Prolificacy is a virtue at Batch as the Marrickville brewery has packaged up two very different sours, two very different pale ales and another beer that’s simply very different.
The second sour ale is Big Pun-Net, a crimson coloured raspberry and currant sour ale that throws up an absolutely roaring aroma of berries and fruit. The flavours are just as full, sweetness combining with acidity to form something that’s quite nourishing and gently warming – a sort of dark winter sour, if you will. On the advice of the brewers and bar team, blending a bit of Big Pun-Net with Elsie the Milk Stout creates something resembling a liquified chocolate raspberry cake – an experiment well worth doing.
Onto the two pales ales that are at odds with each other or, perhaps, an appropriately odd couple. The first is the American influenced Juicy Pale Ale,which does a wonderful job of describing itself in three words: it really is a pale ale that’s really juicy. To elaborate ever so slightly, its character comes from pineapple, grapefruit and citrus flavours derived from a liberal load of dry hops that are allowed to fly thanks to a low bitterness. In the other corner is the English inspired Malt Save The Dream. On top of a Voyager and Gladfield malt base, Bramling Cross and East Kent Goldings hops give off a slightly herbal aroma and earthy character that leads into a faintly spicy kick and a moderate bitterness. Head to head, the English pale feels like it’s got more substance and heart while the American one is fruitier and showy. Each to their own.
Two years after its first release for the GABS festival, Batch has brought back Marrickville Pork Roll and it’s as odd as ever. For the benefit of the uninitiated, the brief was to brew a homage to one of the signature dishes at the plethora of Vietnamese eateries Marrickville is famed for. It’s ostensibly a wheat beer but from there the guidelines get torn asunder following the addition of lemongrass, cucumber, carrot, coriander, chillies and pork broth. Throw in some Sorachi Ace hops and you have all the necessary ingredients for one divisive beer. Trawling through the mental archives to compare this with the 2016 version, the fresh Pork Roll has markedly more happening on the chilli front, which masks much of the subtler cucumber and carrot character. The lemongrass and coriander have more to offer overall while the broth has the intended effect of fattening out the mouthfeel. Not everyone will like this beer, but that doesn’t make it a bad beer. It’s just that, well, it’s a beer that tastes quite a lot like a pork roll. Cross that mental hurdle and you might just find you enjoy yourself.
- Various styles
- 4.2% to 6.0%