New Beers

Barely a day goes by without another seasonal or one-off special flying out of an Australian brewery (if not ten). Here and in our weekly newsletter, we'll bring you news and, if we've sampled them, our take on as many of them as possible. Happy hunting!

Red Hill India Black Ale

Tapped June 3, 2011
It's not too often that a completely new beer appears on the Red Hill roster. They're brewers who, quite rightly, are pleased with their regular seasonals and seem happy to sit on some to age or whack the odd big one into barrels for a bit of fun. So, blow Crafty down with a feather if they haven't gone and brought out a new one. The first of what will be three dark beers this winter is an India Black Ale, essentially a British-style IPA turned black with the use of some de-husked black malt that… Read more
Style
India Black Ale

Mountain Goat Three Golden Goats

Tapped June 3, 2011
What a lovely story this is, the tale of trans-Tasman beery love that saw Melbourne's Goats offer to help those affected by the Christchurch earthquakes by making one of Three Boys' beers and donating all profits to the recovery fund. You can read more about it here or instead save time, head out and drink a pint to do your bit for humanity. The beer was supposed to be an exact match for the Kiwi brewery's golden ale, but in the end features slightly different malts and a different yeast (due to… Read more
Style
Golden Ale
ABV
4.9%
Stockists

Mountain Goat

The Terminus

Beer DeLuxe

Cookie

Gasometer Hotel

Great Britain Hotel

Atticus Finch

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Holgate Empress (bottled)

Tapped June 1, 2011
A beer that one punter told Crafty he'd like to take to bed, the Empress really is as sensual an experience as beer gets. Taking the brewery's Temptress as the start point – same malt bill and bitterness, same use of Dutch cocoa and vanilla beans – this originally took a journey to lands anew for the first Great Australian Beer SpecTAPular in February. As well as making it into an Imperial Mocha Porter (10 percent ABV to the Temptress' 6), the brewers were keen to give it an Aussie twist so… Read more
Style
Imperial Mocha Porter
ABV
10%
Bitterness
50 IBU
Stockists

Holgate (including the last keg)

Slowbeer

Purvis Beer Richmond

Josie Bones

[Blackhearts & Sparrows](/beer/bottles

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Lord Nelson 2IC

Tapped May 26, 2011
With winter approaching fast, it's time for beers to get darker and warmer. At the Lord Nelson, that means the return of their 2IC Brown Ale. Taking its name from the abbreviated form of the nautical term Second in Charge, it was designed to sit next to the brewery hotel's Old Admiral as a seasonal version of their dark ale. According to the brewer, you'll find "biscuit & toffee malt flavours dominate" with "fruity hop characters and a gentle bitterness" to follow. On tap… Read more
Style
English Brown Ale
ABV
5.2%
Bitterness
28 IBU
Stockists

Lord Nelson

Mornington Peninsula Falconer's Amber

Tapped May 24, 2011
We await being shot down by a disgruntled brewer somewhere telling us we're wrong, but we believe this is a hoppy first for a commercial brew in Australia. Mornington Peninsula's latest beer takes its name from the Falconer's Flight hop pellet developed in tribute to US brewing legend Glen Falconer, a man who plied his trade at Rogue and Wild Duck in his time, winning back to back golds at the Great American Beer Festival in 2002 and 2003. Released in December 2010, it's actually a blend of several… Read more

Bridge Road Dog's Breakfast (Brew 500)

Tapped May 17, 2011
A beer that could have been called the kitchen sink, this is Bridge Road's 500th brew - a milestone marked with a beer created in tribute to one of the brewers' favourite parts of the day: breakfast. Although black pudding, bacon and eggs were rejected as ingredients, little else was. In went fruit toast, muesli, coffee beans, loose tea, maple syrup, honey. And the result? Less crazy than one might imagine. A deep, dark brown beer, the smoked malts added to create a hint of bacon aroma are there… Read more
Style
Dark lager
Stockists

Josie Bones

Cookie

Biero

The Local Taphouse St Kilda

Beer DeLuxe

[The Local Taphouse Darlo](/beer/bar/the

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Murray's Spartacus (bottled)

Tapped May 16, 2011
On the day they open their new venture in Manly, Murray's is also unleashing two of its biggest releases from 2010 in bottled form. One is Spartacus, their 100 IBU Imperial IPA that registers a whopping 10%; as the label says "It kicks arse". Although inspired by the American beers of this style, it maintains the Murray's tradition of favouring Kiwi hops and their tropical fruit character. If memory serves Crafty right, those aromas are a little subdued in the bottle compared to the draught… Read more
Style
Imperial IPA
ABV
10%
Bitterness
100 IBU
Stockists

Murray's

Murray's Heart of Darkness

Tapped May 16, 2011
There have been plenty of intriguing beers out of the Murray's stable in recent times, but perhaps none as wacky as this. The beer inspired by Joseph Conrad's novel about the darkness of the human condition combines a Belgian yeast with heaps of chocolate malt and dark sugar in a beastly Imperial Stout. It's an intriguing affair, one in which two vastly different and powerful elements somehow come together without one overpowering the other. Both on the nose and in the mouth the fruity esters and… Read more
Style
Belgian Imperial Stout
ABV
9.4%

Bright Topaz Mí¤rzen

Tapped May 14, 2011
One of a rash of unique hop harvest beers to come out of Victoria's breweries this year, this saw Bright take the Topaz hop, a variety that's been around for years, and try something different with it. Traditionally used to make a beer bitter, here Bright decided to add it late in the brewing process after they were told that the guys that developed the hop at neighbouring Rostrevor Hop Farm reckoned it had previously untapped potential for aroma and flavour. It would seem the guys knew what they… Read more
Style
Hop Harvest Lager

MONA Saison DeMoo

Tapped May 5, 2011
Tapped across three states simultaneously as part of Moo's "four-way dance" this limited release is Moo Brew's Tassie take on the classic European farmhouse style, released under the MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) label. We told you about it a few weeks before its release, but in case you missed the story, it uses traditional floor malted Bohemian Pilsner malt from Germany ' the oldest form of malted barley ' as the base malt as well as raw spelt, following the farmhouse tradition of… Read more
Style
Saison
Stockists

Mona Winery Bar

The Wheaty

Beer DeLuxe

New Sydney Hotel, Hobart

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3 Ravens Schwarz

Tapped May 4, 2011
While most brewers seem to be hotfooting it after the latest hop varieties and chasing ever bigger hop fixes, 3 Ravens are happily playing around with malt led beers (and the odd barrel too). The latest release in their Uber Range is another inspired by classic European styles, this time a Schwarzbier, aka a dark lager. It registers in the realms of dark brown - with an orangey tinge when held to the light - rather than black and, as we said, is all about the malts. On the nose that translates to… Read more

Otway Estate Wild Hop Organic Ale

Tapped May 3, 2011
One of the more unusual of this year's crop of hop harvest beers, this saw the Otway Estate brewers track down a field of wild hops on the edge of the Otway Ranges that had once been used to supply the long-defunct Ballarat Brewery. Having filled their truck with Canterbury Goldings, they threw everything - hop flowers and vines - into the mash tun and continued adding more hops right through the process in a beer with a traditional English Special Bitter malt backbone. Brewer Luke Scott says it… Read more
Style
Harvest Ale
Stockists

Otway Estate

Josie Bones

Apollo Bay Hotel

Kelly's Bar & Kitchen, Olinda

Grumpy's Green

The Local Taphouse St Kilda

[The

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Holgate Beelzebub's Jewels 2011

Tapped May 1, 2011
The second appearance for what is to be the Woodend brewery's annual Easter release, this year's Devil's Whatsits is a different beast to last year insofar as rather than basing it on an existing Holgate beer, it's a whole new recipe, one that includes masses of candi sugar as the brewers set about creating a Belgian-style Quadrupel. At 12%, it's designed to age. And at $60-plus a bottle, it's designed to be a special occasion beer too. But what of it now - just released from the brewery, where it… Read more
Style
Belgian Quadrupel
ABV
12.0%
Stockists

Slowbeer

Purvis Beer

Purvis Beer Richmond

Holgate

[Smith Street Cellars](/beer/bottleshop/smith-street

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Hargreaves Hill AD (750ml bottles)

Tapped April 29, 2011
At Crafty, we like to think we're on top of things when it comes to new beers coming out of Oz's craft breweries. So we were most upset when at a beer vs wine dinner at The Courthouse in North Melbourne earlier this month, the owner pulled out a bottle of this, Hargreaves Hill's latest Abbey Dubbel. How'd he get one before us, hey? Jesting aside, given it appeared rather late in the course of the evening, we wouldn't want to say too much of our recollections, other than it was a beer boasting layers… Read more
Style
Belgian Dubbel
ABV
7.5%
Stockists

Hargreaves Hill

Slowbeer

Purvis Beer Richmond

Purvis Beer

[Blackhearts & Sparrows](/beer/bottleshop/blackhea

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Feral Golden Ace

Tapped April 27, 2011
In the ongoing quest to create new beers and serve up new flavours, brewers are often on the lookout for an ingredient that can add something different. Late last year, a new hop variety arrived in Australia - the Sorachi Ace developed by Japanese brewery Sapporo. A couple of Victorian brewers played with it - each thinking they'd brewed the first commercial Sorachi Ace beer in Oz, only for Crafty to discover the guys at Feral in WA had beaten them to the punch. Feral 983 was the beer in question… Read more
Style
Belgian Golden Ale
ABV
5.6%
Stockists

Feral - Now

Perth bars - Now

Perth bottlesops - From May 2

The Local Taphouse St Kilda - May 3

The Local Taphouse Darlo - May 3

[T

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Murray's Easter Ale

Tapped April 22, 2011
Never ones to hold back when there's an excuse to try out something new in their tanks, Murray's have brought out an Easter Ale in time for the holidays. A spiced ale, making it something of a distant cousin of the Pumpkin Ale released by the brewery for Halloween, it's a seriously limited released. Described by Murray's as "an Easter spiced beer to celebrate the season" it boasts "strong cinnamon and nutmeg spice aromas blended with bready British malts". Sound familiar? Well,… Read more
Style
Spiced Ale
Stockists

Annual Easter release, available in draught only

Murray's

Murray's at Manly

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Little Creatures Single Batch Mí¤rzen

Tapped April 18, 2011
Having cast their net towards the fields of Southern England for their last Single Batch release, this time Little Creatures has taken a hop and a skip to Germany to create the classic Mí¤rzen style. Blending four malts with Czech Saaz, NZ Pacifica & US Willamette hops, they've created a strong lager like those originally produced in Germany in March (Mí¤rzen is the German word for March) to last through the hot summer months when brewers couldn't brew beer due to the high amount of bacteria… Read more
Style
Märzen
ABV
5.8%
Bitterness
30 IBU
Stockists

Little Creatures Dining Hall

Slowbeer

Purvis Beer

[Little Creatures](/beer/brewery/little creatures/)

[The Wheaty](/beer/bar/the-wheaty-s

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Bridge Road's The Harvest (2011)

Tapped April 16, 2011
When a brewer makes it clear he's adding a truckload of wet hops to his hop harvest beer - and not allowing anything but wet hops anywhere near the brew - you've got to assume he's aiming for a beer that encapsulates as best as possible the experience of grabbing a handful of hop cones straight from the vine. And from the moment you pop Bridge Road's third annual Harvest into a glass, that's what you get. Just like drinking a fresh Stone & Wood Pacific Ale is like sticking your face into a bag… Read more
Style
Hop Harvest Ale
ABV
4.6%

Mountain Goat Fancy Pants (2011)

Tapped April 15, 2011
One of the Goat's most popular limited releases is back. The Fancy Pants was originally described by Goat founder Dave Bonighton as "what Hightail would be if there were no budget constraints" - and this is its fourth appearance. We've not tasted this year's batch yet, but it's been tapped at the brewery this week which means it'll be hitting taps at bars soon. Loads of fresh hop flowers are added post-boil in the hopback with a heap more thrown into the fermenter to create what we described… Read more
Style
Amber Ale
ABV
4.9%
Stockists

Mountain Goat

Blackhearts & Sparrows (Growlers when available)

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Mornington Peninsula Imperial IPA

Tapped April 14, 2011
Given the reception the brewery's recent IPA got, there's going to plenty of people awaiting the arrival of its big brother. The latest specialty beer from Mornington Peninsula is an Imperial IPA, tipping the scales at a hold-onto-your-hats-folks 8.5% ABV. Brewer AG says it's "burnt orange in colour" and "delivers ripe stonefruit and rock candy aromas through the lavish additions of American aroma hops". As for the palate, he says the hops are in charge there too - "citrus,… Read more
Style
Imperial IPA
ABV
8.5%
Bitterness
120IBU
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