Matilda Bay Alpha

Prologue:  I have it on reasonably good authority that in the Matilda Bay family Alpha is considered the golden child.

You know how it is, even though the parents claim that they love all of their kids  equally they don’t. In reality they like the kid who got the better grades, or is more polite, or visits more often.

Alpha is this beer, the star of the show. The beer that wins all the awards. The beer that the brewers wish every beer could be. But how good is it?   

Packaging:  Whilst we are working on this sibling analogy I think you’ll find that the Alpha label is just a yellowy version of the Cascade Pure (which isn’t a bad beer by the way) label, which would make sense given that, as I understand it, Alpha is brewed at the Cascade brewery in Tassie

Appearance: A nice toasty amber colour with a creamy but thin head which had a slightly tan tinge.   

Taste: Malty but not in an overpowering way at the start of the sip then these great hop flavours come through and linger right through until the aftertaste.    

Food matching: I follow Matilda bay on Twitter and thus I note that the brewers often drink Alpha whilst eating cheese. So I gave that a try, in particular crumbly vintage cheddar, it was very good, so try that.    

Made up reader question: “Hey cool blog, I love it and will be telling all my friends about it, how does this beer get its name?” I don’t work a Matilda Bay (although I would love to if anyone is handing out jobs) so I have no proof of this but I can only assume that it is a reference to this being a high hop beer.

You see the ‘strength’ of a Hop is measured in AAU or Alpha Acid Unit. Which is basically the amount of alpha acid in the hop, the more alpha acids the more bitter it is.

Traditional hops from England and Germany are generally quite subtle. For instance Saaz used in must Euro lagers has 2-5% alpha acid. US hops like Chinook is much more bitter at around 12-14%, and that kids is why American style pale ales are much hoppier or bitter than English styles.  

It may also mean that this beer is for manly men, but that would be an outdated view of beer drinker preferences and gender politics and I’m sure the marketing kids at Matilda Bay are smarter than that.

In conclusion: A seriously good beer. Like Fat Yak on steroids.  

Ranking:  I’ll have a pint thanks.      

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5 thoughts on “Matilda Bay Alpha

  1. An enjoyable read as always and makes this bus trip more bearable. I’ve read my review of Alpha from back in January and my comment was “Fat Yak’s tougher big brother”. I should also add that it ain’t cheap.

    Prodigious productivity at the moment, Tipples.

  2. This beer is certainly an elder and much more respected sibling of Fat Yak (dumbed down Little Creatures PA) and its been around for a while. It is a great stand by beer, that I’ve found in a few places I didnt expect however it pales in insignificance to the unfiltered version. That is a beer that I would cross the road for. Hard to find but worth it, if only they’d make the whole damn lot unfiltered

  3. Nice review. Just to be a “stickler” for the facts! (old brand joke there) Alpha is only made at the Garage Brewery. That way I get to take home as much as I like. SFV Head Brewer Matilda Bay. PS No jobs at the moment!

  4. The garage of course being in Dandenong Victoria not Tasmania for those people not cyber stalking Matilda Bay.

    Since you’ve nicely taken the time to read the blog Scott (which I’m honoured by and just slightly freaked out), I’ve heard a rumour that Matilda Bay might be opening your own pub in inner Melbourne (Like the one you have in Perth), any chance you can confirm this? I’m sure there are some keen readers here who would happily make it their local….

  5. Pingback: The Beer Academy | Tipples Beer

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