YOUNG HENRYS NEWTOWNER

Origin – Australia
ABV- 4.8%
Size- 375mL
Style- Pale Ale
With a brewery tagline of ‘Serve the people’ it’s not surprising that these lads from Newton have rapidly made a real name for themselves among all beer ‘people’ from Gerringong to Geraldton. And from the moment you grip this tinny, that looks so hip and old school that it should grow a beard, you get the feeling you’re about to enjoy something special. And old school is an apt description for this pale ale that is a tribute to the classic ales that were being served up in Newtown when it was first settled in 1866 by English migrants, though these days the beers are cold and the pies are…actually the pulled pork sliders are warm. Although a trailer load of English and Australian malts (Ale & Carahell), and a truck load of hops (Victoria’s, Secret, Cascade & Galaxy) were used during the brewing process to produce a complex drop, delivering floral and citrus characters, the lads have done so without the super-hero attitude, so you can drink more than one. And yes, Victoria’s and Secret are actually types of hops, not just the combined name of the Super Bowl of fashion…without the beer and the nuts!

BOWcube3beer2

RIVERSIDE THIRTY THREE GOLDEN ALE

Origin – Australia
ABV- 4.8%
Size- 330mL
Style- Golden Ale
What’s happening out there in Western Sydney? They’ve got the GWS giants, the Wanderers, the Westconnex and now they’re about to steal the Powerhouse museum. And speaking of power houses, although Stephen Pan and the lads at Riverside Brewing Company have only been brewing since the early 2000’s, they have certainly perfected the art, or is that that craft, of bottle conditioned, unfiltered brews. Now if I’m honest, I’m not a big fan of golden ale. They are like craft beers on training wheels, which is perfect for beginners, however I’m (insert image of large head here) more like Evil Knievel than Miss Daisy. They generally have a subdued malt flavour, are lightly hopped and are typically relatively low alcohol. Fortunately this kindy kid of the Riverside school for brilliant beers, is a little more mature than his golden peers from elsewhere. A fusion of US and English pale ale styles, the 33 is characterised by careful restraint, but with a twist. It pours amber, but not too dark. The citrus aroma is fresh and zippy, but not like a bag of oranges at the half time break. In the mouth there is hop, but it doesn’t hit you over the head, and the malt is also understated. However, it’s the citrus that creeps on in…and creeps and creep and creeps, leaving you with a clean aftertaste that is crisp, clean and fresh that makes this a little more unique. It’s perfect for those times when you just want to invite over a mate on a hot summer’s day and sit on the beach. I read Parramatta will have one of those too by 2025…

BOWcube3beer5

 

RED HOOK EXTRA SPECIAL BITTER ALE

Origin – United States of America
ABV- 5.8%
Size- 355mL
Style- ESB
It gave us Ray Charles in 1930, Jimi Hendrix in 1942, Kurt Cobain in 1967 and Sir Mix-a-Lot in 1983. Then Microsoft in 1984 and Amazon in 1994. However Seattle, on the west coast of the US, is not only famous for its musos’ and tech start-ups, it was a founding member of the craft beer scene. And it was Godo and Paul, 2 bearded hipster mates who founded Red Hook in 1981, that paved the way for many to follow. That said, (spoiler alert) Red Hook is now owned by the Craft Brew Alliance and it isn’t technically a craft brewery given it exceeds the 25% ownership rule by any big multinational brewer. In this case mega men in suits, Anheuser-Busch InBev, who has a lazy 55 billon US big ones of beer sales every year. Put that to one side, this ESB, which is affection known as the granddaddy of craft beer, fills a niche in the beer style spectrum that makes it truly unique and, in my opinion, under appreciated. It’s more robust and richer in malt complexities than an amber, while staying on the lighter side of a porter. So if you’re looking for a beer to lubricate a long night of conversation, something a little richer and more complex than ale, you’ve hit the mark. And Red Hook’s version couldn’t be more true to the style. Amber on the pour with quick dissipation of the head. Floral spiciness on the nose. And a mouthful of low carbonated creamy caramel malts, toffee and freshly baked bread. After crafting a conversation over 1 or 2 of these, I’d suggest that…even white boys got to shout, baby got back!

BOWcube3beer3

THE LITTLE BREWING CO WICKED ELF

Origin – Australia
ABV- 5.0%
Size- 330mL
Style- Pilsner

The Little Brewing Company popped to life in Port Macquarie when Warwick and Kylie Little crossed the line from passionate hobby to vocation and business (perhaps there’s hope of commercial success for the Craft Beer Co-op yet!) In its short life, this version of a Bohemian Pilsner, originally brewed by the monks in the middle ages, has won more medals than you could poke a bottle opener at. And there’s a good reason why it was judged the number two pilsner at the 2008, ‘09, ‘10, ‘11, ’12, ’13, ’14, ’15, ‘16 Australian International Beer Awards…it’s a cracker! It pours from the bottle with a beautiful golden colour, while the spicy, malty and floral aromas are a direct result of the use of imported Czech Saaz hops. On the lips it’s dominated by maltiness with a wicked kick of bitterness that both builds and hangs around long after the wetness is gone.  It may be a Bohemian, but at $95 a case it’s fair to stay, it’s little high, not little low, and is certainly not for a poor boy from a poor family!

BOWcube3beer1

SIERRA NEVADA SUMMERFEST

Origin – United States of America
ABV- 5.0%
Size- 355mL
Style- Lager

It may have been Les Grossman who famously said in Tropic Thunder ‘You’re gonna have to call the United Nations and get a binding resolution to keep me from f#@king destroying you’, I’m talking scorched earth….I will massacre you!’ However it was Ken Grossman who first started a mirco-brewery on the scorched earth of a little town called Chico in Northern California, who the United Nations couldn’t stop from launching an American craft beer movement that changed the taste buds of millions, and started an entirely different conversation about beer. And this seasonal beer that is brewed specially to suit a hot Californian (or Australian) summer is certainly worth talking about. The Summerfest lager is essentially a Bohemian style Pilsner with a twist. Like any good Czech Pils, it is clean and crisp with a malt complexity, spicy tones and noticeable bitterness, which is all then amazingly wrapped it all up in a light refreshing package. Upfront you’re hit with some fruitiness and traces of citrus. On the mid-palate it’s grain and bread malts with a little grassy hop character. The backend is bitterness and that surprising hop aftertaste, which is somewhat unusual for a lower range IBU pilsner. That said, if any brewer has the ability to do some hop magic it would be the guy that created the Torpedo. There’s no way a ‘nutless monkey’ could do their job.

BOWcube3beer4