Slow Beer

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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