Some friends and I recently took a trip up the Sunshine Coast, and decided that we needed the perfect Summer Ale to quench our thirst while chilling by the beach. A thought so simple, suddenly turned complex when I was presented with the vastly saturated market that is Craft beer. It seems as though everyone’s brewing beer in their shed, sticking a label on it and charging you premium prices these days. So we wanted to explore who really does deserve our coin.
‘Cloud Catcher’ Australian-style Pale Ale (Stone & Wood, NSW)
Now we’ve all heard of Stone & Wood by now. They’ve been making some serious waves down in Byron Bay which are leaving Bottle shops dry and us all going slightly insane for more. So it’s no surprise this is top of our list, however we thought we’d suggest something different to the pacific ale which I found to be a much fruitier recipe with a creamy head and strong aromas.
‘Pale Ale’ Australian-style Pale Ale (Coopers, SA)
This one was brought to my attention by the 60-year old woman who works at the local bottle shop. Now don’t laugh, because she was definitely onto something here. It really is a refreshing summer ale with a distinctive tinge, light in taste and cloudy hue. It doesn’t look like a typical craft beer, tucked away in a little green can, but rest assured it is My only concern is the higher price point, but I can confirm it is well worth the couple of extra dollars.
‘Hop Thief 7’ American-style Pale Ale (James Squire, NSW)
Onto something a little more ‘mainstream’, but nonetheless makes our list and won’t have you clawing at a shop attendant to check the stockroom. This ale has got some serious flavor to it, full of citrus and passion fruit aromas. I first tried this ale when I took a punt and bought an entire carton, which turned out to be the best decision of the day! Its bold and upfront flavor always satisfies and is the obvious choice when I see it on tap.
‘Windjammer’ American-style IPA (Green Beacon, QLD)
Now we weren’t going to publish a list of great craft beers without including the home-grown brewery right on our doorstep that is Green Beacon. I had my first Green Beacon experience while dining at Tipplers Tap. It was a casual Saturday night and with a couple of pints in me, and as per usual took the advice from the bartender to try this ale. I was pleasantly surprised by the candied orange and lychee crisp coupled with a big hop punch! Everything you would expect from an IPA.
‘Rogers’ American-style Amber Ale (Little Creatures, WA)
Now this one’s a bit different to the others. Rogers is wonderfully enjoyable, mid-strength amber ale, so smooth it flows down your throat without any effort. With a much more distinctive taste than Little Creatures other ales, it’s no wonder why we’re seeing this crop up on tap in venues around Brisbane.