It may feel like winter’s come hard and fast, but Jervis Bay’s two autumnal releases are going strong.
The Strawberry and Rhubarb Sour may be Jervis Bay’s sourest beer to date. Pouring with a lovely peachy blush, this beer simply overflows with jammy strawberry aromas. It’s one of those beers you have to forcibly stop yourself from sniffing so you can take a sip. Once you do, you meet the acidity; the beer was soured naturally overnight, and the resulting layered acidity brings quite the slap up front. But as your tastebuds acclimatises to that sourness, you get more of that lovely strawberry – like the stewed berry in a fruit crumble – and a flicker of rhubarb tartness joining the acidity, all carried along in a flow of fluffy effervescence.
This next beer is called Stingray Saison, but there’s nothing scary about it.* The yeast esters make this a delightful wash of Allen’s Bananas, those squidgy yellow lollies that are nothing but chewy comfort and nostalgic fondness. There is some clove and pepper in there as well, as the label says, but it's that soft banana candy character that I'm really enjoying. The saison is also quite fluffy and dry, like a well groomed poodle. I mean, a well groomed stingray.
Jervis Bay are also continuing their education on different hops through single hop beers, via the fourth and fifth School of Hops brews to leave the classroom and enter the real world.
School of Hops: Eclipse brings a hop variety touted for its mandarin qualities, with this IPA offering a blend of stewed stonefruit and citrus aromas, and a nice boozy sweetness in the mouth that carries these flavours with confidence. There’s a mandarin marmalade quality to it, with a pithy bitterness snapping at you in the backend.
Number five in the series (despite a misprint on the can’s label – oops!) is School of Hops: Superdelic. The catchily-named Superdelic is quite a new hop variety (you may have seen it in some beers during its trial phase with the equally catchy name NZH-102), and it’s a welcome addition to the world of beer. It works particularly well in this single hopped IPA, delivering an impressive range of flavours: aromas of ripe tropicals opened up into boiled sweets, nectarine and berries on the palate. But before you have a chance to wonder if this is a variety only for those with a sweet tooth, it leads into a resiny and slightly straw-like bitterness in the finish. This is the kind of trip you won’t regret.
*I’m not the only one who thinks stingrays are terrifying, right? Surely that’s universal. If you’re not ever so slightly afraid of the Stealth Bombers of the Sea, there’s something missing inside you.
Published May 22, 2023 2023-05-22 00:00:00