Pirate Life Pale Ale (AUS)

I can’t believe this was the second 6-pack of  Pale Ale that I’ve managed to consume without tasting notes. Something must be right with what’s in the can but I can’t really justify spending another $26 on six more.

Pirate Life Pale Ale – robbery on the high seas!

Don’t get me wrong, I really like this beer! It’s a big-tasting US-style pale, full of hops, malt, yeast and water……….all the right ingredients in the right proportions and that’s about all I can remember. And, don’t get me wrong, I didn’t drink all 12 cans at once.

A bit like Todd Sampson, it’s Australian but appears authentically American. I’d love to do anther taster but I’ll wait until I find this on tap before sampling again.

Black Beard would have been proud to charge $26 for 6 cans of grog!

Here’s the buccaneering Cosmo Jarvis with “Gay Pirates” arrrrrr!

 

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Epic Pale Ale – Epic Brewing Company (NZ)

Here’s another installment in my occasional series of airport beers. It can often be quite hard to find to find a good craft beer in an airport as the multi-nationals tend to corner the market. Singapore’s Changi $18 pint of Carlsberg is a case in point. Thus I was pleasantly surprised with the choice at Wellington Airport.

Epic Pale Ale – don’t judge a book by it’s cover

As the name might suggest, Epic Brewing Company believe that their beers “just taste bigger”.  Their Pale Ale pours a lovely teak-brown with pine cone and honey aromas. Perhaps my taste buds had been over stimulated by the punchy flavours of the earlier Tomahawk APA but I found this ale to be quite subtle and not that ‘big’ in the flavour department at all.

There are hints of hazelnuts (huh, Cadbury’s take ’em and they cover them in chocolate!), nougat and perhaps sweet mandarins. Definitely an enjoyable experience but ‘epic’ might be an exaggeration

You want it all but you can’t have it. Here’s Faith No More with something that really is ‘Epic’ …..

Twisted Palm Tropical Pale Ale – Burleigh Brewing Co (AUS)

Gee I’m out of practice! I haven’t even had a beer for nearly six days (Dear Roy, is this a record?), let alone reviewed one. How hard can it be?

image of a hand twisted around holding a bottle of 'Twisted Palm'
Twisted Palm – like any good beer, comes in handy when you’re thirsty!

Let’s start with a nice refreshing Tropical Ale on a cold winter’s evening. Burleigh Brewing‘s motto is ‘Balance, Character, Soul’ and I’d say this fruity pale lives up the that motto and makes an ideal summer quaffer.

Paw paw aromas give way to a subtle, lychee flavours. Pale in colour crisp on the tongue and clear as a bell, what it lacks in bite it more than makes up for in mouth-watering lemon zestiness.  Roll on summer!

Named after the Pandanus, Twisted Palm is the feel good hot of the summer

 

We’ve already had QUOTSA’s Feel Good Hit, so here Black Rebel Motorcycle Club with ‘White Palms’ …… vroom vroom

Tomahawk APA – Tuatara Brewing (NZ)

It’s been a long time between Tuatara’s that’s for sure. Too long in fact, but now I have the chance to make up for lost time ‘cos I’m back in the land of The Long White Cloud for a couple of weeks and beer is on the menu.

Tomahawk APA – drink with forked tongue

Similar to the Aotearoa Pale Ale the reviewed earlier, this is a beautifully balance American Pale Ale. Charged with ‘big-tasting American hops’, the Tuatarans have brought this pale to the edge, without going over the top. The result is a tangy, refreshing mix of citrus and pine flavours that cleanses  palate without removing the scalp. The perfect airport ale.

Talking of scalps, the British & Irish Lions play the All Blacks in the First Test tomorrow night. Now that would be a scalp worth taking!

Here’s The War On Drugs with ‘Baby Missiles ……… get it?

 

Sly Fox – Feral Brewing Co (AUS)

Could this be my new favourite session ale? The quantity consumed over Easter with me old mucker from over the ditch would indicate a resounding ‘yes’. And at 4.5%, it makes for a good session! Luckily it was on special all month at $$$’s* for the whole of April.

image of a can of Sly Fox featuring........ a fox.
For fox sake, have a sly one!

As mentioned before, I’m becoming a fan of the can. Feral Brewing Co‘s Sly Fox pours incredibly fresh, full of sherberty fizz and like a good rugby team, a nice tight head. Cloudy straw colour, it has a  summertime stone fruit aroma and beautiful undertones of peaches with a hint of crisp conference pear. It might sound like you drinking a puree’d fruit salad but there’s great balance there and the result is fresh and exciting, just like Kool’s girlfriend.

Hunt this fox down and have sly one.

Not only am I a fan of the can, I’m a fan of The Jam too. Here’s a little Bruce Foxton number, ‘News Of The World’…….

  • I’ve made the executive decision not to mention the name of the liquor warehouse until they stump up sponsorship

 

 

The Gatherer – Stone & Wood Limited Release (AUS)

It’s been a long time between drinks but it’s not as if I haven’t been doing my research. In fact, for this beer, I went straight to the source and toured the Stone & Wood Brewery in nearby Byron Bay. Why it took me so long to make this pilgrimage to the birthplace of Pacific Ale (surely one of Australia’s top beers), I’ll never know.

A good place to gather is at Stone & Wood Brewery in Byron Bay

Both of my regular readers will know that I’m not a huge fan of wheat beers but The Gatherer may just be an exception. Light and fruity, it has elements honey-dew melon and floral flavours. It would make a nice cooling summer drink or a great accompaniment to a hot curry. Not Stone & Wood’s finest but worth a try. In fact, worth a try every year, as the recipe changes with each seasonal brew.

In truth, having ‘done’ the Stone & Wood Brewery tour,  I would say that my judgement has been so clouded that future reviews may be unreliable. What I can say is, if you’re in or near Byron Bay and your remotely interested in the art of brewing, how to run a community business and/or have a good time, then book your place at S&W. Our tour guide was a legend, we learnt plenty about beer and we were having such a good time that the tour over-ran by 45 mins.

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From the Kings of Australia craft brewing we go the Queens of The Stoneage and the aptly named “Feelgood Hit Of The Summer  (even though it’s Autumn)………..

 

 

Colonial IPA – Colonial Brewing Company (AUS)

There was a special ‘Australia Day’ deal at the Gooner IGA, buy a six-pack of Colonial IPA and receive a free glass. Seemed like a pretty good deal, only I like to think of it as buy a glass and get a six-pack of beer free. Free beer always tastes better!

img_2879

I love this beer! Caramel sugar brown in colour it has a warm, sweet aroma. So, it looks good, smells good and then you taste it! First up is the sweetness of old fashioned barley sugar, a beautiful warm and nostalgic flavour, subtly balanced with a refreshing bitter finish. My new favourite beer.

And get this. The clever people at Colonial Brewing Co have come up with the innovation we’ve all been waiting for, a pull-ring that turns the can into a drinking vessel you can actually drink from ……..

Genius!
Genius!

What next? Flying cars?

From the future of drinking we go to the future of heads, here’s the Futureheads with Decent Days And Nights…….

 

 

Back Home Gingerbread Stout – Golden Road (USA)

You can’t get much more Christmasy than a gingerbread stout, at least not in my books. The surprising thing is that this seasonal brew is made in LA. Golden Road (no, they’re not a South American revolutionary group or a type of staph infection) have been brewing since 2011, which a long time in America. Beginners or not, they’ve certainly nailed this one!

Back Home ...... that's where I wanna be
Back Home …… that’s where I wanna be

The can design is pure California Christmas, with jingle bells and palm trees and contains an impressive 3.2 standard drinks. At 8.5%, too many of these and you’d be chasing bright stars all over place like the three (un)wise men! The aroma is of Latvian Christmas gingerbread house, sweet and warm. The taste is of a spiced Cornish fairing , there’s ginger, sugar, cinnamon and a tangy alcoholic finish. It really is quite delicious and ideal for keeping carol-singers happy on a cold LA night (if such a thing exists?).

From Golden Road we get the road, from the LA road we get the highway. Here’s stout fellows, Audioslave with “I Am The Highway”

 

Fixation IPA – Fixation Brewing (AUS)

Fixation IPA - Jim'll fix it for you!
Fixation IPA – Jim’ll fix it for you!

OK, let’s get this straight. When I do a tasting, I taste first, write my notes (or direct to the blog) and then check out the website of the brewery. That way I’m not swayed by what the brewery writes and no one is putting words in my mouth. If I want anything out in my mouth it’s beer.

With Fixation IPA, my notes could have been copied straight off the website:

“FOUR DIFFERENT NEW WORLD HOP VARIETIES HAVE GONE INTO OUR IPA AT ALL STAGES OF THE BREWING PROCESS TO LEND A BIG JUICY, FRUITY AROMA, ROBUST FLAVOUR AND FIRM BITTERNESS. THERE IS A CLEAN PALE MALT BACKBONE WITH A FEW SPECIALTY MALTS FOR GOOD MEASURE, JUST ENOUGH TO CARRY THE RIDICULOUSLY LARGE HOPPING REGIME! THIS BEER IS FOR PEOPLE WITH GREAT TASTE, WHO LOVE A MODERN DAY CLASSIC IPA!”

Actually, that was copied straight off the website.

To be honest, I could only taste 3 different hop varieties but who’s counting?

So what’s to add? Well, only that this little brew has probably got less carbon miles (for me at any rate) than most I taste. It’s brewed just down the road in Byron Bay. At 6.5% it’s has that American IPA punch that we all love and I’m beginning to regret I bought just the one. Believe the hype!

After a few of these I’d be a right Dizzee Rascal. Here’s “Fix Up Look Sharp” (warning: contains bad f$*kin’ language)…….

Robohop Golden IPA – Kaiju! Beer (AUS)

Kaiju!'s Robohop - Serve the public beer!
Kaiju!’s Robohop – Serve the public beer!

This my first venture into Kaiju! territory and possibly my first ‘golden IPA’. I’ll have to take their word for the colour as I drank it straight from the bottle, next time I’ll pour it into a glass as I think this beer needs to breath to bring out the best in it.

I detected stone fruit and tobacco as I sniffed the bottle’s mouth (that sounds a bit wrong doesn’t it?) and I was expecting fruit when I took the first swig. Unfortunately, it was the tobacco flavours that shone through immediately, not something you’d associate with an IPA. A JPS, yes, but not an IPA.

This is where the breathing comes in, once the air has got to the ale, it’s more subtle flavours come through, lychee and rockmelon balanced with a grassy bitterness. This all adds up to a very different but satisfying brew and before you know it, the bottle’s empty.

Would I like another one? Affirmative

Would I recommend Robohop to other carbon-based organisms? Affirmative.

Should Kaiju! develop a merch shop with their label designs on t-shirts? Hell yeah!

….. breaking news!


<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/177518622″>New KAIJU! merch for you!</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/kaijubeer”>KAIJU!</a&gt; on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Robohop – Serve the public.

Here’s the Stranglers with their ode to dystopian bread-making, ‘Hey! (The Rise of the Robots)………

 

 

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