So in the interest of getting you out of your beer-drinking rut, and paying homage to some of our beer-brewing friends, we’re proud to present the top 5 beers to try this Sydney Craft Beer Week (in order of whimsy).
1. Serpent’s Kiss Watermelon Pilsner - Brewed by Grifter Brewing Co. in collaboration with Frankie’s Pizza By The Slice.
Serpent’s Kiss (4.4%) is a thoroughly unique brew. We first got to try it at the opening gala for SCBW, and we were blown away. It has a light bouquet, nearly sweet but not quite, and it tastes exactly - and I mean exactly - like watermelon juice. I can’t imagine a more apt crazy summer beer than this.
2. Utopian Devil Amber Ale - Brewed by NOMAD Brewing Co. in collaboration with Utopia Records & (again) Frankie’s Pizza By The Slice.
I have a theory that beer brewers sometimes taste something - a food, a drink, whatever really - and go “Hmm that’s nice. Would be nicer as a beer though” and then get to work trying to make it happen. The nose on this beer is earthy and welcoming, and the taste has hints of warm honey. Sweet but not overly, Utopian Devil (5.5%) sends me back to the first time I visited a honey farm when I was a kid. Also worth noting that NOMAD’s head brewer told us they’re probably going to keep making it after craft beer week! #cheerin’
3. Funky B. Bear - Brewed by 4 Pines in collaboration with The Blind Bear.
Funky B. Bear (7%) packs a punch. A white IPA, it goes down easy. Its apricot overtones aren’t over-the-top but they’re definitely one of a kind. 4 Pines are one of our favourite breweries (and we said why many times in our 4 Pines/Botany View article) and they continue to make fantastic beers even in stiff competition (like during SCBW).
4. Brickworks Red Ale - Brewed by 4 Pines in collaboration with The Botany View Hotel.
Speaking of the BVH, their Brickworks Red Ale (5.5%) is fantastic. This was the beer we actually watched get brewed at the 4 Pines brewery so we were excited to see how it turned out, and we weren’t disappointed at all. It has a light mouth-feel, very smooth, and isn’t as caramel-y as you’d expect a red ale to be. The team behind this one adapted it to fit the hot Australian climate in which SCBW takes place.
5. Schwartzenlager - Sydney Brewery in collaboration with Keg & Brew and Dove & Olive
Schwartzenlager (6.4%) - beyond being a fantastic name for a beer - is a Californian-style lager, using exclusively west coast hops, brewed with all the love & passion you’d expect from the people who would name their beer “Schwartzenlager”. It’s a great beer that you can easily knock back a few schooners of. It’s not a particularly “out there” brew, but I think this is a beer connoisseur’s beer - if you’re picky about what you drink and you need something to go back to all night, this is the beer for you.
Also we’re adding in a bonus #6 and you’ll see why...
6. Double IPA - Batch Brewing Co in collaboration with Sydney Craft Beer Week
Okay, I’m gonna be honest, we haven’t tried the Double IPA (8.3%). They only put on 1 keg per day, and they only tell you which bar that keg is going to on the day itself. We’ve been trying to co-ordinate to get to a bar with one but we just can’t seem to get it. All the reports I’ve heard have been amazing though, and throughout the week we’re gonna be looking for it. If you try it let us know what you think! (and also tell us where the hell it is)
So that’s our top 5 (+1). We’ve certainly left off some spectacular beers and we’re looking forward to trying as many as possible over the next week. If you’ve tried something good that we should also try, let us know. If not, what are you waiting for? Go drink (responsibly).