Origin – Australia, Victoria
Style- Blonde Ale
The write-up on the online city guide Broadsheet states ‘tucked behind Lygon Street’s main strip, this hidden bar is about so much more than beer’. And a late-night trip to this craft brewery, located in one of Melbourne’s more industrial stretches, had me thinking the same. The big black façade topped by the enormous sign simply stating ‘Temple’ could easily be mistaken for a high-class establishment selling an altogether different type of service… it’s lucky perhaps they also haven’t printed the Craft Beer Coopery’s vision statement on the façade- ‘We provide the lubricant’! Thought once inside there’s no doubt it’s a space for worshipping beer. The perfect blend of a working brewery full of vats and the freshest beer humanly possible, mixed with a first-class kitchen offering food of a quality rarely seen at brewpubs. However, unlike so many success stories where mates open an amazing micro-brewery that then goes from strength to strength, Temple’s story begins in failure, with the first owners forced into liquidation only 2 years after the 2011 opening. Fortunately, in one of the great comeback stories of the craft beer world, Nick Pang reopened those same doors only a few months later, bringing a new look to the beers, and a new brewer (Glenn Harrison from Hargreaves Hill) to the brewery. It was a winner of a move. Given the growing number of MAMIL’s (middle-aged men in lycra!), the next winner of a move was the launch of this Bicycle Beer. An ale designed to quench the thirst while, you guessed it, light enough to get you back on your Trek, BMC, or Specialised. And if you think because it’s a little light on the ABV, it also drops its cadence on the flavour, you’d be mistaken, evidenced by the bronze medal at the 2015 Australian International Beer Awards. Brewed with a blend of seven hops and American wheat yeast, it pours a light apricot hue and serves up a spicy hop aroma of citrus and summer fruits. The flavour mimics the nose, with hints of passionfruit, peaches, and some citrus overtones, all of which are balanced by soft malt characters and a dry hoppy finish. Perhaps, as it states on the back of the label ‘and the addition of an ancient sea salt’ (I’m told it’s sourced it from an ancient lake found underneath the Grampians) adds to the dryness of the finish, or perhaps I’ve been taken for a ride by the marketing bullshit! Either way what I do know for sure is that when looking to mix your pints with your pedalling, this Bicycle Beer will come in handier than a spare tube or some chain grease.