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Crafty Pint

Your Guide to Australian Craft Beer / Wednesday 1 October 2014

Mountain Goat

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No beer lover’s visit to Melbourne is complete without an hour or three in the Mountain Goat Brewery enjoying a beer in the shadow of the tanks in which they are brewed. Well into their second decade producing some of Australia’s finest tipples, founders Cam and Dave are two true trailblazers of the craft beer revolution.

At a time when microbreweries had almost disappeared from the Australian landscape, they began a guerilla fightback against the mundanity of commercial beers. On a trip to North America, Cam was inspired by the local micro scene, sent home brewing pal Dave a postcard saying “Let’s open a brewery” and, on his return, they did. Dave’s ever-expanding home brew set up spilled into his backyard, they began holding Friday night bbqs, word got out and a Melbourne legend was born.

Today, Mountain Goat is based in a large warehouse in Richmond and attracts hundreds of Goat Army faithfuls through its doors from 5pm on Wednesdays and Fridays to sample the full range of fresh beers, regular limited release specials and, of course, Randy the ‘Hopinator’ – a Heath Robinson-esque machine that’s filled with fresh hops, fruit, coffee beans (well, anything really) that add a last minute hit of added flavour to your beer.

Their distinctive goat head taps are found all over Melbourne and increasingly across the country, with the brewery one of the largest craft operations in the land. Go hunt yourself a Goat – you won’t regret it.

Mountain Goat Beers

The Specials

Regulars

Hightail Ale

The Goat classic. A full flavoured English style real ale, it’s deep amber in colour, packed to the hilt with malt flavour and topped off with an enticing floral hop aroma. It’s the beer that made their name all those years ago and, more than a decade later, a guaranteed gem whenever you spot the bright red goat head on the taps calling you to the bar. All draught Hightail comes from their Richmond HQ with packaged product now produced offsite at Independent Distillers.

Style: Amber Ale
Strength: 4.5%

Mountain_goat_hightail_bottle

Organic Steam Ale

Introduced in 2009 as a replacement for their Pale Ale, this most accessible of Mountain Goat’s beers became an overnight hit with drinkers won over by its subtle floral aroma and crisp, lightly hopped taste. A great session beer and gentle introduction to the world of craft beer for newcomers. Such has been the huge demand that production of Steam Ale is now outsourced to Asahi Premium Beverages in Laverton, freeing up the production schedule at the home brewery for more short run beers.

Style: Steam Beer
Strength: 4.5%
Bitterness: 20 IBU

Mountain_goat_steam_bottle

Mountain Goat IPA

From the day it first appeared as the Goat’s first Rare Breed release, their IPA was a firm favourite at Crafty Towers. A bold, US inspired take on the classic style, it held back nothing in terms of hop character or rich malty backbone. Soon it was back as a not-so-Rare Breed, then again and… Well, you get the message. The beer was so delicious and so loved that they decided to make it the third beer in their permanent 330ml range, spending a long time working with the team that brews it for them at IDA to make sure it was as crammed with hoppy goodness as that which still rolls out of their brewery door in keg form. And we’re glad they did, meaning its available far and wide and always.

Style: IPA
Strength: 6.2%
Bitterness: 65IBU

Goat-ipa-330_bottle

Mountain Goat Summer Ale

They seriously weighed up whether to pop a beer into cans for a couple of years before taking the leap as summer 2013/14 approached. And they must be glad they did. Goat’s first venture into aluminium is a Summer Ale based closely on the Skipping Girl Vinegar beer they’d trialled over a couple of previous summers in draught only form. The idea was to create an easy-drinking summer session beer – and give their staff something to drink at Meredith Festival – which resulted in this pale yellow passionfruit affair. The bitterness has been toned down from Skipping Girl, while Summer seems drier too. The other result – in other words whether the market would be ready for it – has ben emphatic, with the first batch produced for Goat at Independent Distillers / Asahi Premium Beverages disappearing almost overnight and requiring more batches to be brewed before the first say of summer was even upon us.

Style: Summer Ale
Strength: 4.7%

Goat-summer-can_bottle

Specials

Mountain Goat The Delmont

The Crafty Pint may never have eventuated were it not for a cold, dark Melbourne winter’s evening when a couple of Brits, recently arrived in Australia, climbed into an old Mercedes outside The Greyhound in St Kilda. It was being driven by a woman who’d told one of them “my boyfriend works for a microbrewery” and had thus opened up the promise of finding good beer Down Under. Said boyfriend (now husband) was Tom Delmont, the larger-than-life On-Road Goat, and walking into the Goat brewery that night was something of an epiphany moment for The Crafty Pint’s founder. Six years and one website later, this legend of the local craft beer world has had a beer brewed in his name, his honour and his likeness. Those who know Tom know it could only ever have been one style: a West Coast IPA, and so it is, crammed full of US hops Cascade, Amarillo, Simcoe, Centennial and Chinook.

In The Delmont’s own words: “In June 2010 four friends went on a great beer adventure (Colorado, California, Oregon, Washington State, NY) and visited quite a few of the USA’s best brewers, including Green Flash, Ballast Point, Stone, Anchor, Sierra Nevada & Russian River among many others. I fell in love with the big, clean hop flavours and the incredible drinkability of the true West Coast IPA or, according to the San Diego guys, the San Diego style IPA. This beer is a direct result of that trip and my last six years in the craft beer industry.” As for what it is in the flesh, it’s a gleaming copper colour, with plenty of familiar citrus and pine aromas and a slightly resinous bitterness that’s there from the off but never gets out of control (unlike its namesake), instead being lean, clean and open to repeat visits. They’ve brewed heaps so In-Breed bottles will follow the kegs. NB: should you decide to black and tan it with the Crafty Auld Bulgin' Boysterous Bicep, go easy on the latter…

Available:

Mountain Goat
The Alehouse Project
Gertrude Hotel
The Fitzroy Pinnacle
Cherry Tree
Royston
The Terminus
Forester’s Hall
Brother Burger & The Marvellous Brew
Royal Standard
Rainbow Hotel
Dan O'Connell
Baden Powell
Steampacket Inn
Beer DeLuxe
Markov
Rockwell & Sons
Slowbeer
The Park Hotel
The Mallow
The Wheaty
Beer DeLuxe Hawthorn
The Local Taphouse St Kilda

Style: West Coast IPA
Strength: 7.0%
Bitterness: 70 IBU

The-delmont-ipa-small_bottle

Mountain Goat Smoke 'n' Mike

Just the other day, we wrote that you don’t often see a lager from Mountain Goat. So they go and release their second in a fortnight… It’s also the second In Breed in a fortnight too (where one of the in-house brewers gets to create a beer of their own), this time a beer based on the pale German Helles style of lager but with a smoky kick that’s been created by, you’ve guessed it, Mike. The follow up to his first beer, Mike’s Third Nut, is a light copper-coloured beer that uses a touch of classic German Hallertau hops for a subtle, spicy aroma and instead lets the malt take centre stage. A combination of Munich and Vienna malts along with homegrown peated and smoked malts combine to create what the Goats tell us is “rich, full malty body, tasting of biscuits, a hint of honey and a whack of campfire smoke”.

Available:

Mountain Goat
The Catfish
The Local Taphouse St Kilda
The Alehouse Project
Young & Jackson

Style: Smoky Lager
Strength: 6.1%
Bitterness: 30 IBU

Goat-special-logo-new_bottle

Mountain Goat In Breed The Bogan

Mountain Goat’s In Breed series of beers is the one that allows its brewers to concoct their own brew (Rare Breeds come from on high, Cross Breeds involve other brewers or outside forces). Thus far it has seen the likes of the Craig series, the Naz and Mike’s Third Nut leave the brewery and now it’s the turn of The Bogan. The beer has been devised by the brewery’s resident Bogan, John Bogan, a chap who began doing as much volunteering as he could to get a foot in the door before being welcomed into the brew team. (At which point he accidentally knackered one of their fermenters, but that’s all water under the bridge now…!) The Bogan has appeared on a Crafty Pint Blind Tasting Panel at which he wowed with his palate and depth of knowledge so we’re keen to see what happens when he turns his talents to building a beer. The beer in question is a lager (well, he is a Bogan), but not an ordinary lager. As his boss at Goat, Dave Bonighton, says: “Taking the Bogan out of John Bogan would be like taking the bogan out of Jimmy Barnes. Won’t happen. Ever.” So The Bogan is a Dark Munich Lager (or Munchner Dunkel), brewed with pilsener malt, a big whack of Munich malt, some Kiwi crystal malts, and Aussie chocolate malt. It’s deep copper in colour, malty, mildly bitter and tips the scales at a sessionable 5.3 percent ABV.

Says Dave: “Just like John, it’s a Bogan, but not as we know it.”

Available:

Mountain Goat
Bendigo On The Hop (only keg going to regional Vic)
The Wheaty
Rockwell and Sons
The Alehouse Project
More TBC

Style: Dark Lager
Strength: 5.3%

Mg-bogan-lager_bottle

Mountain Goat Surefoot Stout 2014

An Aussie classic – the beer Mountain Goat considered launching with back in the 17th century before plumping for the Hightail instead – is back for its annual jaunt around the bars and into the appreciative gullets of Australia. Surefoot Stout is a former trophy-winner that’s barely changed since day one, because it didn’t have to: a balanced stout that’s perhaps slightly closer to the sweeter than roastier end of the scale and that is among the most quaffable of the dark beers that roll out of Aussie breweries every winter. It’s making its 2014 appearance in draught form at good venues across the land. The big question is: will they have time in their ever busier schedule to create its hairier elder brother, Bigfoot…?

Available:

Mountain Goat
Some Velvet Morning
The Park Hotel
Markov
Young & Jackson
Wesley Anne
Sporting Club
Edinburgh Castle
Prudence
The Local Taphouse St Kilda
Public Inn, Castlemaine
Aireys Pub, Aireys Inlet
Cambrian Hotel, Bendigo
Bendigo Taphouse
More TBC…

Style: Stout
Strength: 4.9%

Mg-surefoor-stout-decal_bottle

Mountain Goat Fancy Pants (Can)

Following the runaway success of their first can, Summer Ale, Mountain Goat is back for more. This time around, it’s not a new beer but the return of an annual release that’s been doing the rounds for a few years now. Fancy Pants is the amber ale that they’ve always said is the beer Hightail would be were there no need to balance the books. What that means is a richer burnt toffee malt body and a cranking up of the Galaxy hops to create a dark copper-coloured beer in which fruitiness – and a touch of spiciness – mingles with the aforementioned malt characteristics before wrapping up with a slightly toasty, gently bitter finish. Just the sort of thing you need for the transition into the cooler months.

Available:

Nationwide throughout the cooler months

Style: Amber Ale
Strength: 5.2%

Mg-fancy-cans_bottle

Mountain Goat India Red Ale

Time for the first Rare Breed of 2014… Fresh from seeing six beers hit the Hottest 100, with their first can, Summer Ale, hitting the top 10, Mountain Goat has brought back a beer first trialled in kegs last year. This time around, they’ve given the India Red Ale a boost and a tweak and popped it into suitably bright red Rare Breed bottles too. The ABV has been nudged up to 6.6 per cent and they’ve done something of a tour of the world for the ingredients, with three different US hops (Athanum, Cascade and Amarillo) joining homebody Galaxy and Nelson Sauvin from across the Tasman. NZ has also been plundered for the malt bill too, with a blend of five different types giving it both its red hue and full-bodied mouthfeel on top of which the spicy and citrusy hops do their thing.

Available:

Kegs:
Mountain Goat
The Fitzroy Pinnacle
Catfish
The Terminus
The Alehouse Project
Great Northern
Rockwell & Sons
Royston
Odyssey Tavern
The Mallow Hotel
The Park Hotel
Atticus Finch
Village Melbourne
More to follow
Bottles available widely

Style: India Red Ale
Strength: 6.6%
Bitterness: 60 IBU

Mg-ira_bottle

Mountain Goat India Red Ale

Time for the first Rare Breed of 2014… Fresh from seeing six beers hit the Hottest 100, with their first can, Summer Ale, hitting the top 10, Mountain Goat has brought back a beer first trialled in kegs last year. This time around, they’ve given the India Red Ale a boost and a tweak and popped it into suitably bright red Rare Breed bottles too. The ABV has been nudged up to 6.6 per cent and they’ve done something of a tour of the world for the ingredients, with three different US hops (Athanum, Cascade and Amarillo) joining homebody Galaxy and Nelson Sauvin from across the Tasman. NZ has also been plundered for the malt bill too, with a blend of five different types giving it both its red hue and full-bodied mouthfeel on top of which the spicy and citrusy hops do their thing.

Available:

Kegs:
Mountain Goat
The Fitzroy Pinnacle
Catfish
The Terminus
The Alehouse Project
Great Northern
Rockwell & Sons
Royston
Odyssey Tavern
The Mallow Hotel
The Park Hotel
Atticus Finch
Village Melbourne
Goldmines Hotel
Great Northern
Bottles available widely

Style: India Red Ale
Strength: 6.6%
Bitterness: 60 IBU

Mg-ira_bottle

Mountain Goat RIPA 2013

There was a moment during the Blind Tasting sessions we were running at last weekend’s Australian Hotel Beer Festival where we wondered if we’d ever finish. It wasn’t due to the questions from the audience or any long-winded spiel from our guest brewers, but came when Mike from Goat was talking about the Goat IPA that had just won its round. We were trying to recall all the IPA variants the brewery had made, a list that went something like: IPA, Double IPA, Imperial IPA, Seedy Goat, Thorny Goat, Gypsy & The Goat, Before The Dawn, Hip Hip Hooray IPA… you get the message. Among them was the RIPA, or Rye IPA, which among very good company is still one of the brewery’s finest – according to both drinkers at judges. It’s back again as their Spring seasonal with the 20 per cent rye malt banging its fulsome body and spiciness against the familiar Goat IPA wall of punchy New World hops from Australia (Galaxy) and the US (Cascade). It’s a little boozier than past years too. Bottles are out first – look out for kegs around the second week of November.

Available:

Mountain Goat
Slowbeer
Purvis Cellars
Purvis Beer Richmond
McCoppins Fitzroy & Abbotsford
Swords Select
University Hotel Bottleshop
Kegs
The Mallow Hotel
The Park Hotel
Public INN Castlemaine
Brother Burger & The Marvellous Brew
The Fitzroy Pinnacle
The Alehouse Project
Great Northern
Tramway Hotel

Style: Rye IPA
Strength: 6.1%
Bitterness: 55 IBU

Goat-special-logo_bottle

Mountain Goat IRA (India Red Ale)

About time too! Having embarked on a run of IPA variants over the past couple of years – India Pale Ale, Double IPA, Coffee IPA, Thorny Goat, Gypsy & The Goat, Before The Dawn, Rye IPA (RIPA), Hip Hop Hooray IPA – the brewers at Mountain Goat had been busying themselves with other styles. But this week, like a subcontinental version of Sesame Street, their beer is once again brought to you by the word “India”. And the word “hops” too. This India Red Ale features four US varieties of them – Ahtanum, Citra, Cascade and Amarillo for those at the front – and in such quantities that the beer clocks up 60 IBU on the bitterness scale. That said, one of their reps tells us the bitterness seems even higher, so look out, hop fiends. It’s a bright red beer that’s dominated by citrus and spice aromas and is heading out and about in keg form right about now…

Available:

The Fitzroy Pinnacle
The Alehouse Project
Rockwell & Sons
The Terminus
Mountain Goat
The Park Hotel
The Mallow Hotel
Aireys Pub, Great Ocean Road
Eydies
Grosvenor Hotel, St Kilda (Crafty Pint listing coming soon)
The Local Taphouse St Kilda
Others TBC

Style: India Red Ale
Strength: 6.4%
Bitterness: 60 IBU

Goat-special-logo-new_bottle

Mountain Goat Naz #2

Over the past couple of years, Goat has invited its brewers to create beers of their own each year. We’ve had a couple of iterations of The Craig, more recently Mike’s 3rd Nut and now the second appearance of The Naz. According to head brewer Dave Bonighton: “This one’s from Naz, short for Nazareth, long for Shane, Goat brewer extraordinaire. We let him off the leash last year and he came up with a cracking Chocolate Porter. Well, he’s back this year with an even crackinger Mocha Porter.” What that means is more of the good stuff like cocoa nibs added to the mix to create a fresh take on the well-received original that’s that little bit creamier, chocolatier, roastier, roundedier and sessionablier.

Available:

Mountain Goat
Others TBC

Style: Mocha Porter
Strength: 5.1%
Bitterness: 25 IBU

Mt-goat-naz-2_bottle

The Village Goat

There’s been a fair bit of change and plenty more to come at the Village Melbourne. The former Belgian Beer Cafe Bluestone retains its selection of Belgian beers among its taps and shelf space but, in the past year, has embraced the wider world of beer wholeheartedly. There have been themed craft beer events, a Good Beer Week event that pitted Belgian classics against modern interpretations and looking ahead grand plans for the continuing reinvention of the venue. And now they have their own beer. Staff at the venue on St Kilda Road hooked up with Mountain Goat to create the Village Goat, working with them from conception through to dry-hopping and kegging. It uses a British malt base and showcases two of the newer Aussie hops, Summer and Galaxy, to create a sessionable, full bodied and fragrant brown ale. Given how fast they tend to rip through Goat’s Steam at the venue, you might not want to wait to long to sample it…

Available:

Village Melbourne (listing on Crafty coming soon)

Style: Australian Brown Ale

Village-goat_bottle

Mountain Goat / Brooklyn Brewery Hopfweizenbock

The opening event at this year’s Good Beer Week saw the concept from 2012’s Masterclass of Champions – punters invited into a brewery for a live international collaboration brew followed by a brewery floor feast – switched from the Yarra Valley to Richmond. At Mountain Goat, 15 guests got to take part in the brew, while another 75 rocked up for a beer degustation lunch. The international guests this time were from NYC’s awesome Brooklyn Brewery, with two brewers flying in for the day and bringing one of their recipes – plus five of their beers – with them.

The resulting beer is now out and is a Hopfweizenbock, AKA a hoppy, strong wheat beer. It’s a beer style brewed by Brooklyn in the States and this version uses the exact same yeast (from the world’s oldest existing brewery, Weihenstephan) and exact same grain bill as the US beer. Where it differs is in the use of Melbourne water and, more importantly, Aussie hops. A tonne (not literally) of Tassie Galaxy hops were added to the conditioning tanks – two grams per litre, according to Goat, to give the beer a distinctive Aussie twist. That said, the tropical fruit aromas from the Galaxy don’t have it all their own way, with the Weihenstephan yeast throwing up plenty of banana and bubblegum esters too. In fact, the hops come to the fore as much in the mouth, adding a slightly resiny, fruity kick to the full-bodied, malty, slightly spicy beer.

Wheat beers tend to be a “love em or hate em” category and are a style you rarely see from Goat – or among the countless collaborations taking place across Australia. Indeed, one of the Big Apple & The Goat brew day 15, Jimmy, who returned for a tasting at the brewery declared: “I don’t like wheat beers.” But, having sampled their handiwork, he added: “Maybe this is the one to change that!”

NB the initial tasting notes were based on draught beer at the brewery. The Galaxy hops are more prominent on the nose in the bottled version, making for a much more hopfen affair.

Available:

Mountain Goat
We haven’t seen a list yet, but they brewed LOADS of it so expect it to pop up at any good bar or bottleshop near you soon.

Style: Hoppy Weizenbock
Strength: 6.5%

Goat-brooklyn-hopfweizenbock_bottle

Mountain Goat / Henry Wagons PB & J

When The Crafty Pint asked Henry Wagons about the inspiration for creating a peanut butter and jelly beer, he told us it was part of his current love affair with food that is “conceptually sick, but goes down easily. We are talking American obscene classics such as the bacon maple donut, the Korean burrito or bacon and egg waffle cone.” Thus it was that on the brew day for his beer that was first tapped at the Yarra Pub during Good Beer Week, the Goat brew crew watched as, for the first (and probably last) time in the brewery’s 15 year history, raspberry lollies were thrown into the brew. As such, the brewers were able to send out tasting notes containing lines such as “Other ingredients: roasted peanuts and lolly raspberries” and that the beer has a “slight raspberry finish”. At its roots, it’s a golden ale (with a slight pink hue) featuring British and Kiwi hops and there are still kegs floating around the sort of haunts you’re likely to find Henry and his ilk.

Available:

Mountain Goat
The Fitzroy Pinnacle
Yarra Pub, Abbotsford
Some Velvet Morning
Steyne, Manly
Others TBC

Style: Nut and Lolly Ale
Strength: 4.8%
Bitterness: 24 IBU

Wagons-pbj_bottle

Mountain Goat / Mick Thomas Eastern Brown

As a home brewer of many years and, more recently, one of the publicans involved in the Yarra Hotel in Abbotsford, Mick Thomas of Weddings, Parties, Anything was the perfect fit for this year’s Good Beer Week Rockstar Brews. And, when hooking up with Goat, he had plenty of ideas about the beer he was after. A fan of darker brews, he opted for an English style Brown Ale, with the result being the Eastern Brown. For the most part, it’s a sensible beer, at least when compared to the Wagons' PB&J: aromas of chocolate and caramel, some subtle spicy British hop character. However, given it was created for the Rockstar Brews series, there had to be a little flourish, so late on the beer was run through Andy – Mountain Goat’s bigger brother to Randy the Hopinator – a unit in the brewery that allows them to circulate beer through extra ingredients before kegging / bottling. Andy was filled with nutmeg and cassia bark at the time to add an Aussie twist to the otherwise English beer before the Eastern Brown was sent out into the world.

Available:

Yarra Hotel, Abbotsford
Brother Burger, Fitzroy
Wayside Inn, South Melbourne
Others TBC

Style: Spiced English Brown Ale
Strength: 4.8%
Bitterness: 20 IBU

Mick_s-brown-ale_bottle

Mountain Goat FX Stout

It’s usually around this time of the year that Mountain Goat rolls out its big guns, sorry, Bigfoot. But this year, there’s a different kind of stout in town, namely the FX. Short for Foreign Extra, it’s a beer that weighs in roughly midway between where their Surefoot and Bigfoot normally register on the ABV scale, measuring 6.7 per cent. It’s smooth, rich, deeply dark and dangerously drinkable if you’re into roasty, chocolatey affairs. Traditional in its design and gently warming too, it should be perfect for when this last bout of 20C plus weather departs Melbourne and winter descends too. It’s also the precursor for another big beer from Goat; we hear a new Double IPA is waiting in the wings that one of the brewers tells us is their best DIPA yet. Watch this space…

Available:

Mountain Goat
The Fitzroy Pinnacle
The Terminus

Style: Foreign Extra Stout
Strength: 6.7%

Mountain-goat-fx_bottle

Mountain Goat The Craig 2013

It’s time for the return of The Craig, with Goat brewer Craig back for his third annual release. First time around, he brewed an American Pale Ale before opting for a nitrogenated English style Red Ale second time around in 2012. Last year’s beer found favour with many, including judges at the Australian International Beer Awards, so this year he’s sticking with the tried and tested. Carbonated using nitrogen rather than CO2 to give it a fine bead and a dense, rich foam, it’s being tagged an ESB (Extra Special Bitter) and boasts floral, grassy hops up front and soft caramel flavours and a hint of roastiness at the end. Rich and creamy, it should make for a lovely transition into the cooler months.

Available:

Mountain Goat
The Fitzroy Pinnacle
The Alehouse Project
Palace Hotel South Melbourne
Junction Beer Hall
The Local Taphouse St Kilda
Eydies
Victoria Hotel, Brunswick
Young & Jackson

Style: ESB
Strength: 5.8%
Bitterness: 22 IBU

The-craig_bottle

Mountain Goat Fancy Pants 2013

If you’ve ever enjoyed a beer from Melbourne’s Mountain Goat then you should say a little thanks for the existence of hoppy amber ales. For it was such a beer style that caused co-founder Dave Bonighton’s beer epiphany when he was living in the States as a wee nipper (well, of drinking age but “wee nipper” adds a certain dash of colour to this sentence so we’re going with it). It led to the creation of the Hightail and, ultimately, many years later, this: the Fancy Pants that is the Hightail sans financial constraints. It’s nothing too crazy, just richer malts and bigger hops (from Galaxy and Cascade) and a touch more booze too. It’s appearing in bottles for the first time this year too – Rare Breed longnecks – so you can relive Dave’s beer epiphany in the comfort of your own home.

Available:

Mountain Goat
Bottles:
McCoppin’s Abbotsford
Slowbeer
Purvis Cellars
Blackhearts & Sparrows
Purvis Beer Richmond
Smith Street Cellars
McCoppins
Nillumbik Cellars
Prince Wine & Spirits Essendon
Kegs:
Pinnacle North Fitzroy
Rockwell & Sons
Eydie's
Baden Powell

Style: Amber Ale
Strength: 5.2%
Bitterness: 32 IBU

Mg-fancy-pants_bottle

Mountain Goat Little Sister

We’re really not sure any beer that brings to mind Billy Idol singing ‘White Wedding is a good thing. However, when it’s a new beer from Mountain Goat, perhaps we can be a little forgiving. Little Sister is, of course, the little sister to another of their beers, in this case Rapunzel, the brewery’s regular annual release that takes the form of a Strong Belgian Golden Ale. No prizes for guessing what Little Sister is then… According to Eggborough Dave Brighton, the beer uses the same basic grist, slightly tweaked hops (Nelson Sauvin in the whirlpool), is much lower in alcohol and has “a super dry finish”, although presumably not in the “Pioneering Beering” or clothing for chavs sense. It’s “funky, phenolic, with some fruity hop character from the Nelson Sauvin” and slightly bitter too.

Available:

Mountain Goat
Others tbc

Style: Belgian Golden Ale
Strength: 4.3%
Bitterness: 28 IBU

Mg-little-sister_bottle

Mountain Goat Rapunzel 2012

They don’t venture into Belgium too often at Mountain Goat, but when they do it tends to result in the appearance of this flaxen-haired maiden. A fixture in their annual release schedule for some time now, it’s a strong golden ale inspired by the classic Duvel. True to its name it’s strong (8.3 per cent) and golden in colour. And true to its heritage, it’s a a slightly hazy number with clove, spice and vanilla aromas that’s spicy and dry to taste. A previous incarnation spent time inside a Chardonnay barrel; this one is instead seeing the inside of a glass bottle. Well, lots of them in fact, as it becomes the first batch of Rapunzel to be granted Rare Breed status, meaning you’ll find it on shelves in good bottleshops as well as rocking the horny tap head in good bars.

Available:

Mountain Goat
Rainbow Hotel (only tap outside the brewery)
Other stockists TBC but expect to find Rare Breed in the usual good spots

Style: Belgian Strong Golden Ale
Strength: 8.3%
Bitterness: 28 IBU

Mg-rapunzel_bottle

Mountain Goat Triple Hightail

The first beer ever released by Mountain Goat commercially was the Hightail Ale, a beer that remains one of their most popular. For their tenth anniversary, they brewed the Double Hightail, a beer that has since become a semi-regular Rare Breed from the brewery and which is essentially, double everything of the original. So, come their 15th anniversary, what else was there for them to do other than brew a Triple Hightail. It’s a more intense version of the Double Hightail and is being taken around Australia as part of their birthday tour. A very limited number of bottles have also been released too. Rich and malty, with strong notes of caramel and toffee and a subtle spicy hop finish, it’s one not just for Goat lovers, but lovers of luscious malt-driven beers too.

Available:

Mountain Goat
The Wheaty
New Sydney Hotel
Clancy’s Fish Pub Fremantle
Bitter Suite
The Dispensary Enoteca
Great Britain, Richmond
The Pinnacle, North Fitzroy
Union Hotel, Newtown

Style: Strong Scotch Ale
Strength: 8.3%
Bitterness: 37 IBU

Mg-triple-hightail_bottle

Mountain Goat Fancy Pants 2012

The beer that was originally conceived as what Hightail would be without any constraints is back. And we think it’s an interesting barometer of how far and fast the craft beer scene is moving in Australia. While it was never big in alcohol content, when it first arrived, its upfront tropical hop aromas were the sort to take you aback with what the American Amber Ale quite different to most of what was coming out from local breweries. Now it arrives like an old friend popping into town for a catch up, no longer as crazy and out there as he once seemed, but no less enjoyable for that. A lovely blend of those fruity hops and caramel and toffee malts, it’s a rich, seasonal quaffer for craft beer connoisseurs.

Available:

Mountain Goat
The Alehouse Project
Cookie
The Terminus
Gertrude Hotel

Style: American Amber Ale
Strength: 5.5%
Bitterness: 40 IBU

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Mountain Goat Before The Dawn IPA

Given their previous two black IPAs – the Thorny Goat brewed with UK’s Thornbridge and the Gypsy & The Goat brewed with Mikkeller – are ensconced in the upper echelons of Ratebeer’s top rated Australian beers, it’s perhaps little surprise that Mountain Goat has decided to bring out another. Bigger than the Thorny and pepperberry free, it’s their farewell to winter. As for how dark it is, well, over to the brewers themselves: “There’s a black that’s blacker than its own shadow. As black as the dark side of the moon. So black even the white bits are black. Darker and more impenetrable than Keyser Soze’s heart. It’s as black as a midnight eclipse, the bottom of the Black Sea, or the inside of the Black Knight’s helmet. This is two shades lighter than that.” As for flavour, it’s hoppy, spicy, fruity with a touch of roast.

Available:

Mountain Goat
The Terminus
Beer DeLuxe
Beer DeLuxe Hawthorn
The Alehouse Project
Baden Powell
640ml Rare Breed bottles to follow

Style: Black IPA
Strength: 7.4%

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Mountain Goat The Naz

Goat fans will be aware of The Craig, a beer made by one of the Goat brewers called, incredibly, Craig. In fact, true fans will be aware that there have been two Craigs. And now, following in The Craig’s footsteps comes The Naz, a beer concocted by fellow brewer Shane, aka Naz. As The Naz is a guardian of The Crafty Pot, we probably need to say something good about his beer so he keeps being nice to her. Thankfully, that’s not a problem as he’s come up with a well balanced mocha porter that’s had lovely things such as cocoa nibs thrown at it, resulting in a smooth, rounded winter quaffer that’s creamy, chocolatey, the tiniest bit roasty and easily good enough that we don’t need to rescind his honorary membership of the Pint clan just yet.

Available:

Mountain Goat
Beer Cartel (growler fills)
Rockwell & Sons (opening soon)
Others TBC

Style: Mocha Porter
Strength: 5.2%

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Mountain Goat Seedy Goat 2012

One of the more interesting collaborations of 2012 saw Goat team up with their mates at Seven Seeds to deliver a coffee IPA that was subtler than one would expect. Instead of using the coffee to add a roasty character, the beans were very gently roasted to instead impart fruity perfume that complimented the hops in the beer. It’s back for 2012 with a tweaked recipe. According to head brewer Dave Bonighton: “This year we’ve used the Nicaraguan Finca Jaime Molina Montecristo bean. This is a coffee that displays cherry, citrus and cocoa – perfect for an IPA. We’ve matched lightly roasted coffee with fruity, new world hops – Motueka from NZ and Galaxy from Tasmania.”

Available:

Kegs:
Tramway Hotel
Beer DeLuxe
Hell of the North
Alehouse Project (opening soon…)
Napier Hotel
Prince Alfred Hotel, Port Melbourne Belgian Beer Cafe, Eureka
Longnecks coming soon.

Style: Coffee IPA
Strength: 6.2%
Bitterness: 55IBU

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Mountain Goat Hip Hip Hooray IPA

The 423rd IPA to be released by Mountain Goat in the past 18 months is possibly its hoppiest yet. The Hip Hip Hooray was brewed as a surprise gift for the brewery’s bar and events manager Sam’s recent birthday and is as punchy and full of character as the lady herself. The aroma leans more towards the hops more than any previous Goat IPA, with buckets of floral, tropical aromas in charge and the malt kept more in the background than their straight Rare Breed IPA. Hardly surprising when you consider it’s packed with Nelson Sauvin, Amarillo, Cascade and Galaxy hops. There’s plenty of hop flavour to feast on too, so much so it’s surprising how well the bitterness (all 70 IBUs of it) is contained. All bosses should treat their staff this well.

Available:

Mountain Goat
Others tbc

Style: Double IPA
Strength: 7.4%
Bitterness: 70IBU

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Mountain Goat Black Pepperberry IPA

Danish brewing genius Mikkel Borg Bjergsø was in Australia last month and, while here, starred at The Gypsy & The Goat event that we ran at Mountain Goat’s brewery. It featured a rather special brewery floor degustation while a collaborative brew was created by Mikkel, Dave Bonighton and the Goat brewing team. The result is this, the Black Pepperberry IPA, a lusciously rich beast with a seriously powerful hop aroma and plenty of hop flavour (thanks to “aggressive” dry hopping with Galaxy, Citra and Cascade), a wee bit of rich, chocolatey malt and plenty of bitterness too. We detected a little berry flavour prior to the fruity hops racing in like a horde of wailing banshees, while Dave reckons it adds a little peppery spice to the bitterness too “to create a different kind of back palate sensation”. He also describes it as “big, black, bitter” which is probably all you need to know, other than the fact The Crafty Pint makes an appearance on the label. It’s in Danish, so we’ll leave it up to you to work out what it says. Hopefully, it’s something nice… EDIT Having revisited the beer on draught and again in bottles, the pepperberry is far more prominent throughout the beer than it appeared on first sampling, especially on tap. It adds another dimension to what is a genuinely unique beer.

Available:

Mountain Goat
Josie Bones
And other good beer bars and bottleshops TBC

Style: Black IPA
Strength: 7.3%
Bitterness: 70 IBU

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Mountain Goat Saison

Tis the year of the saison, it seems. Where once there was hardly an Aussie take on the farmhouse style to be found outside Beechworth, the Otways and wherever Ron from Temple was laying his hat at any particular time, now it’s all the rage, whether as the launch beer from newcomer La Sirène, a seasonal from Moo, in various forms from Murray’s or now as a potential regular from Mountain Goat. Their first version leans to the fruity, citrusy end of things, although has been poured through the likes of coriander in the brewery’s Randall too for a witbiery type effect. Word is a second batch may well feature a tweaked recipe; tis Melbourne after all (four saisons in one day, etc. No? OK, sorry.)

Available:

Mountain Goat
Atticus Finch
Beer DeLuxe

Style: Saison
Strength: 5.2%

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Mountain Goat Return of The Craig

Guess who’s back? Back again? Craig is back. Back again. etc. Yes, a beer from the man himself, Craig. If you don’t recall its first appearance, we had this to say: So, there’s a brewer at Mountain Goat called Craig. Craig was tasked to create a beer. He chose to brew a pale ale, using Willamette hops to stand out from the herd. When the time came to tap the beer, it needed a name. “What shall we call it?” said the Goats. “How about The Craig?” came the reply. “No. We’re not calling it The Craig,” said Craig. “Tough. It’s The Craig,” came the reply. This time around it’s been beefed up a little or, as The Craig’s boss The Dave says: “The 2012 version is a nitrogen-powered English Red Ale. Brewed with British Crystal malts, and US Willamette & Cascade hops, then carbonated with nitrogen (rather than CO2), it’s smooth, rich and mellow. Just like Craig himself. Only Craigier.”

Available:

Mountain Goat

Style: Irish Red Ale
Strength: 5.1%
Bitterness: 22 IBU

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Mountain Goat The Hoeff

Goat’s annual Hefe-cum-Hasselhoff is back for the summer. It’s a true to style take on the hefes you find in Southern Germany – think clove and banana aromas, a touch of bubblegum sweetness and a somewhat dry finish in a cloudy beer with minimal bitterness designed for maximum hot weather refreshment. That, or designed for washing down bucketloads of weisswurst for breakfast if you want to be a traditionalist. Mind you, start down that road and you’ll soon be wearing lederhosen, putting feathers in your cap and calling your children Rolf and Olga. Mind you, you might end up owning a massive Schloss too, so go hard.

Available:

Mountain Goat
Josie Bones
Beer DeLuxe

Style: Hefeweizen
Strength: 5.3%

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Mountain Goat Goldilocks (2012)

Another of the summer specials from Goat that debuted last year is back, the Styrian Goldings hopped Goldilocks. As the name suggests, it’s a golden ale (summer ale if you like) with one aim and one aim only – being quaffed. Light floral hops and an easy-going malt character make it reminiscent of the sort of ales consumed by the gallon in British beer gardens in the two weeks that constitutes a British summer, while it seems to us (if memory serves us correctly) that the bitterness has been reined in from last year’s model, making it more approachable still.

Available:

Mountain Goat
Others tbc

Style: Golden Ale
Strength: 5.0%

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Mountain Goat Imperial Pilsner (2011)

Or more accurately, an Imperial Keller Pilsner, apparently. In other words, unfiltered and designed to be tapped and quaffed asap. It’s the second stab at a big ol' pilsner from the Richmond crew, one head brewer Dave Bonighton described as “a Black Forest Wolf in Western Districts sheep’s clothing?”, a comment that can possibly be ascribed to the fact he came up with it on the day of the brewery’s Christmas party. The beer is a strong, unfiltered, cold conditioned “forever”, spicy, malty, hoppy lager with an aroma Dave says is “slightly yeasty/spicy, but subtle, with no hint of the booze.” It’s packed with German Pilsener and Light Munich malts and Czech Saaz Hops and is only going to be appearing at a handful of places outside the brewery. We’ll let you know where once they’re out there.

Available:

Mountain Goat
More tbc

Style: Imperial Pilsner
Strength: 7.5%
Bitterness: 50 IBU

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Mountain Goat Skipping Girl (Andy'd Remix)

Anyone who’s been to Mountain Goat in the past couple of years will know Randy, the glass cylinder that allows them to add hops, spices, coffee beans and the like to their beers just before they leave the tap and hit your glass. Now they’ve added Andy, Randy’s cousin, who is “a late hopping device for pre-packed bottles and kegs; in other words the beer gets Andy’d in tank, not just before your glass.” Skipping Girl first reared her head last summer and was Crafty’s pick of the one-off summer releases from Goat. Back then, we said it was a: “light yellow coloured hazy number that throws up plenty of lovely light tropical fruits from the inclusion of mucho Kiwi hops, has a delicate, spritzy palate and cuts off nice and dry (thanks to the 30% wheat malt) with a decent dose of bitterness”. With more Kiwi Motueka thrown into Andy, expect mucho mucho Kiwi hoppiness this time around.

Available:

Mountain Goat

Style: Summer Ale
Strength: 4.7%

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Mountain Goat Helles To The Yeah

On the day they took the wrapping paper off their brand spanking new brewery and set about buffing it to the shiniest of finishes, Goat also unveiled a new lager. Helles To The Yeah is a bock, aka strong, version of a hell, aka pale German lager. It’s not often the Goats stray from ales into lager territory, but this is a welcome detour. Malt led, with sweet, almost honeyed aromas and biscuity, toffee flavours, it’s a sneakily potent brew, one that’s nicely balanced in such a manner that the Nelson Sauvin hops are happy to remain in the background.

Available:

Beer DeLuxe
Mountain Goat

Style: Helles Bock
Strength: 6.3%

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Mountain Goat RIPA (2011)

The fifth IPA variant to exit the Goat stable in 2011, this one uses rye to make up a significant portion of the malt bill. They first released a Rye IPA (aka RIPA) last year, a beer made in collaboration with the Australian National Homebrewers Conference that was in effect a scaled up version of a winning homebrewer’s recipe. This time around, they’ve boosted the amount of rye and added some wheat malt, resulting in a lengthy brew that took more than twice as long as normal. The result is a beer with a luscious mouthfeel that’s somewhat nuttier than their straight IPA.

Available:

Mountain Goat
Beer DeLuxe
Biero

Style: Rye IPA
Strength: 5.8%
Bitterness: 50 IBU

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Mountain Goat DIPA (2011)

Hot on the heels of the Seedy Goat Coffee IPA comes the return of Mountain Goat’s Double IPA that first rolled out of the brewery last year. A bigger brother to the delicious Rare Breed IPA – and bigger even than last year’s debut, with the 2011 model rocking it two fat ladies style at 8.8%, with the alcohol well hidden. Given we seem to recall the 2010 version was so full of hops it threatened to block the pipes at the brewery, that’s quite an achievement. Expect plenty of malty sweetness and a solid thwack of hops on the back palate. On the other hand, don’t expect it to be around for long. For now, other than a keg heading some hop fiends in SA, it’s only available over the brewery bar as there ain’t a great deal to go around.

Available:

Mountain Goat
The Wheaty

Style: Double IPA
Strength: 8.8%

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Mountain Goat Bigfoot (2011)

There was mourning in parts of the craft beer community last year when it was announced there would be no Bigfoot. Given the previous year’s batch had played a large role in an embarrassing evening at the brewery for The Crafty Pint, it might have been for the best. However, the big brother of the brewery’s always lovely Surefoot Stout has been brought back out of retirement for 2011. It’s pretty much the Surefoot but condensed, the result as rich and creamy as you could wish for in an imperial stout. We’ve only had this year’s batch from the tank thus far, at which time it was giving off some vanilla aromas among the cocoa and roastiness. Smooth and, quite frankly, luxuriant in the mouth, it’s a hearty, hefty, malty treat that is being launched with oysters at the brewery tonight (August 5). Well, sort of launched – it’s been available on a couple of taps already, but don’t shoot the messenger, OK?

Available:

Mountain Goat
The Local Taphouse St Kilda

Style: Imperial Stout
Strength: 8.0%

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Mountain Goat Coffee IPA

It’s not that unusual to find coffee in a beer, although in Australia at least it has tended to be found in dark ales, porters or stouts, beers that often have some coffee like aromas or flavours from their malt bill. It is pretty unusual to find coffee in an IPA, which is the case in this collaborative effort from Mountain Goat and roasters Seven Seeds. After playing around on the pilot brewery, this is the first batch to make it into the public realm. Hold it to your nose and there’s little to distinguish it from the brewery’s straight IPA; the coffee appears late on the palate, gently building alongside the hop bitterness. It’s more coffee bean than coffee cuppa, blending elegantly with the hops and lending the beer a drier finish than the sweetness of the nose would have you expect. Highly reminiscent of The Kernel’s Suke Quto IPA The Crafty Pint was lucky enough to sample with its brewer on a recent trip to London – and that’s no bad thing. UPDATE for bottle release: The coffee seems more prominent, still in the fruity, perfume, green bean sense, but unlike the trial batch on tap, it’s to be found on the nose as well as playing its role with the bitterness.

Available:

The Local Taphouse St Kilda
Mountain Goat
Kelly’s Bar & Kitchen

Style: Coffee IPA

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Mt Goat Rare Beer IPA (Winter 2011)

Well, is there anything that needs to be said about this beer? Here at Crafty Towers, we’ve not held back in our praise for previous batches of the Goat’s Rare Breed IPA, which in its last incarnation was our most regular go to beer during the summer. We’ve not tasted the latest batch but assume that, having nailed it the past few times, they’ll have got it right this time too. So what does that mean to the uninitiated? Well, it’s what we’d imagine a beer would want to drink if a beer ever wanted to drink a beer: lots of rich, slightly sweet caramel malts and plenty of big aromatic hops, all living together Wonder and McCartney-like and rounded off with a satisfyingly solid body and hearty bitterness. Shame it’s draft only this time around as there’s a big space in the Crafty fridge crying out for fresh supplies…

Available:

Mountain Goat
Royston
The Terminus
The Local Taphouse St Kilda

Style: US IPA
Strength: 6.3%

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Mt Goat Surefoot Stout 2011

The return of an old favourite and a beer that needs little introduction, as it’s one that the Goat guys had right a long time ago, back when it was part of their year range and well before the Rare Breed concept was even a twinkle in its daddy’s eye. Always a beautifully balanced example of the style, equal parts rich, almost sweet, chocolate characters and bitter roastiness with a hint of coffee. Smooth in the mouth and deepest dark brown in the glass, it’s a beer that never lets you down and a welcome arrival as winter sets in.

Available:

Mountain Goat

Style: Sweet Stout
Strength: 4.9%

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Mountain Goat Winter Oaky Porter

You might remember a few months back when the guys and gals at Goat did something of an in-house stock clearance and compiled a beer that utilised much of the grain and hops they had lying around. Seems it’s that time again, with the aforementioned “Bubble ‘n’ Squeak” concept returning with a wintry twist. The result is the brewery’s first ever porter, one which features six malts: Australian Ale, UK Marris Otter, German Rye malt, UK Crystal, UK Chocolate, and German Chocolate Wheat and is lightly hopped with American Willamette. If that wasn’t enough, they then fermented it with French Oak chips. We’re told to expect “a medium palate, with soft chocolate and roasty characters” in a beer that “finishes with a delicate oaky sweetness”.

Available:

Mountain Goat
Beer DeLuxe
Royston
The Terminus
Biero
Courthouse Hotel
Josie Bones
Baden Powell

Style: Oaked Porter
Strength: 5.2%
Bitterness: 25 IBU

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Mountain Goat Oak-Aged Rapunzel

A beer that is effectively outgoing head brewer Jayne Lewis' parting gift to the brewery, this is a project that began around 18 months ago and ended with a little blending. When Goat brewed their 2009 Rapunzel – a Belgian golden ale – some was transferred into an old oak chardonnay barrel, then released nine months later at the same time as the beer was being poured through the brewery’s hopinator, allowing you to sample it three ways. It turns out that when 2010’s batch was made, out came the barrels again, this time given 15 months to play with the beer. Just before release, a small percentage of the Three Golden Goats was added to the tank to give it a bit of spritz (if memory serves well, spritz was lacking in the previous barrel-aged version) and the result, when sampled from the tank, was rather spiffing. At first, it comes across very dry and winey, with some oak on the nose. Then it gets funky – in a good way – before sweetening up and giving your palate plenty to work with. NB There’s not much of it.

Available:

Mountain Goat

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Mountain Goat Three Golden Goats

What a lovely story this is, the tale of trans-Tasman beery love that saw Melbourne’s Goats offer to help those affected by the Christchurch earthquakes by making one of Three Boys' beers and donating all profits to the recovery fund. You can read more about it here or instead save time, head out and drink a pint to do your bit for humanity. The beer was supposed to be an exact match for the Kiwi brewery’s golden ale, but in the end features slightly different malts and a different yeast (due to availability issues) but does have the same hops. The end result is a beer to make you think of summer in winter, light and lifted in the mouth in a manner that metaphorically parts the clouds (although funnily enough, it has been pretty sunny since they released it…) and with a suitably tropical kiwi fruit / lychee type aroma from the Nelson Sauvin hops, which give it a more punchy bitterness than one might expect too. A quality quaffer they should bring back in six months time. (Please)

Available:

Mountain Goat
The Terminus
Beer DeLuxe
Cookie
Gasometer Hotel
Great Britain Hotel Atticus Finch

Style: Golden Ale
Strength: 4.9%

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Mountain Goat Fancy Pants (2011)

One of the Goat’s most popular limited releases is back. The Fancy Pants was originally described by Goat founder Dave Bonighton as “what Hightail would be if there were no budget constraints” – and this is its fourth appearance. We’ve not tasted this year’s batch yet, but it’s been tapped at the brewery this week which means it’ll be hitting taps at bars soon. Loads of fresh hop flowers are added post-boil in the hopback with a heap more thrown into the fermenter to create what we described last time out as “an overwhelming and enticing passionfruit aroma that begs you to dive in. A rich malt backbone ensures balance is maintained but, really, it’s all about the hops.” It’s a great session beer for those who like a lot of flavour in their beer.

Available:

Mountain Goat
Blackhearts & Sparrows (Growlers when available)

Style: Amber Ale
Strength: 4.9%

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The Thorny Goat

You could have some fun with this one. Grab a mate, pour them a glass and offer it up without warning. Practically black, shot through with blood red tints if held to the light, and with a hint of tan in its head, they’ll be certain they’re about to tuck into a porter or lighter bodied stout. At this point, we should point out that this will work better if said mate has no sense of smell or a bad cold at the time, as otherwise the pretense will collapse well before the drink enters their mouth thanks to the heady aroma of tropical fruits and resiny hops flying off in all directions. That’s because this Mountain Goat / Thornbridge (UK) collaboration has captured the Black IPA style with real panache. Totally hop led – using Southern Hemisphere varieties to try and create a New World version of Thornbridge’s Raven beer – but not at the expense of balance, the only time the flavours you’d associate with such a dark beer appear is right at the end, where a touch of roasty bitterness assimilates itself with that from the hops in a beer that deserves to excite craft beer lovers across Australia.

Available:

Mountain Goat
Slowbeer
Purvis Beer Richmond
Corner Hotel, Richmond
McCoppins, Fitzroy and Abbotsford
Church St Cellars
Vaucluse Hotel
Purvis Beer
Cookie
Royston
The Terminus
Oscar’s Alehouse
Beer DeLuxe
Biero
Great Northern
Courthouse Hotel
The Wheaty (keg)
The Local Taphouse Darlo (keg)
The Local Taphouse St Kilda (keg)
Carwyn Cellars
Blackhearts & Sparrows

Style: Black IPA
Strength: 6.8%

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Mountain Goat The Craig

So, there’s a brewer at Mountain Goat called Craig. Craig was tasked to create a beer. He chose to brew a US-style Pale Ale, using Willamette hops to stand out from the herd. When the time came to tap the beer, it needed a name. “What shall we call it?” said the Goats. “How about The Craig?” came the reply. “No. We’re not calling it The Craig,” said Craig. “Tough. It’s The Craig,” came the reply. And so The Craig was tapped on the day the brewery flooded. It’s a beer blessed with fruity hop aromas that’s darker in colour than most pales of its ilk you’ll see floating around and makes for a rather lovely, well-balanced debut from, erm, whatshisname. You know – that brewer at the Goat.

Available:

Mountain Goat

Style: US Pale Ale
Strength: 4.4%

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Mountain Goat Skipping Girl

Despite the continuing rainfall, the Goat team is manfully pursuing its mission to bring summer into our lives with another one-off summery release. We’d heard they were concocting an American Wheat but, when this was raised with head Goat Dave at the brewery his reaction suggested that, once more, it’s more of a mixed bag rather than anything too definable. What it is, then, is a light yellow coloured hazy number that throws up plenty of lovely light tropical fruits from the inclusion of mucho Kiwi hops (Nelson Sauvin and Motueka for those that care about such things), has a delicate, spritzy palate and cuts off nice and dry (thanks to the 30% wheat malt) with a decent dose of bitterness. She’s named after the famous neon sign just up the road from the brewery, has been put into 60 kegs and is another welcome addition to the brewery’s canon of summertime quaffers.

Available:

Mountain Goat
Royston

Style: Summer Ale
Strength: 4.7%
Bitterness: 30IBU

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Mountain Goat's The Hoeff

Bloody hell! Not sure what they’re feeding the brewers in Richmond these days but, when it comes to limited release beers, it’s a case of blink and you’ll miss it. Latest to be tapped at the Goat brewery is The Hoeff, a southern Bavarian wheat beer (hefeweizen) that comes with a little nod to everyone’s favourite lifeguard. Altered from last year’s version thanks to the use of a yeast brought in specially from Germany, it’s cloudy enough for a supporting role in The Fog and something of a tease too: the nose is subdued – hints of lemon, some doughy yeast aromas if you really get stuck in – leaving you ill-prepared for the bags of zesty flavour that follow. There’s plenty of the banana you’d expect from the style along with some creamy fruit salad flavours that took Crafty back to short pants and chewy sweets days. The merest hint of bitterness completes the picture in a beer tasty enough to have the real Hoff chasing burgers across his floor again.

Available:

Mountain Goat

Style: Hefeweizen
Strength: 5.0%
Bitterness: 18 IBUs

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Mountain Goat IPA (Summer 2010)

The beer chosen to launch Mountain Goat’s Rare Breed limited release longneck range is back. First time out it was a big yet beautifully balanced blend of powerful, aromatic hops and rich malts backed up by a firm bitterness and this time it’s no different. Pouring a shade of amber that positively glows in the glass, it’s got thick clouds of citrusy, piney goodness heading straight for your nostrils from the moment it’s poured backed up by some lovely, chewy caramels and a welcoming, mouth-coating bitterness that warms you gently. The first Rare Breed IPA was possibly the best Goat beer Crafty had ever tasted and this, batch three, suggests it’s a beer they’ve absolutely nailed.

Available:

Mountain Goat
Biero
The Terminus
The Local Taphouse St Kilda
Courthouse Hotel
Pinnacle
GB

Style: IPA
Strength: 5.7%

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Mountain Goat Goldilocks

A rewarding quaffer, this is the Goat’s take on an English summer ale that borrows its name from the single hop used in its production, the Styrian Golding variety. It could almost take its name from the colour too – at least if Goldilocks was at the ranga end of the blonde spectrum… Designed to be the kind of beer you’d session in British pub gardens, it has a gentle “herby, spicy” nose (according to the brewer – Crafty’s hayfever put paid to any sniff test). The carbonation gives it more zing than traditional English summer ales, with some biscuity flavours giving way to a bitterness more substantial than you might expect, although not so much that you won’t be coming back for more.

Available:

Mountain Goat
Released at the brewery 17/11. Kegs to appear elsewhere later…

Style: Summer Ale
Strength: 5% (TBC)
Bitterness: 32 IBU

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Mountain Goat RIPA

A new brew created for this weekend’s second Australian National Homebrewing Conference, sneak peeks of this Rye IPA (India Pale Ale) will be on offer at tonight’s Goat tasting (Oct 28) at the Terminus Hotel in Clifton Hill / North Fitzroy. The beer uses the same recipe as the brewery’s normal IPA but with 20% rye malt added. According to head brewer Jayne Lewis, the result is an added “smoothness and roundness to the palate while all the usual IPA goodness remains. We also used wheat and crystal malts for body and a biscuity character and it’s hopped with Citra and Galaxy to give tropical and citrus aroma and flavour. It’s bitter, hoppy, malty. Good” See the EVENTS page for info on the Terminus tasting.

Available:

The Terminus
Mountain Goat Brewery
ANHC
More bars may get the beer – watch this space!

Style: Rye IPA
Strength: 5.7%
Bitterness: 50 IBU

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Mt Goat Bubble and Squeak

We’ve all been there. Got a hunger, open the cupboards and fridge and there’s next to bugger all there. Although, with a bit of creativity, a large pot and some careful seasoning, something comes from nothing. And so it was – sort of – at the Goat recently. The brewers found they had heaps of odds and sods lying around so did a stock check, sat down and did some complicated algebra (maybe) and came up with a new, once only brew called Bubble and Squeak after the classic leftovers dish. Containing eight malts plus four hops (Topaz for bittering, Galaxy late in the kettle, hopbacked with Sauvin and dry-hopped with Citra) it is, according to head brewer Jayne Lewis “kinda Paley Ambery”. Gee, thanks! She also adds that “it’s fruity and dangerously drinkable so forget putting everything in a box and enjoy.” Which Crafty did when it was tapped this week. The hops lend it massive wafts of aroma and plenty of lifted fruitiness while the malts combine rather nicely in the background and let them do their work.

Available:

Mountain Goat Brewery
Grumpy’s Green
Courthouse Hotel
Beer DeLuxe

Style: Hybrid!
Strength: 5.3%
Bitterness: 20 IBU

Mt-goat-bubble-and-squeak_bottle

Mountain Goat Imperial Pilsner

It wasn’t too long ago that the Mountain Goat brewery seemed to be a lager-free zone, with even it’s lightest beer – the Steam Ale – being made with an ale yeast. Then along came Richard III, the full-blooded malty Doppelbock and now this, the brewery’s first Imperial Pilsner. OK, so neither is a bog standard lager by any means, with this registering a sizable 7.5% alcohol and packing a solid punch of bitterness too. According to head brewer Jayne Lewis, it’s “brewed with Pilsner and Light Munich malts, is deep golden in colour with big malt aroma, was hopped with Czech Saaz hops and has a palate that’s smooth and malty with a warming alcohol kick”. Crafty looks forward to trying it out soon.

Available:

Local Taphouse St Kilda
Beer DeLuxe
Mountain Goat Brewery
Cookie

Style: Imperial Pilsner
Strength: 7.5%
Bitterness: 45 IBUs

Goat-special-logo_bottle

Mountain Goat Double Hightail (bottled)

First brewed to celebrate the Goat’s 10th birthday, the Double Hightail returned in draft form in August as the brewery prepared to become a teenager. If the Fancy Pants is what the Hightail would be if there were no financial constraints, this is what it becomes when there are no constraints full stop. Another batch has just been produced to become the brewery’s third Rare Breed longneck release. And if you know the Hightail, you’ll agree this is indeed a Double Hightail. The Galaxy hop and caramel aroma is there but bigger. Similarly, the rich caramel malt flavour remains, but with a thicker, creamier mouthfeel than the model on which it’s based, finishing with a firm, but not overbearing bitterness. And, unsurprisingly given the 7.2% booze content, it’ll warm your cockles from the head down before you know it. Nice!

Available:

Slowbeer
Carwyn Cellars
Purvis Beer
Blackhearts & Sparrows
Smith Street Cellars
McCoppin's
Royston
The Terminus
Beer DeLuxe
Oscar’s Alehouse
Atticus Finch

Style: Imperial Amber Ale
Strength: 7.2%

Mt-goat-double-hightail_bottle

Mountain Goat IPA

The beer chosen to launch Mountain Goat’s Rare Breed limited release longneck range is back. First time out it was a big yet beautifully balanced blend of powerful, aromatic hops and rich malts backed up by a firm bitterness. There are no bottles this time around (at least not yet) but it’ll be hitting a handful of taps around Melbourne this week. No bad thing as, while it was a tasty drop out of the longnecks last time around, when Crafty sampled it in draught form at the brewery it was quite possibly the best Goat drop ever to pass its lips; one of the brewers even said it was the best beer he’d made – and no one’s as critical of beer as the person who brewed it.

Available:

Mountain Goat Brewery
The Terminus
Beer DeLuxe
Grumpy’s Green
Courthouse Hotel
Cookie

Style: American India Pale Ale
Strength: 5.7%

Goat-special-logo_bottle

Double Hightail

First brewed to celebrate the Goat’s 10th birthday, the Double Hightail has returned as the brewery prepares to become a teenager. If the Fancy Pants is what the Hightail would be if there were no financial constraints, this is what it becomes when there are no constraints full stop. Crammed with chewy malt goodness and a fierce, driving bitterness, it also comes in around the 7% mark, making it bigger in every sense.

Available:

Mountain Goat Brewery
Local Taphouse St Kilda

Style: Imperial Amber Ale
Strength: 7%

Fancy Pants

The beer originally described by Goat founder Dave Bonighton as “what Hightail would be if there were no budget constraints”. This is the third appearance of a beer that once tasted is never forgotten. Loads of fresh hop flowers are added post-boil in the hopback with a heap more thrown into the fermenter to create an overwhelming and enticing passionfruit aroma that begs you to dive in. A rich malt backbone ensures balance is maintained but, really, it’s all about the hops. In The Crafty Pint’s eyes, this is the ultimate session beer for those who like their beer big.

Available:

Mountain Goat Brewery
Grumpy’s Green
Cookie
Beer DeLuxe
Royston
Terminus, Clifton Hill
Courthouse Hotel
Local Taphouse St Kilda
Lambsgo Bar

Style: Amber Ale
Strength: 4.9%

Two Champs Kolsch

A one-off collaboration between the two winners of the 2010 Australian Homebrewing Championships, Ross Mitchell and Barry Cranston, this German style light-coloured ale that originated in Cologne is a subtle delight. At first, the special yeast variety used produces a taste reminiscent of a full-bodied white wine (The Crafty Pint thought Chardonnay, Barry says Semillon) before giving way to a short, dry finish. Only one batch has been made so get in fast.

Available:

Local Taphouse St Kilda
Mountain Goat Brewery

Style: Kolsch
Strength: 5%

Richard III

The third bock produced by Mountain Goat, this is a collaborative effort with award-winning brewer Richard Watkins of Canberra’s Wig and Pen Brewery. Dark amber in colour, this has a powerful, almost liqueur-like sweet malt aroma and displays rich, biscuit and caramel flavours. A German style Doppelbock (or double strength dark lager), it’s thick of body, full of flavour and a great winter beer thanks to its gently warming alcohol.

Available:

Mountain Goat Brewery

Style: Doppelbock
Strength: 7.4%

Double IPA (DIPA)

The beefed up big brother of Goat’s Rare Breed IPA. A huge piney and tropical hop aroma familiar to lovers of West Coast US IPAs lead to a palate-coating bright amber beer that practically glows in the glass. Big sweet caramel and toffee flavours arrive first before the bitterness caused by huge hopping levels comes riding over the hill to ensure this is one beer that’s not for the fainthearted.

Available:

Mountain Goat Brewery

Style: Double IPA
Strength: 8.3%