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Entries in 3/10 (96)



Deschutes River Ale. I saw this beer on tap at Kingston Public Bar and Kitchen in Newtown, Sydney. They often get interesting beers in so I decided to give it a go.

I didn’t even know at the time but apparently this beer is an American Blonde Ale / Golden Ale. On the malt bill are Pale, Munich, Carapils, and Crystal. On the hop front are Cascade, Crystal and Nugget. It’s a mild 28 IBU and a woeful 4% ABV.

Pale yellow, lager-like appearance, crystal clear with a frothy white head.  Grainy malt aroma.  Thin body with almost non existent carbonation which was strange for the first pour of a new keg. Watery, grainy malt flavour with a chalky, astringent finish. Less than a third of the way through the schooner I abandoned it.

A beer that truly tastes like it came from the river.





Rocks Brewing Session IPA. The so called ‘Session IPA’ is becoming all the rage in the US. As the name implies it’s a highly drinkable IPA, but to achieve this, the alcohol content is lowered below 5% ABV and hop flavours are toned down.

The result is a flavoursome session beer. This style of brew is a new concept and is not an official beer style. Some argue a ‘Session IPA’ is just a pale ale with a different name. One of the better known session IPA’s is Founders Brewing All Day IPA.

The guys from Rocks Brewing spent some time at The Coachella Valley Brewing Co in 2013. During their time there they no doubt drank quite a few American IPAs which may have provided the inspiration for this brew. I tried this on tap at The Quarryman’s Hotel, in Pyrmont, Sydney. The barman informed me it was a new release from Rocks Brewing and the guys from the brewery had come around to hook up the first keg.

Golden colour and the head dies quickly with almost no carbonation. Fruity tropical aroma. Thin mouthfeel and body. Citrus and tropical hop flavours with a lasting bitterness. Unfortunately, in becoming 'sessionable' it’s watery and lacking substance. It tastes like watery fruit juice. The barman agreed the carbonation was woeful but the guys from the brewery liked it. Carbonation aside, it’s still below par.

I’d rather drink a full strength IPA then a couple of these.





Mountain Goat Summer Ale. Presumably this is their take on Stone & Wood’s Pacific Ale. It is all passionfruit.

It pours very weak with no head and has huge blast of passionfruit aroma and taste that is initially thirst quenching. The smell and flavour quickly dissipate to leave slightly dry soft drink feel.

There is something wrong with the carbonation. It appears flat, but creates almost Barney Gumble like belches. Maybe it’s the air pressure in these latitudes.





Thirsty Crow Brewing Vanilla Milk Stout. February 2011, a cricket plague infests Wagga, Wagga NSW. Soon they were flying through the doors of the Thirsty Crow Brewing Co and into punter’s beers. They responded by deciding to brew a dark beer so punters wouldn’t see the crickets swimming in their beer.

Having determined a stout was best for the job they wanted to create one to address the aversion average drinkers have to the strong, often bitter flavours associated with this style. They would come to love stout, the thinking went, if they incorporated flavours already familiar to the punters. Chocolate and coffee from malts, sweetness from lactose and vanilla from Madagascar. Hopped with East Kent Goldings it’s a mild 25 IUB and 5.2% ABV. It won a trophy for Best Specialty Beer at the Australian International Beer Awards in 2011.

Very dark brown, it blocks out most of the light. Sweet, vanilla lolly aroma. Thin mouthfeel for a stout with low carbonation. Mild dark malt flavour followed by an overpowering artificial vanilla flavour. It tastes like someone has dissolved milk bottle lollies and white marshmallows into mild brown ale.

Q: What insect can never walk straight?

A: A Cricket





Blue Sky Cairns Gold. I ordered this in a restaurant in Far North Queensland and wasn’t surprised to see when it arrived it’s only a piss weak 3.3% ABV. The type of swill a XXXX Gold drinker would appreciate.

According to their website “Cairns Gold uses pure malt and a good dose of Premium bittering hops. We utilise pristine waters and the finest quality ingredients sourced from around the world.”

Very pale yellow colour and relatively low carbonation with a sweet grainy aroma. Watery mouthfeel with a sweet grainy malt flavour. No bitterness or crisp finish evident.

Even in the hot climate it’s still rubbish.





Murray's The Ashes Brew. This was a collaborative brew between Murrays Brewing and The Australia Hotel at The Rocks in Sydney.

I was in The Rocks and dropped into the Australian Hotel and saw this little number on tap. The second last day of The Ashes 2013/14 series was in play so it was kind of appropriate.

A few curious patrons asked what it was but no-one was actually game to try the mysterious bitter.

A red/amber colour, medium body with moderate carbonation and a frothy head. Strong chalky and grainy aroma. Grainy malt flavour with a lip plucking astringency. As it warmed up it tasted worse.

Almost as bad as the English team’s Ashes 2013/14 performance. It was so ordinary it could pass for an English beer.





Brewdog Hardcore IPA. People rave on about Brewdog Punk IPA so I thought I’d try their Hardcore IPA which is an American Imperial IPA.

It’s brewed with a popular IPA base malt, Maris Otter, along with a bit of Crystal and Caramalt to add some complexity. On the hop front are Simcoe, Centennial and Columbus. It packs quite a punch being 9.2% ABV and 150 IBU.

Red/golden colour, fine frothy head which glistens with hop oils. Soft carbonation with small fine bubbles rising up the glass.  Sweet malt and resinous hop aroma with a full body.

Sweet caramel malt flavour, far too sweet, followed by piney and resinous aftertaste. This is one of the most sickly sweet IPA’s I’ve ever had.

There’s nothing hardcore about this IPA. It really should be called Bubblegum Pop IPA.





Mash Brewery Grasscutter Lawnmower Ale. The name of his beer is quite misleading especially given it’s a sessionable 4.4% ABV. It has nothing to do with being a refreshing beer to knock back after mowing the lawn.

The brewers were aiming to create a beer with fresh cut grass flavours.  On the label it’s described as being “fermented on 2 different toasts of French oak, with subtle aroma of peach, pear and complementing subtle vinous notes. Palate is pleasantly drying with continuing hop and oak complexity.”

Light yellow colour, moderate carbonation with a strong vanilla-like oak aroma. Light body and thin mouthfeel. Clean lemon-like acidity, followed by an oaky aftertaste.

It tastes like a cask of cheap oaked chardonnay. After half a glass the rest went down the sink.





Red Tape Brewing Co. Single Batch Black Mamba IPA. This is the old James Squire Brewery on King Street Wharf, Sydney. The current owners battled for so long to get it up and running that they named it Red Tape Brewing. I digress, this a single batch to highlight they versatility.

I was thinking about ordering their Wood Duck Pale Cream Ale when a couple of blokes in front of me ordered it. It looked like a hand pump from a carbonated tap.

I went for the Black Mamba. It poured just as bad. The initial hops aroma quickly faded to leave a sweet malty beer, with a cloying mouthfeel not suited to the warm weather. The hops did show through towards the end, but by that time I was looking for something better.

Black Mamba has nothing to do with the poisonous snake or the porn industry, more's the pity.





Mikkeller Green Gold. I’ve heard people raving on about Mikkeller so when I saw this IPA I thought I’d give it a go. It’s an American style IPA hopped with Simcoe, Cascade and Amarillo.

Red/amber colour, low carbonation with thin a head. There are some nasty looking chucky bits in the bottle. Boozy malt aroma. Medium body and moderate carbonation.

Vegemite malt flavour with some underlying piny hops but the vegemite comes back and takes over.

As it warms up is starts to get a caramel flavour and the hop flavour dissipates. It tastes like an extract homebrew with some hops thrown in.

Given it’s brewed in Denmark, it’s highly likely the bottle was quite old and badly handled in transit.

It doesn’t make me want to try another Mikkeller beer.