“As Matilda Bay was establishing the craft of specialty brewing in Western Australia, there was a similar phenomenon happening in the USA, particularly in the Northwest states of Washington and Oregon. Using locally grown Cascade hops, the region’s craft brewers developed a truly distinctive and unique beer style, the Northwest Pale Ale. Although based on traditional India Pale Ales, the Northwest style has its own unique character — one driven mostly by an assertive bitterness and a distinctive fruit and citrus aroma from the locally grown hops. Our version of this style has become an Australian classic, winning us many awards, not that we like to brag — well a little bit.”
It is a real shame this iconic Aussie brewery sold out to a big parent company that has no true interest in the burgeoning craft beer scene. Served in a shaker glass the slightly hazy amber pour offers a 1 inch white head that eventually peeled back to a thin dusting of bubbly foam on top. OK lacing. Quite a sticky, resinous little aroma we have here. Predominantly floral hop-forward with a toasty/caramel malt backing. The undertones of pine resins, musk, tree sap, passion fruit and biscuits most definitely separate this aroma from the rest of their range. In the mouth it’s actually quite full and rounded. Medium carbonation and body. Wow the hops are really well represented as the tongue is treated to a grassy, yet relatively aggressive hop dryness from start to finish. As the bitterness subsides in the mid-palate the sweet, bready malts provide a light malty backdrop but it’s futile against the solid, citric-hop bitterness that dominates the palate throughout. Long, dry finish offers great length. 5.2% ABV. You won’t see us scoring anything from Matilday bay really well, but this is their exception. Easily their standout beer, this pale ale is miles ahead of the rest of their range. Decent beer, we wish the rest were more like this.