Archive for April, 2009

After losing his brewery to the recent bush fires, Simon has been busy using the facilities at Mountain Goat and Red Hill brewery producing kegs of his beer to keep the amber flowing at many pubs and bars.

Now the Pale Ale is back on line in the bottle. Brewed at Mountain Goat and as good as ever. Nice malty aromas with fresh pine scented hops. Light bodied but full flavoured. Soft creamy malt and quite bitter towards the end building as it goes. Very fresh and crisp with spot on carbonation. Welcome back Hargreaves Hill! More info at Hargeaves Hill Blog http://www.hargreaveshillbrewingco.blogspot.com/

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Tasted 28 April 2009. 500ml bottle, 6.5% Alc/Vol.

New Zealand.

Superb beer! Grand Champion Beer at the Melbourne International Beer Awards 2003. Pale Ales are my favourite style and this rocks my taste buds. A strong amber colour. Aromas were not intense (beer was a bit too cold) but showed caramel toffee, biscuit, and fresh flowery hops. The palate was rich and sweetly malted with toffee, afghan biscuit, powerful resinous and lingering hops with a dry finish.

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Tasted Tuesday 28 april 2009. 500ml bottle, 5.0% Alc/Vol.

New Zealand.

Dark brown colour, a dense off white head, and pleasant roasted nutty malt aroma. The palate weight is light to medium bodied and quite smooth with good balanced carbonation giving it a fresh finish. Plenty of dark roasted malt, scorched almond, and good bitterness. A lovely beer if you want something flavoursome but not heavy. After I had consumed about half the bottle I came to the conclusion that I could sit on this beer all night, especially on a wintery Melbourne one.

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Tasted April 23 2009. 500ml bottle, 4.5% Alc/Vol

New Zealand

So far the best of the Renaissance range. A rich mahogany colour with a dense espresso coloured head. Aromas of a coffee shop on a cool winter Sunday morning, roasted malt and scorched nuts. Quite robust on the palate with full round rich maltiness. Coffee bean and bitter/sweet chocolate and plenty of roasted character. A nice mild hop bitterness on the finish. A very nice beer.

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Tasted Saturday April 25 2009. 500ml bottle, 8.5% Alc/Vol.


An English Strong Ale, but closer to a Barley Wine I thought. The label says it is made from “the finest Challenger and Northdown hops, Maris Otter malted barley, and of course, our unique yeast.”

Colour is copper red and clear. Aromas are of malt extract, roasted chestnuts, sultana and yeast. Very rich and sweet on the palate and the alcohol a little too obvious at the moment, this will probably settle with time, with, dried tropical fruits, butterscotch, yeast and roasted, nutty sweet malt. Hops are mild and build toward the end leaving a pleasing bitterness and lingering sweetness at the end. A very good beer and it will improve with some years cellaring.

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Tasted Friday April 24. 640ml Bottle, 7.9% Alc/Vol.


With 60 IBU’s this is no slouch in the bitterness department. Packed with Australian hops (Galaxy and Super Pride), and American (Simcoe and Sterling). The malt part contains Munich and carapil malts. Highly polished copper red in colour, with a bubbly, creamy fast dissipating head leaving a small lacing through the rest of the glass.

The style of beer is supposedly a blend of an IPA and Barley Wine. Intense hoppy flavours combined with rich, sweet malt character and high alcohol suggests this is the case. The palate is rich, sweet and full, but surprisingly light-footed. There is a freshness and acid content that prevents this beer from becoming cloying. Fruit esters (burnt orange), boiled toffee and a sharp citrus tang (orange or lemon zest?), malt, and intense lingering bitterness.

There is alcohol warmth but it’s not spirity. I like this beer and it will it will age. How long? Maybe 2-4 years.

The first aroma experienced with this impressive ale, is that of pineapple, followed with a strong array of other tropical fruit esters mixed with a strong but sweet aroma of hops. There was also a hint of yeast lingering in the glass.

With a deep red, yet clear copper colour this ale has nearly perfect head retention of a creamy ivory colour. There seemed to be near perfect lacing upon the walls of the carafes it was served in.

It appears that multiple varieties of fresh hops have been used in this brew, providing a uniquely strong bitter flavour, that is well complemented by the alcohol. The strong hop flavours are quickly drowned out by a strong malt flavoured after taste.

There wasn’t a lot of carbonation in this beer which was surprising given its head retention, however, this mild carbonation seems to have allowed for a smoother medium bodied beer.

After consuming this beer I was quite surprised at the lack of sediment present in the carafes, which one would typically associate with a beer of this calibre.

Overall I was quite impressed with this ale and would quite happily consume it on a daily basis given half the chance.

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New Zealand.

Bohemian Pilsner

Tasted Monday March 24, 2009. 330ml bottle, 5%Alc/Vol.

A very good Czech style Pilsner. Overall a well balanced, flavoursome and refreshing beer. Pours a clear, sparkling, golden colour with a green tinge and a soft dense head. Floral, grassy hop aromas with a hint of lime. Reasonable palate weight with soft maltiness, citrus (Grapefruit peel), a sharp finish and persistent grassy hops.

London Porter

Tasted Monday March 24, 2009. 330ml bottle, 5%Alc/Vol.

In a world where the distinction between a porter and a stout is being increasingly blurred this is seems true to style. Dark brown in colour with a good dense fluffy head- although not long lasting. Nutty, roasted malt and earthy aromas entice. At first taste it is full and rich – not sweet, earthy with smoky burnt malt. The flavours did fall away a bit quickly at the end leaving hop bitterness, but overall a nice beer.

Indian Pale Ale

Tasted Tuesday March 24. 330ml bottle, 5.0% Alc/Vol.

Beautifully fresh and lighter in taste than a lot of IPA’s, but pleasantly so . Highly aromatic with floral hops and citrus. A clean taste with malty sweetness, freshened up nicely by citrus (grapefruit), spice and a piney hop thrust that carries well through the finish. Slightly tartness on the finish which is just right for this style. A good session IPA.

Bavarian Hefeweizen

Tasted Tuesday March 24. 330ml bottle, 5.0% Alc/Vol.

Recently I’ve been going off Hefeweizens. I’m not sure if I”m going off German Hefeweizens yet though. I need to try one tonight to find out. Many local Hefe’s (including this one) have a definite salty character that doesn’t sit well with me.

Besides that this is quite good and there are not many outside of Germany that are. Full flavoured, spicy coriander, cloves, banana, and vanilla.  You need to shake the bottle upside down to mix all the sediment off the bottom though…so be careful opening! All the flavours seem pretty standard for a good Hefe but it had length and boldness of flavour, not watery at all. Can’t get past that saltiness though. The Mountain Goat Hefeweizen is another with this character.

Ardenne Strong Golden Ale

Tasted Tuesday March 24. 330ml bottle, 5.0% Alc/Vol.

To me Golden Ales generally are fluffy, fruity beers with not much substance.  So this was a very pleasant surprise. A glowing golden/red colour and powerful fruity, hoppy nose. Head wasn’t long lasting but I never really take any notice of that. Not in least bit fluffy the flavour came on strong with dark fruitiness, biscuity maltiness,  super fresh and balanced hops. Big on flavour and character, the 6.5% alcohol well hidden. A dangerous session beer.

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