White Bay's core range Lager took out the prestigious Champion Australian Beer title at the 2022 Indies, but for many in the local beer world it's their Czech pilsner Gantry Crane that is the lager to rule them all among the many lagers the Balmain brewers put out. As with pretty much everything lager-related they do, it's a labour of love, not just in terms of the ingredients used but also the time the beer is given in tank; well, if you're going to release a beer in cans that look like Pilsner Urquell, you'd best make it good, eh?
Brewed with nothing but imported Bohemian Pilsner Malt, the beer went through a "lengthy and arduous" multi-step mash before being hopped with Sladek and Saaz hops and cold-conditioned for ten weeks prior to packaging. The brewers describe the hopping regime as "generous" and you might argue that's an understatement.
I'd suggest it's hopped-to-the-bejesus, even if the results could baffle someone who's come to know highly-hopped beers through modern IPAs. The experience here is rooted in old world hop-derived delights: spicy, herbaceous straw-led aromas that, for want of a better explanation, are textural and layered in a more complex way than those found contemporary hop bombs. Gantry Crane delivers a broad blanket of bitterness that coats everything it touches but never overwhelms, aided by the creamy softness of the Pilsner malts through which they swirl.
If you love pilsners, you'll want this in your life. If you don't love pilsners, you will after trying this one.
NB It's not technically core range but such is demand it's pretty much always around so we've popped it there.