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Beer reviews

Here's To Beers with Bob AnthonyBob Anthony, columnist and home brewer

I'm a beer columnist and home brewer. Here I cover everything to do with one of the most popular and discussed beverages in the world.

Cheers! Bob

Alpha Pale Ale by Matilda Bay

Tue, 2009-10-13 09:49 -- bob
Alpha Pale Ale by Matilda Bay

WHEN it comes to beer, I am a self-confessed fan of pale ales.

(OK, I’m a self confessed fan of beer but pale ales rank up there with the more ‘desirable’ for me).

Matilda Bay, now brewed in Victorian has a great pale ale in its ranks called Alpha.

Named after the hops used, Alpha Pale Ale has a wonderful fruity, citrus bouquet, a slightly citrus first impression across the palate but leaves the mouth with a slight bitterness.

All this combines to make this truly well-balanced drop with excellent sessionability.

My Wife's Bitter by the Burleigh Brewing Company

Sun, 2009-09-27 06:56 -- bob
My Wife's Bitter by the Burleigh Brewing Company

THE beauty of having your own brewery it that you can ‘experiment’ with new brews.

That’s exactly what has happened with the Burleigh Brewing Company – makers of the Duke range.

Master brewer Brennan Fielding and his wife Peta have come up with a limited release of English Bitter –style drop with the unique title of My Wife’s Bitter.

With a full flavoured body to it, My Wife’s Bitter offers a malty appeal with a hint of caramel in the aftertaste.

It is 4.8 percent alcohol and features Fuggles and East Kent Holdings hops.

Summer Bright Lager

Wed, 2009-09-23 06:54 -- bob
Summer Bright Lager

WHEN it comes to timing, XXXX couldn’t have done any better with the release of their latest product, Summer Bright Lager.

As the name implies, this beer is designed for the hotter months and offers a clean, crisp and refreshing taste.

It’s also very cunning that the bottle looks a lot like some Mexican beers on the market.

Summer Bright actually offers a bit more then its Mexican counterparts, with a slightly citrus flavour combined with a little bitterness making it a good thirst quencher.

White Rabbit Dark Ale

Wed, 2009-09-09 08:23 -- bob
White Rabbit Dark Ale

THERE’S nothing like a full-flavoured dark ale to warm the bones when it gets a bit chilly.

Even though the weather is getting warmer, we still get the odd excuse to indulge in cold-weather comfort food and my latest indulgence is White Rabbit Dark Ale from Healesville in Victoria.

Actually the brewery, where White Rabbit is from, only makes one type of beer — and this is it.

White Rabbit is a rich, smooth, full-flavoured, full-bodied dark ale with a great taste of malt and hops.

Coopers Vintage Ale

Tue, 2009-09-08 10:43 -- bob
Coopers Vintage Ale

BEING a bit partial to the Coopers range of beers, it was a pleasant surprise to find the South Australian brewer had yet another beer to try.

This time the drop is Coopers Vintage Ale, an annual release full of flavour and body.

I am a self-confessed fan of the Coopers Heritage beers and found a similarity with this drop.

It has a rich copper colour, a creamy head and a bouquet which is citrus/floral in nature, and something which you mightn’t expect

from such a rich-looking ale.

Burragumbilli Organic Lager

Thu, 2009-09-03 10:42 -- bob
Burragumbilli Organic Lager

IF there is one thing to be said about the Australian beer market, it is innovative.There’s no stopping brewers coming up with newbeers or newangles to try to tap into a piece of the action.

The latest beer pioneering a new niche section is Burragumbilli Organic Lager.

Yes, I can hear you ask, "What’s an organic lager?" And that’s precisely why this beer will be sought-after.

In keeping with all things organic, Burragumbilli is brewed from natural ingredients, free of artificial additives and containing no sugars or preservatives.

Crown Ambassador Reserve Lager

Fri, 2009-08-07 16:16 -- bob
Crown Ambassador Reserve Lager

THERE’S a growing number of boutique beers on the market which are designed to be put away for a special occasion.

The trouble with such brews is deciding when is an appropriate special occasion.

Recently, it was drawn to my attention that there is a drop out there – Crown Ambassador Reserve Lager – which is termed as a vintage luxury beer. At $69.99 per 750ml bottle it is definitely a luxury purchase.

Rock Hopper Pilsener from Mac's Brewery

Sat, 2009-08-01 11:14 -- bob
Rock Hopper Pilsener from Mac's Brewery

THE Kiwis are coming and I’m not just talking about the rugby bro.

Mac’s Brewery is looking to tempt Aussie beer drinkers its range and latest one which I have sampled has been Mac’s Brewery is their Rock Hopper Pilsener.

For a pilsener, this is a very fragrant drop and that is a hint of the flavour in that distinctive Mac’s bottle.

It is a clean, clear beer and the hop inclusion is what gives this pilsener plenty of aromatic flavour, not unlike a pale ale and it comes across the plate very smoothly.

Mad Abbot Ale by the Little Brewing Company

Tue, 2009-07-07 08:19 -- bob
Mad Abbot Ale by the Little Brewing Company

ONCE upon a time there was The Little Brewing Company who took on the 'big boys' and came away on top with a wonderful drop called Mad Abbot Abbey Ale.

This dark beer with the strange name might come in a small bottle but is big in flavour and big in alcohol content.

However it is deceptively easy to drink and regardless of the fact that it is potent ale (8 percent) you don't notice it.

The Little Brewing Company is based in Port Macquarie and its Mad Abbot Ale is advertised as a limited release.

James Squire Hop Thief

Tue, 2009-06-02 09:16 -- bob
James Squire Hop Thief

YOU only truly get to appreciate the importance of Australia’s annual hop harvest when you are a lover of beer.

Being one of the most crucial of ingredients, it’s not really surprising that there are a number of breweries now producing beers to mark this important occasion, one of them being the Malt Shovel Brewery, makers of the famed and tasty James Squire range.

The James Squire Hop Thief is the third version of this limited release and in keeping with the previous releases features a strong aromatic quality which sets it apart from the run-of-the-mill beers.


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