Prologue: Each summer for me brings a trip to small seaside hamlet of Kennet River. It is one of those great traditions, the setting for stories told over and over again. Over the years the faces have changed, some friends have departed, partners, and now children are being added, but the destination never changes, every summer you will find us braving the cold cold waves between the rocks at Kennet River.
So this is how a couple of weeks ago I found myself, sitting in a camp chair, staring up at the gum trees with a beer from the local brewery in my hand – That brewery? Otway Estate Prickly Mosses (Doesn’t exactly roll of the tongue does it?) I actually gave a couple of their brews a try, The Summer Ale and the Otway Ale.
Appearance: Both of these beers had some of the fastest bubbles I’ve ever seen, maybe it was that I was so relaxed that anything that moved faster than a Koala felt quick, but both beers seemed to contain these tiny little bubbles that raced through the beer at an alarming rate. The Summer Ale was orangey, with a frothy white head, whilst the Otway ale more traditional amber/brown with a creamier head.
Taste: The Summer Ale, was not surprisingly more summer appropriate, in the sense that the flavours were lighter, in fact it felt like there was a stronger flavour in there, that was trying to get out but never quite getting through. It was all very crisp and clean. Meanwhile the Otway ale had a more malty flavour, with a slight citrus aftertaste, possibly from some telltale cascade hops.
Packaging: The wine guys seem to produce better beer labels than the beer only breweries, and this is no exception. The range has some strong classy imagery, in the form of the little spiky fella, who I assume is called Mosses, they then use colour is distinguish the different variety of beers, simple, strong, brilliant.
Food Suggestion: I have to tell you that my friend Chris makes awesome bacon and egg toasted sandwiches, for course breakfast time might be little early for beer drinking, but it might be worth a shot.
Drinking Location: Perhaps Kennet River beach might be the order of the day. This awesome photo is from Flikr and a guy called amb74
In conclusion: These were both okay, but neither were fantastically brilliant. There are worse ways of spending your time than sitting in a seaside hamlet, sipping on a couple of these as you watch the waves and wait for the BBQ to be fired up.
Ranking: Let’s have a Schooner