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Aussie beer starring Aussie hops ranked among world’s best

Following being judged the number one Australian beer across all Untappd categories, Mountain Culture’s Be Kind Rewind DDH IPA recently made the international beer rating site’s list of the world’s five best New England IPAs of 2021.

First released in April 2020, the 7.3% IPA, which has over 75 per cent of its hop schedule made up with Australian grown Vic Secret, ended that year as Untappd’s top ranked Australian beer across all categories as rated by users of the platform – a position it has held since. With the Katoomba, NSW brewery housed in an old Civic Video store, the beer fittingly takes its name from the former company’s catch-cry.

As of May 28, and placed behind NEIPAs from US heavyweight breweries Tree House (1st and 2nd) and Monkish (4th), plus Norway’s Salikatt (3rd), Be Kind Rewind rounded out the world’s then current top five beers for the style.

Mountain Culture co-founder and head brewer DJ McCready (pictured) said he was stoked that Aussie breweries are now competing against international ones more renowned for the style of beer.

“Relatively speaking, Australia is new to the hazy game, but I think what makes Aussie hazy beers so good is that some of the best hops in the world are being produced right on our doorstep,” DJ said. “I remember when I was at Oskar Blues, they were big fans of Galaxy and really showcased it in their beers. Between them and other US breweries it went a long way to putting Galaxy and other Aussie hops on the map.

“For Be Kind Rewind, we’ve gone with the ugly step-sister, Vic Secret, which is a hop grown in Victoria and considered to be quite grippy and less juicy, but I think it’s just misunderstood.”

Hop Product’s Australia’s (HPA) national sales manager Michael Capaldo, who has had the pleasure of being involved in a few brew days at Mountain Culture, said: “It’s always inspiring. From driving up the mountain, to walking into their amazing venue and brewing beers with an obscene amount of hops. The whole team are always so welcoming, and we’ve shared many a yarn over a beer or two.

“(I) knew Be Kind Rewind was a standout beer since inception, and deserves its ranking in (this list). Vic Secret is a big part of our future at HPA, with production volume growing faster than any of our hops over the next year. Its massive oil profile brings clean citrus and pine flavours to beer that are really versatile and can be used in almost anything from the lightest of lagers to the haziest of IPAs.”

While Galaxy and Vic Secret are by far HPA’s two biggest varieties in terms of popularity and production volume, their Eclipse, Ella, Enigma and Topaz varieties have all graduated from their breeding program and found wide-reaching success.

Back in our Spring 2020 edition of Beer & Brewer magazine, we reviewed Be Kind Rewind as part of our tasting section. This is what we had to say:
“This beer fills the glass like a loaf of banana bread and envelopes the senses with its exuberance of pineapple, jack fruit and custard apple aroma. To describe its flavour you need to talk about texture and taste. This beer bites and grips your tongue as if it wants to stay with you to avoid its unwilling demise, yet the flavour gives in to its fate and leaves you with an incredibly bold zest and tang that appeals to the drinker’s soul.”


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