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!

Black Hops Tropic Like It's Hot

Tapped December 16, 2020
Joining the Black Hops core range just in time for summer 2020 is Tropic Like It’s Hot, a thirst-quencher with sun-filled days in its sights. The pineapple, lemongrass and ginger sour had previously been released as a summer seasonal and, given its popularity and the wider love for fruit-filled sours in the beer world, it's a fitting addition. Of the flavours, ginger is comfortably the most prominent, taking the beer pretty close to a dry and tart ginger beer. Layered atop that are notes of fresh… Read more
Style
Sour
ABV
4.2%

Swell Brewery Evening Glass Off DIPA

Tapped December 16, 2020
They sure are enjoying playing in the IPA space at Swell right now, with another to follow the likes of their first NEIPA and the Tropical Hazy DIPA landing before 2020 bids farewell. Evening Glass Off refers to the end of a surfing session when the winds die down to produce glassy clean waves. As for the beer bearing the name, it's a double IPA featuring no less than 22 grams per litre of Citra, Mosaic and Amarillo to produce a hoppy hit for those seeking a full-flavoured reward after a long session… Read more
Style
Double IPA
ABV
8.2%

Sauce Brewing Pineapple Squeak & Extra Extra-Hop Sauce

Tapped December 16, 2020
Brewed first for Beer Cartel’s 2020 Advent Calendar – then immediately re-brewed as there was demand for wider availability – Pineapple Squeak joins the line of fruity NEIPAs from Sauce. It’s been supercharged with Bru-1 hops, known for their pineapple character, then topped off with some pineapple extract to double down on that flavour. It’s now all but impossible to discern where the hops leave off and the pineapple picks up, because the whole thing is one massive blast of pineapple –… Read more
Style
Pineapple NEIPA & Double IPA
ABV
6.2% & 8.2%

Queenscliff Brewery Sea Pilot

Tapped December 16, 2020
For more than 180 years, the Port Phillip Sea Pilots’ have helped steer ships and cargo across Victoria and Melbourne’s bay, with the very first members of the organisation building camps on the beaches of Queenscliff. Today the beachside town remains an important ferry route too, connecting the Great Ocean Road and the Bellarine Peninsula to Mornington. Those early sea pilots might have greeted as modern a beer style like an XPA with confusion but anyone in the modern world who tries Queenscliff… Read more
Style
XPA
ABV
5.4%

Queenscliff Brewery The Rip

Tapped December 16, 2020
The Rip is a rather deadly stretch of water that serves as the entrance to Port Phillip Bay from Bass Coast where large tidal flows into a narrow channel of water, plus a high rocky seabed, has led to the undoing of many who have tried to traverse it. Queenscliff Brewery’s The Rip might draw its name from that dangerous passage in Australia but stylistically, it’s inspired by Germany. The Helles lager is as clean and straightforward as they come, where light floral hops and a slightly biscuity… Read more
Style
Helles Lager
ABV
5%

Queenscliff Brewery Swede & Sour

Tapped December 16, 2020
Originally brewed as a 300 litre one-off release by Queenslcliff Brewery's head brewer Mattias Isaksson as summer kicked into gear in 2019, Swede & Sour made it into the brewery’s core range towards the end of 2020. It means the raspberry Berliner Weisse, which is named in reference to Mattias home in Sweden, made it into bottles in time for a new summer. It’s fitting too, given the beer is 3.5 percent ABV and with quite a tart edge, really one designed for summer. The raspberry notes are… Read more
Style
Raspberry Berlinner Weisse
ABV
3.5%

Black Arts Golden & Red Wild Ales: Blend 3

Tapped December 15, 2020
It's been fascinating to watch the transition of the local beer world from glass to can. As the process accelerated beyond anyone's expectation from the middle of the last decade, there were still certain styles that brewers seemed reluctant to put into tinnies, typically specialty beers like annual imperial stout releases, or funkier farmhouse styles – the sort of beers deemed worthy of showcasing in elegant bottles. But the passage of time has seen ever more make that passage, with small Melbourne… Read more
Style
Barrel Aged Wild Ales
ABV
5.5% & 6.0%

Black Arts Bière de Coupage

Tapped December 15, 2020
It's fair to say a drinker's first experience with a funky sour – and we're not talking kettle soured or sour pitched fruit juice here – can be confronting. On paper, many of the elements that can make such beers wondrous delights sound so wrong, and can easily smell and taste wrong on initial encounters. You can imagine Black Arts' freshly-canned Bière de Coupage being the sort of beer that could act as a bridge, showcasing those funkier elements, but dressing them up subtly enough as to not… Read more
Style
Bière de Coupage
ABV
5.0%

Little Bang The Passion Of The Schwang & UFP 12: The Froth Element

Tapped December 15, 2020
The Schwang is back, rearing its beautiful sour, fruity head just in time for some warm weather and a season of partying and festivities. A large variety of fruit has featured under the Schwang banner, but not passionfruit – until now. It's found inside a low ABV, zingy, tart hot weather negator, with The Passion of the Schwang kettle soured before passionfruit was added to the fermenter. Bright yellow in colour, there's a certain murky, pulpy cloudiness reminiscent of the fruit’s gooey interior.… Read more
Style
Pass & NEIPA
ABV
3.0% & 5.2%

Batch Brewing Co Chapeau 2020

Tapped December 15, 2020
It’s mid-December, and you know what that means – we celebrate another year of Batch's beautiful existence in our beer sphere with another year of Chapeau Raspberry Sour Celebration Ale. So, what’s the same with this year’s version, and what’s different? In 2017, we told you about the way Batch were sourcing their raspberries from small producers in Tasmania. And, even though so many of us were prevented from travelling interstate this year, that luscious red fruit still made its way up… Read more
Style
Raspberry Sour Ale
ABV
6.4%

Wayward Brewing Hazy Mid

Tapped December 15, 2020
While Wayward already have one mid-strength option in their core range – Raspberry Berliner Weisse – the team have wanted to add a mid-strength pale ale to the lineup for a while (if only so the brewers can have a hoppy session after work and still rock up bright-eyed the next morning). Enter Hazy Mid, just in time for Christmas 2020. Many current hazy beers focus on newer hop varieties, but Hazy Mid leans on those classic US varieties that held up the West Coast IPA scene a few years ago: Citra,… Read more
Style
Hazy Mid-Strength
ABV
3.5%

Rocky Ridge Tropicale, Socks & Sandals & Sean's Sour

Tapped December 15, 2020
Rocky Ridge’s Tropicale was built with Summer BBQs in mind; designed to be easy-drinking in regards to both flavour and alcohol content, it registers modest 3.7 percent ABV and 15 IBU, but is heavy on the tropical punch vibes. Pouring straw-coloured and hazy, guava, strawberry, passionfruit and pine billow out of the glass while the medium, silky body easily transports comparable flavours and a very mild mid-palate bitterness. Some tropical fruits persist in a finish that's otherwise uber-clean,… Read more
Style
Hazy Pale & ESB & Sour Fruit IPA
ABV
3.7% & 6.0% & 6.5%
Bitterness
15 & 45 & 35 IBU

Batch Brewing Co A Berry Salty Gose & Single Hop IPA HPA-016

Tapped December 14, 2020
Both of these beers are delightful examples of "exactly what it says on the label". Pouring a blushy pink – or, as my drinking buddy described it, "the rosé of beer" – Berry Salty Gose throws enough berry aroma into the air to to get you on board with the titular berry/very pun. A fair whack of citric acid hits you from the first sip, and the grapefruit zing and back palate saltiness get the saliva glands working overtime. (Note that this beer contains native Australian… Read more
Style
Berry Gose & Single Hop IPA
ABV
4.5% & 6.3%

Hope Brewery Single Hop(e) NEIPA: Nelson Sauvin

Tapped December 14, 2020
Since Hope have a winery on site, and the NZ hop variety Nelson Sauvin is known for its ability to bring white wine notes to a beer, I went into this beer half expecting it to taste like sauv blanc in a can. So when I poured it out and was immediately hit by the sticky smell of breakfast juice, I had to reset my expectations. This single hop NEIPA fills the air with golden juice sweet with mango and banana nectar, along with dried apple, nectarine, and just a hint of white wine in the background.… Read more
Style
Single Hop NEIPA
ABV
8.0%

Beerfarm & Liquor Shed Brett NEIPA 2020

Tapped December 14, 2020
Beerfarm’s Brett NEIPA is in its second year of production, having been met with plenty of adulation for its 2019 freshman release. This year’s version is likely to receive much of the same reception, given it's a slightly tweaked and possibly more delicious iteration. The 2020 Brett NEIPA features more than a tonne of grapefruit that was wild-fermented with Brettanomyces as well as a generous dry-hopping with El Dorado, Citra and Mosaic, which contribute stonefruit, lemon and mandarin characters,… Read more
Style
Brett NEIPA & Grapefruit
ABV
6.5%
Bitterness
25 IBU
Stockists

Liquor Shed

Ballistic Beer Co Sleep When You're Dead Hazy DIPA

Tapped December 13, 2020
Ballistic’s Sleep When You're Dead range returns as 2020 ends as an iron fist in a velvet glove (with the brawny robot on the label clearly the owner of said iron fist). It doesn’t let you forget it’s a bruiser, offering up enough alcohol heat to remind you of its potency. But the booze doesn’t get in the way of it being juicy and creamy and smooth. While the NZ hop varieties Nelson Sauvin, Motueka and Riwaka might ordinarily flood the senses with citrus if left to their own devices, their… Read more
Style
Hazy DIPA
ABV
9.5%

Philter IIPA

Tapped December 12, 2020
Philter take pride in making easy-drinking, sessionable beers, and they’ve built themselves a great reputation doing so. Head brewer Sam Füss isn’t a fan of huge bitterness herself, and the beers she makes encourage you to enjoy several in quick succession. But that hasn’t stopped her from making this beautiful beast of a double IPA. The aroma is all sweet comfort – tropical and citrus hops combine with golden syrup malts promising to give you a big, warm hug. But take a sip and you'll… Read more
Style
IIPA
ABV
7.7%

Hargreaves Hill Bethie's Tripel & Kenneth, Son Of Zenith 2020

Tapped December 12, 2020
If you've grown up in the contemporary craft beer world, especially if you've got into beer over the past couple of years, hearing that a beer is hoppy will probably have you thinking of explosions of tropical fruit salads and opaque, golden-yellow pours. But highly hopped beers predate today's wanton extravagance, just in different ways and alternate expressions. Head to Poperinge, Belgium's main hop-growing region, for example, and you'll be able to lay your hands on some hoppy Belgian ales; but… Read more
Style
Belgian Tripel & Double IPA
ABV
8.6% & 8.2%

Stomping Ground Watermelon, Cucumber & Mint Smash & Flanders Red Ale

Tapped December 11, 2020
As 2020 comes to an end, Stomping Ground have released two very different sours from quite separate series from brewery. The first is the latest Smash, where Watermelon, Cucumber & Mint make it the most fruit diverse of the long-running series to date. That combination of flavours manages to be impressively well integrated, with the watermelon adding a touch of juice, the mint bringing more floral and perfumey notes and the cucumber being very … well cucumber-like. Unlike many modern kettle… Read more
Style
Sour & Flanders Red Ale
ABV
4.2% & 6.2%

Wolf of the Willows Lark Barrel Aged Whisky Sour

Tapped December 11, 2020
Now, I've had a fair few beers featuring whisky and sourness in some form. But I've not had one quite like this entry into Wolf of the Willows' ever-evolving collab series with Lark Distillery. It's fair to say, however, I'd happily have more of 'em. After all, when you check the label and background info upon completing your tasting notes, discover the beer is 9 percent ABV, and feel compelled to end said notes with: "Blimey!", you know you're onto a good thing. Firstly, the background… Read more
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