Not long after this beer first appeared, it became the third permanent addition to the Abbotsford brewery's range. When we first sampled it in its first form, as part of the Moon Dog tap takeover at The Royston during Craft Beer Rising, our first thought was: "Many of their hardcore fans might not like this." If that sounds like a particularly unpleasant and even un-Crafty thing to say, rest assured we texted such a thought directly to one of the brewers.
It was, however, meant as a compliment. The beer was so damn polished, so damn well made, that we wondered whether those who lusted after their wildest and craziest concoctions would be disappointed. The original version was clean and refined: a filtered, copper affair featuring all American hops and two rounds of dry hopping with Cascade, Amarillo and Centennial, alongside a "minimalist" malt backbone designed to showcase the hops and a clean, contained bitterness. However, for one reason or another, over time the brewery took the decision to stop bottling the beer and it slipped into the background.
Roll forward to 2016 and, as those around him are busying themselves with the buying and building of a new brewery and a new core range of 5 percent ABV brews is racking up sales, senor brewer Adrian McNulty decided to reinvigorate Jukebox Hero. Seven new recipes were tried until he hit the aromatic, hop heavy jackpot. The new, fruity and juicy as you like IPA soon took out People's Choice at The Terminus Victorian IPA-Off and, while we wait to see what level of prominence it takes in Moon Dog's future plans, we suggest you grab one whenever you spot it on tap.