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Latest Beer & Cider News

Fresh Kegs and Wild Beers

G'day

With Sydney Beer Week so close and with all it has to offer, I thought I'd remind everyone of our Growler station. I've been holding onto some pretty special kegs from some pretty special brewers. You can check out our current Growler listings HERE which we edit when new kegs are tapped. 

 

 

  

Tap 1
Bounty Hunter Brewing
"What Did You Do, Ray?" Burnt Marshmallow Brown Ale 6%

Based in Western Sydney, Bounty Hunter is about all things Pop Culture, podcasts and amazing artwork!

"Concerned your state-of-the-art high voltage laser containment system is tiring to restrain your Class VII obsessively malevolent, exceptionally powerful metaspectres? Call Bounty Hunter Brewing Co. Our courteous and efficient staff is on call 24 hours a day to serve all your supernatural elimination and conversion needs. We take pride in our ability to convert your excess psychokinetic energy into a tangible manifestation exclusively for consumption with added pleasantries such as vanilla, marshmallow and cocoa nibs, combined with a selection of specialised malts that once fermented in our own custom-built facility, will produce a 6.0% burnt marshmallow brown ale of ethereal calibre you won't find listed in your copy of the Spates Catalogue or Tobin Spirit Guide."

 

 Tap 2
Eden Brewery
Maple Pecan Nut Brown Ale 4.6%

Deb and Jacob are the owners and brewers out at their Mittagong Brewery. We were extremely pleased to be one of the first places in Sydney CBD to get a keg of this delicious Brown Ale.

"Don’t like beer? How about maple syrup? Or pecan pies from the Gumnut Patisserie? Both of which are making a star appearance in this beer in their own unique way. Beginning with a fragrant bouquet of maple syrup, and finishing with a roasty pecan dryness, this beer is definitely worth a try!"

These are two limited kegs, meaning once they're gone, they're gone! We usually keep our keg rotation a secret but I can tell you, you'll see Shenanigans and Pirate Life in the near future. 

 We also went a bit silly on English beers this month! We've recently received a delivery of Wild Beer (and Buxton). I'm going to leave you the link for some new experimental and seasonal beers from the guys at Wild (seriously, we ordered a lot of new lines!). Hit the image below for the full listing or check out the new beer list HERE. 

Lastly, don't forget, we have our first free tasting for Beer Week this Saturday, 4-7pm. Yours truly will be pouring some excellent beers - first in, best dressed!

What I will be opening CLICK HERE

Cheers, 


Posted: 19/10/2017
New Mikkeller and Final Sydney Beer Week Lineup

G'day, 

This week saw a quiet week on the beer front but we did still see some exciting Mikkeller's make their way in store, plus I got around to finalising our Sydney Beer Week tastings. 

Mikkel Borg Bjergso is a teacher turned gypsy brewer from Denmark who, with Kristian Keller (who is no longer part of the business), began Mikkeller in his kitchen. Known for their interesting and groundbreaking beers, Mikkeller has been continually voted as one of the best brewers in the world. Mikkel is also known for his supposed (and legendary) rivarly with Evil Twin brewer, Jeppe, who is also his twin brother. There is a great article written about it HERE.

Here are my particular favourites:

  Mikkeller Crooked Moon DIPA 9% 330ml

In Mikkeller we have over the years done ​​many collaboration brews. However, the last one we did was a little unusual – we collaborated with the Swedish tattoo studio Crooked Moon. The two brothers Jacob and Jonas Pedersen that run Crooked Moon Tattoo in Helsingborg wanted to celebrate their tattoo studio’s first birthday with a big party, and what could be more natural than to do it with a beer in their own name? The two brothers have designed the labels for this beer. And therefore this beer comes with two different labels. One by of Jacob, and the other by Jonas. The beer is just like a Crooked Moon tattoo: strong and powerful. In this case we are talking about a violently hoppy double IPA with 9% alcohol.

98 Points on RateBeer.
 


Mikkeller Beer Geek Flat White Imperial Oatmeal Stout 7.5% 500ml


This beer had very little info online, so in the name of research, Joe and I cracked one open. 

From the beer geek breakfast series – the beer that really put Mikkeller on the map – comes Flat White. An Imperial oatmeal stout brewed with coffee and lactose. The addition of oatmeal and lactose lend to the creamy, mouth-filling palate. Lots of coffee and higher alcohol give the impression of drinking a coffee with a dash of milk, maybe not a Flat White, more like a Macchiato. 

By the third sip I was sold. 

98 Points on RateBeer. 


 



Mikkeller Spontandryhop Citra Lambic / Sour Ale 5.5% 330ml


Again, not much info for the Citra but we can break it down. This beer is considered an unblended lambic. 

Spontan is 100% spontaneously beer fermented in oak barrels for 1 to almost 3 years. It is made with wort produced by lambic producers, not with wort and microbiological cocktails. The Dry hopping refers to any hop additions after the wort has cooled. It creates some great aromatics, especially from the single variety Citra, which gives a strong flora, citrus aroma. 

Expect a dry, aromatic Lambic style sour ale. 

99 Points on RateBeer. 

With SBW fast approaching, I've been putting the finishing touches on our Free tasting lineup for the week. Hit the image below to see who, what and when (where is obvious!). 

We also still have a some tickets left to our Craft Beer Appreciation - a great oppurtunity to brush up on some knowledge before you hit the ground running for Sydney Beer Week. Click the link below to find out more! 

Last, but not least, don't forget to check out our new products via the New Stuff List or the link below!

Cheers, 


Posted: 12/10/2017
New Releases from Two Metre Tall!

G'day, 

He's baaaaack! For those of you who spoke to Ashley Huntington in the first half of the year would know that he had some special releases coming. Well, they're here!

We have four, highly anticipated, new releases, plus old favourites returning. Below is a short summary on Ashley and Two Metre Tall - feel free to skip if you're familiar!

If you haven't had the pleasure of meeting Ashley, he is (a part from being two metres tall, literally) one of the biggest personalities in the industry. 

In the picturesque Derwent Valley, alongside the Derwent River, sits Charlemont, a farm owned and operated by Ashley and Jane Huntington. It was on this farm that Two Metre Tall was born.

With degrees in organic chemistry and winemaking, plus decades of experience in the wine industry in France and Australia, Ashley turned to making farmhouse cider and beer. Not without its hurdles (it’s what happens when you teach yourself to brew), Ashley’s experimentation and ingenuity has made him one of the most interesting brewers out of Tassie.

 




Two Metre Tall BA Sour Cherry Wild Ale 6.4% 2015

Derwent Valley grown, morello cherries are steeped in naturally soured and spontaneously fermented ale. Wild fermented on skins in oak barrels for a further 18 months. Crimson red colour. Bottled still directly from barrel, the wild fermentation process will continue in bottle over time to produce a gentle sparkle. Either the way, this ale is as intended, delicious. This ale truly deserves a place at the table, with persistency and intensity like wine but only 6.4% alc. vol!
98 Points on RateBeer. 
 





Two Metre Tall Lacto Black Wild Ale 6%

A naturally wild, soured black wort which would not ferment last winter. We sent it to large format barrels for 15 months and watched it, not only slowly ferment to super dryness, but transform into something not tasted before! Notes of preserved red fruits, umami texture with a bone dry and enlightening acidity. This is very exciting!
 




Two Metre Tall Salty Sea Stout 5.3% 375ml

The uninitiated may think brewing beer with dozens of whole mussels and oysters, kilos of seaweed & litres of sea water, all from Great Bay off Tasmania's Bruny Island is a little bizarre but consider that some of the world's most flavoursome and magnificent seasonings are made from fermented 'sea-creatures', and it all starts to make sense.
A dark, bitter, dry and salty glass of umami this ale is something else!
 






Two Metre Tall Seven Years At Sea Stout 4.8%

"Frankly we had forgotten we had it"
The passage of time has carried this ale to a whole other level. Seven year aged dark ale brewed in 2010 with whole oysters. An absolute gem, ridiculously unique, stupendously complex and guaranteed there'll be no second chances or re-releases by-god. Once in a lifetime! 

Also, for anyone who would like to come along or have friends and family who are keen - we have Craft Beer Appreciation coming up!

If you're wanting a refresher on some of the finer details of beer before hitting all the Sydney Beer Week tastings in a couple of weeks, Craft Beer Appreciation might be for you! Hit the link for details. 

We also have Linda, from Six String Brewing, coming in to do a FREE counter tasting on Friday 6 October between 4pm and 7pm. If you can't make it, all the beers will be up online. Check out our NEW STUFF List or Hit the link below. 

Cheers, 


Posted: 05/10/2017
New from Sweden: Brewski

G'day, 

This week I had to put the Sweden tag back up in the beer section with an influx of delicious Swedish beers from Brewski (and Omnipollo, but that's for another time). 

Brewski is the brainchild of Marcus Hjalmarsson and a bunch of buddies. He describes himself as a passionate brewer, living the dream. Owning his own brewery means he gets to push the limits and explore what can and can not be done. We have a select range of their IPAs in store. Ranging from fruity IPAs to big, hazy New England style Double IPAs. Expect a bunch of sediment in each bottle, whether it be from the fruit or yeast (#hazecraze).  I've opened a couple personally (all in the name of research, I assure you) and they were delicious. Big, hoppy numbers with different tropical fruit notes. Get in quick as I only got a limited amount. 

Brewski Conan Double IPA 8% 330ml

Brewski loves Conan. 

It was a hoppy land that seemed to hold all flavors and aromas and dreams that shun the sun, with barley malt rattling in the lonseome winds, and the dark breweries brooding over all, not even lightened by the added hops which made squat shadows out of men; They called it Conan, beer of hoppyness and deep flavor. 

On the nose: bit of a fruit bomb with mangos, peach, apricots and passionfruit. 

On the palate: a New England IPA style mouthfeel (it's cloudy AF as well). Nice and juicy with a slight bitterness. 

98 Points on RateBeer. 

Brewski Mangofeber Double IPA 8% 330ml

It is said that your first born will always carry a special place in your heart. As our first beer ever, Mangofeber has conquered tastebuds male and female, old and young, national and foreign. While we admit to always evolving this beer, our sole intent is to fine tune our tropical darling, making it a worthy tribute to everyone that has supported us from the very beginning. Fruits off to you, mates!

On the nose: fresh mango, juicy New World hops. 

On the palate: lots of fresh mango, a little sweetness and a little biscuity-ness from the malts. Again, a lot of haze from the sediment adding to the mouthfeel. 

97 Points on RateBeer. 
Brewski Donkeyboy Double IPA 8% 330ml

Being a donkey, we know that life is going to shovel dirt on you, and the trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step upwards. We believe that almost every adversity can be turned into a stepping stone. Well, not really, but we wanna boost your spirits by telling you to never give up, so how about turning some of that shit into fertilizer and manure your life? The world has enough stupid donkeys. Don't be one. Drink responsibly. 

On the nose: fresh hops, bright tropical fruit. 

On the palate: Again with the New England mouthfeel! Fresh fruit, mango, passionfruit, a little more bitterness. Slightly piney, resinous hops. 

97 Points on RateBeer. 

Brewski Pango IPA 5.9% 330ml

Brewski loves Pango. 
Enjoy the same taste and finetuned recipe with a little less buzz than form our original Pangofeber IPA. 

Pango is a mix of Passionfruit, Pineapple, and Mango merged into a fresh and easy IPA. The fruit and hops in combination is lifting this beer into the fresh, fruity flavors we strive to accomplish. 

On the nose: fresh passionfruit, slight piney hops. 

On the palate: a really fresh, fruity IPA. Slight hop bitterness. Pale, hazy pour. 

95 Points on RateBeer. 

Brewski Barbarian IPA 6% 330ml

O World! Barbarians, Dwarfs and other amazing creatures. 

We present a super hoppy IPA with lots of tropical fruit aromas and a creamy smooth finish. Enjoy this beer as it is or accompanied with your favorite dish. Goes with anything really. Just enjoy it!

On the nose: Lots of resinous New World hops with a slight creaminess in the background. 

On the palate: Slight creaminess backed up with a lot of hops and fair amount of bitterness. 

96 Points on RateBeer. 

There are lovely subtle differences between all these beers but they share one thing in common: Haze! If you're after a New England style beer and can't find one at the moment, check out what the Swedes are up to!!

In the coming month, we're going to have some pretty special stuff popping up, not to mention finalising our Sydney Beer Week lineup, so check out our NEW STUFF list or click the link below. 

Cheers, Claire

 


Posted: 28/09/2017
Sydney Beer Week Tasting Lineup at the Oak Barrel

G'day

With Sydney Beer Week fast approaching, I've been busy teeing up FREE tastings for the entire week with a number of different breweries. With a lot of the reps and brewers busy with their own events, you might be seeing a bit more of myself and the OB team as we walk you through some of the tastings! There's no need to book or RSVP for the below tastings but be aware that some of the stock is limited!

Saturday 21st October 4 - 7pm

Oak Barrel's Pick

For the first tasting of the week, we're going to select some rare and wonderful bottles from our own shelves to share with you. We'll have limited beer for this one, so first in best dressed!
♦♦♦♦♦
We'll be tasting:
Amager The Bastard Princess New England IPA 6%
Bruery Terreux Goses Are Red 5.3%
Deschutes Brewpub Series Rum Wowzenbock 12%
Alesmith Thai Speedway Stout 12%

 

Monday 23rd October 4 - 7pm

Black Brewing 

Wil from Black Brewing will be gracing us with his presence at the front counter again as he shows us what Black Brewing (hailing from my home state) is up to. 
♦♦♦♦♦
We'll be tasting:
Black Brewing Cider
Black Brewing Fresh Ale
Black Brewing XPA
Black Brewing Black XPA
Black Brewing Bao Bao Stout
Plus, something special from the West (hopefully here in time!)

Tuesday 24th October 4 - 7pm

Bucket Boys

The loveable beer nerds (well, Xavier) from Bucket Boys are going to drop by and show us what bits & pieces are new additions to their portfolio. 
♦♦♦♦♦
We'll be tasting:
Little Bang Ira India Red Ale
Little Bang Breafast at Stepney Stout
Little Bang Beard Fiction Pale Ale
Little Bang The Naked Objector IPA
Bucket Boys x Mornington Peninsula 'X'
Bucket Boys x Australian Brewery Do You Like Pina Coladas

Wedensday 25th October 4 - 7pm

Fixation & New Belgium Brewing

Lionel from Square Keg will be dropping by to take us through the lastest and freshest from Fixation (Aus) and New Belgium (USA), as well as bringing a special guest from New Belgium. 
♦♦♦♦♦
We'll be tasting:
Fixation IPA
Fixation Double IPA
New Belgium Lips of Faith Clutch (limited pours)
New Belgium Voodoo Ranger 8 Hop IPA
New Belgium Citradelic IPA
New Belgium Fat Tire
New Belgium Voodoo Ranger IPA

Thursday 26th October 4 - 7pm

Akasha Brewing

I'm very excited to welcome back Matt from Akasha Brewing to the front counter. Always a fan favourite, I'm sure we won't be disappointed. 
♦♦♦♦♦
We'll be tasting:
Akasha Firewithin Amber Ale
Akasha Freshwater Pale Ale
Akasha Hopsmith IPA
Akasha American Stout
Plus, Matt will be bringing a growler of a Keg Only beer 

Friday 27th October 4 - 7pm

Stockade Brew Co. 

Stockade have been very busy in the last 6 months, with their move to Marrickville and their barrel ageing program. Kane is going to swing us some mystery growlers to give you an idea of where they're heading in the future....
♦♦♦♦♦
This tasting is super secret, but I can guarentee it'll be 3 growlers of something you haven't seen from these guys before. 

Saturday 28th October 4 - 7pm

Bridge Road Brewers

Bridge Road have some exciting new and limited releases coming out in time for Beer Week, from Single Hop IPAs to their Christmas Seasonals, it'll be a fun tasting to round out the week. 
♦♦♦♦♦
We'll be tasting:
Bridge Road Single Hop Ella IPA
Bridge Road Single Hop Galaxy IPA
Bridge Road Single Hop Summer IPA
Bridge Road Bling Bling Imperial IPA
Bridge Road Magical Christmas Unicorn
Bridge Road Fat Man, Red Suit, Big Sack
Bridge Road Mayday Hills Marmalade IPA

Don't forget to check out the  Complete New Beer List  every Friday or you can just head to the link below for ALL the new beer and cider. 

Cheers, 


Posted: 21/09/2017
Stillwater Artisanal: DJ - turned - Gypsy Brewer

G'day, 

This week saw all my Stillwater Artisanal brews turn up - very exciting!

Brian "Stillwater" Strumke is a former DJ and producer turned Gypsy Brewer. He spent much of the mid 2000s travelling as a renowned electronica DJ before deciding to try his hat at brewing. Known for his unconventional techniques and 'farmhouse' styles, Stillwater Artisanal was formally started in 2010. In 2011, RateBeer named him one of the top New Brewers in the World, and from then on has continued to be rated in the top 100 brewers in the world. 

We have a small amount of some of his top beers available - Don't forget, you can Click & Collect!

Stillwater Artisanal Big Bunny Imperial Chocolate Milk Stout 9%

The actual name for this beer is quite a mouthfull, but what you need to know is that it's a collab with the AZ Wilderness Society. 

There's very little info online for this brew, but what I can tell you is: there'll be a nice balance of toasty bitterness and smooth, creamy sweetness from the lactose. 92 Points on RateBeer. 

Stillwater Artisanal Insetto Sour/Wild Ale 5%

Dry-hopped sour ale with Italian Plums. That's the description that you'll find online. 

Dry-hopping is the process of adding hops to the wort after it has cooled. This process doesn't add anymore bitterness to the brew so what can we expect from Insetto (Italian for insect FYI..): I think a fresh, tart, aromatic brew, perfect for this slowly warming weather. 92 Points on RateBeer.

 

Stillwater Artisanal On Fleek Imperial Stout 13%

An Imperial Stout brewed with dark sugars and molasses in collaboration with Casita Cerveceria.

I'm not going to lie, once I got over my love affair with the label, I had to triple check the ABV on the can. It's such small writing, I thought it was a mistake. Might not be the right time of the year to be drinking monster Imperial Stouts but I have a feeling this is going to be rich, pitch black, molasses-y and will be handle the ABV well. 98 Points on RateBeer.  

 

Stillwater Artisanal Gose Gone Wild Phuket 4.8%

The first stop on the Gose Gone Wild world tour - exotic flavors from wild nights in foreign lands. Brewed with Mango, Lemongrass, Thai Chilis & Sea Salt. 

Traditional Goses are brewed with coriander and salt. Stillwater have done a little spin where we can expect it to be fresh, tart and aromatic. Again, perfect for those warmer days. 95 Points on RateBeer. 

Cheers, 


Posted: 14/09/2017
Go Red or Go Home

G'day

Beer style trends have always fascinated me in Australia. Someone brews a beer for the bandwagon and we all jump on. Last Summer we saw tart Berliner Weisses and Goses, this Winter saw flavoured Stouts and Brown Ales. This Spring/Summer will see more and more New England IPAs (or Vermont IPAs) being brewed, however, I've seen a little influx of Red IPAs/Ales wander through my door, so it got me thinking (and tasting), what are they and what are the ones to try?

What are Red Ales, India Red Ales and Red India Pale Ales?

Red Ales are a broad style that are akin to amber ales, however the modern Red Ale has evolved into a style unto itself, largely in part to the US. The colour comes from the careful selection of malts to give it the amber/red hue. Hops play a large part in modern Red Ales, hence the use of "India" as a descriptor now. 

India Red Ales / Red India Pale Ales are a balancing act between the sweet (ish) and bready/biscuity malt backbone and the aromatic, bitter hop charge. With careful selection of the malts, the backbone is stripped bare for the hops to swoop in as heroes. I've picked some new (and returning) Australian Reds that are currently in store. 

Mornington Peninsula Brewery #tinnage009 Mimas Red IPA 7%
 
A limited release from their #tinnage series, Mornington have delivered Mimas. Getting up there in ABV at 7%, there's a surprising balance between the sweet, biscuity specialty malts and the late hop charge that provides a lingering bitterness. 

Capital Brewing Co. Evil Eye Red IPA 6%
Pours a rich amber colour with tropical fruits on the nose from the locally grown Cascade hops. They also provide a pleasant bitterness to the biscuity (and not too sweet) malt base. A crowd favourite when owner, Tommy, dropped in the other evening for a tasting.

Little Bang Ira India Red Ale 6%
Fresh from SA, so the below notes are not my own (plus I can never describe a beer like these guys can).

"Meet Ira. He's not an IPA, not a Red Ale, or some kind of pseudo-Scotch Ale, but a bit like all of them. Ira is... different. Ira doesn't go for sports, he's not interested in the school disco, but you should see his collection of vintage Spiderman. He plays a mean oboe, and his cactus garden is borderline scary. Sure, he's not the coolest beer style around, but beyond the socks and sandals, Ira's having freaky thrills we can barely understand."

Two Birds Double Sunset India Red Ale 7.3%
What a beer. The ladies have doubled the eight malts originally used, and have doubled the amount of Citra, Galaxy and Cascade hops. There's a toffee, malty base overlaid with juicy, grapefruity hops. It's a big beer with not a lot of noise to interfere with the hop assault. 

Modus Operandi Former Tenant Red IPA 7.8%
An oldy but a goody. Former Tenant has become part of the core Modus lineup and none of us are complaining. Mosaic and Galaxy hops give it that dank, earthy nose, while the malts add just a touch of caramel sweetness. An Aussie take on a modern Red. 

In preparation for this email, I did a fair bit of reading (and not to mention tasting) which I thoroughly enjoyed, so if there is a particular brewery, style, country or beer that you'd like to hear about (same goes for masterclasses, if there's enough demand I will happily try and organise them) - let me know at claire@oakbarrel.com.au

We have some pretty awesome new beers coming in over the next week so keep an eye on our New Beer List (updated Fridays) via the link below. Plus, our Untappd badge is up and running!

Cheers, 


Posted: 07/09/2017
New from New Zealand - Deep Creek Brewing Co. and Modus Operandi Masterclass Almost Sold Out!

G'day

New from our cousins across the ditch - Deep Creek Brewing Co. from Auckland, NZ. Co-Founders Paul Brown and Jarred MacLachlan recently took out Champion Small International Brewery at the Australian International Beer Awards. 

With their recent success they've begun an Australian wide distribution venture. Whilst they initially focused on their multiple bars around New Zealand, a couple have gone on the market recently so they can focus on their brewery - so if you're in the market, you know where to go!

Deep Creek Steam Funk Raspberry Chocolate Berliner Weisse 4.7%
Now most people would think that chocolate wouldn’t go in a sour beer. We are here to prove you wrong. The raspberry blends beautifully with the berliner, bringing out the raspberry tartness. The dark chocolate is the perfect accompaniment surrounding the raspberry with it’s smoothness, and bringing chocolate aromas through on the nose. So delicious! It will remind you of one of your favourite raspberry chocolate bars!

Deep Creek Pontoon in a Monsoon IPA 6.9%
Those long 19th century trips from the British Isles to the East Indies were a tough old journey for the barrels of beer that were sent to quench the thirst of the troops. Smart thinking resulted in loading the brews with hops to act as a natural preservative... and the India Pale Ale (IPA) was born! We loaded our galleon with a boat load of pale crystal malt, plus Centennial and Cascade hops, to bring you a strong IPA with toffee orange flavours.

Deep Creek Lupulin Effect Red IPA 7%
A beautifully balanced Red IPA with a trio of American hops, Citra, Simcoe and Centennial, giving big citrus, and slight floral flavours. Delicious!

Deep Creek Lupulin Effect Double IPA 8.5%
Huge tropical and pine hop punch to the face followed by an intense bitter kick to the tongue to balance the malt and alcohol sweetness.

Deep Creek Dusty Gringo India Brown Ale 6.8%
Dusty Gringo India Brown Ale represents the rugged edge of the Wild West cowboy. A swig of this tasty brew charges your senses with the aromas of a mountain range of malt, and a hop kick reminiscent of that trusty steed’s hoof. The floral and citrus flavours imparted from the Cascade, Amarillo and Centennial hops, ride on a powerful chocolate malt base. A strong companion to explore the badlands.

Deep Creek Lotus Pale Ale 4.5%
The lotus has captivated ancient and contemporary cultures the world over for millennia. It displays an innate ability to rise above the watery chaos and present itself at dawn to worship the sun throughout the day. Subtle pale malt notes produce a clear golden hue and provide a platform for the Cascade, Kohatu and Pacific Jade hops to showcase their floral and citrus characters.

Deep Creek Leprechauns Belle Irish Red Ale 4.6%
European brewers have long enjoyed the flavours of roasted barley and the stunning ruby red colour it creates. Our forefathers in Ireland tinkered with this combination to create their own spin on the brew. We follow our family roots back to the Emerald Isle to create a Deep Creek version. A malt dominated beer with beautiful roasted barley and hints of orange blossom flavours.

Deep Creek Redwood American Pale Ale 5.4%
An homage to the lumberjacks of the American northwest. Hardworking men who lived off the land, and built a culture which epitomises strength, masculinity and non conformity. Everything we like in a beer.

In other news, we're down to our last five tickets for our Modus Operandi Masterclass on Tuesday 19 September. Hit the pic below for more details and tickets. 

We also have a lot of other exciting new beers out this week (AleSmith, Blackman's, La Sirene and the Bruery to name a few...) so a reminder that you can Click & Collect on our website. Just head to the New Beers and Cider link at the bottom of the page to check out all the new stuff!

And lastly, for the Untappd buffs out there, The Oak Barrel has an official badge that can be earnt! It'll be up and running in the next few days so let us know what you think. 

Cheers, 


Posted: 31/08/2017
Modus Operandi Masterclass, plus our Favourite Dark Beers

G'day, 

I'm excited to announce that brewer, Dennis de Boer from Modus Operandi Brewing, will be joining us for a Masterclass on Tuesday 19 September. This will be an exciting Masterclass as we have a look at some of the core range and some tank samples (as always!). Check out the link for more info and tickets!

With the cold weather lingering, I asked the rest of the OB crew what their go to dark beers were. Here's what they had to say:

Scott: James E. Pepper 1776 American Brown Ale 10.4%When I asked Scott for his pick, there wasn't a hint of hesitation when he said the Pepper. And not surprising, I opened this the other night and what an excellent example of a Barrel Aged Brown Ale. Rich and Smooth with hints of coffe and vanilla. It's at the end where you find that rye from James E. Pepper Staright Rye Whiskey barrels. 97 Points on Ratebeer. 

Claire: Brewdog Self Assembly Pope Imperial Porter 7.4%. What an absolute Godsend. Just when I was giving up on Brewdog a little, they released the Pope and restored all faith. It's well balanced beer of coffee, cacoa, vanilla, dark fruits, sweetness and bitterness, all surrounding a complex malty base, I cannot recommend this beer enough. Which would explain why don't have a whole left in stock so get in quick! 96 points on Ratebeer. 

I'm going to throw in an honourable mention because a) it's my newsletter b) these guys can do no wrong and c) if you don't want the darkest of darks, it's an excellent option. Shenanigans Flight Path Dunkeled Edition 6% ticks so many boxes. It's the Malt Assault crossed with the Flight Path which is infused with Double Roasters coffee, the result is a big brown malty lager with a hit of American hops to finish it off. So damn delicious. 

Ian: Red Hill Imperial Stout 8.1%Almost jet black with roasted coffee, chocolate and caramel malts. But don't worry, they throw enough hops in there to balance it out to create a silky smooth beer. The feather in Red Hill Brewing's cap every year, we have 2016 and 2017 currently in store. 93 points on Ratebeer.

DZ: Batch Brewing Co. The HUGE Kahuna Coconut Porter 7.8%"It's Coconut-y and chocolate-y and big. Some might even say huge..." DZ. 
But seriously, they've upped the coconut, and the malt and the ABV and made a truly smashable porter that's not overwhelmed by the cocnut - just well supported. 

Paul: Mornington Peninsula Imperial Stout 9.5%What a knock out Imperial Stout to end on. Absolutely jet black, there's no light getting through this oily brew packed with dried fruits, chocolate, cocoa and liquorice. 100 points on Ratebeer. 

 

 

Cheers,


Posted: 24/08/2017
New Releases from 3 Ravens

G'day, 

This week we have the new releases from 3 Ravens, a brewery based Thornbury, Victoria. 3 Ravens started out in 2003 as a microbrewery, pumping out European style beers to great success. In 2013, it looked like the brewery might be cactus after some disagreements led to it being put up for sale. In rode the valiant heroes, Mash Brewing of WA, to save the day. Mash was looking for somewhere to begin brewing on the East Coast and 3 Ravens was the perfect oppurtunity. 

There is still a focus on European style beers, as well as some souped up variants and plenty of collabs. All the following notes are from the spectactular guys at The Crafty Pint.

3 Ravens Wild Ravens Industrial Farmhouse 5.7% 750ml
Back in May, a group of brewers and other beer industry folk from Portland headed to Melbourne as the first guests in Good Beer Week's Good Beer Mates program. While here, the brewers from Breakside and The Commons hooked up with local brewers to create a beer. In each case, it was to be an Aussie twist on one of the American brewers' best known beers. The Commons headed to Thornbury to reinvent its Urban Farmhouse Ale, again with local ingredients, as the Industrial Farmhouse Ale.

It appears as beer three of four in the current run of Wild Ravens mixed ferment beers and, despite being one of two in that run that doesn't feature grape juice, it comes with vinous qualities. The initial hit has white grape qualities to it, while there's an apple-tinged acidity amid the peppery, drying, back palate tartness, presumably a result of blending in some of the brewery's barrel aged golden sour. In between, the malt and yeast comes into play – a bready sweetness, spicy aromas – while the beer fires off a little burst of farmhouse funk as a parting gift.

3 Ravens Wild Ravens Sourdough Ale 4.4% 750ml
The fifth in the rapidly growing Wild Ravens series is a beer that came about as an unexpected bonus from some experimentation on the part of head brewer Brendan O'Sullivan and his mates Pippa and Michael at South Yarra's Tivoli Road Bakery (where Brendan's sister has worked for a few years). The latter specialise in sourdough bread, croissants and pastries, have picked up awards galore for their hot cross buns, use 3 Ravens' Druid in their Christmas pudding, have worked with the brewery's spent grain and are now experimenting with its mixed culture too. In short, there's plenty of common ground.

The exchange of goods has been two-way too. More than six months ago, they set out to barrel ferment some Berliner Weisse using wheat levain in one barrel, rye starter in another. Brendan didn't have particularly high hopes, but was delighted with the result – particularly with the rye barrel, where he detected stonefruit and grape characters. So the two barrels were blended and released as the Sourdough Ale. And it's quite delightful: crisp, lightly acidic, subtly complex and wine like with a fine carbonation and fruit characters they define as apple, grape and apricot.

3 Ravens Wild Ravens Riesling Golden Sour 6% 750ml
At the brewery, you'll find rows of barrels with all manner of liquids and combinations of yeasts and bacteria lining the walls (one is titled, simply: "ACID") plus various other containers big and small with cultures and trial batches bubbling away. One of the larger ones is actually a dedicated fruit tank, which is where part of the beer that is the first of four new Wild Ravens took shape. The brewery team travelled to Rochford Wines to collect whole bunch King Valley Riesling pomace (what's left after the winemakers have squeezed out most of the juice) and combined them with a golden sour brewed with rye and oats that had already been aged in oak. After a couple of weeks extracting as much from the grapes and skins as they could, the liquid was extracted, blended back with more of the base beer and put into bottles, where it continues to condition.

Also in there is the house "yeast" (the speech marks indicating it's rather more than a simple yeast – it's now a combination of every commercially available "wild" yeast culture and bacteria they could get their hands on plus various other cultures from previous brews and beers from other breweries). The brewers expect it to continue to develop and become increasingly complex over time. For now, it's fruity, acidic and dry with some tannic qualities too and hints of the funkier elements of the various Brett strains and pediococcus bacteria apparent in the tail.

3 Ravens Little Ravens Tripel 9% 330ml
The Tripel uses the Belgian/Canadian yeast strain that originates at iconic Canadian brewery Unibroue, with the water, malt and hops there in supporting roles to allow the yeast's remarkable character to shine through. When we had a sample from the tank before the beer was finished and low in carbonation, the aromatics were subdued, leaving us totally unprepared for the explosion of flavour on the palate: soft, sweet malts, banana, peppery spice and the like, all carried in a typically fulsome (and 9 percent ABV) Belgian ale body.

Now the beer is finished, we're told to expect "a soft maltiness reminscent of fresh baked bread, spicy and herbal hop notes and a floral yeast character with complex fruit (pear, banana, apricot) and spice (pepper, clove, allspice). A smooth, creamy palate and mousse-y carbonation leading into a dry finish with refreshing acidity, alcohol warmth and a balancing bitterness.

3 Ravens Wild Ravens Pinot Noir Golden Sour 6% 750ml
A sour beer brewed with oats and rye and aged in oak barrels, then matured on Kilmore Pinot Noir pomace courtesy of our friends at Payten & Jones.

    

Cheers, 


Posted: 17/08/2017