The story behind most breweries’ core lager is much the same; its primary function is to be an option for the rusted-on, traditional Australian beer drinker. The kind who made their choice of beer, often determined by nothing more than geography, sometime in their late teens and has consumed nothing else since. To leave the story there takes much away from these lagers. For they are often more than their domestic counterparts and tend to be much more nuanced than this narrative alone suggests.
Of lagers, “there’s nowhere to hide” is the saying among brewers. With no intense hopping regimes or adjunct additions, any faults in a lager are laid bare. Such was the attitude of Cornella Draught’s creators. They were initially reluctant to brew a lager, believing their modest brewhouse lacked the necessary equipment to do justice to the style. But, after much research and experimentation, brew one, they did.
It pours clear with a straw colour and as the brilliant white head dissipates, beautiful lacing is left behind on the glass. A true local lager, Voyager malts and Ella were both used, with that Aussie hop providing a soft spice akin to a classic European variety. Savour this crisp Helles over time in a pint, and you’ll be rewarded with more depth as the beer warms seems fitting given the brewery's hope for the drop is for it to be "respected, but not fussed over.”
It’s a humble, yet admirable, aspiration and I've got to confess, I find it hard to look past ordering one whenever I’m visiting.