Australian Brewery The Extra Hoppy Ale

This one is about as local as you get to me. the Australian Brewery is located in a suburb called Rouse Hill, about 40-50 minutes drive from where I live. They are one of the few craft breweries in Australia that produce beer in cans and one of these, more recently has been this “Extra Hoppy Ale”.

An American Amber style beer it pours a coppery gold colour, large off-white head. The aroma is more malt than hops though which suggests they focus on earlier additions. Not getting a lot of hop aroma here so we should probably move on.

The taste is a little bit hop forward, there’s some peppery flavour up front, not sure what hops they’re using, seems to be more of the earthier hops though. not what I was was expecting, none of the citrus you normally associate with a phrase like “Extra Hoppy” but nonetheless a decent beer all the same. It’s quite easy to drink with a nice aftertaste that keeps you in the game.

Probably not for everyone, but I quite enjoyed it despite the difference to what I expected.

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Feral Brewing Brewpub Series Hopfen Fahrt German IPA

Alrighty, this is a new one…. I reckon for most of us. A German IPA? The Germans don’t make pale ales, let alone IPAs, right… right? Well as it turns out, this one’s an Australian beer and from the guys that gave us the Number 1 IPA in Australia – Feral (well, it was best beer in Australia the other year so, it’s not that much of a stretch).

The beer pours a bright Golden colour, high clarity and exceptionally inviting. the Large white head delivers spicy aromas, a little grass also as expected in a lot of german hops. as it turns out this is a new world german hop delivery system, containing Polaris, Mandarina, Saphir & Herkules and given the aroma I’m extremely intrigued as to the flavour.

Wow… that’s a bit different. first up is a little spice, rounded bitterness that gets more intense towards the back end of the palate, the back end is that peppery flavour I normally attribute to heavy saaz, but is obviously translating through from these german hops. the finish is fairly sweet and lingering leaving that peppery taste on the tongue.

Not entirely sure I’m a fan… it’s definitely worth a try and I just might grab a few more myself just to be sure ;)

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Moa Royal Belgian Double IPA

I picked this one up with the White IPA (see previous post), seemed like a good idea at the time, given they were sitting there side by side…. didn’t realise it was a “Belgian” DIPA. Not necessarily being a big fan of a lot of the Belgian/American Pale hybrid’s I approach this with a reasonable level of concern that I’ve burnt some cash.

It pours a Gold/Honey colour white head that just like the White IPA takes a fair bit to get going and seems to disappear quite quickly… perhaps this is a Moa trait, anyone else experience this? The aroma suggests this beer is quite resiny, so I perk up a bit :) big hop load in the aroma.

The flavour is fairly bitter right up front which continues through the palate until the very end where you get some alcohol warmth. Starting to wish I’d poured this into a tulip glass, but it’s too late now, I’ll just have to warm it up in the IPA glass. as it warms, the bitterness subsides and lets some of the hop flavour come through, I’m getting a piney type of hop.

Nice beer, a little more boozy flavour than I’m used to tasting in DIPAs recently, but not unpleasant.

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Moa Southern Alps White IPA

Hmm… White IPA huh?

So is it a hopped wit? not really sure I pick it up anyways, I do seem to recall a White IPA featuring in some peoples posts of the SN Beer Camp series, so good enough for Sierra Nevada, I reckon it’s probably good enough for me.

The Beer pours a light golden/straw colour, tight white head, but not really much of it. I had to work to get it up there, it dies fairly quickly but leaves a nice lacing and not before I can get a decent smell of the aroma – citrusy, but more of that lemon citrus aroma. The bottle says Nelson Sauvin & Citra dry hopping, never thought of Nelson as a dry hop before… might have to look into further.

The flavour is quite upfront on the bitterness, very strong citrus up front which gives way to a slight spiciness which tickles the back of the throat. Quite a sweet finish keeps the hop flavour and spice lingering on the palate. the mouthfeel is quite silky and it keeps you coming back for more.

Great beer and quite happy I didn’t walk past it. Far better than what’s being sold as  Belgian Pale Ale, I’m extremely fond of this Belgian Wit/American IPA fusion.

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Can vs Bottle: Matilda Bay Fat Yak

Inspired by a recent post over at Facebook group Sydney Beer Club more recently and a few others I’ve seen kicking around I thought I’d give the old Can vs Bottle side by side a crack.
My choice of beer was fairly easy to get hold of as it’s a largely distributed beer by one of the smaller craft breweries owned by a mass producer (in this case SAB Miller otherwise referred to as CUB here in Aus) Matilda Bay based out of  Port Melbourne.
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The  reason I chose this beer other than it’s ease to get and is packaged in both Can & Bottle is that I used to drink a fair whack of it a few years back, so I’m extremely familiar with the taste, it’s a common entry beer for people stretching outside the mainstream and it’s a beer most people (well, down here) would be familiar with.
I will warn you, if you have a weak stomach you may wish to turn away now… what you read may be disturbing to weak stomached viewers. We’re going to do this battle int two rounds:
Round 1 – Direct from the packaging. Why? You may ask… well because that’s what people do. Not me, perhaps not you, but people. Some places don’t let you bring glass so you’re forced to drink from the can. Some parties you go to people hand you a bottle and don’t even own a glass you can borrow (which is why I always bring my own).
Round 2 – From the glasses best suited to a pale ale with a hop forward flavour  the Spiegelau IPA glass otherwise known as The Olfactory Cannon.
Well, that’s the formalities out of the way, enter the two combatants…
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Round 1 – From the Packaging
Visual
Can: Looking down through the mouth of the can I can’t see anything other than the top of the white head, this dissipates pretty quickly though. Liquid underneath looks clear.
Bottle: Clear, Translucent Brown… could just be the colour of the bottle though. No Head whatsoever.
 
Aroma
 
Can: smells beery, like the morning after when you’re collecting the empties your mates decided would be a good idea to tuck down the back of the lounge half full instead of throwing or taking with them. slight nasty hop aroma there, can’t really detect what, could be the aluminium.
Bottle: aroma non-existent no matter how hard i try… there’s just nothing
Taste
 
Can: Sharp, bitter, a little metallic. a little bit of hop flavour on the back end amongst the bitterness. Not overly pleasant, more like a more bitter version of a macro like VB or XXXX than the beer I’m used to.
Bottle: a little more rounded, not a sharp bitter flavour like the can. More flavour from the hops poking through a bit more on the back end of the palate to.
Verdict?
The Bottle & Can tie on the visual, pretty much a no-brainer on that – you can’t see the beer in the can, but at least there’s head, the bottle you can’t really tell what the beer looks like, could be urine for all you know. The Can wins the aroma, it’s not necessarily great, but at least there’s something there… the Bottle brought nothing to the arena. The Bottle definitely wins the flavour, the can imparted it’s own flavour and I may as well have been hanging out in the park sucking down Tooheys Gold for all it mattered.
By my count with weightings of 30pts applied to Visual, 30pts applied to Aroma and 40pts applied to Taste I give this victory to Bottle 55 vs Can 45
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Round 2 – From the Glasses
Visual
Both pour identically, big white head, hold for a fair amount of time, nice lacing on the glass as it reduces. Deep golden colour, great carbonation from the cannons.
Aroma
Can: Nicely light floral aroma, sweet malt backbone. not a hop forward beer, but this isn’t meant to be. it’s not the Alpha Pale Ale. Quite pleasant.
Bottle: a little skunk on the nose, this overrides any of the floral aromas I may have picked up on with the can version. The malt is not able to be detected beyond it
Taste
Can: medium bitterness right up front followed by an nice subtle rounded hop flavour and that malt backbone finishing up relatively sweet and lingering.
Bottle: slightly sharper bitterness, not too high though – quite enjoyable with a more bitey hop flavour followed by a slightly watery malt finish.
Verdict?
It’s a Tie on the visual again, but this time we can actually see the beers are identical. The can picks it up on aroma and i’ll also give it to the can on the Taste too. the more rounded hop flavour and the mouthfeel winning me over every time with this style of beer.
On that basis Can wins this round with the final tally at 15pts for visual, 30 for the aroma and 25 for the taste – 70 points. a clear victory for the Can!
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Note. Best before dates on these items were well into the future and are listed below, beers were purchased refrigerated from the same store and were kept refrigerated up until 30 minutes before the battle began.
Best Before Dates:
Can – 13Feb15
Bottle – 06May15
Anyways, on that note – I’m outta here – cheers to beers!
ok one more pic
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