Time for a Beer

I think it’s about time I wrote something about beer. More specifically, beer in Australia. Even more specifically the craft beer and smaller breweries.

Aussie Craft Beers

 That scene is booming in most countries. It has been growing for years and there seems to be no end in sight. Which is great news for people like me who really don’t like the usual lagers and other mass produced brews.

I think the craft beer selection in Australia is better than the UK and Spain. There is a fantastic selection here and I have only just begun to scratch the surface.

What’s on offer?

My preferred tipple (of the beer variety) would be an IPA – that’s India Pale Ale. Something big on the hops and that smell. Or should that be aroma? As you can tell I am no ‘Real Ale Geek’ but I do know what I like. Australia seems to have loads of the types of ales I like. When the beer smells a certain way you just know it’s going to taste exactly how you like it.

As well as a glut of IPA beers there are plenty that are just labelled ‘Pale Ale’. They are not the same as the dull and often flat pale ale they used to serve up back in the 1980s though. They still have that distinct smell and fruity fizzy taste.

Pale Ale

This one is labelled ‘Pale Ale’ but tastes much the same as the IPAs – to me at least. Generally every Pale Ale I have tried seems to be that way. Basically, I like them all.

Flight Path Pale Ale. One of my favourites. (So far…)

IPAs

The India Pale Ales (IPAs) are generally a safe bet. I could just ask for one and would probably like it. That said, some are far more bitter than others. There is also quite a difference in strength across the myriad of brands.

Here are a few I have tried:

Balter IPA. Fantastically simple can design. Works for me.
Triple Hop Bomb. Nice one…
Pirate Life IPA. Strong and bitter. But nice.

As much as the beer itself I like the simple no fuss designs of most of these cans – or should that be tinnies? Anyway, there are many with far more complicated designs but mainly they seem to keep to the rather elegant artwork.

XPA?

This was a new one on me. I have heard of Double IPA – where they double up on the hops (I think?) – but not XPA. Apparently, it means Extra Pale Ale. I must do a bit of research in to that name. If anyone knows please tell me.

These are possibly my favourites. That extra floral smell and fizzy refreshing taste that I think would always be better than a cold lager even in the height of summer.

Here are a couple of those I have tried (so far):

Balter XPA. One of my faves.
Summit XPA, Session Beer. Yes, you could easily do a session on this stuff…

The Name & The Design Seem Perfect. But…

This was an odd one.

Beach Beer. BONDI. Really?

Great simplicity in the label. Tells you everything you need to know eh? Bondi Beach Beer? Simple right? That label immediately attracts you doesn’t it? Keep yourself refreshed in that hot sun while sat on that famous beach eh? Erm… Actually, no!

The problem is you are not allowed to drink beer in public in most states in Australia. In New South Wales it is prohibited in ‘alcohol free zones’. And guess what? Bondi Beach is one of those zones. Bloody pointless really, having a great simple yet attractive beer can design and calling it something that you cannot actually do with it. What the hell is going on in this country? Sometimes I wonder… But hang on… Let’s read that label again…

How do they get away with it?

Maybe if they called it “Bondi Beach Beer” rather than “Beach Beer. Bondi” it may be sending out the wrong message. Hmm… subtle stuff eh?

Is there such a thing as the Trades Descriptions Act in Australia? I bet there is. They will have very similar laws to the UK here. If so, then this beer gets a bit close to being illegal just by its name alone.

How can a bottle shop (off-licence/liquor-store) sell a can of this beer just around the corner from the beach itself, when you can’t actually drink the stuff on the beach? Beats me. Right now it’s a moot point as still nobody is allowed on the beach – as such.

Not much info on that beer can eh? Well if you turn it around it actually claims to be an XPA. But to me it tasted more like a lager mixed with a pale ale. Almost like a VB (Victoria Bitter, a ubiquitous, lager-like brew in Australia). Nothing special. All in all, a little disappointing.

It claims to be an XPA

Back to the beer tasting…

Well with so many other craft ales to try I had better crack on… More beer updates later…Cheers for now.

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