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October 2013: a round-up…

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November 13, 2013 by 250 Beers

The number of unique beers from last month to make their way onto my beer tally was 46.

More than half were brewed right here in Australia – 27 in fact. Here goes a little wander through October then…

4 Pines OktoberfestI’ll start with my own Oktoberfest-inspired Notsoberfest which was held in conjunction with my birthday celebrations – a weekend away in the new 250beersavan. I’d taken a pile of German and German-style beers away with me. Six were new to me: Paulaner Original Munich Lager (4.9%), Erdinger Dunkel (5.3%), Erdinger Oktoberfest (5.7%), Erdinger Hefeweizen (5.3%), 4 Pines Keller Door: Oktoberfest (5.5%) and Brauerei Schlenkerla Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier – Märzen (5.1%).

3 Ravens Golden Altbier (5.0%) was a beer that I stumbled upon by chance during3 Ravens Golden Altbier October but it didn’t do much for me. I think it was past its best unfortunately. Other beers that were new to be but didn’t impress were Pacifico Clara (4.4%) and Aquila Columbia (4.0%) – two shitty lagers from South America. They were served in the new-look Orient Hotel on the corner of Brisbane’s Ann and Queen Streets. It’s a lovely old building that now houses a characterless Mexican eatery. I opted for these beers purely as unique Untappd check-ins!

8 Wired Tall PoppyIn stark contrast to the poor performers was Tally Poppy (7.0%) an imperial red ale from 8 Wired that is full-bodied and seriously drinkable. If this beer has escaped your grasp like it had mine for ages then hunt it down. You won’t regret it. Other representatives from New Zealand were Epic’s Hop Zombie (8.5%) and Liberty Brewing’s Yakima Monster (6.0%) which, as a pale ale, wasn’t very scary at all.

There were four new additions to my tally from Bacchus last month: American Pale Ale (4.7%), Imperial Strawberry Bomb (6.5%), Obama Black IPA (6.8%) and the strangely addictive Pumpkin Pie Ale (6.8%). I actually questioned the alcohol content of the Pumpkin Pie Ale with Ross from Bacchus because I started to lose control after just one schooner. Perhaps some Halloween ghouls had spiked my beer?!

A few PR samples arrived at 250 Beers HQ during October. You can read more about Kwencher’s Pale Ale (4.7%) and Peach & Tea Lager (4.2%) by clicking here and become arrested with intrigue as you read about the new James Squire mid-strength, The Constable (3.4%), here.

Dan Murphy’s and First Choice don’t fulfil the needs of my palate these days but I still visit my local outlets every now and then to see what’s new. A visit to Dan’s just before the Notsoberfest trip saw me walk out with a bottle of Original Belgian Wheat Ale (4.5%) from the Belgian Blue Brewing Co. as I’d never seen it before. It wasn’t too bad for a random purchase – a typical wheat beer with banana aromas that was very light and refreshing. I can’t help but question the Belgian Blue Brewing website that suggests the beers are brewed in Belgium. A little digging on Google hints towards the brews coming out of Melbourne. Hmmm.

A First Choice visit enabled a very cheap purchase of a nearly out-of-date 500ml bottle of Polish Brok (5.2%) and a Matso’s Smokey Bishop Dark Lager (4.7%). The Brok should be called Sock because that’s what it tasted of. An unwashed sock. An unwashed sock belonging to a hobo. The Smokey Bishop was tasty but very thin. I was expecting a bit more bulk.

An impromptu midweek afternoon/evening crawl at some point during October enabled visits to The Scratch, The Embassy and also Kerbside which, in turn, ensured that good beers flowed throughout the duration. Of the beers consumed that day and into the night seven were unique to me. Bacchus’ Imperial Strawberry Bomb was one. The other six were 4 Pines Keller Door: Rauchbier (5.5%), Dainton Family Brewing’s Red Eye Rye (4.8%), Ekim’s Vinlander American Style Porter (6.0%), Fortitude Brewing’s Lanfear’s Select 1913 Sparkling Ale (5.3%), McLaren Vale’s VALE/EXP/004 American Hawthorn Australian IPABrown Ale (6.5%) and lastly the latest Mash Collective offering from Stone & Wood – 6.6% a lager called The Old Persuader. Unfortunately, there’s no way I’d be persuaded to try another. It didn’t ignite any excitement in my mouth like I was hoping it would.

Other Australian newbies include Wicked Elf Porter (6.2%) from The Little Brewing Company, Red Hill Brewing’s Weizenbock (7.9%), Overland Bright Ale (4.2%) from Red Duck, Murray’s Shawn’s Fault India Black Ale (7.5%), Hawthorn’s 6.0% Australian IPA (which is worthy of a special mention because it is simply bursting with hoppy brilliance!), Bridge Road’s Beechworth Pale Ale (4.8%) as well as BrewCult’s Can’t Fight The Funk (6.2%) and Nail’s Golden Nail (5.0%). My reviews of the latter two can be found here and here respectively. Moon Dog Mummy Have A BiteMoon Dog had three beers appear on my tally last month; Black Lung III (8.7%), Bock Naked Chipotle Dark Lager (7.7%) and Mummy Have A Bite Toffee Apple Amber Ale (8.2%) all of which put a smile on my face. Moon Dog churn out some amazingly strange but awesome beers. Long may that continue.

Clown Shoes Hoppy FeetFour beers from the USA also featured. These were Hoppy Feet Clown Shoes Black IPA (7.0%) from Mercury Brewing, Rogue’s Dry Hopped St. Rogue Red Ale (5.3%) and two fantastic beers from Southern Tier Brewing; Unearthly Imperial IPA (9.5%) and Crème Brûlée (9.5%). My review of the Crème Brûlée can be found here.

Lastly, three beers from Blighty that were all stunning in their own right. Hardcore Imperial IPA (9.2%) from BrewDog, Great Eastern IPA (7.4%) from London-based Wild Beer Co Modus OperandiRedchurch Brewery which didn’t taste anywhere near 7.4%! Finally, a very special mention to Modus Operandi (7.0%) from the guys at Wild Beer Co. based in Evercreech in Somerset. This beer is simply brilliant. It is very funky with definite hints of smoked wood, light caramel and an aroma of citrus. It’s hard to pin down exactly what is going on but I think I got there right at the end of the glass. Need more for sure.

With only 5 x 24 hour periods of drinking beer permitted in NOvemBEER, it’ll be interesting to see how many unique beers end up on my beer list once this month is over. Stay tuned.

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