KONA LONGBOARD ISLAND LAGER

Origin – United States of America
ABV- 4.6%
Size- 355mL
Style- Lager

Granted this brew from Uncle Sam’s (or is that now Donald Trump’s?) 50th state could taste a little on the light side if all you’ve raised a glass of recently are pale ales, Indian pale ales or double pale ales. If however you’ve been unfortunate enough to turn up to the father-in-law’s only to be served up a few Crown Lagers, then this beer is going to be like taking a boat trip to Hawaii. Embossed on the bottle are the words ‘liquid aloha’ and when it comes to fantastic everyday refreshing beers, this drop by Kona Brewing Company, located at Kailua-Kona on Hawaii’s Big Island (hence the name) is pretty much liquid gold. In the glass, the light golden colour is crystal clear with a fluffy white head. As you’d expect from a lager, the aroma is faint with a delicate grass and mildly citrus nose. In the mouth there’s some mild hops and a touch of spicy malt, however it’s the perfect balancing of these flavours, the result of the brew being aged for several weeks at cold temperatures post fermentation, that makes this drop so simply fresh and enjoyable. Given Kona was kicked started in 1995 by a father and son team after a conversation over a few beers, it’s certainly only appropriate that a Kona should be included as the Craft Beer Co-op kicks off its purpose to craft conversations.

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GOLDEN ROAD HEFE WEIZEN

Origin – United States of America
ABV- 4.6%
Size- 12 FL.OZ
Style- Wheat Beer

If it’s the country road that takes you home, then it must be the Golden Road that takes you to Hefen (get it? Heaven, ok you get it!) and once you’re there I’d suggest that they’ll be serving this Bavarian style wheat beer by the cubit. A good Hefe is perfectly suited to a summer afternoon so it’s fitting that the image on the can depicts a Southern Californian hillside—sun-drenched and peppered with palms. And although the outside of the can is impressive, it’s not nearly as good as what’s inside. Pull the ring on a chilled Golden Road Hefe and you’ll first notice hints of banana and clove on the nose. Rather than aggressive, it’s an aroma that creeps on in like the setting sun, and on the pour, the colour similarly reminds me of one. It washes simple and clean over the taste buds in an unassailing manner with flavours of apricot, banana and a little lemon citrus. The medium body and light carbonations ensure a smooth and crisp finish to every mouthful of Hefeweizen sunshine. Forget the misty taste of moonshine, I’ll take a 6 pack of these with me on the next trip to West Virginia, or the Blue Ridge Mountain, even to the Shenandoah River.

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MOA METHODE PILSNER

Origin – New Zealand
ABV- 5%
Size- 330mL
Style- Pilsner

With names like Josh and Dave, you’d think you would more likely find them on the reality TV show ‘The Block’ rather than brewing beers in the Marlborough Region of New Zealand. But knock about blokes they are not. In fact Josh, the founder of Moa, is New Zealand’s only qualified Cicerone (which is a very fancy way of saying he is certified to tell you all about beer). So what do you do with a fancy title like Cicerone? You make a beer using a fancy champagne yeast and call it a fancy name such as Methode. And there’s a chance in fact that this Moa Methode is the Dom Perignon of pilsners. The bottle conditioning and the late inclusion of the Pacifica and Motueka hops in the brewing process creates a wonderful herbaceous and tropical aroma with a high bitterness, which is balanced by a relatively full mouth feel that snaps you back to reality. The dry finish and lingering malty spiciness is the perfect pair up for the caviar of the beer world…corn chips. And as a little treat to kick off your first craft beer cube, I’ve thrown you a bag on me to get you started.

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RIVERSIDE BREWING CO SEVENTY SEVEN IPA

Origin – Australia
ABV- 7.7%
Size- 330mL
Style- Indian Pale Ale

The lads out there on the Parramatta River have done it again…no not breached the NRL salary cap! …produced yet another top-notch beer. They may have only been brewing for a few short years however Riverside Brewing Co is quickly becoming known as one of the best breweries west of San Francisco, and there’s many good reasons for it – this Seventy Seven Indian Pale ale just one of them. From the elephant on the label to the 7.7% ABV which gives the Seventy Seven its name, simply looking at this IPA gives you the impression of it being a big beer. And it’s so big it makes Corey Norman’s third party payments look like just a few bucks! Just put your nose in the glass and see if you can avoid being sucker punched by the hefty hit of tropical hop aromas. Yet although this American style IPA is a celebration of hops, using four different kinds throughout the process, the loving restraint in the hopping regime means the bitterness has been pared back enough to maintain the all-important balance and a remarkably clean finish. Although this IPA gets up in your face, it’s smooth enough to ensure that you’ll be coming back for more. Just be careful when you do, at 2 standard drinks a stubby, it won’t be many before you’re dancing like the big fella on the label.

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MOO BREW SINGLE HOP PALE ALE

Origin – Australia
ABV- 4.8%
Size- 440mL
Style- Pale Ale

It’s not only Georgia Love, the most recent ‘Bachelorette’, that every bloke in Tasmania has to be proud of, they can now firmly hang their hats (and third legs!) on a decade of Moo Brew’ing. And to celebrate the big ten zero, Dave Walsh and him mates put in a new canning line and produced what they affectionately call the Big Foot, named after the label artwork by John Kelly. The single malt, single hop pale ale served up in a 440ml can may look a far cry from the distinctive Moo Brew mini champagne bottles of goodness that have been used exclusively since the brewer inception, however the impressive drinking quality is just the same. Following a clean clear pour, the heavy use the ‘exclusive to the apple isle’ Enigma hops late in the brewing process give this drop a subtle yet distinctive floral characteristic on the nose. Put it to your lips and it’s lively on the palate, with the locally grown Tassie malt providing an upfront sweetness, followed by a fruity dry hop bitterness that lingers and lingers…just like poor old Matty J. Now that you’ve discovered these tinnies there’ll be no going back the 30 block of Tooheys New

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