Feral Moondogs.

Another brilliant label from Moondog

We have discussed Moondog before, they are those crazy guys from Abbotsford who produce weird beers with strange names but awesome labels. The latest beer of theirs is no different. It is a raspberry coffee beer (because that’s a thing apparently) and it’s called Symbiotic Solipsism, which if Wikipedia definitions are correct means a mutualistic relationship that may not exist outside of one’s own mind. Doesn’t make any sense? Don’t worry neither does the beer.
And that’s the basic problem, when you are pushing the boundaries of what has been done in beer-making (certainly in this country) you are going to alienate people and you are going to produce brews that some people are going to hate. This beer for me was one of those. It could probably be best described as tasting like you took the wet coffee grains at the bottom of a bodum pot, left them sitting on the bench for 4 days so they got a little mouldy and then mixed them with some very weak raspberry cordial.  Pot.
I’m all for experimenting and I’m all for breweries producing something different and a bit wacky, and as a card-carrying beer wanker it’s my duty to be amazed by everything Moondog do. But I’d like to see them produce a good quality standard IPA or Pale Ale, or dare I say it lager to prove that they can actually make good beer before they go out making dung infused, dry roasted, barrel aged, sour ales laced with star anise and the honeycomb sourced from East African hives populated entirely by cross dressing bi-sexual  bees named Terry. 
One brewery that has proven time and time again that they produce great quality beers is Feral and I assure you that the Karma Citra is no different. It’s a black IPA, although it pours brown rather than black. There are sweet citrus fruits on the nose that remind me of marmalade and even a fleeting hint of smoke.
And the taste is all there as well. It’s complex and exciting, hoppy without being aggressive. It’s got this great silky smooth body as well, with quite a bit of malt character, almost chocolately and just a hint of nuts. Even though it’s a big IPA and has plenty of hops you get the feeling that even a novice to the craft beer scene would love this one, very sessionable. If you had to be stranded on a desert island and you could only take one beer to drink for the rest of time, I think I might choose this on. Although maybe I could do a two for one deal and take some Hop Hog with me as well  – Jug.

Springtime for Beers

Down here in Melbourne town the weather is starting to turn. Gone are the grey overcast skies that grace the seemingly endless winter in this town. Now we are starting to see some blue peak through the clouds, occasionally I can leave the house in a t-shirt. And if you can find a place inside but near a window you can be toasty warm in the sun and pretend it’s hotter than it really is.

That’s right spring is almost upon us, and we all know what spring means. It means beer (So does Winter, Autumn and Summer for me but let’s just go with it okay), specifically it means beers in beer gardens.

But what to drink? I’ve spent the last three months devouring stouts and porters being warmed by their big alcohol, full bodied goodness, but if you want to fully embrace the T-shirt weather, and drinking in a beer gardens you are going to need a lighter bodied, more sessionable, perhaps even fruity beer. And because I care about you, my readers I’ve gone out and tested three of them to help you with your selection.

First up with the Queenscliff Honey Wheat Ale, a beer that aims to combine all the goodness of wheat and honey, which kind of sounds like a breakfast cereal more than a beer. It pours a honey yellow colour with a white head which is half way between creamy and foamy. It’s a bit of a nothing beer, there are hints of honey in the aftertaste but it’s very subtle, otherwise it’s quite gassy, not particularly hoppy, it’s an okay beer, and there is nothing wrong with it, it’s just not that interesting though – Schooner

Kolsch is traditionally seen as a summer beer. Why? Well it’s a light, bright golden lager from Cologne in Germany, this particular example is not from Cologne though, rather it is from the Sydney brewer 4 Pines, it’s imaginatively called 4 Pines Kolsch. There is a lot to like about 4 Pines, including their clean label design which promises sophisticated brews.

This particular beer was not brilliant however. I have a feeling this might have more to do with my dislike of the style rather than the brewery itself though. I know that this beer is designed to be light, refreshing, pure, clear and all of those words that mainstream brewers use for their beers which are in fact chock full of additives, preservatives and alike, but the issue is this beer tastes too much like a plain commercial lager to really do much for me. I’d happily drink it, particularly if I was sitting in the sun, but I would seek out other 4 Pines brews before this one.Schooner

If you are looking for something a bit different for your Sunday Session, then I would suggest seeking out a bottle of Red Duck White Garden. This is an unusual beer. It’s a fruit witbeir made with Raspberry and Rhubarb jam in it, and this is what dominates the smell, colour and flavour. It’s a cloudy beer with a slight pink tinge to it. It smells of fruit, raspberry more that rhubarb, and tastes of this too. It’s very light, more akin to a spritzer than a beer.

This is an example of a light, highly refreshing, perfect for summer beer which is still interesting. I’m not convinced I’d want to spend my entire Sunday sess drinking this, but as a cleanser, or to mix it up a little then this would be an excellent choice. Pint

The longbow YouTube clip: Another entry, another Lucksmiths tune. The always joyous T-Shirt Weather. Although the chick in it doesn’t like beer, peanuts or football, sounds like she is high maintenance to me.