May 6, 2013 by 250 Beers
Friday 3rd May 2013
Exactly 41 days ago I was lucky enough to be part of the Noisy Minor Shout. This was a large-scale, fun explosion of beer to recognise the launch of the extreme arm of Fortitude Brewing Co. I wrote a piece for this blog which you can read here.
Today, it was Fortitude’s turn to steal the Brisbane limelight.
A more low-key affair saw a large contingent of family and friends of co-founders Ged Connors, Jim O’Connor (both pictured) and head brewer, Ian Watson, gather mid-afternoon on a glorious autumnal day adjacent to the Brisbane river at the Pig ‘n’ Whistle to witness Fortitude Brewing’s Original Golden Ale hitting the taps. I was fortunate enough to be amongst these people and having deliberately spent a decent amount of time chatting with some of Ged’s family, it’s safe to say that they are all very proud of him and what he’s doing.
The official release to the public came at 5pm – the end of the working week – when the place flooded (forgive the term) with thirsty Brisbanites keen to sample this eagerly awaited brew and embrace Queensland’s newest brewery.
The rampage was fuelled by two other notable observations. Firstly, also on tap was ANZUS IPA from Noisy Minor (what a treat) and, secondly, was Pig ‘n’ Whistle’s fantastic decision to tap some of the best, recently acclaimed Critic’s Choice beers which included the Critic’s number one pick (for the second year running), Feral Brewing‘s Hop Hog. The place was abuzz.
As opposed to Noisy Minor Brewing releasing seasonal, some would say eccentric, limited brews, Fortitude’s aim is to produce more sensible, sessionable beers and the Original Golden Ale is exactly that.
Packed with flavour, it is very easy to see why the guys describe this flagship brew as a beer that you can sit on for as long as you like. Just one would work. You know….a ‘quickie’ somewhere after a busy day on site or at the office? However, because of the amazing depth, this Golden Ale is equally fitting as a beer that would last the duration of a session.
Now, I’m not promoting binge drinking or anything like that although if that’s what you want to do then do it. I can’t stop you. I’m not your Dad. What I’m saying is that there is a complexity to this beer if you look for it which will make you want more. I tasted something different in almost every sip.
The sessionability is partly due to the respectable alcohol content of 4.4% but the Amarillo, Mosaic and Waimea hops are playing a huge part here too. They drive a smooth dryness to a crisp finish of a very intriguing beer that also gives a subtle nuttiness whilst providing gentle citrus waves.
Quite simply my palate kept asking my legs when they were planning on going back to the bar for more. That is a good sign.
Another good sign was the large quantity of Fortitude t-shirts being worn by the public. Buying four Original Golden Ales meant being rewarded with a t-shirt. Lots of t-shirts on view meant lots of beer being consumed. According to the Fortitude Brewing Facebook page, more than 150 t-shirts were snapped up. Yours truly appears here modelling one…
Thanks to Ged for inviting me to be present at the birth of the Golden Ale. Thanks also to everybody that spared a few moments of their time to speak to me throughout the afternoon and evening. The craft beer industry is most definitely full of wonderful people.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; Brisbane is a great place to be at the moment if you love good beer. The craft beer scene is on the up and up and up and is evolving at a rate of knots. It’s a scene that we should all be very proud to be a part of. Long may it continue.
IN CEREVISIA FORTITUDO / IN BEER IS STRENGTH