deconstructs, settling to a fine film over the top. The head hasn’t retained remarkably well but it’s managed to draw some wavy lace patterns as we imbibe. Certainly a hop driven aroma here. Any trace of lager is all but expelled….not saying that’s a bad thing though. There is a distinct fragrance we just can’t seem to identify though, in the background there is a generous amount of hop resin, citrus, passion fruit and pineapple against a crackery/biscuity pale malt base but it’s this artificial, almost candied scent of either kiwi fruit or honeydew. It almost comes off as a blend between lemon and eucalyptus at times. It’s got us stumped. In the mouth it’s nicely weighted with a smooth, dry texture on the tongue. Co2 levels are about moderate with a conservative but evident 55 IBU, offering a mild bitterness on the palate. Malts are a little more pronounced in the flavour as a hint of rice crackers acts for the first lager component. This certain fruit we couldn’t identify on the nose also makes an appearance through the mid as the hop bitterness cuts through. Herbal/resiny hops carry forward on to the dry, citrusy finish. The “India” character is definitely working its magic late as a firm dryness is well drawn out on to the back end. What has been done really well is the masking of the 7% ABV. Not to be detected in aroma and only very subtle in flavour. Points for originality (we still can’t decide on what the mystery fruit is). It is, though, lacking that wow factor and essentially we’re just not completely sold on this. Not a bad brew, although we have certainly had better from these world leaders in craft brewing.

Brew cult ‘spoiler alert’ pale lager


imageFrom the lads at brew cult comes this hoppy lager which is supposed to keep the beer geek satisfied to settle in for that extended session. Ok sounds good!

Pouring that usual hay like hue with a bit of cloudiness, there is a load of carbonation in the glass and an almost over the top sudsy, bubbly head that eventually collapses to a good 10 mm cloud like cap. Patchy foamy lacing sticks to the glass. We get typical lager malt on the nose, almost cereal-like with mild citrus hop and a bit of lemon and melon. First sip yields high carbonation on the lips with a clean palate that has definate bitterness at the end. There is a mild body, but being a lager of 4.5% it’s a bit thin and watery. More mild citrus hops in the mouth and there may be a bit of subdued spice on the back palate also. It certainly is a smooth beer and we can certainly understand how it would satisfy a session at a good craft beer pub. Overall, in general we just think that lagers are too boring, but brew cult have achieved what they aimed for so kudos to them.

Knappstein/Enterprise brewery ‘Reserve’ Lager


image“Knappstein is an award-winning winery and fully-functioning micro-brewery steeped in the traditions of the Clare Valley in South Australia, one of Australia’s longest established wine regions.”

Served in a shaker glass the transparent golden pour generates a tightly compacted white head that doesn’t take too long to shrink down a very fine dusting on top. Laced poorly. These brewers (and winemakers too) seem to take a lot of pride out of their craft and their region and it shows on the bottle. It also states that they use (Nelson) ‘Sauvin’ hops, and we’d be confident that they’re the reason why we’re detecting this dominant white grape aroma. Along with the super refreshing waft of lime juice come undertones of biscuity pale malts, stone fruits (peach, nectarine, apricot) and lemongrass. Smells delicious! In the mouth it feels silky smooth with moderate carbonation. Medium bodied. The palate initiates with a mild hop bitterness that endures all the way through to the finish. Light fruity notes develop late in the fore-flavour and take on a more tart approach through the mid. The finish is grassy and a little herbal with a nice alcohol (5.6% ABV) warmth on the back end. Great legs. We really dig what the brewers are doing here, obviously they’re good winemakers and the fusion of wine and beer in this brew has been executed brilliantly. This, we’d have to say is up there with some of the best Australian lagers we’ve ever drunk. Excellent offering.

Brew cult ‘Beer geek rage quit’ India pale lager


imageIt is quite common among us craft beer fanatics to scoff at the old lagers and pilsners and see them as unworthy of the “craft” tag……so this is where the head brewer thought to enrage the beer geeks by craftifying, if you will, a standard lager by adding an IPA-full of Aussie, Kiwi and US hops. Won’t disappoint us, the more hops the better!

We served in to a shaker glass and enjoy the view of a bright amber appearance. Steady streams of bubbles rise up to the foamy 2 finger crown that eventually settles to a firm layer of about 5mm. The head retains well and omits some healthy lace trails. Even from the pour we could smell the high hop content so it’s no surprise we get hefty citric hops when held to the nostrils. Fresh zesty lemon stands out with grapefruit rind, lychee, mandarin and pineapple also pushing through. Maybe a hint of grainy malts and spicy pepper in here too. Solid start. In the mouth it’s remarkably dense and full-ish with a touch of tingling carbonation on the tongue. Medium-full bodied (we know we’re just as amazed as you) which is quite rare for a lager. Upfront, the palate takes on lip-puckering bitterness as flavours of grapefruit and pine seek to emphasise this. As the bitterness subsides through the mid it’s replaced by a slight alcohol warmth (5.5%) which carries forward and delivers a dry and bitter finish with lengthy citrus on the back end. Length is good, really keeping the palate bone dry with this aggressive hop bitterness. They’ve nailed this, drinks like an IPA but it still shows its lagery roots with hints of grain and rice crackers muddled through. Decent beer, should score well among the beer geek community. Nice one lads.

East Ninth brewing co. ‘Doss blockos’ pale lager


imageQuite a strange little brewery from Victoria, Australia. in a sense that this lager is the only beer they brew (although if you wanted to get technical they also brew a ginger beer).

Anyhow, we served this in a shaker glass. From the pour we see a transparent amber appearance which props up a white one finger head. Decent head retention, eventually settling to a thin dusting on top. Mild lace. Interesting initial aroma, we’re detecting freshly squeezed apple juice, pot pourri and wet cardboard. Slightly salty. Very grainy with quite a heavy cloying sweetness and a solid pale malt backdrop. Where are the Cascade hops?? We’re a bit unsure of this aroma, it seems a little tangled as some of the fragrances don’t gel. The mouth feel is light and slightly frothy. Moderate carbonation and mild body. Well, it can definitely be said the flavour is an improvement on the aroma. The cloying sweetness is substituted with a smooth malt sweetness upfront. A hint of spicy hops adds some balance through the mid while the biscuity finish masks a muted floral rear palate. Essentially, rounding off quite a messy lager. 4.6% ABV. Sessional in flavour, as any lager should be but for us the aroma was a big let down. Probably won’t return for another.

Byron bay brewing co. Pale lager


image“Cane sugar is added to the kettle, resulting in this refreshing low-carb lager. Easy drinking but also with a fruity taste character, partly achieved by the use of the citrus-like New Zealand hop, Motueka.”

Here we have another brewery that, like Matilda bay brewery, has sold out to a bigger parent company (CUB). Shame. Anyway, we served this in a lager glass. The ever so slightly hazy golden pour struggles to produce the meagre 1/2 inches of white foam. Good head retention though. Laced well. The aroma is quite malt-forward with an emphasis on earthy and grainy malts. We dig the use of Kiwi Motueka hops which is offering a muted, yet nice citrus fruity character. The Mouth feel is smooth as silk with mild-medium carbonation. Moderate body. The flavour doesn’t offer much, malty with a very mild hop bitterness throughout. Hints of grain and light citrus notes provide a short, soft bitter finish. 4.8% ABV is on par for a standard Aussie lager. Really bland and nothing exciting going on. Just a clean, sessional beer.

New Belgium ‘1554’ Black lager


image“Born of a flood and centuries-old Belgian text,1554 BLACK LAGER BEER uses a lager yeast strain and dark chocolaty malts to redefine what dark beer can be. In 1997, a Fort Collins flood destroyed the original recipe our researcher, Phil Benstein, found in the library. So Phil and brewmaster, Peter Bouckaert, traveled to Belgium to retrieve this unique style lost to the ages. Their first challenge was deciphering antiquated script and outdated units of measurement, but trial and error (and many months of in-house sampling) culminated in 1554, a highly quaffable dark beer with a moderate body and mouthfeel.”

This is our first crack at this unexpectedly American brewery. Served in a beer tulip the deep mahogany pour produced a huge one inch light tan head that eventually settled to a thin covering on top. Standard lacing. Really nice dominant aromas of roasted malts, chocolate and espresso on the nose. Backing up are lovely undertones of toffee, molasses, cocoa and vanilla. This is actually quite a complex aroma, credit to the brewers, if we didn’t know any better we would of thought this was a porter! Any hope of a porter-like body was quashed as the mouth feel comes up quite thin with mild carbonation. Medium body. It’s a little slippery upfront with subdued hints of chocolate and coffee. What has us eating our words is as this beer warms the body becomes fuller, in effect boldening the chocolate and coffee flavours in the mid and delivering a solid roasty finish that lingers well into the next sip, displaying good length. 5.6% ABV. Well we can honestly say this is the first time we’ve ever tried a black lager, and it wasn’t a bad way to kick things off. Supposedly the brewers travelled to Belgium for this recipe, well….their hard work has paid off. Good beer.