The other day I explained to my 16-year-old brother-in-law how mix tapes worked: waiting beside the radio with bated breath, accidentally but inevitably capturing snippets of ads between songs, developing perfect timing from much practice of synchronising the "play" and "record" buttons when you transferred songs from cassette to cassette. He listened with wide-eyed wonder and nostalgia for a time he’d never known.
Moffat’s Party Mix series beers are energetic fruit sours, and Raspberry Swirl Sour is pumping. Beneath a dense head, the liquid is peachy colour with just a blush of pink, like it’s spent slightly too long in the sun. Each sip sends tart and juicy raspberries tumbling around your mouth with just a caress of balance from the lactose. But the lactose doesn’t make this beer sweet; in fact, it isn’t even really noticeable. Its job is to fill out the body a little and keep the sourness in check, so the acidity is bracing rather than sharp. And it does that job well, leaving the beer bright and refreshing and sessionable.*
You don’t see many sours coming out of Moffat, but it certainly ain’t ‘cause they don’t know how to make them.
Something you do see plenty of at Moffat are pale ales; they’ve been showing off their prowess at pales since they day they started brewing. Again using the medium of music to refer to their special releases, Moffat call their series of single hop pale ales the 7 Inch Series. (That’s a reference to singles on vinyl, if you’re a spring chicken Millennial like me.)
This single uses Nectaron, the New Zealand hop variety known for surges of stonefruit, and it certainly doesn’t hold back. When the vibrant aroma hits your senses, the first impression is as sticky and sweet and see-through as a fruit roll up stretched thin. This is then carried over the tastebuds by a malt profile that’s sturdy without being thick, like those stumpy little legs you get on Scandi furniture. As it wraps up with a bitterness that’s low but not non-existent, the needle lifts on this 7-inch and leaves you in the silent afterglow of a single that earned its distinction.
Finally we come to Seek & Enjoy Hazy IPA. The haze is a warm golden glow, and there’s a softness from the malt that spreads across the tongue like ocean foam across the sand. My wife was cutting up the first mango of the season** when I was tasting this beer, and the aromas of the actual fruit blended wonderfully with the ripe mango hop character and passionfruit tang in my glass.
* Note to self: trademark the word "refreshionable".
** I know what you’re thinking. “But Mick, surely you must be mistaken. For it is still November, and no true Queenslander would bother with mangos until December. While they tempt from the supermarket grocery section for months before this, they are but Sirens seducing you only to dash your hopes upon the rocks when their pale flesh doesn’t carry the juicy sweetness you were desiring. It’s only when summer proper begins that mangoes deliver the pleasures you’ve been longing for. And so how – or more pointedly, why – is someone in your household cutting into a mango in November?” Well, the reason is that strange weather patterns this year have caused havoc in the mango growing regions in north Queensland, pushing the farmers to harvest early lest they lose their crops. The threat of their being no (or at least no decent) mangos later in the season pushed us to sniff the mangos in the shops, and to our relief, they smelled ripe and ready and ravishing – and when we finally got to tasting them, they were delicious. So please don’t go hitting me with this "no true Queenslander" rubbish, because I can assure you I applied Sunshine State wisdom.
- Fruit Sour, Single Hop Pale & Hazy IPA
- 4.0% & 5.2% & 6.0% ABV