Tipples Revisited – Beast IPA

The early days of the Tipples was a bit of a shambles. I has been well documented that even now, after two hundred and something  reviews I don’t actually know much about beer. Imagine how little I knew about beer when I (actually we back then, as MB was still involved) did only our seventh ever review.

Looking back Jamieson’s Beast IPA was an ambitious choice, we were really captured by the  awesome label, and didn’t think about the beer. A big bodied hop monster was always going to be a struggle for craft beer newbies like us, hence we gave it a pot rating.

Fast forward three and bit years and many many beers later and I’m sitting in the beer garden at Grumpy Greens in Fitzroy and trying this again…..

Read the updated review here……

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Tipples Revisited – Taxi Pilsener

Two incidents have intersected over the past weekend which has prompted me to introduce a new concept to this here Blog. 

The first was tasting a certain beer that I hadn’t tasted in a while and realising what I remembered as a darn good beer, really wasn’t.

The second was an interview on Radio Brews News with Bill Taylor who is chief brewer at Lion (Nathan). He said the following:

“I mean the first time you taste a 50 bitterness unit beer it might have stretched you a little too far, but you get to the point where it actually becomes quite an allure. So your tastebuds and your drinking experiences change over time and you evolve. It a bit like listening to music….you might start with pop, but as you grow…..”

There are some entries over the years that I look back on and wonder if the fault was not with the beer, but rather with me. Maybe my tastebuds were still listening to Rick Astley and Bananarama  and this was a Tom Waits beer.

There are three of four beers that spring to mind, The Beast IPA, Longshot, Kozol, and a couple of Bridge Road brews. But the first beer we are revisiting – Perennial favourite of mine 2Brother’s and their Taxi.

Festival of the Jugs – 2 Brothers Taxi

Prologue:  I feel a certain affinity to 2 Brothers, the brewery is just up the road from where I grew up, the are sufficiently obscure to add credence to my ‘beer wanker’ status, but most importantly that produce seriously good beer.

In fact they are the only brewery in the history of Tipples to produce two, count them, two Jug worthy brews, they are the beautifully soulful and rich James Belgian Brown, and the cool and refreshing Chief

They are also not the easiest beer to find. You are not going to walk into your local Dan Murphy’s and come back with a six back of Taxi. Nope you are going to have to find it on tap, or find a really good bottleshop 

So I tripped down to Cloudwine and picked up a bottle of Taxi which is their Pilsner. I’ve actually drunk it before, but only ever on tap.

Appearance:  Instantly I had a flashback to Baron’s Lager  The yellowness was the same, the white head, similarly wispy, although unlike the Barons, as I drank the Taxi the head stayed around and there was even some lacing on the glass.

Taste:  Very nice, Taxi is a refreshing beer, it tastes yeasty rather than hoppy, with some slightly bitterness on the tip of the tongue mid sip but no strong aftertaste. I thought I sensed overtones of sour apple, but I might have just been getting carried away and trying to impress my girlfriend Jordan.

Jordan liked it a lot too, we did discuss how we thought it tasted like a less carbonated Cooper’s Pale Ale, which is a very good thing.

Packaging:  I suppose at this point you are wondering why it’s called Taxi. Well 2 brothers beverages come with story. Their pear cider is called gyspy because of a billy cart or something like that and this beer is named after one of the Brother’s first car, which was an ex-taxi named Lola. Why Lola? Well it appeared to have a Barry Manilow tape stuck in the tape deck. Tape Deck, remember those?

Combine the story with bright a Taxi yellow label, and some nice graphics, and you have another winner from the 2 brothers crew.

In conclusion:  This is a very nice beer. In my opinion not as good as their previously reviewed brews, and not as good as Growler which I shall be downing and reviewing the next time I walk into a pub that has it on tap, but still a very, very nice beer.

6 Degrees of Norm:

1.    ‘Taxi’ was a sitcom in the 1970’s

2.    Which starred Tony Danza

3.    Who was in ‘Cannonball Run II’

4.    Which starred Burton Leon Reynolds

5.    Who was in ‘The Grand’ with Woody Harrelson

6.    Who of course played Woody in Cheers and served beers to Norm.  

Ranking:  I’ll have a pint thanks   

Revisited – 03-10-2011.  I was in a pub recently, on a pub crawl when I had this brew again, wedged as it was two other pubs, and two other beers, Coopers Pale and Fat Yak.

As I was drinking I was thinking, this is actually quite a boring beer.  I has a touch of diacetyl, which is a fancy way of saying had a buttery taste and mouthfeel, which isn’t a good thing in beer. My example on the weekend was also under carbonated, which is not normally something I complain of.

Is an okay beer, perfectly drinkable, but in the greater scheme of things there a much better beers out there. I’m not convinced this should be a Pint, I’m busting it down to a Schooner.   

The Long Bow YouTube Clip: I have to put in Copa Cabana, but I can’t stand Barry Manilow, so I give you Liza Manelli and the Muppets.

And it includes a muppet murder. Creepy.

Beast IPA

Prologue: This beer is largely ridiculous. It seems to be brewed more as a challenge than as a quest to produce a well rounded and tasty beer.

It’s high alcohol – 7% which is actually about right for a true Indian Pale Ale (it was higher alcohol so it could survive the sailing to India, hence the name), rather than the whimpy Pale Ales you normally get, but that seems to be a reason for living, which is not good enough in my book.

Appearance: Like Blood & Wine, Dark, and more like Golden Syrup than actual beer.

Flavour: Heavy, Bitter, dark and Malty

Packaging: Sensational, Like someone has ripped the tattoo off the arm of a truckie and whacked it on a beer bottle.  Fucking Awesome.

Food Suggestions: There’s a steak in every bottle.

Ranking: Maybe just a Pot

Revisit 25-10-2011: I got this absolutely wrong when I first tried this. This is not a bad beer, I just wasn’t ready for it. 

I was right in saying this wasn’t the most attractive beer, surprisingly dark and muddy for an IPA. It smells of citrus and pine, combined with biscuit maltiness. The taste is not as bitter as you would expect, in the fight between malt and hops, malt just wins out.

Verdict: A very good beer that was clearly before it’s time – I’ll have a Pint.