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!

La Sirène Cuvée Bleu 2020

Tapped January 17, 2021
Anyone lucky enough to attend the first Blobfish Festival – a celebration of all things sour, wild and funky – in 2019 would have found much to tantalise their taste buds. Of the many beers to delight mine was a blueberry-laden, barrel-aged affair from La Sirène, an offering so delightful I sent a few mates over to give it a go. It seems the brewers were fans too, with a new version of the beer returning as the Alphington operation's last limited release of 2020. The backstory to this version… Read more
Style
Barrel-Aged Wild Ale with Blueberries
ABV
7.5%

Bad Shepherd Homegrown Session IPA

Tapped January 17, 2021
Cheltenham brewery Bad Shepherd have enjoyed success – not to mention plenty of coverage – with their Victorian Pale Ale, a beer that helped bring the reawakened Melbourne ale yeast back to prominence in a celebration of all Aussie ingredients. It's a formula they've returned to as their IPA Series starts up again in 2021. With Homegrown, it's a case once more of all Victorian ingredients, this time including the recently-named Eclipse hops (formerly HPA-016) from Hop Products Australia. Set… Read more
Style
Session IPA
ABV
4.0%

Sanctus Brewing Empty Head Pilsner

Tapped January 16, 2021
Empty Head sounds like an insult. But what is there to insult? No one’s casting aspersions on a beer this refreshing in the Clarence River region. There are plenty of other beers with New World hops, next to no bitterness, haze, lactose, and fruit additions. But this isn’t one of them. This is a pilsner. Crisp and clean, just like the evening breeze off the Clarence River. Smooth malt sweetness to do battle with the salty sea air after a surf. Sessionable for sinking tinnies while you’re out… Read more
Style
Pilsner
ABV
4.7%

Hop Nation 30-G Single Hop Series

Tapped January 15, 2021
Hop Nation’s 30-G Single Hop Series is a journey into what can happen when a rather substantial volume of a single hop variety can do to four beers; each is a 7 percent ABV IPA triple-dry-hopped with 30 grams of the green stuff per litre of beer. Each of them is pale and hazy; first, let’s start with Cashmere, which was my personal pick of the quartet. Here, the American hop provides a hard to define but rich berry flavour, which sits closest to raspberries but also brought to mind blackberries,… Read more
Style
Single Hop IPAs
ABV
All 7.0%

Akasha Project Blood Orange Gose

Tapped January 15, 2021
The first Akasha Project release for 2021 also happens to be the Sydney brewery’s first limited release tin that isn’t driven by hops (since rebranding last year anyway). Instead, they’ve traded heavy hopping rates for kettle souring and buckets of citrus pulp to brew Blood Orange Gose. It’s a pink-hued beer that would fit with any picnic in a park and largely that’s thanks to the balance between sourness, juiciness and saltiness. Many modern kettle sours land pretty close to soft drinks… Read more
Style
Gose
ABV
4.5%

Bailey Brewing Hazy IPA & Draught

Tapped January 15, 2021
This duo greet the thousands that descend upon the Swan Valley brewery venue each week with a straightforwardness, and a knowledge there will be a beer on offer that’s a "beer" – there’s no fairy bread adjuncts here. And, while Hazy IPA remains on the lighter side of both yellow opacity and ABV, its broad appeal will likely see it become a venue best-seller. Running a tropi-citrus theme, driven by El Dorado’s pineapple / mango burst, peachy stonefruit, low bitterness, and a sense… Read more
Style
Hazy IPA & Aussie Lager
ABV
5.5% & 4.8%
Stockists

Available from the brewery

Hop Nation Xolo & Single Foedre Sour Red

Tapped January 14, 2021
Hop Nation have welcomed in 2021 by taking the hazy world the Footscray-based brewery has spent years exploring in a slightly new direction. Xolo is a hazy IPA where the malt-bill is based on corn and along with Sabro, Galaxy and Mosaic, lime zest and mango were used in the brew too. That lime zest really makes its presence felt; adding a tart citrus hit which brought to mind a particularly tart mandarin before more classic hazy flavours of mango and yellow nectarine and a biting bitterness finishes… Read more
Style
Hazy IPA & Sour Red
ABV
Both 6.5%

Braeside Brewing Peach Compass Sour

Tapped January 14, 2021
When it comes to contemporary, fruit-laden sours of the non-barrel-aged or blended variety, they're typically intended to be cracked and poured cold, although that doesn't appear to be the best approach with Braeside's limited release Peach Compass Sour. When first encountered straight from the fridge there was an element within the aroma I wasn't expecting, something akin to the sweet, bacon-esque smokiness you find in the rauchbiers from Bamberg (or the Frazzles chips from the UK), albeit not as… Read more
Style
Peach Sour
ABV
6.0%

King Road Brewing Belgian Wit

Tapped January 13, 2021
The Belgian witbier – and wheat beers more generally – once ruled refreshment in parts of the world between the World Wars before lager’s industrial dominance took deep root. One example in particular, Hoegaarden, remains well known, although its history is borrowed: 1445? More like 1966. And, given the current drinking climate, making one in the Twenties seems like the most punk rock brewing option, even if the liquid is hazy. In the glass, King Road's take on the Euro classic releases yeast-driven… Read more
Style
Witbier
ABV
4.9%
Stockists

Available from the brewery on tap and for CANimal takeaways

Moon Dog Groundhog Haze

Tapped January 12, 2021
Back in the sad days of VHS there were probably four films – all taped from the TV – that I regularly returned to. The first three were the Back To The Future trilogy I watched so often I can still remember what was happening on Ramsay Street circa 1994, and the fourth was Groundhog Day. It’s a film I enjoyed so often that, looking back, maybe living inside the Punxsutawney purgatory that befouls Bill Murray wouldn’t have bothered me all that much. Just as returning to an old tape over and… Read more
Style
Hazy IPA
ABV
6.2%

Little Bang Brewing 12,000 Hazy IPAs

Tapped January 12, 2021
In 2020, a plethora of limited release IPAs were discharged into the wild: straight IPAs, hazy IPAs, IIPAs, oat cream IPAs, sour oat cream IPAs; hop fiends were spoilt for choice. Many arrived with quirky names, eye-catching labels and diverse hop combinations. As the year came to a close, the team at Little Bang decided to release 12,000 of them at once – the same hazy IPA but each with a unique name and label. You can read how it came about here, with brewery co-founder Ryan Davidson's algorithm… Read more
Style
Hazy IPA
ABV
6.3%

Big Shed Strata/Zappa IPA

Tapped January 12, 2021
The Big Shed brewing team has started 2021 with a bang, wasting no time in releasing their first limited release. They've called upon two big-hitting new hops to impart their oily goodness into a West Coast style IPA too. Strata and Zappa were among the US varieties causing a buzz in the beer industry in 2020; the former Strata is the progeny of Perle, which has its origins in Germany but is also grown in the States, while Zappa was discovered in the wild and is native to North America. The combination… Read more
Style
IPA
ABV
6.5%
Bitterness
38 IBUs

One Drop Brewing Peach & Elderflower, Feijoa & Manuka Flower & Blueberry & Lavender

Tapped December 30, 2020
One Drop have been known for their fruit sours since they opened, but now they’ve started their Fruit & Flower series of sours to get bees puckering their lips as well.† The first is Peach & Elderflower, and it doesn’t waste any time introducing you to what's in store. There’s a pungent hit of funk on the nose with the peach, but then the first sip is all juicy, tart peach with the lightest floral whisper in the distance – no funk here. The flavours cling to all parts of your tongue,… Read more
Style
Fruit & Flower Sours
ABV
3.5% & 6.1% & 5.5%

Innate Brewers Imperial Brave New World & Heirloom Czech Pilsner

Tapped December 30, 2020
Innate's collab with The Crafty Corner references someone named Captain Dick, but we’re happier focusing on Huxley’s dystopian novel of its title. Brave New World, initially a parody inspired by a future offered by the Industrial Revolution, soon took on a life of its own, becoming one of the world’s best known, and most highly regarded, novels. Now in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we grapple algorithms not steam, but the cultural impact is equally potent. But, as this is a beer publication,… Read more
Style
Double IPA & Czech Pilsner
ABV
7.8% & 4.9%
Stockists

Cellarbrations Carlisle

Cellarbrations Vic Park

And Innate's WA stockists

More stockists...

Frenchies & Hopsters The Cool Kids: Cryo Idaho 7

Tapped December 30, 2020
Pokemon cards? Yo-yos? Digimon…s? What did it take to be in with the cool kids when you were at school? (Because clearly I had no idea.) Nowadays, for many in the beer world it takes exploring new and interesting hop varieties. In the case of Frenchies, they're collaborating with Hopsters Co-op Brewery on not just one beer, but a series of single hop hazy IPAs, and the first is this one showcasing Idaho 7 Cryo hops. This beer is really smelly. In a good way. I mean, it’s really tasty… for my… Read more
Style
Single Hop Hazy IPA
ABV
6.5%

Big Shed Mango & Passionfruit Sours

Tapped December 29, 2020
Along with heat and holidays, summer brings with it an abundance of tropical fresh fruit. These days, such fruit appears with regularity in sours too, with mango and passionfruit two of the most favoured by brewers from the fruit aisle. And that's what you find in this pair from Big Shed, where a bucket load of each is used to embellish the same base beer. In the case of Mango Sour, the appearance really puts you in the mood as it pours a ripe mango-esque, incredibly opaque bright yellow. Authentic,… Read more
Style
Fruit Sours
ABV
4.7% & 4.2%
Tapped December 28, 2020
In our end of year trend wrap, we talked about the growing opportunity for beer businesses of all shapes and sizes to partner with specialists to assist with reach and professionalism; within days, Link Juice arrived. Here, Bright Tank have collaborated with their digital agency, PWD, for a double NEIPA which was apparently brewed in a volcano – sure thing, 2020, you’ve been weird enough already. The collaborators scaled up Chalkface Killah and the mango-imbued Troppo Season into a double-digit… Read more
Style
Fruited Double NEIPA
ABV
10.0%
Stockists

Available from the brewery

And WA stockists in limited release

Mountain Goat Rare Breed: Botanical IPA

Tapped December 27, 2020
For their final Rare Breed release of 2020, Mountain Goat return to territory that's proven to be successful for them in past: that of IPA, and in this case with a twist. Now the brewery have a sideline in gin, they've cross-pollinated the two by adding some of the botanicals from their Hopped Gin – juniper, coriander, cubeb and yuzu – to their Botanical IPA. And, while it might look much like past award-winning IPAs from the Richmond team – clear and golden – it's rather different in character.… Read more
Style
IPA with Botanicals
ABV
6.8%
Bitterness
44 IBU
Stockists

Mountain Goat's beer finder

Frenchies Soft Tropical Mist DDH Session NEIPA & Draught Pils Style & Tropical Brut IPA

Tapped December 27, 2020
Three super easy-drinking beers in 330ml cans. You ready for this? Our man Judd Owen wrote about Frenchies’ Tropical Mist and Thick Tropical Mist in November, and if he knocked back the seven percent NEIPA in six minutes then he’d do this Soft Tropical Mist DDH Session NEIPA in three because it’s full of beautiful haze but contains precisely zero elements to slow you down but considering it’s less than one standard drink perhaps that’s not a problem for anyone so enjoy the Strata-Sabro-Mosaic… Read more
Style
Session NEIPA & Pilsner & Brut IPA
ABV
3.5% & 4.5% & 6.5%

Modus Operandi Sour 02: Margarita & Lost In The Fog

Tapped December 27, 2020
Modus Operandi are on a mission to put a shot of Mexican good times into your glasses this summer as their Sour series returns with a Margarita-inspired drink. It's an inspiration a fair few brewers have turned to over the years, and here Sour 02 leans heavily into the fruitier side of the cocktail. Indeed, so prominent is the citrus character, it reminds me as much of the glasses of lemonade and lime I used to enjoy as a kid with my bitter lemon-drinking grandad as it does the salt-rimmed, tequila… Read more
Style
Margarita SOur & Hazy XPA
ABV
4.5% & 5.0%
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