If you’ve been hanging around here of late you might think all I’ve done is go to WA to drink beer and not write many blog posts about it. But you would be mistaken, eventually I returned to Melbourne town and as well as not writing blog posts I’ve managed to drink a few beers here and there so it’s time to tell you about a few.
Actually if truth be known I’ve been lucky enough to get a few free beers, I assume not just because I’m a good bloke (there are many people who say I’m not even that) but so that I could write about them and tell you good folk how good they are. This can be tricky if you get sent crap, but lucky for me they were both fantastic beers.
I’m going to start with Temple Brewery’s new beery offering for summer, the Scarlet Sour. I should start by admitting I know exactly three tenths of fuck all about sour beers. I have vague recollections of drinking them on sunny afternoons at the Belgian beer Garden and I think I liked them but I was probably drunk so don’t recall much more.
The reason why I have so little knowledge/experience with these sour little wonders is that Australian breweries don’t really produce sour beers. There is the Watermelon Warhead out of Feral (which is awesome by the way) and Razzamatazz by Seven Sheds and I’m sure Wig and Pen do some but other than that I can’t think of any (cue beer nerd who will leave a comment telling me there are actually 16 sour beers in production at the moment in Australia – in fact that answer might be here).
The Scarlet Sour is made with cranberries (there was a nice video playing at the launch of cranberries being harvested Ocean Spray style) and hibiscus flavours. It is bright red which is pretty awesome and it tastes bloody good, and I can’t really tell you any more than that because as previously mentioned, what the hell do I know about sour beers. I can tell you it was very easy drinking, very refreshing, and very enjoyable and that’s good enough for me – Pint.
Next up is one of the Italian beers that I got sent by the good people at Birra Italiana who specialise in bringing in Italian beers from Italy’s booming craft beer scene. It’s so big in fact that I read in Sam Calgione’s book Extreme Brewing he notes that Italy is second only to the US in terms of craft beer.
So I was very pleased to receive a package with a few great Italian brews in it. The one we will be talking about today though is the fantastically named EiPeEi (sound it out and you get IPA) from Opperbacco, which is a US style IPA.
Whenever I get my hands on some Italian beers it makes me decide to pair them with homemade pizza, and I had brewed the day before so I even managed to put some fresh spent grain into the dough, the choice to put falafel balls on the top made it all a little dry but you have to try things.
But I’m sure you don’t care about the pizza, you care about the beer. Firstly I have to say the Italians do bottles better than most, the EiPeEi comes in the heaviest bottle you’ll ever lift (which disappointingly means you think there is more in there even after it’s empty). The beer itself is attractive as well, a hazy orange with a dense head. The aroma is a subdued sweet apricot.
It is also an amazingly drinkable IPA, it’s ‘only’ 48 IBU’s, which means that it really sits somewhere between a Pale Ale and an IPA. In fact upon drinking you think it’s quite gentle but then a couple of seconds later it comes back, not so much with a punch as playful tap about the noggin. Pint