Don’t like beer? That’s not true – you just haven’t found the right one.
Australia is blessed with an ever-growing selection of craft-beer makers. With hundreds of breweries around the country, there’s guaranteed to be a beer that caters to every taste.
The Union Hotel in Sydney’s Newtown can attest to the popularity of craft beer – the venue has up to 20 on tap at any given time. Union bartender, Paul Castonini, sees patrons flummoxed by the selection every day.
For those still acquiring a taste for beer, Castonini suggests asking your bartender lots of questions, and requesting a little taster of each. “I often ask patrons whether they prefer something malty, or something more bitter, and then we go from there,” says Castonini.
As a general rule of thumb, lagers go well with hearty foods, pale ales are great for the summer with light appetisers and dark beers, such as stouts or porters, have a malty taste, meaning they’re great for any meat dish.
Whether you’re already an enthusiast or you’ve never found a beer that’s right for you, there’ll be something for you on this list.
Feral Hop Hog India Pale Ale
Feral’s Hop Hog has a number of accolades under its belt, including 2012’s Best International Pale Ale. Castonini says this one is a clean, light-tasting beer. It’s easy on the palate and not too bitter.
Holgate Mt Macedon Pale Ale
This is another easy starter. It has a slight bitterness that doesn’t linger for long, as well as a hint of citrus, and is low on carbonation, so you’re safe from burps in the first round. It’s brewed in Victoria with fresh water from the Macedon Ranges.
James Squire The Chancer Golden Ale
This golden ale promises a tropical fruit-like aroma and has a dry finish. If you’re not used to the bitterness of hops, this is a good beer to start with; it’s crisp but won’t have you screwing up your face.
Brewcult Reset Robot Pale Ale
A mid-strength pale ale and good stand-alone drink; it’s more of a palate cleanser than a beer to pair with food. It pours a hazy, yellow colour, and has an interesting mix of aromas including sweet citrus, grapefruit and grass.
Young Henrys Natural Lager
An unfiltered beer with a cloudy, golden hue. This one’s more dry than sweet, with a subtle citrus aroma. Young Henrys recommends drinking this one cold when it’s a scorcher outside.
White Rabbit “Belgian Style” Pale Ale
Subtle herbal aromas and spicy notes aren’t something you usually associate with beer, but you’ll notice them in this pale ale. There’s a touch of caramel sweetness, too. It’s a beer that’s full of flavour, but it won’t shock your tastebuds.
This article is part of Broadsheet's Craft Beer Quarterly, produced in partnership with James Squire.