Illawarra Brewing Company
from Australia
291st highest rated brewery (of 635)
Highest RatedIllawarra Saison Rouge (76 / 100) Average score64 / 100 (Solid)
Lowest RatedFrench Kiss (51 / 100) Number Tried11
Illawarra / Local Taphouse Hawaiian Cookie
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 29.12.13 on tap
64 / 100
Pours a pale golden colour, slight cloudy haze. Head is white, decent bubbling. OK i guess. Looks OK.

Smells quite hoppy, American mostly. Touch of golden syrup behind it, with lots of pineapple, passion, and pine resin as well. Bit more hoppy than expected, but pretty decent.

Taste is bit subdued. Hoppy, tropical - notes of orange, some passion and a touch of prune. Bit empty midway to be honest but nice palate nonetheless. Mostly hops, light and a bit empty. Don't get much coconut or many oats. Just fruity, thin; drinkable but not hugely impressive.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Illawarra Smashing Rumpkin
Reviewed by Jez on 27.12.13 on tap
64 / 100
A spiced Pumpkin ale, brewed around Halloween as is becoming increasingly common in Australia. This was aged in old bourbon barrels that had since had a second life aging rum in Queensland. Tried on-tap at the Duck Inn in Chippendale during Sydney Craft Beer Week.

Pours a solid amber with a fair amount of haze. Body has some substance to it, but only holds a little weak, fine carbonation. Head is off-white and forms a firm filmy cap. Excellent, intricate lace. Overall, it looks good.

Yup, pumpkin spice on the nose alright. Nutmeg, ginger come through strongly, with an undercurrent of brown sugar crumble. It's perhaps not as big and powerful as some, feeling a bit light-on, but it's pretty tasty.

Light entry on the palate, thin with a hiss of carbonic acidity. The body increases in the middle, with a touch of sweetness and pumpkin pie spice. Clean and bright on the back with lingering hints of nutmeg and ginger. Quite airy in the aftertaste, as though the rest of the flavours have effervesced away.

Feel is very light: it's not bad, but it could certainly do with more sweetness, and more body.

Overall, it's drinkable enough: all the characters are there though to make this bigger. It could really be a better beer with more weight thrown at it.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | drinkability: 3.5
French Kiss
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 10.12.13 on tap
51 / 100
Barrel-aged farmhouse ale brewed (or at least, barrel-aged) for GABS Festival in Melbourne, May 2013. Tried there on tap.

Pours a brown colour; far more brown/dark than it should be. Cream-coloured head, webbed lace that doesn't stick around. A bit still.

Smells nice: definite vinous notes with some aspects of barnyard, horse blanket and a belt of oak for good measure. Smells like funky grape juice. Pleasant.

Taste is a disappointment. French oak notes with a slight shiraz character, but also plenty of malt that doesn't really fit in. Definitely lacking on the farmhouse notes, just a touch of barnyard character creeping into the back. Maybe the French oak strangled it all but ultimately it tastes more malty than anything else. Underwhelming.

No trace of carbonation and luckily the alcohol doesn't show through. Body is OK, bit bitty as you'd expect.

Bit of shiraz notes, but leaves me wanting on the farmhouse side.
appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.0
Illawarra / Local Taphouse Hawaiian Cookie
Reviewed by Jez on 19.10.13 on tap
63 / 100
Tried on-tap at the Local Taphouse in Darlinghurst during the first day of Sydney Craft Beer Week.

Pours a bright golden colour with a little hazing in the glass. Body is light with minor streams of carbonation running through it. Head is white and pocked with bubbles but leaves decent rings of lace. Looks decent.

Nose has a slight pineapple hop character coming through, but is mostly malty with some lagery overtones and a slight hint of sulphur. Hops are quite subdued apart from providing a little bit of that fruitiness.

Crisp entry on the palate with some minor sharpness providing a bit of a bite. Some more pineapple comes through on the mid-palate, but it's a little empty. Lingering fruity bitterness on the back leaves a smooth aftertaste. Apparently there's coconut in this beer as well, but I don't see it. Feel is light and balanced.

Overall, it's very drinkable stuff: a little sweet perhaps to be truly refreshing, but overall, it's not bad.

appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.75
Pilgrams Cross IPA
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 20.05.13 on tap
63 / 100
Tried simply ages, AGES ago, at the Local Taphouse. Reviewed from notes.

Cloudy amber colour, minimal head. Head sinks quickly but has a nice colour. Not bad, but a bit listless.

Smell is hoppy, bit on the sweet side. Fruity and decent. Mango, orange and kiwi; needs more grounding though I think.

Taste is a bit empty. Plenty of hop flavour, but never very strong. Bit tangy and piney, gets a lower, almost brassy character late-mid and then ends without a huge amount of flavour. I'm guessing there's some citra on here? It's the classic citra shortcoming for me, regardless. Fresh harvesty in nature, but not really impressive.

Decent bitty feel, feels kind of juicy. Not bad.

Decent beer; nice enough flavours but ultimately falls just a bit short.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Illawarra Saison Rouge
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 21.12.12 on tap
76 / 100
Pours a gold/amber colour, hugely cloudy, almost opaque. Cream-coloured head is foamy and sticks around OK. Not quite red, more of a standard saison colour, but nice.

Spicy nose with lots of funky phenols. Rubber, funky with very nice complexity and lots of it. Saisony, pleasant.

Palate is more fruity, particularly upfront. Again huge saisony complexity: fresh, fruity and pleasant. Backs up with a nice organic funk towards the back, more of that rubber and spice. Complex, interesting and pleasant.

Bitty mouthfeel, nice dryness. Great saison texture.

Nice take on the style. Again not quite red, brewed more to saison style, but brewed well.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4.0
Illawarra Saison Rouge
Reviewed by Jez on 07.08.12 on tap
73 / 100
(Very Good)
Had on-tap at the Local Taphouse's GABS festival in Melbourne.

Pours a golden hue, tending to bronze, with very high hazing. Head is an eggy white, leaving huge lace as it goes down. Nice carbonation through the full body. Looks good.

Firm Belgian characters on the nose, giving some rounded estery notes with a hint of spicy cinnamon and some pleasant light sweetness. It works well together, despite not really bringing much Saison.

Round Belgian flavours again on the palate, starting light and smooth on the front. These develop into some phenols and peppery characters mid-palate, before a dry, clinging bite on the back finally brings some brisk funk to the table. Feel is smooth but peppery.

Overall, this is a nice drop. Good drinkability, and solid enough
across the board. Not the most interesting beer I had at the festival, but very decent and well-made.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.0