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 Duck Canute the Gruit

Tapped July 16, 2011
Back before Red Duck existed, King Cnut Ale by the UK's St Peter's Brewery got Scott Wilson-Browne thinking. A hopless beer that set out to recreate ales as they might have been back in Medieval times, it ultimately inspired this. The label declares: "EXTREME ALE" and with good reason. Featuring a mix of grains, oats and spelt - some of which was "scorched" in the kettle - as well as stinging nettles and homemade hawthorn berry juice, it is as weird as they get; one that most… Read more
Style
Gruit Stout
ABV
4.4%
Stockists

Red Duck

Slowbeer

Carwyn Cellars

Purvis Beer

[Blackhearts & Sparrows](/beer/bottleshop/blackhearts-spar

More stockists...

Red Duck Belgian Vanilla Porter

Tapped July 16, 2011
Yet more proof that there are no rules when it comes to brewing these days. Whether it's Murray's throwing a tonne of hops at an Imperial Stout, Feral combining Belgian yeast with Japanese-developed hops or people turning India Pale Ales anything but pale, it's very much a case of anything goes. Here a Belgian yeast joins the malts of a porter in a beer that's finished off with some organic vanilla extract. The result is a beer that will be familiar to fans of Red Duck, with plenty of chocolate,… Read more
Style
Specialty Porter
ABV
6.5%
Stockists

Red Duck

Slowbeer

Carwyn Cellars

Purvis Beer

[Blackhearts & Sparrows](/beer/bottleshop/blackhearts-

More stockists...

Red Duck Queen Bee

Tapped July 15, 2011
Time for some honesty. Faced with a wobbly table at Crafty Towers, chances are we'd fold up a bit of card, shove it under one of the legs and be done with it. We're willing to wager such a solution simply wouldn't do for Scott at Red Duck. After all, any man who refuses to make one of his beers for a couple of years because he can't get hold of exactly the right type and shade of wild bush honey with which he made the previous batch doesn't seem like the "No one'll notice" type. Thankfully,… Read more
Style
Honey Porter
ABV
6.6%

Red Duck The Ox (2011)

Tapped July 15, 2011
If ever the world of beers designed to be sipped and savoured was looking for a poster boy, it could do far worse than give The Ox a call. Whenever a bottle is cracked at Crafty Towers, it's the only one that needs opening that night; the sort of beer you can happily return to over a couple of hours. It seems only appropriate to enjoy it this way given that, on the rare occasions the Red Duck guys make it, they spend 22 hours in the brewery. Ox by name, Ox by nature, it's a thick, dark brown beast… Read more
Style
Imperial Stout
ABV
9.4%

3 Ravens Rye

Tapped July 13, 2011
This is the return of a beer that first made an appearance in 2010. It's 3 Ravens' take on the pretty rare Roggenbier style of wheat beer from Bavaria that combines a wheat beer yeast with rye malt. Last year's was one of the more intriguing specials to roll out of the Thornbury brewery, blending many of the characteristics you'd expect from a wheat beer accompanied by a distinct, almost peppery spiciness. This year's is one that seems to have got the brewers feeling all florid, as they describe… Read more

Prickly Moses Session Ale

Tapped July 11, 2011
A beer that tells you pretty much all you need to know about it in its name. It's an ale. From Prickly Moses. Designed for sessioning. However, we've got space to fill on the page (and brewer Hendo likes to talk about his babies) so what else might you like to know? Well, it's the first of two beers they're debuting during their showcase in the Chloe's Bar at Young & Jackson's. It uses lots of the Topaz hop once almost exclusively used for bittering but now being explored for aroma and flavour,… Read more
Style
Australian Ale
ABV
4.6%
Stockists

Young & Jackson's

3 Ravens Hell

Tapped July 7, 2011
When done right, the lagers - or helles - originating from the southern German state of Bavaria are among the very best in the world: delicate, beautifully balanced and as refreshing a beer as you could ever wish to taste. We've not had the chance to taste this 3 Ravens take on the style yet, so will have to rely on the brewer's notes, which tell us it's a light gold/dark straw coloured lager with a dense head and moderate carbonation. On the nose, we're told to expect a "light, clean malt and… Read more
Style
Hell Lager
ABV
5.0%

Mt Goat Rare Breed IPA (Winter 2011)

Tapped July 6, 2011
Well, is there anything that needs to be said about this beer? Here at Crafty Towers, we've not held back in our praise for previous batches of the Goat's Rare Breed IPA, which in its last incarnation was our most regular go to beer during the summer. We've not tasted the latest batch but assume that, having nailed it the past few times, they'll have got it right this time too. So what does that mean to the uninitiated? Well, it's what we'd imagine a beer would want to drink if a beer ever wanted… Read more
Style
American IPA
ABV
6.3%

4 Pines Canuck & RyePA

Tapped July 1, 2011
A pair of new beers are rolling out of the brewhouse at 4 Pines this weekend as they set about celebrating both Canada Day and Independence Day. First up is the Canuck Canadian Red Ale, designed to be a perfect match with their maple syrup drizzled pancakes with bacon. It comes in at 5.0% and 30IBUs, is unfiltered and has "clean, fresh bitterness complimented by a biscuit-like palate and aroma". Then on Monday, the RyePA (Rye IPA), a beer firmly in the image of the country it's been brewed… Read more
Style
Red Ale & Rye IPA
ABV
5.0% & 7.0%
Bitterness
30IBU and 49IBU
Stockists

4 Pines

Red Hill Imperial Stout 2011

Tapped June 30, 2011
If there's one beer from the Red Hill range that craft beer lovers hang out for more than any other, it has to be the Imperial Stout. An excellent example of the style, the good news in 2011 is that they've brewed more of it than ever before. They've also allow some to condition in traditional English casks - then dry-hopped it - and will be pouring it from the hand pump at the brewery. And they've increased the bitterness compared to the 2010 version. This year's batch is described as "jet… Read more
Style
Imperial Stout
ABV
8.1%

Mt Goat Surefoot Stout 2011

Tapped June 29, 2011
The return of an old favourite and a beer that needs little introduction, as it's one that the Goat guys had right a long time ago, back when it was part of their year range and well before the Rare Breed concept was even a twinkle in its daddy's eye. Always a beautifully balanced example of the style, equal parts rich, almost sweet, chocolate characters and bitter roastiness with a hint of coffee. Smooth in the mouth and deepest dark brown in the glass, it's a beer that never lets you down and a… Read more
Style
Sweet Stout
ABV
4.9%
Stockists

Mountain Goat

Mountain Goat Winter Oaky Porter

Tapped June 22, 2011
You might remember a few months back when the guys and gals at Goat did something of an in-house stock clearance and compiled a beer that utilised much of the grain and hops they had lying around. Seems it's that time again, with the aforementioned "Bubble 'n' Squeak" concept returning with a wintry twist. The result is the brewery's first ever porter, one which features six malts: Australian Ale, UK Marris Otter, German Rye malt, UK Crystal, UK Chocolate, and German Chocolate Wheat and… Read more
Style
Oaked Porter
ABV
5.2%
Bitterness
25 IBU

Hargreaves Hill "Melanie"

Tapped June 18, 2011
In an attempt to bring a female touch to his brewery (or perhaps revealing a hitherto untapped weakness for puns) Hargreaves Hill founder Simon Walkenhorst gave his latest beer the working name Melanie. A Topaz & Amarillo India style Pale Ale, it's been brewed using fresh Topaz flowers given to the brewery by Hop Products Australia on the day they were harvested. He says the working name is in part because the beer "tastes pretty melon-y, like honeydew melon, with a healthy bitterness".… Read more

Mountain Goat Oak-Aged Rapunzel

Tapped June 15, 2011
A beer that is effectively outgoing head brewer Jayne Lewis' parting gift to the brewery, this is a project that began around 18 months ago and ended with a little blending. When Goat brewed their 2009 Rapunzel - a Belgian golden ale - some was transferred into an old oak chardonnay barrel, then released nine months later at the same time as the beer was being poured through the brewery's hopinator, allowing you to sample it three ways. It turns out that when 2010's batch was made, out came the barrels… Read more
Stockists

Mountain Goat

Murray's Vesuvius

Tapped June 10, 2011
When word first came through that Murray's was producing a "premium lager", shock spread through Crafty Towers. Surely just because they've opened a new venue in Sydney doesn't mean they have to knock out a 5% Eurolager to appease the masses! Isn't that everything that the brewery rails against? We needn't have worried... "It's a piss take on the concept of a premium lager," says brewer Shawn Sherlock. "It was a standing joke that we'd never brew one and obviously we never… Read more

Murray's Shawn's Fault

Tapped June 10, 2011
It seems that Black IPAs or India Black Ales or CDAs or Those Black Ones That Taste Dead Hoppy are ten a penny these days. But when this beer first appeared last year, it was a rarity - if not a first for a commercial Aussie beer. So called because when brewer Shawn Sherlock first announced to Murray what he wanted to do with the beer, he admitted not everyone would like it "but those who do will love it". "If nobody likes it, it's Shawn's fault," came the reply. Given it's back… Read more
Style
India Black Ale
ABV
7.5%

Lord Nelson Anileation 2010 and 2011 & Broadside

Tapped June 8, 2011
You'll always find a special release or two on tap at the Lord Nelson whenever you pass through, but occasionally you get an extra special special release. Brewer Damon decided to hold back a keg of last year's Annileation, the brewery's annual Irish style stout complete with "mocha notes on the palate and a creamy texture". The new release has been pouring for a little while now and is due to be joined by the aged version very soon. According to the brewery it's brought a "mellow… Read more
Stockists

Lord Nelson

Prickly Moses Black Panther

Tapped June 4, 2011
One of two new beers from the Otway brewery making an appearance for the first time at the Melbourne leg of the Good Food and Wine Show, this dark beast originally reared its head during the Prickly Moses showcase at Young & Jackson's least year. Now back, it's an India Black Ale allegedly inspired by the mysterious legend of big black cats that roam the Victorian bush. It's made with a "generous" addition of North American hops both in the boil and in the fermenter with caramelised… Read more
Style
India Black Ale
ABV
6.2%

Prickly Moses The Raconteur IPA: A Love Story About Hops

Tapped June 4, 2011
Back in 2011, Raconteur was Prickly Moses' first IPA. It's a beer that had then brewer Hendo hot under the collar, hot enough to describe it as a beer that "tells the classic story of American India Pale Ale with hops the protagonist. A hop driven beer in every way, hops are added throughout the entire brewing process from the mash tun to the kettle and even the fermenter." The hops in question are the classic "Three Cs" - Centennial, Chinook and Cascade - and contributed to… Read more
Style
US IPA
ABV
6.4%
Stockists

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
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