Time for the second of our state-by-state selections of the best new beers to be released around Australia in 2014. We've asked gurus (who tend to get their hands on pretty much every beer possible throughout the year) from around the country to cast their minds back over the past 12 months and filter out the top 10 new brews – in other words, beers released for the first time in 2014 – from their home state.
We kicked off with Tasmania and now it's time to head over to Western Australia. Our WA guru is Pia "girl plus beer" Poynton (pictured bottom right above), who also masquerades as Crafty Pint WA on Twitter and does copious things in and around the beer scene. And these, in no particular order, are her top tipples of 2014.
Homestead Black Swan Black IPA
Homestead is WA's newest brewery [with former Temple head brewer Ron Feruglio at the brewing controls – Crafty] and this black IPA has been a beer nerd favourite since they opened. Black Swan is that perfect balance of roasty and hoppy that makes you want to do a little dance.
Cheeky Monkey Double IPA
A limited release that's just dripping in thick, juicy hops and backed up with plenty of malt. This beer is stupid because it's so damn good and really drinkable: a highly dangerous combo at more than 8 percent ABV.
A collaboration between Margaret River's oldest brewery and one of Perth's best bottleshops. Ryezilla is an aggressive fruit salad of a beer, with big tropical fruit and some citrus characters. But its bitterness is punchy and the malt is kinda sweet, rounding out the fruity hops.
Nail Brewing Red Ale
Another beautiful beer from Nail's Brew Log series; another example of John showing off his brewing skills with a hoppy, caramel malt ale you could drink forever. The beer was so well received that it's since become part of the permanent Nail lineup.
Eagle Bay Steam Ale
Part of their Brewers Series of limited release beers, this brew has beach BBQs stamped all over it. Pouring a stunning colour, it has a little apricot and citrus on the palate and a super clean finish.
Colonial Draught Kolsch Ale
The reimagined Kolsch now in a crushable, pun-able and good looking 375ml can. It's the same Kolsch we all know and love, it just now has a slightly different name and comes wearing snazzy new clothes.
Beaten Track Saison
A saison from Kalgoorie – who would have thought this was possible a few years ago! This beer is complicated in a totally lovely way, in a way that challenges you to peel away each layer and figure out what's happening. It's very herbal and has a big whack of spices, all continually evolving as it warms.
Mash Brewing Bon Scotch Ale
I know everyone's talking about the Copy Cat IPA [which was named Champion Australian Beer at this year's Australian International Beer Awards] but this Scotch ale has a great balance of vanilla and peat that gently lingers over a soft sultana sweetness that is just begging to age a little.
A German IPA from Swan Valley's Feral, showcasing new German hop hits that give stone fruit, a little spice, a little grass and a refreshing dry finish. It's a beer that's produced a real "love it or hate it" response – just as the brewery would no doubt want.
Too Many Cooks
'Too Many Cooks' is the handy work of no less than eight of the breweries in the south west, including Eagle Bay, Colonial, Cowaramup, Bootleg, Cheeky Monkey, Duckstein, Bush Shack and Young Henrys. A collaboration for WA Beer Week, the result is a beer with a lot of hops, some cinnamon and star anise, a solid malty backbone and the Belgian yeast used in Cheeky Monkey's Hagenbeck Belgian IPA.
Thanks, Pia. Next up, probably Victoria as the writer of Queensland's list has been at the cricket, New South Wales is on a plane to New Zealand, and South Australia, well, let's just see what happens...