There are some great beers that have proven very successful in introducing non-beer drinkers to the excitement of craft beer. Stone & Wood Pacific Ale, Mountain Goat Steam Ale and Green Beacon Wayfarer Wheat are some of the great gateways into the world of craft. But when you’re looking for beers to push your flavour expectations even further, where do you go? Here are five suggestions for excellent locally made beers that will test your boundaries.
Yeastie Boys Digital IPA
Modern craft brewers love to showcase the aromas of hops in their IPAs. To achieve this they will often “dry hop”, which means adding hops very late in the brewing process, after the boil. This captures aromas without adding to the bitterness. Not Yeastie Boys. It adds its hops to the boil precisely to capture a long, dry bitterness, which the brewers feel is more in keeping with traditional IPAs.
Stockade Hop Splicer XPA
In addition to three-letter acronyms, craft beer has brought us a thesaurus full of fruity descriptors, such as “piney” to describe the hoppy aromas of many craft styles. That inventive spirit has encouraged brewers to play with actual fruit as well creating beers such as this one. Lemon zest joins Vic Secret, Ella and Centennial hops to pump up the citrus tones of this highly drinkable ale. It’s a moderate 4.4%, so it can stretch your flavour expectations of an IPA without overpowering the palate.
Nomad Freshie Salt & Pepper Gose
Gose (pronounced "goes-uh") is a recently revived beer style from Germany that includes salt in the recipe. Based on Sydney's Northern beaches, Nomad has added salt to its version in the form of seawater, while the pepper comes from Tasmania. It may all sound very un-beer-like, but the results are surprisingly attractive, lending an unusual tang to the familiar.
Deep Creek Pontoon in a Monsoon IPA
Born in a regional brew bar in Brown Bay, New Zealand, Deep Creek burst onto the local scene when it was named Champion Small International Brewery at the 2017 Australian International Beer Awards. This interpretation of a classic IPA brings Centennial and Cascade hops to the fore in a bold package.
Holgate Brewhouse Norton Lager
It's odd to describe a 20-year-old business as venerable or old, but in the dynamic craft-beer world, Holgate is ancient. It is a pioneer of the modern craft movement and has its share of classic beers, but its recent Norton Lager is a standout. Inspired by classic German lagers, and named in honour of the owner's dad's motorcycle, it’s a delicious lager with soft malts and stone fruit, courtesy of Australian hops.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with First Choice Liquor.