Thus Let Us Drink Beer – The Southern Highlands Brewing Co
Formed a decade ago, it is a shame that I became only very recently aware of the existence of The Southern Highland Brewing Co.
With the name being a telling one, i.e. the brewery being located in the Australian Southern Highlands, the brews the duo, which originally met at a Rugby game, have been accolade decorated from the get-go.
With a playfully named core range that tickles all nuances a beer lover could wish for, i.e. starting with lager and rising the bitterness via Pale Ales, my favourite of Southern Highlands’ emissions is their fantastic Tighthead IPA.
Now, what is commonly labelled as “American IPA” has evolved quite a bit since the style first emanated in the early 1980s.
Based on a melange of Warrior and Chinook hops, this delightfully herbal, piney and citrusy new world IPA might not be overly complex or fruity like many of its contemporary peers in the ever expanding craft beer market, yet did a borderline perfect job as being the complementary constituent to complement a Boilermaker with Laphroaig’s Lore with its balancing malt backbone. Clean and bready tasting, moderately bitter light in both body and mouthfeel and if properly chilled, an immensely enjoyable crisp and well-crafted IPA. It appears that the mash temperature and grain bill has been manipulated in a manner to let the IPA finish in a superbly dry manner.
If you are an aficionado of tropical flavours, Southern Highlands Brewing’s latest seasonal, the Rain Ale or Shine Dark Tropical will be right up your alley. Clocking in at 6% ABV, what materializes on the palate is an extra pale ale variant with dominating fruity and citrussy highlights, that are pervaded by subtle nuances of dark malt.
With their brews getting the recognition they deserve at European beer awards; lovers of expertly crafted ales worldwide should take note and keep their eyes peeled as Southern Highlands is currently looking at exporting its emissions into overseas markets.