I read that… Little Creatures has relaunched their Bright Ale with a new recipe. I loved the email I received from them on this topic because it was transparent about the change and talked not just in marketing terms but in beer terms about why the change was made…
We’ve removed Cascade from the hop bill, and added in some Liberty and Crystal. We think the result is a more distinctive, hoppy beer without sacrificing sessionability. We’ve also added some wheat to the malt grist to round out the mouth-feel a bit.
I always thought that the Bright Ale was a little too similar to the Pale Ale and if I was going to drink it, I may as well drink the Pale Ale, and removing the Cascade may aid them in distinguishing the Bright Ale. Even though they’re now owned by the big boys, Lion, it’s good to know that Little Creatures are communicating with drinkers in the right way.
Can’t wait to visit… their new Geelong brewery at some point soon too, looks good.
I was disappointed with… Feral Hop Hog, which won the Hottest 100 beers again this year and I revisited this classic only to find the latest batch is completely different to what I remember. I’m sure they must have changed the recipe though I couldn’t find any official communication like that above to support this. The body of the beer is much lighter and it tastes super fruity, very similar to the no.2 on the list Stone & Wood’s Pacific Ale in fact.
On the other hand, I really enjoyed… Bridge Road’s Bling IPA, which was everything an IPA should be, still hoppy but with a decent malt backbone to balance.
I was also stoked to find… a Holgate Double Trouble abbey ale, as this is one of the better Belgian style beers made in Australia.
I drank for the first time… a Hawthorn Amber ale. An English style amber ale from these contract brewers who are putting together a very solid lineup of beers. I would have liked more bitterness personally but I realise that wasn’t what they were going for here, this is a very nice malt-driven sessionable beer.
I went to… First Choice Liquor, that other big corporate beer retailer in Australia, and although there range of craft beer isn’t nearly as wide as a good Dan’s, I was actually pretty impressed by what they had. They stocked a wider range of Bridge Road and Holgate breweries, which are some of my favourites. The only downer is the advertising of that faux craft beer Steamrail everywhere!
I tried out … a boilermaker of Mornington Peninsula Brown Ale and Woodford Reserve Bourbon, and it was lovely. If you are wanting to drink boilermakers in Melbourne, visit Whisky & Alement for a huge range of whiskys with boilermaker specials on Thursdays, and Kodiak Club for bourbons, both are also just great bars.
That was my week in beer.