Warrnambool’s Flying Horse

Back in the day, and no not the rock club associated with the Portland Hotel (home of James Squire in Melbourne town) but rather a place in time, specifically the 18th of April 2011 I told you about Flying Horse Brewery in Warrambool.

I wasn’t that impressed, but then somewhere in the back of my mind I have a memory of reading that they were relaunching themselves. Of course it’s completely possible I was imagining this. I read a lot of stuff about beer in any given day and of course I drink quite a bit so it’s just as likely that I’m mixing these guys up with Tooborac, or Red Duck or for that matter Fosters.

But then I started seeing their brews popping up around town. That was enough for me to pick up a trio of their brews to see if they really worth considering again.

First up in the triumvirate of liquid bread is Billy Goat.

Billy Goat is Flying Horse’s Bock beer, It promises me caramel flavours and claims to be a Red Lager.  I guess that makes this a rare Red Bock.  The beer itself pours a browny red colour, it has a thin head which disappeared quickly.  It smells of overripe apricots.

It’s actually a very nice beer. A touch thin in the body but that makes it more drinkable. There is just a hint of sweetness in the mid sip, not quite caramel, more of an apricot or plum reduction, but then the bitterness takes it away. Bocks are not generally renowned for their hoppiness and this beer it no different, you are left with a slightly sweet aftertaste. Pint

Next up is The Savage Seagull another ill defined beer, it claims to be something between an Irish and Scottish ale. Can you see a trend here? Flying Horse appear to zig when others zag. You have to praise them for treating something a bit different. An irish ale, bock, Porter and hefeweizens, and yet no IPA, pale ale or amber ale, interesting.

This beer was a Golden Brown colour, with a thin rocky head. I have to say I was a little let down by it. It felt like it wasn’t as good as it should have been. The carbonation is a touch too high. Again this isn’t a big hop variety beer, but without the flavour coming from the hops I was expecting the malts to be more front and centre, there were slight biscuity and caramel flavours, but just not enough.

This beer reminded me a lot of Mountain Goat’s Hightail Ale, but you know, not as good (and not as hoppy) – Schooner.

Last up is probably their most mainstream style. The Wollaston Wheaty hefeweizen. This poured darker than I expected from a hefeweizen, it looked more like a golden ale. There was a slight hint of banana in the smell but is fades quickly to be replaced by fresh bread yeast smells.

It is a nice beer, it’s refreshing and quite gentle, easy to drink. There is a weetness at the front of the sip, to call it banana might be a bit generous, more a non descript pastry type taste, again this is a little thin in the body and the flavours are all there but just understated. Having said all that I would happily spend an afternoon drinking this. Schooner.

So has my opinion of Flying Horse improved? Yes, they are producing reasonably good beers, not knock your socks of amazingly brilliant beers, but they have a range of beers that are interesting in their style choices, and well worth checking out. 

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