Slow Beer

Monday, November 19, 2007

Top 20 Australian Beers

The momentum of positive press for decent beers in the mainstream media continues. The Weekend Australia 'magazine' published a number of articles by Peter Lalor (anyone got any background on this guy?) as part of the James Halliday Top 100 Wine special. It was great to see Murray's getting some coverage, as well as a decent overview of the local micro scene.

A top 20 list was also published...not a bad list but not perfect (in my humble opinion), and perhaps lacked a little 'cutting edge'? Anyway, in alphabetical order:

Barons Brewing Black Wattle
Barons Extra Special Bitter
Cascade Premium Light (token light ABV vote perhaps?)
Cooper's Sparkling Ale
Grand Ridge Hatlifter Stout
Grand Ridge Natural Blond
Grand Ridge Yarra Valley Gold
James Squire Golden Ale
James Squire Pilsner
Little Creatures Pale Ale
Matilda Bay Alpha Pale Ale
Matilda Bay Grayston Reserve 2007
Matilda Bay Redback (eh? this is a shocker!)
Matilda Bay Rooftop Red Lager
Murray's Sassy Blonde
Redoak Christmas Cheer
Redoak Organic Hefeweizen
Redoak Organic Pale Ale
Southwark Old Stout
St Peters Green Star Lager

Ok, I've had a few Oz beers in my time so I figured I'd have a crack as well......

1. Redoak Special Reserve
2. Redoak Baltic Porter
3. Red Hill Imperial Stout
4. Murray's Anniversay Ale
5. Murray's Nirvana Pale Ale
6. Red Hill Hop Harvest
7. Coopers Vintage Ale
8. Red Hill Temptation
9. Bright Brewery Razor Wit
10. Red Oak Holly Porter
11. Red Duck Golden Dragon
12. Three Ravens White
13. Bridge Road Bling IPA
14. Jamieson The Beast IPA
15. Wig & Pen Velvet Cream Stout
16. Bootleg Raging Bull
17. Bright Brewery Blowhard
18. Red Hill Weizenbock
19. Southwark Old Stout
20. Murray's Grand Cru

Love to hear any other opinions, disagreements etc....happy to be taken to task on my bias towards 'big' beers.............



  • I'm somewhat suprised that you listed two of bright beers, and that neither of them was the dubbel.

    By Blogger lucas, at 10:45 pm  

  • I really enjoy reading your tasting notes. It always amazes me how you guys can pick out delicate differences in taste/aroma/mouth feel etc and then translate that into easily understood descriptions!

    I haven't tried a fair bit of beers on your top 20, such the top two for instance. But seeing as you've got RH Imperial Stout and Murray's AA which I currently rate as the top two oz beers I've had so I'd probably agree with a lot of your list!

    I've had RH's Temptation on tap and I thought it wasn't anything special. It must be one of these occurrences where the brew fares better bottled.

    Bright Brewery Razor Wit at number 8 is a bit of a surprise. It's a great beer but I find myself practically playing Russian Roulette with this brew, one or two out of four will be good, the rest will be a little off or under-carbonated or something?

    The Beast/Bling IPAs would rate higher on my list!! So would Red Hill's Weizenbock, I had a couple of tall glasses of the stuff on tap at the Royston and couldn't get enough of it!

    That's it from me, I need to get around to your store and get Murray's DIBA and Grand Cru. I hope there's some left...



    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:45 pm  

  • Lucas,

    To my tastes and preferences I have no hesitation in putting Bright on the list...with the exception of Red Hill I think they are the next best thing coming out of Vic. Fair point on the dubbel, however at the time the Wit and Blowhard made more of an immediate impression. Like I said, just one man's opinion.

    Hey Geoff,
    Thanks - I don't think I'm particularly strong on beer (from an assessment point of view) but drinking (and rating) hundreds of wines per year (over the past 7 years) certainly sharpens the palate.

    The choice of Bright's wit at 8 was perhaps a 'relative' rank as to my tastes it was by far the best Australian interpretation of the style I had seen in a number of years. Of course it could be argued that the Beast and Bling deliver a bit more excitement.

    Plenty of Murray's left..............

    By Blogger Stewart Went, at 8:36 pm  

  • I guess my comment was a little ambiguous, I fully support your placement of bright on the list, I agree they're one of the best vic micros. I just find their dubbel to be both fantastic, and rather unique (within australia at least), and thought it deserved a mention

    By Blogger lucas, at 9:52 pm  

  • This sounds like fun (and I'm on a night shift).

    Not in order and just off the top of my head:

    Little Creatures Pale Ale
    Colonial 18 Hands
    Colonial Dr Quick
    Southwark Stout
    Holdfast Dark
    Thorogoods Billy B's Pale
    Red Hill Scotch Ale
    Red Hill Hop Harvest Ale
    Bright Blowhard Pale
    3 Ravens Black
    Jamieson The Beast
    Bridge Rd Bling IPA
    Bells Stout Billy
    JS Brewhouse Speculator
    Wig & Pen IPA
    Wig & Pen Imperial Stout
    Wig & Pen Pale Ale
    Redoak Special Reserve
    Paddys American Pale Ale
    Cascade Stout

    I was surprised I could think of 20 Aussie beers I'd rather drink than anything from Murray's, but I've never had them on tap I suppose.

    You're nuts for having Coopers Vintage in there, by the way. :)

    By Anonymous Lach, at 12:12 am  

  • Lach,

    Haven't had the Colonials and Paddys but I'm sure they would figure prominantly.

    I would have also included at least a couple Thorogoods but you will have noticed this is a BEER list (pls read instructions more closely next time ! :))

    Oh, and nuts to you for including Bells....I just don't get these guys..............

    By Blogger Stewart Went, at 6:48 am  

  • Billy B's is beer! Sort of. At least it claims to be.

    And I don't get Bell's either. I just love the stout.

    By Anonymous Lach, at 10:32 pm  

  • Someone needs to buy Bells & turn it around. So much potential. Know any one in the industry to to invest some money? I'll be happy to manage it for them:)

    By Anonymous Brendan, at 5:21 pm  

  • Brendan,

    I heard through the grapevine (hopvine?) that the old gear at a micro in Bendigo (Rifle Range?) sold for under $25k. Not how accurte that is (lach?).

    If it was in fact accurate I reckon $100k would get you up and running. And that's a number that would be get me and my wallet interested! (well - when the house is payed off of course).


    By Blogger Stewart Went, at 10:52 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Free Web Counters
Free Counter