Slow Lane Brewing Hop Barn & Oaty

Style
Hoppy Farmhouse Ale & Oatmeal Stout
ABV
Both 5.4%

If you placed a glass of Hop Barn and a glass of pineapple juice in front of me right now, I reckon I would not immediately be able to tell which one is the beer. Granted, it would only take several seconds before I figured it out but still. When written down it occurs to me this seems very unimpressive, but this beer is genuinely the closest I’ve experienced to drinking actual fruit juice where no fruit was involved in the process. I’m sure Slow Lane didn’t set out to create pineapple juice but goddamn if they didn’t come close.

From looks alone, the comparison is striking. Hazy light straw from which emanates sour pineapple aroma. There’s just a smidge of mango from the Mosaic hopping but the ripe, slightly dusty pineapple from the Brettanomyces fermentation is on full display. I don’t know if I’ve gone on about this on Crafty before, but to me the word juicy is used a bit too liberally for my liking in the beer world. To me juicy implies the liquid is fruity, lightly tart and, to put it bluntly, it gets you literally salivating.

Hop Barn is the juiciest non juice or fruited sour I’ve ever had. Lightly sour pineapple balanced with a prickly spice from the primary saison ferment and a moderate bitterness. Of course, as with anything that’s been fermented with saison and Brett, there’s absolutely no sweetness to speak of and she finishes dry as a bone. I’ve had to be extremely conscious of not ladling gushing praise on all the Slow Lane beers over the last year so I’ll just finish with: this is a nice beer.

Who doesn’t love a bloody good oatmeal stout? A bit of roast, bit of dark malt, bit of malt sweetness and a bit of bitterness. A big full, silky body with a pleasing, if not dry finish. It’s a style of that almost perfectly encapsulates the necessity for balance in a well made beer. A classically made oatmeal stout also demonstrates how a filling and complex stout doesn’t need to be 8 percent ABV or more. In fact, most are around 5.

Oaty is Slow Lane’s first foray into stout and it’s a 5.4 percent ABV belter. As deep a brown as you can get without being black, with a luscious and long-lasting tan head. First impression is that this is a very English beer. From the EKG hops to the yeast and malt profile, this is an oatmeal stout straight out of category 16B of the BJCP.

Roast malts and milk chocolate on the nose with some mild esters out of the glass. Huge oat and malt body with hits of coffee, chocolate sweetness and dark malt offset with a sturdy bitterness. Simultaneously drinks like a much bigger beer while being delightfully moreish. Practically begging for a sunny winter lunch or afternoon pint. This is also a nice beer.

Judd Owen

Published May 22, 2021

Name
Slow Lane Brewing
Address

30 Byrnes Street
Botany
NSW 2019

Phone
(02) 9121 6279
Open Hours

Friday: 5pm to 9pm
Saturday: midday to 9pm
Sunday: midday to 7pm

CBCo Goldy

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