There will be few brewing companies around Australia happier to see the lager renaissance than Blackman's. They've always had a lager as part of their offering, usually more than one, and tend to feature them as limited releases more than most. That's the case here with Beer Garden Lager, originally brewed for the beer garden at their Torquay HQ and now given a wider release.
The name might have you imagining a traditional lager – the sort you'd knock back in giant glasses in between frequent trips to the pissoir in a Munich beer garden – but it's of a more contemporary bent, mainly due to the use of Loral, Strata and Motueka hops and its slightly hazy appearance. Grapefruit leads the way with a distinct resinous bitterness ensuring there's a bit of bite too.
There's rather more bite – and bitterness, for that matter – to be found in Big Happy Tears. You may well have come across the beer before as it's an IPA they debuted in 2021, one into which the brewers poured their learnings from years of experimenting with different hops in variations on the West Coast theme. The biggest difference here (literally) is that it's bigger this time around, appearing in 500ml cans. Aside from that, what we said about it first time around still stands: it's a cracking, characterful, and clean modern IPA worthy of the upgrade.
- Hoppy Lager & West Coast IPA
- 4.6% & 7.5%