RAVENS IMPERIAL IPA

Origin – Australia. Victoria
ABV- 10%
Size- 330mL bottle
Style- IPA
So, is it art imitates life or life imitates art? In 1997 the 3-eyed raven was printed in the pages of George Martin’s book. In 2011 network HBO brought us Game of Thrones. And in between the two, in early 2003 from a basement of an engineering firm in Thornbury, Ben Pattison and Marcus Cox established their own take on the 3-eyed raven, launching 3 Ravens Brewing Co. And similar to the instant success of the show that’s estimated to cost upwards of $10M to produce each episode, it was only a matter of months before Ben and Marcus were the talk of the town by every inner-city Melbourne hipster. Unfortunately, as the brewery approached its 10th birthday celebrations (with an anniversary beer in the tank) there was a ‘red wedding’ moment between the lads, resulting in a fire sale. Riding into the rescue was WA’s Mash Brewing, which was looking for somewhere to brew its beers on the East Coast (is that classed as south or north of the wall?). Following this Jon Snow style back from the dead moment, the new owners set about pouring cash into the brewery. They start with a rebranding and also installed some new equipment. The move paid off, with 3 Ravens named Champion Small Australian Brewery at the 2014 IBA’s. Since then the investment has continued, as has the collection of silver wear in the trophy cabinet. Like most brewers, 3 Ravens roll out a solid range of core beers, but it’s when they turn their hands to the limited release that things get interesting. Folks still talk about the past favourites such the English style hand pumped British Ale and the Ale Noir – a dark beer aged in French oak barrels previously used for pinot noir. But, sitting high above all of them was a 2016 release of their aggressively hopped and infamous 8% abv double IPA. And two years on, in honour of that nectar of the gods, comes this Imperial IPA- a 10%, 2.6 standard drink, west coast style hop blaster with 70 IBU and over 50ml of hop oil per hectolitre (hint: that’s more hop oil than Tyrion Lannister’s had shags!) Best from the glass, its apricot nose is followed by a sticky fruit salad bowl full of hops in the mouth, all balanced with just the right amount of sweet malt. Life? Art? Who’s to know. I guess 3 Ravens can just be themselves after all everyone else is already taken. Thanks, Oscar.

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