Either market research by CUB/Asahi (or Endeavour Group) has revealed there's an untapped desire in the local beer market for Aussie wheat ales or there's been a serious case of "great minds think alike" within the teams at a number of their craft brands. Matilda Bay, who let's not forget introduced many an Aussie to the concept of European wheat beers with Redback, released such a beer not long ago, and now there's two more from Pirate Life and Green Beacon respectively.
I'm pretty sure I'd have noticed their coincidental arrival anyway; the fact the samples arrived on the same TNT truck merely ensured it was hammered home. And if I'd still not drawn a line between the two, the yellow dominating both cans, not to mention the cursive fonts chosen for the beers' names, would surely have put the matter to rest. As an aside, stablemates Mountain Goat put out a draught-only wheat ale in March too (albeit with a focus on NZ rather than Aussie hops). Time to brace ourself for the winter of Aussie wheat ales?
Anyway, circumstances dealt with, what of the liquids? Well, certainly when it comes to Pirate Life and Green Beacon's offerings they're rather further apart than the 0.1 percent ABV and 20ml per can that separates them. Sunlit pours a pretty clear pale gold and possesses a much sharper aroma and texture than the Brisbane brewery's Aussie wheat ale. There's an almost acidic tang to the palate, putting it close to gentle fruit sour territory. Presumably this is in part down to the addition of lemon zest that, in combination with the hops, gives you a predominantly lemon / grapefruit character and something more herbaceous yet not quite lemon myrtle or lemongrass.
- Aussie Wheat Ale