Slow Beer

Friday, May 28, 2010


As many of you would know, last week was a big one & it has been followed up by another. It was great to see so many local & international beer lovers in town & even better that so many paid our humble little store a visit! This week we will focus on some of the big winners from last weeks Australian International Beer Awards, many of which we have been praising for some time & no doubt their recognition is long overdue. We also have the arrival of some excellent & interesting new beers from our Japanese friends at Baird.

A really pleasant surprise seeing these guys get one of the biggest awards on offer. I’ve long been a fan of their range due to the fact that they nail every style they attempt. Their beers are excellently made & its evident in how beautifully presented they are in the glass. A feature that I feel is sometimes overlooked by craft brewers. Even more so when you consider how far the beers travel before even landing on our shelves. Below we have highlighted some of their standouts.

Imperial Stout 500ml $16.00
You’d think given the ever-cool Norsk climate they’d produce some killer stouts, well you'd be right! This Imperial weighs in at 9%, which is perhaps more in line with the traditional examples & not quite as over the top as some (looking at you mikkeller!). The result is a mass of dark roasted malt that brings plenty of bittersweet coffee notes & molasses as well as a touch of dark stewed fruits. Another beer from these guys, that while very robust has a lot of finesse.

Imperial Brown Ale 500ml $14.50
Really cool beer this, which you don’t see produced too often. A more modern take on a traditional English brown ale but still in keeping with the hallmarks of the style. There is plenty to like here, caramel & roasted malt are seamlessly interwoven giving a nice bready/doughy character with some chocolate & nutty notes as well. Elevated abv gives this beer a nice little punch on the finish & reminds you your not just drinking a boring old Newcy Brown!

Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch Weasel 500ml $32.00
With the vast number of styles & microbreweries around the world, its always going to be hard producing something that is new & unique without being too crazy. Arguably this does both! Weasel Coffee (Kopie Luwak) has been renowned for some time as one of the most obscure & expensive coffees in the world. Known for its highly aromatic, yet low bitterness character. It achieves this unique balance by way of its “natural” production.

Long story short: Vietnamese palm civet cats eat coffee berries for flesh of fruit – coffee bean (in berry) pass through digestive system, breaking down acids in bean – whole coffee bean defecated by animal, having been transformed – droppings (with beans) collected, cleaned, sun dried & lightly roasted – Weird but true!

So how does this actually translate to the beer? Funnily enough, quite well & its easy to distinguish this from your run of the mill coffee beer. Firstly, the base beer is an imperial oatmeal stout, so we’ve got the usual bitter-sweet dark roasted malt notes & while the coffee addition is quite overt, often with these beers the bitter roast character can be harsh & astringent. With this, it is robust with plenty of flavor but has the slightest touch of syrupy sweetness to balance. While the bitterness on the finish comes from the dark roasted malt rounding out the palate. Being that I'm not a coffee connoisseur its pretty hard to portray its unique taste with words, so I highly recommend trying it for yourself. Its uniqueness in production & taste is undeniable.

FYI: Tasting & judging at AIBA is done blind, so for those thinking this beer is just an overpriced gimmick (a natural assumption until you’ve tried it) clearly the AIBA disagree!

If you didn’t already have a reason to check out the beers on our shelves from these excellent local producers, a heap of gold, silver & bronze medals should easily sway you!

2 Brothers, Hunter Brewing Co, Little Brewing Co (Wicked Elf), Holgate Brewhouse, Red Hill, Bridge Rd, Temple Brewing, Mountain Goat, Flying Horse, Lobethal Bierhaus, Steam Exchange + far too many more to mention!

Ok, so we’ve definitely featured these guys before but we are at it again promoting our spectacular new arrivals from this great brewery! Our first shipment was full of beers from their regular range, while this second lot has some brilliant & unique seasonal offerings.

West Coast Wheatwine
650ml $20.00
A heap of malted wheat (60%) is used in the brewing process to give a dangerous degree of quenching drinkability to a brew of this strength. Inspired by US west coast beers & hopped to the hilt with those very citrussy & piney hop varieties. 9.5%abv

Dark Sky Imperial Stout
650ml $19.00
Robust American-style imperial stout with layers of dark roasted malt flavors & US hop bitterness on the finish. 7.6%abv

Midnight Oil Export Stout 650ml $19.50
A more traditional example with the use of English hops & dark bitter roasted malt giving a dry & bitter-sweet finish. 6.3%abv

Carpenters Mikan Ale 650ml $19.50
Both mikan juice & peel used in the brewing process as well as maris otter pale malt, wheat malt, unmalted wheat & two types of japanese sugar (sudakito and akato). Hopped with citrussy US centennial & cascade to compliment the mikan fruit flavour. 6.7%abv

Temple Garden Yuzu Ale 650ml $19.50
Yuzu peel & juice used during the brewing process. Yuzu is similar to lemon, however with less acidity/sourness. The brew does however have a touch of citric zesty sourness on the finish. 5.7%abv

Kurofune Porter
355ml $10.00
English style porter with bitter chocolate & coffee notes from the array of dark roasted malts employed. 6%abv

Angry Boy Brown Ale 355ml $9.50
American style brown ale with masses of roasted malt giving a slight sweetness & roasted character with robust bitterness on the finish. 6.2%abv


From UK:
Greene King
Abbot Ale 500ml $7.00
Suffolk Strong Ale 500ml $7.50
Innis & Gunn Canadian Cask 330ml $8.00
Triple Matured 330ml $7.50
Orkney Dark Island 500ml $9.00

From Belgium & France:
10 330ml $8.00 (SAVE $2.00! - CHEAPER IN DOZ & CASE!)
Karmelite Tripel 330ml
Westmalle Tripel 330ml
St Bernardus Pater 6 330ml $5.50 (NEW CHEAP PRICE!)
Prior 8 330ml $6.50 (NEW CHEAP PRICE!)
Tripel 330ml $6.50 (NEW CHEAP PRICE!)
Abt 12 330ml $7.50 (NEW CHEAP PRICE!)
Hoegaarden Grand Cru 330ml
Trois Monts 750ml $14.00

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