69 / 100
Thai Curry Beer (not really described in any other way, hence my throwaway classification) brewed for GABS 2017. Tried at the festival in a sampler.
Pours a pale gold, champagney kind of colour with a touch of haze. Nice head retention but a bit sparsely webbed for my liking. Looks pretty good though.
Smells, yeah, like a Thai curry. Coconut notes and very limey, with kaffir lime and a touch of banana to it as well. Pretty good.
Taste is a bit bland upfront, maybe a testament to not having made a proper stylistic beer as the base, it's just a bland caramel malt kind of flavour with no nuance. Develops some nice tang midway with kaffir lime, lemongrass and more of that coconut leading into it. Touch of chilli on the back; just a whisper. Really like the way it finishes but I think it could have been more interesting upfront.
Thin body but it works well with the beer overall, goes down quite smoothly.
Very nice, but just a little meek at times, doesn't really burst with flavour the way it could have.
I retried this beer and it ended up my #10 beer of the festival.
A "Sunday Roast" brown ale. I'm calling it an English Brown, since the Sunday Roast feels so English. Tried on tap at GABS 2016 in Melbourne.
Pours a brown colour, really very cloudy. Dense head of beige foam. Looks great, brown ale-wise.
Smells sweet, with an odd cocoa character upfront, then a touch of salt and some medicinal character. Rosemary comes through strongly as well. At first it's off-putting, but it really grows on me.
Tastes salty. Some sweet vanillin malt upfront, then gets a touch spicy midway with cinnamon and star anise character. Hint of smoke towards the back and finishes a little phenolic and medicinal. Not bad, but it doesn't really capture that lambshank essence that I'd hoped for, kind of shies away from it.
Decent body, fluid but substantial.
Yeah, touches of a Sunday Roast, but it doesn't quite get there. I would still hold up 4 Pines' 2013 "Sunday Roast" Beer Mimicks Food beer as the benchmark for this type of thing - and I mean beer mimicking food generally, not just beer mimicking a roast dinner.
74 / 100
Tried on-tap at GABS 2015 in Melbourne.
Pours a deep, oily brown colour, with fine streams of carbonation through a relatively light body. Head is a pale beige colour, forming a fairly decent fine ring. Looks pretty good all up.
Nose is nice enough. Bright and grainy from the first, with mild thin toasty characters from the darker malts. There's a slight hint of aniseed and some secondary characters like bubblegum and rye bread. It's quite nice.
Light and spicy on the front palate. There's a slight rubber character giving some banana hints, but this is quickly alleviated by a solid, toasty mild mid-palate. Back has a slight bite, again with a touch of anise, and a hint of booze. Aftertaste is clean, with the crispness you want from a schwartz.
Feel is light and bright, which works well in this type of beer.
Overall, this is pleasant and easy to drink. Schwartzbiers are an underappreciated style, and this is a good one. Very solid, and it went down well at GABS.
70 / 100
Pours a coffee colour, very dark at the edges. Head is tan, dense and thick and retaining beautifully with some sticky lace around the edge. Looks great.
Smells great too. Chocolate and espresso with a spice explosion on there as well - cinnamon mostly with some peppery edge and a touch of woodiness as well. Loads of aroma. Love it.
Taste is a bit of a letdown, as are all schwarzbiers. Cinnamon spice is still on there with a touch of clove; finishes with a touch of vanilla and a mild chocolate grain note. Has a lightness which is fine but it just feels empty and disappointing after that aroma explosion.
Decent body, nice texture, goes down crisp and light and pleasantly.
So the Bright Brewery twitter account tried to draw me into a lager-hate argument when I complained that this was light and disappointing "So like all lagers then?" he said. Not true. This is a particular problem I have with schwarzbiers: they promise so much on the nose and then the lightness of the palate becomes a disappointment. If it was light, simple, unbloated on the nose, then the palate would match and the overall package would be pleasant. This just inflates expectations on the nose with hope for flavour that the palate construction can't deliver.
Sorry for the essay but the style really frustrates me. I don't get this disappointment from bocks, or doppelbocks. And I don't get it from pale lagers, or Munich helles or kellerbiers. Just schwarzbiers.
71 / 100
Pours a deep red colour, slightly cloudy with decent beige head. Sticky and clingy with nice lace. Looks great, particularly given the size of this.
Smells quite hoppy. Decent caramel malt notes but quickly turns tangy and fruity, with lemon, lime and passionfruit. Was expecting more sweetness, but it's not bad at all.
Buttery and caramel malt upfront, very sweet with a big shoulder of oak in there. Grapefruit, star anise and a touch of pink pepper. Oak, together with a twist of Benedictine, quite a lot of boooze on the back as well. Nice flavours.
Very thick mouthfeel, falls short of being stodgy but the big noticeable thing here is the hot, sharp booze. No movement otherwise in the mouth, could use something to cut through that hot alcohol.
Huge beer. Too big? The flavours are lovely but that booze just can't be overcome, sadly.
77 / 100
Tried on-tap at the 2013 GABS festival in Melbourne. This is an oak-fermented barleywine made with great amounts of oat and rye—they term it a "Barley(Oat/Rye)wine".
Pours a big red hue with syrupy haze and a very thick body. Head forms in a solid creamy ring of very pale yellow that leaves stretchy rings down the glass. Right now, it's certainly living up to its name.
Nose has a bunch of interesting characters, mostly estery or juicy and sweet. I get banana, some cherry characters, with more savoury or unusual characters of latex and moisturiser. It's interesting stuff, and quite powerful.
Chewy caramel on the entry with more banana notes giving a banana leaf savoury note. Clear chewy (I'm going to say chewy some more soon) malt continues, peppered with spicy notes and a faint herbal quality. On the back it's quite boozy and slightly phenolic—still with some spicy pepper characters, but also raisins and spiced rum. The aftertaste just leaves the vapours of booze.
Feel is so heavy and (I promised) chewy.
I like it a lot. It's perhaps a bit too hot, but then I guess if I'm complaining about that I shouldn't be drinking a 10% ABV Barley(Oat/Rye)wine. Anyway: booyah, kudos and thanks for bringing this to GABS—it was certainly a standout at the festival.
59 / 100
Served from a bottle at Penny Blue during their "Sourfest" event at Good Beer Week 2013.
Pours a cloudy pink with orange twinges at the edges. Head forms in a fine ring, but mostly the head is composed of chunky floaties at the top of the beer. Specks of solid lace. Fine body, not much carbonation. It looks OK, but not great: especially the floaties.
Definite raspberry lambic nose. Crisp fruit character, minimal sweetness, some funk, lactic acid and other acidity, and a little bit of rubber or plastic. There's also a slight hint of bread coming through and a noticeable yeasty tone. That's a bit disappointing, but otherwise, it's pretty good.
Light acid on the entry, before sweeter fruit characters and the raspberry come through. By the back, though, there's a really big bready, yeasty character which roars up through the centre of the palate. Finish is a little bitter and quite dry, with a touch of acidity to pucker the mouth somewhat. Some lactic tones on the finish and some aspirin character. Hmm.
Feel is pretty good. Light, but crisp and sour.
This is a beer with many flaws, but it has some decent things to offer as well. The yeasty character is unpleasant and near ruins the beer. But the raspberry character is done well, and the lambic sourness adds some authenticity to it. But I was hoping that Bright would do better.
79 / 100
Pours a deep red colour, clear with foamy beige head. Sticks around nicely. Good-looking red ale.
Lovely nose, with loads of hops, US and NZ in equal measure. Tangy, citric, pine and floral notes, loads of fruit and bags of tangy aroma. Touch of toasty malt underneath. Yeah, lovely.
Lots more tang on the palate, floral and fruity hops with passionfruit, citrus and rose. Nice sweet malty backbone as well, finishes tangy and hoppy with a hint of spice. Very pleasant.
Full body, a little bitty. Pretty nice.
Really nice red ale. Good malt, good hops, and well balanced.
86 / 100
On-tap at the GABS festival in Melbourne.
Pours a genuinely red hue, with a dash of brown to it, with a very mild haze. Fluid body, lighter than you expect for the ABV. Head is a full, firm yellow-white colour that leaves solid lacing. Love the colour. It's a great looking beer overall.
Nose is delicious and full, and presses its case from the first whiff. Sweaty aromatics, pressed oily hops with massive citrus characters. This adds a wonderful crispness to the round malt which sits forming a basis. Delicious, rich, full and spot-on stylistically. Awesome stuff.
Light grain on the front of the palate, with a hint of hops giving a peppery bite, before this blooms into a big fruity uplift of passionfruit and lemon rind. Grain sits underneath it all, and ends up parking on the back palate along with a cleaning crisp hop finish. Feel is smooth but crisp. Lovely stuff.
Great stuff from Bright. They nailed the style, and put together an amazingly tasty and drinkable beer. One of my top brews from the festival.
78 / 100
Pours a dark brown colour, just hints of colour at the edges. Head is beige, small bubbles but fizzes away leaving a thin rim of foamy lace. Looks like a standard porter; not bad.
Smells pleasantly dark. Lots of cocoa nibs give a rich gooey chocolate note with minimal sweetness. Hint of vanilla bean and some wet bark, but mostly just thick roasty darkness; very nice indeed.
Taste starts out as expected, with lightly roasted grain giving mild dark bitterness upfront. Richer, chocolate notes take over, reminiscent of a great mudcake that just doesn't give a shit about sweetness because it's so gooey and rich and buttery. Just a few musty notes on the mid, but the chocolate character lasts to the back. Sort of fades our with an unfortunate sour spiced cola flavour, but enough of that dark, bitter chocolate remains to forgive it. Nice, rich porter notes.
Slick and smooth mouthfeel with a bit of a chalky texture on the back where the roasted malt does the whole astringency thing. Not bad though.
Note to other BAs who's reviewed this beer, do yourself a favour and grab an uninfected bottle, because I think this is a cracking good porter. Would match really well with chocolate fondant and fresh berries.
71 / 100
Growler from Slowbeer.
Pours a deep, dark brown-black, rather transparent and oily at the edges. Head forms patchily, giving a mild dark-brown haze to the crown of the beer. Minimal lacing. The body looks a little thin. Overall, it's not an awe-inspiring RIS, but it's not too bad.
Nose is roasty, but quite mild. Not a lot of sweetness, malt or smoothness making itself feltâjust that husky, dark grain character, and an touch of bright acidity that almost evoked carbonated water. Again, a bit disappointing, but not bad.
Taste is much better, and here the R comes in (or should that be the "ahhh" comes in?). Prominent roasted bitterness through the centre of the palate, with a smoothness cushioning it around the edges, if still not much malt sweetness. Back is slightly dry, with a hint of tannic wood. Missing some of the depth and thickness to the feel, but otherwise the palate is just about what you want in a Russian Imperial Stout.
Not bad, but there's so much you can do with this style, and *should* do with this style. This is nice enough, but "nice" isn't a description I feel lives up to the style. It feels a little as though it's just going through the motions.
77 / 100
On tap at the Local Taphouse 24/05/11.
Pours a golden brass colour, head is off-white, nice and dense and retains well, forming a nice cradle of lace. Steady bead, fine-looking lager this.
Nice hops on the nose, lots of floral, fruity tang: pineapple, banana, pawpaw. Mostly tropical and a good tangy belt of citrus with sherbet.
Taste is nice and tangy, lots of non-acidic citrus with sherbet tang, lemon zest. Most of the flavour is on the mid with a peak of zestiness and then trails off to form a bitter finish, which has a bit of a hang, but it's mild enough to enjoy. Yeah, pleasant beer, nice and drinkable.
Good texture, plenty of body but not too much; not a lot of sizzle. Nice.
80 / 100
Had on-tap at the Local Taphouse in Darlinghurst, one of the first beers they put on after clearing out the remainders from the Kiwi SpecTapular.
Pours a hazy golden colour, tinged with bronze, and crowned with a fine-bubbled head of sticky white, that laces the glass beautifully. Looks wonderfully refined and very sophisticated, especially for a rustic harvest beer.
Nose is wonderfully fruity, giving fresh pineapple notes and a clean green freshness. Very sweet from the hop aromas, certainly no heaviness of malt. Spritzy and sherbet-like, it's a fresh aroma for a poor rainy autumnal day.
Taste is also good, with a fresh underripe pineapple character present here again, with a touch of guava. Again, minimal malt, which is a little surprising for a Marzen, but I won't begrudge it, because it's well-balanced nonetheless. Crisp carbonation is not overdone, but provides a lilting lift to the tropical flavours. Fine bitterness on the back that just cleans out and sharpens the finish.
Lovely brew, and exceptionally drinkable. Probably the best brew I've had from Brightâit's just fresh, clean, light, flavoursome and drinkable. Great jobâwonderful use of Topaz.
38 / 100
Pours a reddish-tinged amber-IPA colour really. Head is beige, but not impressive, just a film left. Body is quite opaque. Not much carbonation, but lace is pretty nice. Overall a bit of a mixed bag.
Umm, don't like the smell very much. Quite intense with a big cloying bread yeast sweetness plus big phenolic medicinal aroma. Cherry notes? Yeah, overly strong; quite unpleasant actually.
Tastes quite unpleasant, as well, I'm sorry to say. A bit sour at first and doesn't get much better. Slight toasted malt with just an unpleasantly malty but also bready yeast note. Very sour with undercooked malt notes. Weak at times, lacking in flavour; just gritty and unenjoyable and a little bit cloying. Meh.
Decent body, but overwhelming fizzy harshness; not a fan.
Well I'm not sure if I got a duff bottle but I found very little to enjoy in this; seems a bit of a mishmash and not really sure what they were even going for. At times yeasty and at other times had that intense bitterness I associate with really Burtonised IPAs. Will probably try again to compare but this time around this was not an enjoyable beer.
70 / 100
A very nice reddish amber colour, with a frothy and solid head of off-white foam. Head sustains itself for a while, but collapses soon after, leaving some clumpy lacing around the edge of the glass. Body looks surprisingly thick. Pretty nice looking all up.
Nose is a pleasant mixture of goopy sweet honey and malt, with a pleasant light floral hop character. Perhaps slightly sweeter than it needs to be, but it does have a pleasant balance.
Palate is very pleasant as well, with grain characters evoking carob and halva, and a nice clean bitterness on the back. Carbonation is a little overwrought, giving too much prickle in the mouth. The bitterness comes across a little more astringently later, but it's a very pleasant ale all up.
A very decent brew, with a pleasant take on an Amber Ale. Colour is great, and the palate is nicely skewed to grain in a way which doesn't harm drinkability or refreshment.
I like Bright's branding, their bottles really stick out nicely. Anyway, I digress, and I haven't eve started my review.
The beer is an extremely pale straw yellow colour, with only a very filmy head of white foam across the top. Come lacing on the edges of the glass, which seems to feed into the lace pattern across the top of the beer as the head dissipates. Slightly hazy. Not a bad beer - it has the look I'm starting to associate with Australian and New Zealand craft Pale Ales.
Nose is a pleasant, but muted melange of new world hops. Good whiff of sweet citrus and tropical fruits, quite clean and bright. I really like this style to be bursting with aroma, which this isn't quite, but it's decent enough.
Taste is very clean, with some hop fragrance being felt on the palate too, even if it's not really tasted. Crisp feel, with a cleansing, but clear and light bitterness on the back. Carbonation is spot on, just enough to lighten the palate a little and keep it lively without creating bloat, or overstimulation.
A pretty decent APA (and I guess I'll leave it deliberately ambiguous as to what the first A stands for), very clean drinking and thirst quenching. Would make a great BBQ beer for summer.
Pours a deep dark reddish-brown colour, with a frothy head of cream-coloured foam. Head stays on the edges of the glass in clumpy lacing. Body looks a bit thin, but not bad overall.
Wow, odd lactic acidity on the nose, almost smells like a wild or Flemish Red. Big vinous characters of dark vinegar and crushed citrus leaves. There might be other things in there, but they're overpowered by the acidity - this is just off.
Taste is similar, but bringing into the mix some rough dry chocolate on the back, which cuts through the acidity awkwardly. Yeah, the infection's just all through this - as much as I hate to review a beer not at its peak, there's something seriously wrong when you can even allow a beer at this stage of infection to get out to the public.
The other reviewers weren't kidding, there's something wrong with this beer. I can't believe that a lactic acidity was what they were going for here, and it must have been present at bottling time, which implies that they bottled it in full knowledge of its state.
Poor form, Bright. Maybe I'll try it again sometime when you've got your sanitation fixed up.
60 / 100
Tried on tap at the Local Taphouse.
Pours a pale gold with decent but modest white head and slow bead. Leaves decent lacing. Looks a bit still, but good.
Pleasant cascade hop aroma, a bit of caramelly malt. Nice understated tropical fruit characters, citrus and pineapple. A bit of lemon sherbet. Nice.
Taste is okay, fair cascade tang on the front. Citric and tartaric notes. Descends into a quite yeasty, bready mid-palate that is a bit cloying. Finish has a bit of a bitter hang that is OK, slightly dank on the aftertaste. Not too bad overall, at least the breadiness is confined to the mid and doesn't hang over to the finish.
Mouthfeel is slick, fairly thin but smooth. Quite drinkable.
Tried on tap at Sydney's Local Taphouse.
Very clear, lagery looking body, dark golden colour. Very dark for a wit. Decent head that leaves some lacing. Needs some sediment, and too dark, otherwise it's a decent looking brew.
Bit of sudsy aroma on the nose. Some spice. Muted but otherwise ok. A little sweet lemon, not a huge amount of pepper or spice, but there's nothing off in it.
Taste is good for a wit. Sweet spice and curacao, refreshing soapy bitterness on the back. Clean and extremely drinkable. An excellent sessioner. Mouthfeel is clean, but a little thin.
Very, very easy to drink. It's not that it has any unpleasant characters to it, it just doesn't quite have the depth of flavour of the best. But it's very clean, quite tasty. Without a doubt it's the sort of beer you could drink all night without a second thought.