Way back at the first ever GABS - back when the "A" stood for Australian not Australasian, there were 20 not 89 beers, and it took place at The Local Taphouses not the Royal Exhibition Building - among the crazy high ABV beers and hop bombs one of the standouts was 4 Pines' Wee Heavy: a multi-layered, luscious malty treat. It was like a step up from their ESB, and now that ESB - which itself seems to have become beefier since - has been released in chunky 500ml bottles to complement the brewery's 330ml bottle range.
And it's a cracker: a rich, hearty blend of toffee and sweet nut aromas and flavours that heap layer upon layer of goodness into every mouthful. The hops are there to add little more than a spot of grounding earthiness and balancing bitterness, allowing the malts - and a wee bit of raisiny fruitiness - to take centre stage. The Crafty Pint grew up in the UK drinking ales and this is a reminder of home in a good way, so much so we've been foisting it onto all of our beer loving mates with gusto. Another winner from one of Australia's finest and most consistent breweries.
- 45 IBU
Best Pale Ale – Craft Beer Awards 2014