Van Dieman Brewing Hedgerow Autumn Berry Ale.

A little light reading with my Hedgerow

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. 

One of Van Dieman's posters

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.

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3 thoughts on “Van Dieman Brewing Hedgerow Autumn Berry Ale.

  1. Great to see you managed to get a bottle of the Hedgerow.

    The astringent aftertaste on the back of the palate is in fact the terribly bitter Sloe berries coming into play. Typically used in sloe gin, it was a challenge not to impart too much astringency into the beer, and the woody character of the Hawthorn berries acted to counter this. Its an experiment that has turned out commercially successful for us, and we’ve learnt a lot from using primary ingredients straight from the brewery property.

    Im glad you picked up on the spelling aspect of the poster. You’ve hit right upon the intended irony of the plural form of genius, something Im guessing only a certain few would pick up.

    And in response to the spelling of the brewery, ideally we’d have spelt it in its correct form, however one of the major brewers in the state has it trademarked and were unwilling to offload the name despite not using it for 20 odd years. Were still in discussions with them 5 years down the track.

    Hopefully you get your hands on some of our mainstream beers, and thoroughly enjoy them.

    Cheers

    Will Tatchell
    Managing Director/Head Brewer

  2. Thanks for stopping by, ironic spelling mistakes are always a dangerous joke to make, I look forward to finding the rest of the range – the IPA on your website (great label by the way) looked very tempting. Any ideas on likely stockists if any to get it on the mainland?

    I think I would have picked up the hedgerow at Slowbeer.

  3. Increasing our production capacity at the moment. Expecting to have more product on the mainland over the course of Winter 2012 leading into Summer 2012/13.

    Keep updated via our website, Facebook or Twitter accounts.

    Cheers

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