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!

Bright Stubborn Russian

Tapped August 5th, 2011
Anyone who follows Bright's new brewer Jon on Twitter will be aware that he's been getting rather giddy in recent weeks, first at the prospect of brewing a Russian Imperial Stout, then at naming it and now at releasing it. The last of these happens at the brewery today (Aug 5), with the brew at the heart of his excitement described as "intensely roasty and very full-bodied Russian Imperial Stout. Loads of dark fruit and mocha aromas, with a viscous, velvety mouthfeel." Sounds delightful.… Read more
Style
Russian Imperial Stout
ABV
7.5%

Mountain Goat Bigfoot (2011)

Tapped August 5th, 2011
There was mourning in parts of the craft beer community last year when it was announced there would be no Bigfoot. Given the previous year's batch had played a large role in an embarrassing evening at the brewery for The Crafty Pint, it might have been for the best. However, the big brother of the brewery's always lovely Surefoot Stout has been brought back out of retirement for 2011. It's pretty much the Surefoot but condensed, the result as rich and creamy as you could wish for in an imperial stout.… Read more
Style
Imperial Stout
ABV
8.0%

Bridge Road Stella IPA

Tapped August 4th, 2011
The odd keg (and one cask) of this beer have been floating around for the past week or so, but we thought we'd fire it up on Crafty on International IPA Day, on which it is being featured at a number of venues. The beer takes the concept of Bridge Road's Galaxy IPA, which has been brewed fairly regularly over the past 18 months, but uses a new hop variety developed in Tassie. From start to finish, nothing but Stella is used, allowing the beer to be a showcase for a hop described by Hop Products Australia… Read more
Style
IPA

2 Brothers Terminator

Tapped August 4th, 2011
Ideally, we'd like to work the phrase "I'll be back" into this review, but as it's the first time 2 Brothers have released the beer, we might just have to wait until they make another batch next year. Instead, we'll have to console ourselves by telling you all about it, it being a German style doppelbock. According to brewer Andrew Ong: "We followed the traditional German naming convention of doppelbocks always end in the letters 'â?¦ator'" while the brew itself was apparently… Read more
Style
Doppelbock
ABV
7.7%
Stockists

Young & Jackson's

Dan O'Connell (Carlton)

Gertrude's Brown Couch (Fitzroy)

Dexter's (Clifton Hill)

Biero

Mrs Parma's

Baden Powell

Prince Albert (Williamstow

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Stone & Wood Stone Beer (2011)

Tapped August 1st, 2011
Given the runaway success of their Pacific Ale, the Stone & Wood team has little time to do anything but brew batch after batch of it these days (well, when not surfing or hanging out at the beach, anyway). But they do like to find time for their annual Stone Beer brew, the beer that involves head brewer Brad Rogers pulling out the rocks he's been lugging around since his days brewing in Fiji, superheating them over a fire and using them in the brewing process. It's a recreation of an ancient… Read more
Style
Stone Beer
ABV
5.3%

Murray's Oak-Aged Heart of Darkness

Tapped July 30th, 2011
To mark the brewery's 500th brew, Murray's decided to put a twist on one of their most twisted beers, the big, dark, clash of styles Belgian Imperial Stout. It has spent time in American oak barrels previously used for Shiraz. According to the brewery, it's added a "beautifully integrated oak character. The beer features classic light tannins and vanillin oak character, which accentuate the strong chocolate notes of Heart of Darkness." It's only available in very limited numbers from Murray's… Read more
Style
Belgio Imperial Stout
ABV
9.6%

Hargreaves Hill Russian Imperial Stout

Tapped July 28th, 2011
You know when you take your first mouthful of a particularly feisty chili or curry and it sends your taste buds into overdrive, firing off warning messages to your brain that this one might just be too hot to handle? Then you soldier on and, palate suitably adjusted, it turns out you were just being a wuss. Well, it seems the same can apply to big bastard beers like this Russian Imperial Stout, the biggest beer yet released by Hargreaves Hill. After wallowing in the lovely rich aromas - dark caramel,… Read more
Style
Russian Imperial Stout
ABV
12.3%

Bridge Road Saison Noir

Tapped July 23rd, 2011
Bridge Road founder Ben Kraus is making a nice habit of pulling something special out of the bag to mark his brewery's anniversaries. And with this - a beer which suggests that while the first half of 2011 belonged to black IPAs the second will belong to black saisons, what with Doctor's Orders Synapse having appeared already - that tradition continues. You can plot the evolution that's led Ben here, from the spectacular Oak-Aged Imperial Porter of the fourth anniversary through last year's mightily… Read more
Style
Black Saison
ABV
6.5%

Mountain Goat Coffee IPA

Tapped July 22nd, 2011
It's not that unusual to find coffee in a beer, although in Australia at least it has tended to be found in dark ales, porters or stouts, beers that often have some coffee like aromas or flavours from their malt bill. It is pretty unusual to find coffee in an IPA, which is the case in this collaborative effort from Mountain Goat and roasters Seven Seeds. After playing around on the pilot brewery, this is the first batch to make it into the public realm. Hold it to your nose and there's little to… Read more

Prickly Moses Chocolate Ale

Tapped July 21st, 2011
The second new beer to be unveiled during the Prickly Moses showcase at Young & Jackson's this sees the brewers from the Otway Ranges hooking up with Grounded Pleasures, who have supplied organic fair trade Ugandan Red Cocoa to create a rich, chocolaty ale. According to brewer Hendo: "We created this chocolate ale to highlight the reddish hue of the cocoa in a malt-driven beer." He says there are subtle mineral yeast tones, designed to accentuate the origins of the cocoa. Some orange… Read more
Style
Chocolate Ale
ABV
6.2%
Stockists

Young & Jackson's (tap)

Blackhearts & Sparrows (growler)

Slowbeer (growler)

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Moo Brew Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout (2010 Vintage Release)

Tapped July 20th, 2011
In the world of Aussie beer, this is one that can easily be tagged "luxury item". It's to craft beer aficionados what a diamond encrusted iPhone is to a yacht-hopping dolly bird in Monte Carlo: oozing, nay, flaunting excess. In previous years, the folks at Moo have used such phrases as "complex matrix of high residual sugar and bitterness" and "active alcohol vector" when describing the beer. It seems the bogans have taken back control this year, however, with the label… Read more
Style
Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout
ABV
8.0%
Stockists

Moo Brew

Red Duck Canute the Gruit

Tapped July 16th, 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

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Red Duck Belgian Vanilla Porter

Tapped July 16th, 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-

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Red Duck Queen Bee

Tapped July 15th, 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 15th, 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 13th, 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 11th, 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 7th, 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 Beer IPA (Winter 2011)

Tapped July 6th, 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

4 Pines Canuck & RyePA

Tapped July 1st, 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

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