As the weather has finally turned and we’re sweltering at work, our minds drift to pool-side exploits and cold beer. The stouts of winter are on the outer, and sours, IPAs, pilsners are top of mind; beers that can be enjoyed with family and friends and, no doubt, some Christmas ham.
Here’s a few beers to enjoy instead of thinking about having to buy socks for Uncle Bill, a candle for Aunty Jo, and a bottle of Prosecco for Mum.
- Badlands Brewing Pilsner - This was named, again, as one of Australia’s Beer of the Year by sports writer Peter Lalor in the Weekend Australia. I guess sports writing and beer drinking go hand-in-hand. It’s a fine example of a slightly bitter new world Pilsner, and one to crack as you watch the first ball on the Boxing Day Test.
- Fox Friday Hazy IPA – This was one of our discovery brewers. When our beer-man Jake returned from his Tassie sojourn, he was all aflame about Fox Friday. As a keen supporter of Mountain Culture, I can understand why, they are from a similar mould. Settle in and enjoy. El dorado, Citra and Mosaic hops says it all.
- Mountain Culture x Firestone Walker NEIPA – Mountain Culture can’t put a step wrong when it comes to NEIPAs. Throw Firestone Walker in the mix, and your hops and dreams come to life. Full and flavoursome, with the loved Mosaic, Incognito, Citra and Galaxy leading the charge.
- Garage Project Tiny (but Mighty) – When you’re at the in-laws for Christmas and you know you have to (maybe want to) drive home soon, this is your friend. Sneak a four pack of these in the esky (or Chilly-Bin), and you’ll be good to blow the bag. It’s a non-alc with flavour. Yep, true. Styled as a Hazy IPA, it’s a non-alc beer to enjoy.
- Blackmans x Hawkers Juicy West Coast IPA – This is pure joy. A collab of Blackman’s Juicy Banger and Hawkers West Coast IPA, it’s a beer to enjoy with well-balanced bitterness and hops and tropical juiciness – just as intended.
- Principle Brewing Cherry Sour – Dave and guys at Fairymeadow’s Principle Brewing have one belief; drink good beer. Simple. It’s this focus that is serving them well. Their Cherry Sour is a cracker. Sour, yes, but it’s the cherry that lifts it. None of this fake cherry flavour, this is balanced and inspired. One can never seems to be quite enough.
- Hope Brewery Passionfruit Sour – In keeping with the sour theme, do yourself a flavour (sic) and reach for one of these pink cans. Hope Brewery do sours well. It’s their thing and this one is lip smackingly vibrant. If you’re a fan of passionfruit, this is for you – go for a can with the Christmas pavlova.
- Reckless Brewing BX Lager – This is Bathurst’s new brewery, and they’ve hit the ground running. Like Bathurst, this is nothing fancy, just refreshingly crisp and easy. No need to think too much about this.
- Mountain Culture Status Quo Pale Ale – The best thing to come out of the Blue Mountains since Pat Cummins. This is a firm favourite, with just the right amount of everything. As the brewer says “…more tropical than the Hawaiian ukulele orchestra.” I’ll drink to that.
- Ocean Reach IPA – Another indie brewer doing good things. Floral aromas and a citrus punch, this is a good go-to if you’re looking for a new brewery to support. They’re based at Cowes, Philip Island and just make good beer.
- Wayward Brewing Co Hazy Mid – A mid strength hazy that worth tracking done. These guys are set among the plethora of breweries in the inner west of Sydney. The taproom is wedged down a laneway in Camperdown (gotta luv a good Lane), and this Hazy Mid lets you enjoy a few while you’re discovering all the other cool taprooms.
- Tallboy & Moose Sunray XPA – Not to be confused with Rocky & Bullwinkle (Another Fine Moose You've Gotten Me Into) the Tallboy & Moose Sunray just make you smile. It’s an Aussie Pale Ale made in Melbourne’s Preston. This use to be a pretty ordinary suburb, but it’s all pretty fancy now, like this tropical and citrusy XPA.