Slow Beer

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


A friendly reminder that this Friday 18th December we will be having our JOLLY OLD CHRISTMAS BEER TASTING!

- Red Hill Christmas Ale
- Rogue Santa’s Private Reserve
- St Bernardus Kerst
- St Feuillien Cuvee de Noel
- Schloss Eggenberg Samichlaus
- Baladin Noel
if we’re lucky we may have De Molen Rasputin Imperial Stout & Murray’s Anniversary Ale 4 on as well! (Yes we know they aren't xmas beers!)

Left Hand (US)
Imperial Stout 355ml $9.50
Saranac (US) Pale Ale 355ml $6.00
IPA 355ml $6.00
Black Forrest Porter 355ml $6.00

De Molen
Rasputin Imperial Stout 750ml $29.00
Bommen & Granaten Barley Wine 750ml $41.00
Porter 1914 750ml $23.00
Bokbier 330ml $7.50
La Trappe Tripel 750ml $14.00
Quadruple 750ml $17.00

Hefe wiesse 500ml $7.00
Doppelbock 500ml $7.50
Dunkel weisse 500ml $7.00

6 330ml $7.50
8 330ml $8.50
10 330ml $9.50
St Bernardus Pater 6 330ml $5.50
Prior 8 330ml $7.00
Tripel 330ml $7.00
Tripel 750ml $16.00
Abt 12 330ml $8.50
Abt 12 750ml $18.00
De Ranke Guldennberg 330ml $7.50
XX Bitter 330ml $7.00
Kriek 750ml $20.00
Achel Extra 9.5 750ml $19.00
Liefmans Kriek 375ml $9.50
Duchesse de Bourgogne 250ml $6.00
De Dolle Oerbier 330ml $8.50
Guiness Special Extra 330ml $6.50 (yes, its brewed in belgium!)


If you wish to order any of the above beers, hop online or alternatively email: For the locals, swing by over the weekend to pick some up & have a chat.

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Wednesday, December 09, 2009


As you’re no doubt aware our grand opening tasting a few months back was a huge success. However bringing out the big guns did leave our cellar stocks somewhat depleted & obviously this is never a good thing! So over the past few months after being back at square one, we’ve been hiding some crakers away & now have some pretty special beers, ready to do it all again.

Next FRIDAY the 18th DECEMBER 5-7pm, Slowbeer will be hosting a seasonally appropriate tasting, with the theme being Christmas Beers!

Red Hill Christmas Ale
Certainly one of the first local craft breweries to go out on a limb & brew a limited release Belgian-style Christmas ale. A bold move then, that has certainly paid great dividends for them. This is hands down their most popular seasonal release often, selling out before its actual release! Even retailers such as ourselves are powerless as to how much we are allocated (which is never enough!), such is its following.

Rogue Santa’s Private Reserve
Another eagerly anticipated brew, however last year Australia wasn't quite lucky enough to see it arrive on our shores. This is essentially a supped-up version of the much loved St Rogue Dry Hopped Red Ale. With toasty caramel/toffee malt & a nice big citrus kick this would almost be better suited to a warm Southern Hemisphere Christmas than a cold Northern one!

St Bernardus Kerst
In essence this is a spiced version of the St Bernardus Abt 12. Interestingly, many don’t realize that St Bernardus is in fact quite similar to the highly coveted Westvelteren, having for some 30 years produced its commercial equivalent under license. Inside the walls of the trappist monastery Westvleteren would only be brewed as sustenance for the monks, while St Bernardus would use the original recipes & knowledge of the Westvleteren master brewer to produce a commercial version. In 1992 the agreement ceased, however strong parallels can still be made between their beers.

St Feuillien Cuvee de Noel
While this beer doesn’t have quite as interesting a story, its certainly does tick all the right boxes as far as style goes & is an excellent beer. An interesting array of herbs & spices are employed as well as different malts to give it a complex, multilayered palate. Rich caramel malt balanced by raisin esters & with possible additions being cinnamon & nutmeg. A really well rounded xmas ale!

Schloss Eggenberg Samichlaus
Apparently the world’s strongest beer...maybe at some point but perhaps not anymore. Weighing in at 14%, this is billed as the cognac of beers. Though I will give some credit to the claim as many of the more modern, higher abv beers employ a wine yeast or simply freeze the beer to make it more concentrated. So it may well still be the worlds strongest beer, at least in the strictest sense. Semantics aside, this is a huge beer & one would definitely liken it to a cognac. Exceptionally rich & malty, borderline sweet palate with very little discernable hop bitterness. Interestingly this is a bock, meaning it is both bottom fermented with a lager yeast & filtered.

Baladin Noel
A slight change of pace from the other Baladin beers. Being considerably darker & richer, obviously with the purpose of being a Christmas beer. While certainly taking a lead from the many of the Belgian beers of the style, this is still quite different. Dried fruit notes are present but also masses of dark chocolate, coffee & licorice. An overall dry palate is actually a good point of difference, given that many Christmas beers can be quite sweet.

AND if we’re lucky we may have De Molen Rasputin Imperial Stout & Murray’s Anniversary Ale 4 on as well! (Yes we know they aren't xmas beers!)

While at first glance the list may not look all that impressive. “Sure” you say, “How hard can it be to round up a heap of Christmas beers when it is in fact Christmas?” Well bear in mind that many of the European Christmas beers don’t arrive on our shores until 6 months after the event & that’s if we are lucky enough to even get them in the first place! So you see, we did need some degree of forethought in order to get an impressive line-up such as this.

500ml, 6.2% abv
Luke has produced this beer for a number of years as a small batch release, however this is the first time we’ve been able to get it across the Tasman. Having billed this as a strong pale ale, is certainly quite appropriate. With this one falling somewhere between a pale ale & ipa, it makes perfect sense. Though quite a change of pace from the Armageddon, the mayhem is very much in the US mould. A rather strong crystal malt-like backbone of caramel & toffee provides great support for the very robust citrus & pine notes of the hops. This beer is bursting with hop charcter & you can really tell its a super fresh batch!

500ml, 6.66% abv
Great to see this back on our shelves, after it disappeared very quickly last time. I’d hazard a guess & say that this is probably Luke’s favorite brew, having seen how disappointed he was that we had no more left in stock when he dropped by to conduct our Epic tasting a month or so ago. Sure, he was pleased with how well it had sold but was keen for more, much like the rest of us!
As noted above the mayhem & Armageddon are more than just different styles, almost like coming from completely different brewers/breweries altogether. Which do I prefer? Its hard to say as I really love them both! I’d say the Armageddon IPA is more unique, in that it has a heap of tropical fruit bringing lycee & passionfruit as well as green grass from the hops with just a touch of malt for support. It really seems to epitomize hoppy Kiwi beers, which are a nice change of pace from the sometimes overdone US styles.

ROGUE (US) Wet Hop Ale 650ml $15.00
Mogul Madness 650ml $15.00
Santa’s Private Reserve 650ml & 355ml $15.00 & $7.50
Tracktown Triple Jump Pale Ale 650ml $15.00
Yellow Snow IPA 650ml $15.00
St Rogue Dry Hopped Red 355ml $7.50
Brutal Bitter 355ml $7.50
Chipotle 355ml $7.50
Shakespear Stout 650ml $15.00
Chocolate Stout 650ml $15.00
Smoke Ale 650ml $15.00
XS IPA 750ml $38.00
XS Old Crustacean Barleywine 750ml $38.00
FLYING DOG (US) Gonzo Imperial Porter 355ml $10.00
Snake Dog IPA 355ml $7.00
Doggie Style Pale Ale 355ml $6.50


If you wish to order any of the above beers, hop online or alternatively email: For the locals, swing by over the weekend to pick some up & have a chat.

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Thursday, December 03, 2009


As usual, plenty of great beers are coming through the door. However, this week we have been particularly excited as a number of lesser known but nonetheless, brilliant beers are now sitting on our shelves. Though we’re guessing not for long!

We all know that Italy is synonymous with food & wine. However craft beer is slowly being welcomed in amongst that illustrious duo & certainly with good reason! Much of this can be attributed to Teo Musso & a handful of other northern Italian craft brewers. Musso is the owner & brewer of Baladin & has been described as Italian craft beer’s Jim Morrison. To say that he is an interesting character would probably be an understatement! In somewhat of an unorthodox approach to brewing, Musso plays music to the fermenting beer. Choosing different genres depending on how he wants the yeast to react. Eccentricities aside, Teo’s beers are world-class & there is little doubt as to why he is leading the charge for a better appreciation of craft beer in what is the home of the now global Slowfood movement. (No points for guessing where the idea for our name came from!)

Baladin Isaac $25.00
750ml, 5% abv
Named after his first born son, this is a Belgian style witbier. Wheat malt is used to add a slight zesty sourness, while high carbonation cleanses the palate. Much like many Belgian style witbiers this is seasoned with orange zest & coriander to give the palate a lift & add interest. Overall this is a delicate & ultimately refreshing ale, which would pair well with seafood or light asian.

Baladin Nora $29.00
750ml, 6.8% abv
Named after his wife who is of Algerian heritage, this is a rather peculiar brew & a throwback to the brewing practices of ancient egypt. Using unmalted kamut (an egyptian grain) as well as ginger, myrrh & orange zest. The use of hops is kept to a minimum, as traditionally hops were only employed as a preservative. The bitterness on the palate comes from the myrr. Overall this is a very interesting beer & would obviously pair excellently with north african cuisine.

Baladin Elixir $37.00
750ml, 10% abv
In typical baladin style this is another left of centre brew. Its likened to a fine sparkling wine & has been termed a demi-sec. Teo uses a whisky distillers yeast to dry out the palate & achieve a higher than normal abv (10%). This beer has very subtle citrus & tropical fruit as well as bready, almond like yeast character. Being likened to a fine sparkling wine is certainly quite apt & as such would make a great aperitif.

Baladin Super $28.00
750ml, 8% abv
Styled as a Belgian tripel & quite perfumed. Possesses estery notes of banana, citrus & pear as well as marzipan-like yeast characters & peppery/spicy hops. Another ultimately refreshing beer with high carbonation & dry profile as the style requires. This would also suit seafood very well.

Baladin Noel $31.00
750ml, 9% abv
As you probably guessed from the name , this is a limited release Christmas beer. A slight change of pace from the other beers, in that it is considerably darker & richer. Dried fruit notes are present with dark chocolate, coffee & licorice most dominant. Obviously this would be perfect with a Christmas pudding or alternatively dark chocolate.

*Note that we also have matching baladin branded glasses. The shape is similar to a small brandy snifter & suits all of their styles. Would definitely make a great gift!

Brewdog Zephyr $135.00
750ml, 12.5% abv
Ok, so its not cheap right? But c'mon, its aged in 1965 whisky casks for 18 months. But wait, theres more! Those very casks are chock full of strawberries...& of course the beer, which starts life as a Double IPA. Though after 18 months maturation, i would have to say that the citrus/pine IPA characters would be somewhat overshadowed by whisky & berry. Crazy contrasts no doubt! With only 250 bottles available world-wide, we were pretty chuffed to get some despite its hefty price! (VERY LIMITED STOCK!)

Brewdog & Stone 'Bashah' Belgian Black IPA $9.00
330ml, 8.6% abv
Did you really expect anything remotely normal to come of this collaboration? So I presume a Belgian yeast strain is used & perhaps some candy sugar = BELGIAN. Dark roasted malt imparts colour for impact but also quite a bit of dry roast = BLACK. And lastly, i assume cirtus/pine from american hops = IPA. Once you break it down it really seems perfectly logical right? In terms of taste, I found the Belgian characters a little hard to pick up. There were heaps of citrus & pine hop notes on the nose & choc/coffee on the palate from the roasted malt. I suppose you have to wonder where all these uber-left of centre, hybrid-style collaboration brews are leading us. Regardless this is a really enjoyable beer.

Brewdog Storm Islay IPA $9.00
330ml, 8% abv
So I'd heard some really mixed reviews about this one and its certainly not for the feint of heart. It starts life as an IPA & is then aged in Islay whisky casks. The IPA characteristics have certainly faded with masses of smoke & peat absolutely dominating the palate. I’m a big fan of using islay casks for darker styles (ala their paradox range), however this is a completely different monster altogether. Where the islay characters would normally integrate quite well in amongst a roasty stout, here they smack you right in the face & i’m not too sure whether that is a good thing. From an islay cask aged point of view this is great, however the base beer doesn’t seem to be able to back it up. Don’t know if I’d recommend, but worth a try for something very, very’ve been warned!

Oh & if you havent heard, apparently Brewdog have brewed the worlds strongest beer. Weighing in at a whopping 32% abv!!
For an explanation, watch the video:

EPIC (NZ) Armageddon IPA 500ml $12.50
Mayhem 500ml $12.50
Dead Guy Ale 650ml $15.00
Double Dead Guy Ale 750ml $23.00
Yellow Snow IPA 650ml $15.00
Brutal Bitter 650ml $15.00
Captain Sigs Northwestern Ale 650ml $15.00
Hazelnut Brown Nectar 650ml $15.00
Juniper Pale Ale 650ml $15.00
Morimoto Soba Ale 650ml $15.00
Morimoto Black Obi Soba Ale 650ml $15.00
MEANTIME (ENG) High Saison 500ml $9.50
Elderflower Maibock 500ml $9.50
IPA 750ml $22.00
Chocolate 330ml $8.00
Raspberry Wheat Grand Cru 330ml $8.00
EISENBAHN (BRA) Weizenbock 355ml $7.00
Rauchbier 355ml $7.00
BRASSERIE DE BRUNEHAUT (BEL) St Martin Blonde 750ml $16.00
St Martin Blonde 330ml $7.50
St Martin Brune 330ml $7.50
BREWDOG (SCO) Dogma 330ml $4.00
Trashy Blonde 330ml $4.00
Zeitgeist 330ml $4.00
STONE & WOOD (AUS) Stone Beer 500ml $8.00
LOBETHAL BIERHAUS (AUS) Choc Oat Stout 330ml $4.50
IPA 330ml $4.50
Pale Ale 330ml $4.50

If you wish to order any of the above beers, hop online or alternatively email: For the locals, swing by over the weekend to pick some up & have a chat.

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