Prologue: So as ‘Australian Month’ comes to an end the observant amongst you might have noticed that our selection of beers has not exactly been fair and equitable. There has been plenty of beers from SA, Vic and WA but little from elsewhere. Although I still haven’t managed to find anything from the territories (Australian Capital and Northern) I can tick the Apple Isle off the list today.
There is something about Tasmania which says beer to me. It might be the two strong, long standing, highly advertised Tasmanian mainstream brewers Cascade and Boags, or it might just be that the only thing Tassie is famous for on the mainland is fresh produce, oh and David Boon, and that wood chopping guy, and John ‘Super Apple’ McCarthy.
My personal experience with Tassie brews has been mixed, at one end Moo Brew blew my mind a couple of years ago, but at the other end Two Metre Tall has disappointed me more than once. This brings us to today’s beer, another long named wonder, Van Dieman Brewing Hedgerow Autumn Berry Ale.
Packaging: Nice logo – who doesn’t love a tree? Good sized bottle (500ml) and lots of information about the beer sitting on Hawthorn berries and rosehip, which kinda makes it sound like this beer has been sitting in your Nanna’s wardrobe for a couple of months.
One problem, why can’t they spell Van Diemen’s correctly? Spelling doesn’t seem to be their strong point, check out the awesome poster below, complete with a strange use of apostrophes (the plural of genius is geniuses not genius’s), and yes I understand the saying about glasshouses.
Appearance: This beer is the colour of an Autumn leaf, cloudy, much like an Autumn day can be and with a foamy head, which must have some link to Autumn which I can’t think of right now, but feel free to insert your own poetic simile here.
Smell: It smells a little fruity, in fact I would say it has beery smells mixed with berry smells. Bang – what a great play on words – I’m on fire here.
Taste: The taste could best be described as unusual. It tasted a little like a dry, slightly under-flavoured amber ale, but then with this berry twist right on the tip of your tongue as you swallow.
In conclusion: It’s a different brew. As I worked through the bottle I did start to enjoy it a little more, it felt like a reasonable (but not spectacular) amber ale, but with this weird slightly astringent aftertaste, one assumes from the tart hawthorn berries. Although I appreciate them going out on a limb (again, that’s puntastic) I just didn’t like it that much. They seem to be a good brewery though, so I will seek out their more ‘normal’ beers.
Ranking: Let’s have a schooner.
Long Bow Youtube Clip: It’s time for more Weddings Parties Anything, this time it’s a “Tale They Won’t Believe” the best song ever written about Tasmania.