So here we are for round 2 of our blog series about the best beers produced in Australia in 2016. As a quick recap for those who didn't see the 1st edition, the idea behind this blog series is to contact all the amazing little craft breweries around Australia and ask them what beer they were most proud of producing in 2016.
Everyone has seen the yearly round-ups down by a public opinion poll but as we've said before for a beer to feature in them it already needs to have a wide distribution and be well known or it simply can't get the votes.
But what about all those amazing limited edition beers? What about the tiny breweries who are producing great brews but just don't have distribution away from their local area?
That is where this series comes in, let the brewers tell you what the best beer they produced last year was and whether you can still get your hands on some!
In today's post we'll hear from Buckleys Brewery, Sunday Road Brewing, Pickled Pig Brewery, Woolshed Brewery and Burleigh Brewing Co.
Buckley's brewery is located in an industrial park in Healesville Victoria "far from the maddening crowd" according to Steve Walker and Brendan Murnane the brewers. It also happens to be just around the corner from Four Pillars Gin if you are after something a little stronger on your tasting tour.
According to the boys their Buckleys Special Bitter was the pick of the batch last year coming in a sessionable 4.5% it is "Easy drinking with a strong malt base. Great flavour imparted by the European grain and hops. Dark amber and lightly carbonated."
It is an English Bitter and part of their core range of 4 beers which also include a English Pale Ale, a Pilsner and a Dark Bock. If you want to get your hands on some you can buy direct from their web store
if you can't get to the cellar door and they are also stocked at a couple of bottle shops and restaurants which you can find on their website.
As one final little tease the boys just gave us 3 words (kind of) DARK, RYE, IPA
Sounds like a apt description to me as what was going to be a single beer on the way home quickly became 4 and counting...
Brad reckons that in 2017 he is going to treat us all to "an English/American pale that's hugely tasty!" and I for one can't wait.
This brewery, tap tasting room and bottleshop covers all the bases, you can go in for a taste of 14 different core beers plus 4 rotating taps and if you like one of their brews you can fill your own bottles / mini kegs
to take away with you.
Based in Tweed Heads just south of the QLD border their Head Honcho (with a very apt name) Paul Brewer was most proud of producing their Loco Cider last year, which he describes as a "confusion of coconuts and kaffir limes."
Sounds just perfect for a day at the beach in northern NSW (or Sydney if you can deal with 38-40deg today!) and at a respectable 4.6% ABV it's light enough to be sessionable in the sun and heavy enough to make it worthwhile ;-)
Paul has said that coming into 2017 we will be seeing more organic fruit infused style beers being produced and they are also working constantly towards being as environmentally conscious as they can with the addition of further solar power capacity and their recycling drive. They are happy to rinse and sterilise any bottles you bring in to fill your beers with so long as they are clean.
Another great beer for a scorcher of a day like today comes to us from Riverland, South Australia where Woolshed Brewery is overseen by Jackson Beavis.
His highly quaffable River Time Session Pale (3.5%) is custom made for sitting in a blow up pool in the backyard with a hat on.. Well at least that's how I'd be drinking it if I could get my hands on it today but unfortunately it only available on draught from either the brewery or a couple of selected venues in Adelaide and Newcastle. The good news is that it should be going into tinnys early this year and receiving a wider keg distributin too so keep an eye out at your local!
Jackson described this Session Pale Ale as "brewed with an all Australian malt profile, and hopped with Galaxy and Mosaic hops, which gives tropical flavours. Full flavoured with lighter alcohol, so you can enjoy more river time!"He followed that up by rather cryptically by telling us to "beware of the Bunyip...." whatever that is, it sounds more dangerous than a session pale that's for sure!
Brennan Fielding, who heads up the brew team at Burleigh Brewing Co. on the Gold Coast QLD has yet another easy drinking number for our round-up this week. There seems to be quite a theme developing here but I'm not complaining, I'm sweating just typing this so a stout is not something I'd be turning to at the moment!