Tag Archives: Craft Beer

Fancy Pants – Mountain Goat Beer (AUS)

I love ‘Camp Beer’. No, I don’t mean beer with a little umbrella and a glazed cherry, I mean the beer drunk whilst camping. Just like ‘Camp Tea’ and ‘Camp Sausages’, they just taste better. Fancy Pants is no exception. Strangely,  the brewery’s name could almost be a list of essentials for a good camping trip ……. if you’re into goats.

Fancy it is. Pants it is most certainly not.

For an amber ale, ‘Pants’ is quite dark, a bit like a tawny port. The Tasmanian Galaxy hops give it a sweet malty aroma. The taste is more akin to an English ale with hints of malt loaf and toffee-apples. I put the slightly smokey flavour down to me sitting by the camp fire.

The folk at Mountain Goat Beer have come up with another winner, warm and textured with enough bitterness in the finish to invite you back for more. I fancy some more.

From the classic “New Boots and Fancy Panties”, here’s the old goat of punky pub rock funk, Sir Ian Dury with the inimitable Blockheads and “Wake Up And Make Love With Me” ………….

 

 

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Grunion Pale Ale – Ballast Point Brewing Company (USA)

‘Named after a local fish known for late frolics on the shore’, Grunion was the brainchild of a Ballast Point employee that won a home brewing contest. The result blends two new hop varieties that go together like fish and chips. Or perhaps salt and vinegar.

The world is like a big Grunion …..

Ballast Point can do no wrong in my book and Grunion lives up to its ‘hoppy’ billing.  Pale honey in colour, with warm honey tones on the nose, it’s the perfect accompaniment to Fat Freddy’s on a Friday. The bitterness of the hops cuts through the grease and the taste improves the warmer it gets releasing citrus rind and deep honey flavours. A real grower, I like it a lot.

Glass onions make way for Green Onions so check out this wild version of the Booker T and the MG’s classic ………..

 

Australian Bitter & Brown Ale – Beerfarm (AUS)

Can you hear the drums?

I couldn’t resist this cheeky little Metricup pair. If you put them together, you get the name of a famous Swedish band and that tickled my fancy.

The AB was very drinkable, fruity and refreshing. The BA less so, like many Brown Ales, I found it a bit metallic. Perhaps I should have poured it out of the can.?

I apologise for the lack of tasting notes but I did the AB testing a while ago and I’ve misplaced them.

I do like the idea of a Beerfarm though. I imagine it full of genetically modified cows designed to produce pints of craft ale. That reminds me, I must go and see a man about a sheep dog ………..

You won’t find any ABBA on this blog but here’s the closest you’ll get, Swedish proto-punks. The Hives with Abra Cadaver (hey it’s close!)

 

 

Keep up to date with more beers on my Instagram account, the creatively named @beerhunter365

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!

 

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

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)………..

 

 

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)…….