If you have followed this series diligently, you would have recognized that there are a few Australian breweries that not only emit interesting new concoctions on a regular basis, but push the boundaries every time in terms of creating fulminant flavour experiences.
Green Beacon is one of the distilleries that yet has to disappoint and if you have had the fortune to sample some of their core range ales, you would probably do the same as me, i.e. be on the lookout for their fantastic seasonals which they revisit at different times of the year.
One of those limited releases is the aptly titled Red IPA, Red’s Dead, which delivers is the hop department but has the pirate skeleton which adorns the packaging flex its muscles specifically in the chocolatey end of the malt spectrum, culminating in sweet, biscuity and berry rich highlights, which are counterpointed by a resinous, piney backbone. The result is a complex, flavourful yet subtle IPA with an ABV of 6.5% ideal for the colder months of the year and a perfect component of a boilermaker with a peaty dram.
Despite of having released an array of beer variants and with its head brewer and former university lecturer Shawn Sherlock being accolade decorated, I was yet to be introduced to the emissions of Foghorn Brewery. With its HQ being located in a converted industrial unit in Australia’s Newcastle, Foghorn’s line-up is comprised of a diverse range of style from pilsners to saisons, stout, IPAs and melanges in between.
Let’s start with one of Foghorn’s more accessible emissions, i.e. the sessionable Newy Pale Ale, which is understood to be a hoppy ode to Newcastle. With the hops being at the fruity end of the spectrum and being added late in the brewing access , they unveil their full potential set against malty and slightly yeasty highlights. With an IBU of 35 and ABV of 4.5% a nice entry point into the realm of how Foghorn channels its alchemy.
A personal favourite of Foghorn’s brews is the visual and nomenclatural ode to David Bowie, i.e. the Young Americans IPA, which is a balanced, sublime India Pale Ale paying homage to the traditional American style with a welcome overload of Simcoe and Citra hops, which are infused with idiosyncratic flavour notes via the addition of New Zealand Wakatu flowers, resulting in a delicious tour de force of resinous goodness, set against a well-calibrated bitterness. Clocking in at a devilish ABV of 6.66%, Foghorn’s Young American IPA makes one lust for their more limited variants and a visit to their brewhouse.
With the dram of a neck pour of a freshly opened Laphroaig Quarter Cask waiting for a companion, I gave Foghorn’s Sligo Stout a go and well, it is a thing of beauty. With an ABV close to eight percent and the name being an homage to the Western part of Ireland and its legendary stout heritage, what hits the palate is a melange of dark chocolate and nicely calibrated coffee nuances , which rests against a balanced backbone of hoppy bitterness. Once sampled, it is not further wondrous that it won a range of “best stout” category awards.
Wayward Brewing has established itself firmly on the firmament of Sydney breweries that pump out consistently quality , limited releases and while the names and flavour might sounds a bit wild at times, they always manage to pull it off.
Case in point: Wayward Brewing’s new Peaches and Cream Vanilla Sour.
Yes, you would be right in assuming that this one is located a bit left of centre of what a more traditional beer aficionado would expect from a brewery, however, Wayward has channelled its alchemy in a way that even if you are consider sours an acquired taste, you cannot help to find yourself thinking that it was a worthwhile tasting experience.
Resting on a foundation of the marriage of Australian-grown peaches and Madagascar Bourbon vanilla, this velvety sour is what the name suggest, i.e. the equivalent of an ice-cream sundae in beer form, however, it would not be Wayward if it did not delicately meander the spectrum from sour to sweet and back in manner that lets one discover more than the nuances that the name suggests.
Another example par excellence for Wayward confidently going off the beaten track to win over new palates.
I cannot wait for Wayward Brewing’s upcoming IPA variants…
images from company websites
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