Van Dieman Brewing 2020 Estate Harvest Ale. ABV: 4.9% – Tap beer’s loss is our gain as Van Dieman Brewing divert keg stock to bottle in the shape of their Wet Hop Farmhouse IPA. Originally destined for some venues in Sydney and Melbourne, but mostly in Van Dieman’s home state Tasmania, this well-balanced IPA can now be more widely enjoyed. And rightfully so. The nose brings a vibrant tang of melon and peppery accents before citrus takes over courtesy of its wet hop nature and the added intensity of whole Estate lemons used in the brew. It’s unique but eminently drinkable at the same time. Founder and head brewer Will Tatchell told Beer & Brewer the wet hopped style lends itself well to being packaged. “Each time we brew with wet hops we learn a little bit more about how they behave and how they interact with other ingredients. Last year’s Farm Juice (Wet Hop Farmhouse Saison) was still drinking over 80 per cent as well a year later than it was the day it was packaged. I’m really happy how this one is tasting out of the bottle. There’s a lot to be said for wet hops preserving the character of the beer and assisting with its longevity.” There aren’t many food miles in this beer either. The water is sourced from a spring on the farm. The hops (Pride, Super Pride and Cascade) are 100 per cent Estate grown and were used in dried form as well. The yeast is their own Everton strain. And the malt comes from their first ever Estate harvest of Schooner barley. “It was a phenomenal growing season for barley here on the farm. Arguably the best in 25 years.” And in good news for Van Dieman fans, Will said he had 21 potential new releases on the go currently on the farm, including a Belgian-style Fruit Lambic and a Flanders Red.
Hope Estate release four new drops – We all need a little hope at the moment and that same feeling goes for Hunter Valley’s Hope Estate. Already hit hard by last Summer’s bushfires, the usually bustling Estate has been unable to host any concerts or functions or open its cellar door amid COVID-19. But in steps some good news for Hope and for everyone else for that matter with the release of four new drops to savour. Chardonnay Double NEIPA ABV: 10% – A next level strong beer where grape meets grain. The copper-coloured beer features 2020 Chardonnay Juice, Crystal Malt and Ella, Centennial, Cascade and Cashmere hops. Mango Hazy IPA ABV: 6% – A hazy American-style IPA with the addition of mango that accentuates the Samba and Amarillo hops, all perfectly balanced with a satisfying bitterness. Imperial Raspberry Sour ABV: 7% – Sour beer meets raspberry at Imperial strength for a super refreshing result. FKA Festival Ginger Beer ABV: 4.2% – Brewed to celebrate Hope’s music festival of the same, this hits fresh and tasty with strong ginger aromas and zing.
Ballistic Beer Co Sleep When You’re Dead Red DIPA ABV: 8.4% – The latest in Ballistic’s Sleep When You’re Dead series has landed and is limited for an eight week (and counting) release. It features five malts (Pale, Supernova, Aurora, Redback, Shepherd’s Delight) and four American hop varieties (Citra, Simcoe, Chinook, Columbus) for some unique and interesting characteristics. Its deep red hue comes via the range of toasted malts but it is hugely hop forward and all about the freshness – which is the definition of Ballistic’s Sleep When You’re Dead series. As in, drink this now and you can sleep when it’s gone!
Akasha Brewing Co & Hopheads The Shape of Hops to Come ABV: 6.5% – The late 2019 keg only collab between Akasha and Melbourne beer bar and bottle shop Hopheads is reborn in cans and the Hazy IPA is as hop-forward as ever. It’s triple dry-hopped with Azacca, El Dorado, and Citra, so imagine yourself in a citrus orchard that shares a border with a pine forest for a beer to seriously remember.
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