Shark Island Brewing co. ‘El Mono Bolas’ Kolsch


12091409_442772119240272_2945307323000039397_oWe had the good fortune of meeting Dion (head brewer) when we popped in to their temporary HQ in Kirrawee and sampled a few of their beers a couple of weeks ago. This Kölsch was one of them and we were intrigued by the artistic label. The main influence is a tribute to 2 venues in Cronulla (beach side suburb in Southern Sydney) – Brass Monkey, which is an alternative little live music bar, and El Sol, a Mexican themed bar/restaurant. It uses the taboo 3 monkeys dressed as bandits to say “c’mon cerveza drinkers, here’s a refreshing crafty ale for you that won’t shock the taste buds.” We do love a good label. OK on with the review.

Served in a shaker glass. It pours an attractive, rich amber hue with decent clarity. A tightly compacted finger and a half of white foam hangs about for a couple of minutes before settling to a thin overlay. Laced minimally. One of the features we really like about this Kölsch is the use of traditional Kölsch yeast. We are getting a clean, grainy sweetness with a touch of orange blossom, hay, spicy hops, dried leaves and a light floral undertone on the nose. The texture of the beer in the mouth is super smooth and quite light on. A lively Co2 level adds a little tickle to the tongue as it breezes down with ease. Although the body is light there is a subtle yet commendable succession of flavours that opens with a sweet, biscuity malt. A dash of tangy orange cuts through the malt and flows on through a grainy mid palate. Finishes slightly dry and super clean. Length is pretty good too. We’d have to say that this is a fine way to kick off proceedings with this local brewery. Clean, sessional and flavoursome. Perfect summer session beer.