July 9, 2013 by 250 Beers
Those that are signed up to the 4 Pines mailing list would have seen an email today announcing the release of their first bottled Keller Door release. It’s called El Dorado IPA (6.0%) – an IPA packed with a new hop clone called El Dorado (funny that). I can’t wait to get my hands on some.
More on 4 Pines’ Keller Door releases in a moment.
Now seems like an appropriate time to post a piece I’d written a while ago but never got around to tidying it up and actually posting it…
Around the same time that I wasn’t taking my beer drinking habits particularly seriously (2008), others were doing quite the opposite. Whilst I was immersed in the dire world of macro lagers, there was a brewery being established south of the border – in Manly, NSW called 4 Pines Brewing Co.
The guy responsible for furnishing Brisbane’s bars and restaurants with 4 Pines beer is Brad Fidge. I met with Brad in the CBD some months ago. He’s a very approachable chap with a glowing employment history in the beer industry and with a name just a letter or so away from being ‘bar fridge’ I reckon he’s very well suited to his current role. I have a feeling that he’s one of those guys that everybody knows; the sort of bloke that wouldn’t have a problem finding somebody to talk to at an industry event.
Brad very kindly gave me a bottle of each of the four core beers in the 4 Pines range. I thought that it’s only fair that I should tell you what I thought of them.
First up is the Kolsch (4.6%). I’m not a huge lover of the Kolsch style. I generally have to be in a particular frame of mind to drink one. I must have been in the right frame of mind when I drank this one as it was pretty good! A fairly strong citrus whiff on the nose leads to a pleasant taste of melon and sweet maltiness. It’s very light and crisp, gently carbonated and, when in the right frame of mind, highly sessionable.
I had the Pale Ale (5.1%) next. This is equally as sessionable as the Kolsch. I enjoy a decent pale just as long as it drives home that ‘paleness’ that I go looking for (Little Creatures’ pale is a good example). 4 Pines have certainly achieved that along with a load of added bonuses such as a gentle bitterness boosted by hints of pineapple and zesty grapefruit. I know of a number of overseas visitors that name 4 Pines Pale Ale as their ‘go to’ beer when visiting Australia. That is saying something!
Next up was the Stout (5.1%) which is famous for being the worlds first ‘space beer’. Essentially, 4 Pines along with Saber Astronautics sent this stout into the stratosphere and it therefore became the first brew to be slurped in space. Back on Earth though, this Irish style stout is great. There is obvious evidence of chocolate and coffee on the nose with a soft, malt bitterness on the palate. A very not-over-the-top stout. Very enjoyable indeed.
Lastly was the Hefeweizen (5.2%). Hefe’s aren’t my favourite style of beer. I think that’s why, psychologically, I left this one until last. I have nothing against the style but a Hefe must be a good Hefe for me to buy it again. The banana and spice that you’d expect to come across with a Hefe are there but not so as to make you cringe…which is what happens to me when I dive into a bad Hefe. Each to their own I guess. If I had to buy another Hefe, yes, I would grab a 4 Pines Hefe. I’m not just saying this to please Brad in case he ever reads this.
In fact, all four of the core 4 Pines beers are difficult to fault. I suppose this is why you’ll find them widely available and in a bottle shop very close to you. All four are perfectly pitched at the established and accomplished beer drinker as well as the beer drinker looking to step into the wonderful realms of craft beer; the type of person looking for some ‘gateway’ brews to help that motion pass.
4 Pines also brew some weird and wonderful Keller Door releases. These are simply that – brewed for taps only and available at the brewery through their cellar door (and at selected venues around Australia). In Brisbane, I’ve been lucky enough (and I mean lucky too because they are always superb) to try three of them in recent months; Black Forest Imperial Stout (8.0%), Christmas Ale 2012 (5.2%) and Hallertau Mittlefruh (5.0%).
Sadly, due to some unforeseen circumstances, I missed out on an evening with Brad at Tippler’s Tap a few weeks ago when three Keller Door beers were being tapped in one night. Ouch.
These awesome releases should not be missed so if you see them on tap, treat yourself and I reckon you’ll be impressed. That’s what makes the first bottled release rather special. Keep your eyes peeled for El Dorado!
Archive Bar and 4 Pines are providing a night of fun during Archive’s Beer Week next week. Click here for more details.