On tap at the Local Taphouse.
Pours a pale gold colour, steady trickle of bead up the glass. Head is white, dense and foamy with slight pockmarked sinking on the top. Nice retention and density; looks pretty damn good. Honestly I had this right after the Green Beacon Grappler and they look almost identical; main difference is this bead isn't quite as profligate.
Smells good too. Nice fresh fruity characters of peach and some lime, then an odd toasted grain character like toasted puffed rice that seems out of place but is a nice complement to the subtler fruity notes. Fresh and interesting.
Taste is pretty good. Starts a little sizzly on the mouthfeel, but quickly develops some pleasant fruity character early on, with more of that peach and citrus blend with a touch of banana. Gets a little yeasty late-mid and the hops turn quite bitter with a slightly resinous and herbal linger towards the back. It's clean enough despite this but it more sort of fades out rather than getting clipped off. As such it's not quite as slammable as it could have been, but it's pleasant.
Mouthfeel is decent; carbonation is present but not overwhelming, good padding from the malt base that makes it fluent and goes down easily.
Yeah pretty nice drop but not quite as fresh and zesty as it could have been; just a bit more late-hopping could really bring this to more complete life.
330ml can purchased for me by Sam for Xmas.
Pours a relatively clear yellow colour, with an almost gushing head of rocky, frothy white, that sits atop glass like a cone. Once it settles, there's a few splodges of chunky lace. Carbonation is extremely vivacious, flooding the glass with large bubbles. It works for the beer, but it's on the verge of being untenable.
Nose is pleasant—bright passionfruit character drives it, but it's a bit of a one-trick pony. The malt is clearly clean and neutral, designed to provided a basis for the beer and nothing more. The hops might be there, but it's very easy to ascribe all of the characters to the actual passionfruit. I suspect the hops account for the mild grassiness.
Taste is also light, easy drinking, and almost 100% designed around the passionfruit. But it's well-made to have that possible. The malt steps almost entirely to the side, leaving the fruit to press its aromatics on the palate. It's not overly sweet, but there's certainly a skew that way, and a noticeable dearth of bitterness. Still, I like that they've managed to achieve this.
It's a drinkable, refreshing brew. It's fairly straightforward in terms of flavour profile, but there's complexity and skill required to get it that way. I would happily sink a few of these on a hot day.
59 / 100
Day 8 of my #fletchmas Advent Calendar curated by Jez. Reviewed blind; it's important to note that while you read my review of this passionfruit-adjunct summer ale given how many times I reference passionfruit in it. It's really, really obvious.
Pours a pale gold, slightly hazy, with overly effervescent head, huge and white and foamy; retains a little too much too, looks like big whipped egg whites, leaving some mild specks of lace behind. Looks fine, a little too much bubbling though for sure, and I can't blame storing it sideways, as I haven't been.
Smells of passionfruit seeds. Big fruity, tropical character but predominantly driven by passionfruit. Hint of banana, guava, but mostly, if I didn't mention this already, passionfruit. And hey, I'm fine with a nice passiony aroma, but I feel I just need to pad out this review with repeated passionfruit references because there's very little there besides it.
Taste is... hmm guess what it tastes like? Go on, have a guess. Yes I assume you said passionfruit and you'd be right. It's tangy, tropical, with a bit of a round, fruity sweetness on the mid-palate that then turns mildly bitter towards the back. Certainly some pull on the back, from carbonation and hopping, that is a little bit harsh through the light body. Not a lot of malt presence on the palate either, it's kind of noticeable because it's not too harsh upfront, but it's not really present in flavour form and the back is all tangy, fruity hops. Honestly it kind of tastes like grown-up Passiona. Which is not a bad thing but it's very one-note and unnuanced.
Drinks like a fruity summer ale, and I suspect summer appears in the name or the style. It's quite thin, so the big selling point of this being very drinkable is kind of diminished by how harsh the fizz is. It's decent.
Dragonfruit & Hibiscus Berliner Weiss, brewed for GABS festival 2017. Tried there on tap.
Pours a bright vibrant red colour, clear body with dense, white head that looks almost nitro-poured but I don't think it is. Looks amazing and very exciting.
Smells floral, and fresh. Actually doesn't smell much like a Berliner Weiss, with some sweet vanilla character blending with crisp apple notes and floral aromatics. Very pleasant indeed.
Taste is largely floral, too. The hibiscus notes are quite strong but otherwise there's not a whole lot going on around the edges. Touch of spice midway and finishes a little tart but not quite as fresh as one would expect. Bit subtle and disappointing after that aroma.
Decent body, good for the style and the size.
Nice enough beer, but it doesn't quite go sour enough to make the flavours pop.
Raspberry cinnamon blonde ale, brewed for GABS 2016. Tried at the festival in Melbourne.
Pours a pale amber colour with a slight tinge of pink. Very cloudy, with foamy cream-coloured head on top. Not bad.
Smells of berries, but very strongly of cinnamon which is quite lovely. Touch of vanilla sweetness and caramel in there as well. Pleasant.
Taste swings the other way and is predominantly berries. Somewhat tart and fresh, that descends into a slight cinnamon note late-mid. There's a subtle underlying maltiness which is otherwise subdued under the adjuncts and a bit more sweetness from the body would go a long way here. Thankfully doesn't get choked on Belgian phenols or esters, though.
Body is somewhat thin, touch of carbonation. Not bad.
Pretty nice, but overall just a touch too tart; I like the fresh berry note but without more sweetness the 'joy' factor expected from a beer called "Jam Donut" sort of sinks a little.
On tap at the Royal Albert. 'Kettle sour' beer brewed with peaches and hibiscus.
Pours a rose-tinted amber, almost red. Peachy, I guess. Weird bubble clumps at the edge. Head is small bubbles, white, fairly thin but retains firmly. Not bad, certainly unusual.
Smells fruity, floral. Yeah delivers what ot promises. Deep sweet aroma, mostly just botanicals, touch of herbs. Mildly medicinal on the back. Feel it could use more malt character to ground it, it's all just aromatic adjuncts.
Taste is fruity, peachy. Gets a slight sour note reminiscent of sour candy midway. Finishes with a big fresh hibiscus character, slight grain yeast residual, just a subtle hint of bread which does ground it slightly but then lingers too long. Hint of ginger without the spice. Mildly tart and unsubtly fruity. Bends towards bitterness overall with the wild yeast notes, slightly medicinal. Still, quite intriguing and quite tasty.
Decent presence. Fluid, mid-range in terms of body. Not thin but certainly light. Great for the style and size.
Quite drinkable. Some odd notes but overall a rewarding package.
71 / 100
Tried on-tap at GABS 2015 in Melbourne.
Pours a deep golden colour with some hazing to the body. Body is solid and holds some fine, swift, refined carbonation. Head is a cream/off-white hue that leaves a very fine crest and excellent lace. Looks good.
Nose is very hoppy, which isn't entirely what I expected. Mostly it's dry and bright, maybe with a bit of pineapple, but also a slight vinous quality. As it warms the pineapple does come through, but the hops are still dominant, with pepper becoming more prominent. No coconut to be seen.
Light, dry prickly characters on the front, with a big hoppiness rushing through towards the mid-palate. Again, there's hints of pineapple, but they get lost in the hop onslaught. The dryness of the body doesn't help here, although it leaves the back pleasantly clean and light, dropping away to nothingness and leaving just a linger of bitter fruit.
Feel is stick with hops on the front, and with that bitter linger it feels quite long, despite the body dropping out quite swiftly.
It's a very hoppy beer, much more than I was expecting from the brief. It's still a nice beer, but I can imagine something more unique and equally good.
71 / 100
Second beer of GABS 2015 in Melbourne.
Pours a champagne colour, bit of cloud to it. Head is cream-coloured, nice and dense but not really sticking around. Pretty decent.
Smells lovely: tangy and fruity. Lots of pineapple, yes, but also passionfruit, citrus, pear and somewhat bitter with a peppery edge. Not a huge coconut character though; what's there gives a more oaky note. But appealing.
Taste is quite sweet upfront; big caramel toffee malt character that then gives way to stringent hop character late. Lemon with a side order of pineapple and a slight coconut character on its way through too. Bit sweet on the front, but it passes too briefly and the back is really quite bitter. I think they may have just leant a little heavily on the hops for this one.
Decent body, goes down nicely. Not bad.
Nice beer, but too much IPA. I think my expectations were set a bit high for this one, or at least my expectations were quite specific and a bit different from what's here.
73 / 100
On tap at the Royal Albert.
Pours a dark cola colour, beige head that's quite bubbbly. Lace is good. Looks good.
Smells hoppy. Grassy lime, caramel and chocolate. Oddly hop-forward but pretty pleasant.
Taste is stouty: chocolate and chicory, lots of roast and a fair hop note. Fresh cut grass, some citrus notes and lots of cocoa. Nice flavours. Nice hops.
Smooth, creamy. Pleasant mouthfeel.
A nice stout, very American. Pleasant drop.
82 / 100
On tap at the 33° Craft Beer Bar in Manly.
Pours a golden orange colour, furious bead for an ale. Head is white, medium density and great retention. Bit pale ale-y maybe but looks nice. Also it is a pale ale, whatever they call it.
Smells fruity, with lots of tropical fruit - passion and mango with an apricot twang as well. Nutty, spicy malt underlying, quite a dried fruit note. Dried apricot but also sultana and raisin richness. Sweet; enticing.
Taste is tangy upfront, with lemon and passion notes that develop quickly into drawn-out hop bitterness, citric and slightly dank with a crisp but slightly yeasty finish. Apple, apricot all in the mix. Hops are front and centre but beautifully softened and mellow through the palate. Drinkable, sessionable.
Nice body, feels creamy smooth in the mouth. Touch of carbonation texture.
Fantastic drop; complex hop flavour but mellow and chilled. This is as close to being an actual session IPA as I've seen - it could still just be a wonderfully complex and hop-forward pale ale but you can see the philosophy (such as it is) behind 'session IPA' in every sip.
70 / 100
Pours a straw colour, huge cloud to it. Basically looks like a witbier. Off-white head, medium thickness. Yeah, looks good.
Tangy nose. Lots of fruity hops with lemon and pineapple dominating. Possibly a touch of coriander and maybe some lime but it could just be a placebo effect.
Taste has a good malt base with a touch of corn to it; tang takes over midway with a big passion/pineapple new world hop flavour. Slightly citric, and then a decent wallop of coriander towards the back. It's mostly tangy and refreshing but a nice twist and kick with those other flavours.
Mouthfeel is slightly disappointing, fizzy and thin. Bit of malt presence saves it from feeling like a soft drink.
Very refreshing, tasty drop. More hoppy than wheat beer or Mexican-infused beer but I'm still a fan.
75 / 100
They term this a "Hoppy Wheat Beer with inspiration". The inspiration is zest, corn, coriander and other fresh taco ingredients. Tried on-tap at the GABS festival in Melbourne (and at least once since, although I can't recall where—it may have just been again on a later day of the festival).
Pours a very light golden colour with solid hazing. Body is light, but with a heft to it. Head is creamy and full and pure white. Lace forms in pleasant thick sheets with some bubbly elements. Carbonation is hidden in the haze.
Fragrant and bright on the nose: slightly herbal, but spicy as well—indeed perhaps some coriander, but also plenty of zesty citric hops. It's very vibrant and alive and does work very nicely.
Taste is also excellent. Light, crispy corn characters on the start would be out of place anywhere else, but here they're worked into the rest of the beer brilliantly: coriander, chilli and fragrance, which dance through with a slight mexican spiciness through to the back. This is crisp and mild and again fragrant with corn and coriander. Feel is light but bright—matching the rest of the palate.
This is a very refreshing beer, but also very different and with stacks of character. It absolutely delivered on its promise, and most of all, it's just good damn fun.
77 / 100
On-tap at Harts Pub.
Looked truly red on the pour, on closer inspection it's actually amber, but it's close enough. Head is an off-white fine ring of foam. Some bubbly lacing around the edges. Light body, but it looks smooth and supple. Brilliant clarity. Looks very solid.
Nose is light with clean, fresh citric hops, very bright and zesty. There's a hint of carbonation to it, along with an earthiness light turned clay, and a sweetness like light caramel or carob. Very pleasant.
Taste is light but really nicely balanced. Clean zesty light hops on the front, with a smooth, but leavened sweetness towards the back. At the interface point it gives a pleasant sugared citrus character. Light grain characters, with a tendency towards roast, dance around, but they get smoothed out of existence after their entry. Nice balance: super drinkable.
This is great stuff from Two Birds, much the better of their two regulars so far. Flavoursome but light, and with depth to interest you. I'll certainly be drinking it again. And again.
Had on tap at Harts Pub.
Pours a shiny clear gold with light bead. Modest white head, small bubbles, minimal lace. Looks like beer; pretty par.
Smells fairly grainy and malty at first. Touch of earthy, toasty character and gently tangy hops giving a touch of fruit - lemon and apple mostly. More fruity, slightly resinous as it warms up. Refreshing aroma; quite like it now.
Taste is a bit of a letdown. Starts kind of tangy with some acetyldehyde and other ale by-products. Sweetish grain midway with barley and a touch of popcorn, then quite a bready late-mid and finish, some piney hops on the back but not very assertive. Hey, it's drinkable, pretty plain but I shouldn't complain; it is what it is.
Bit sharp on the back, kind of sizzles itself dry. Bit meh.
Plain, drinkable. Good starter beer and could continue drinking it.
On-tap at Harts Pub in Sydney during Sydney Craft Beer week.
Pours a clear golden colour, quite a deep hue. Head is hazy and a little inconsistent, but it's fine and white at least. Lacing forms in majestic sheets but disintegrates patchily. Very light body, which is nothing less than what you want for the style. A little simple, perhaps, but perfectly suitable.
Nose is light and crisp, but quite mild. Some faint fruity hops giving a bit of fragrant uplift, and a hint of salty chlorine. Touch of fizz from the carbonation is noticeable. It's not bad.
Taste, again, is very light, but it's pleasantly refreshing. Slight woody hop character on the back, with the palate is rounded out with some slight fragrant citrus flavours and a light greenness. Finish is quite dry and light, and the feel is sparkling but very light bodied.
Very drinkable and refreshing. Does it really do enough to stand out in a crowded marketplace, though?