I present to you (lightest to darkest) the Ten Beers That I Really Enjoyed Drinking (and Writing About) in 2017…
Drifter, Fortitude Brewing Company, Mt. Tamborine, QLD; 4.4% A no-brainer mid-strength summer ale that pours out like carbonated gold topped off by a thin, white head. Simple scents of honey on toast and fresh orange rind make this one super refreshing light weight alternative.
Rubus, Birra del Borgo, Borgorose RI, Italy; 5.8% Vivid amber haze lights up the glass with a super-foamy white head. Pungent aromatics reminiscent of crushed river rocks sprinkled with candy mandarins, orange zest and over-ripe raspberries. A blushing mix of bramble fruit mingles with a mineral tang that’s crunchy and dry.
Milky Way, Sailors Grave Brewing, East Gippsland, VIC; 4.3% Pouring the colour of cloudy milk, the brew smells of sour custard and sliced apples that taste like they’ve been added to a bowl of Greek yoghurt, with a splash of Yakult and a sprinkle of vanilla.
Vin Foile, La Sirène, Alphington, VIC; 8.1% Beer and wine combine to express aromas of ripened cumquat, quince, and fresh persimmon. Complexity past the lips; soft oranges, tart red berries and funky bubblegum. Crunchy acidity with a revitalising chalky dryness.
Admiral Ackbar Anti-Imperial Red Ale, Noisy Minor Brewing Co., Mt. Tamborine, QLD; 8.4% Pouring out deep amber with a sudsy beige head that smells sweetly of malt biscuits, raisins and glacé cherries anchored by heavily citric hops. Perfectly balanced between bitter and sweet, malts and hops, toffee and spice.
Thursday, Mayday Hills, Beechworth, VIC; 6% An ambrosial beverage brewed with Brettanomyces. Colour of cloudy cola with a thin dissolving head, smelling of blood plums, black fruits and peat, tasting floral, spicy and sweet with bitter herbs, briar brush and anise.
Brown Ale, New England Brewing Co., Uralla, NSW; 4.5% A rich bronze body with a faded tan head emits malty aromas of dark, hazelnut chocolate, coffee and caramel. Mildly roasted malts with a hint of sweet plum pudding flavours within a foamy texture, finishing long and bitter.
Black Metal Disco, Balter, Currumbin, QLD; 5.4% Chestnut cola with a foamy tan head. Cocoa, coffee and vanilla odours with an echo of desiccated currents and hops rendered into a smooth and creamy mouthfeel.
Dead Man’s Revenge Black IPA, Last Rites Brewing Co., Hobart, TAS; 6.5% Ruby brown, fragrant with vanilla, roasted malts, burnt caramel and dark chocolate. Greasy textures tasting of melon and resin doused with a shot of espresso and chocolate.
Coal Porter Dark Ale, Grainfed Brewing Co., Newcastle, NSW; 5.5% My new favourite beer. Black gold in the glass with a thick tan head. Peppered milk chocolate shavings on the nose; a creamy mouthfeel carries slaking flavours of char, coffee grounds balanced by bittersweet cocoa.