Slow Lane Brewing's Fourth Birthday Beers

Various Styles As Indicated
4.5% & 6.0% & 6.0%

A lot has changed in the four years since Slow Lane opened their doors in 2020. Sure, most of it isn’t very good, but we can at the very least celebrate the fact that one of the most idiosyncratic modern breweries is still going strong. And, as part of their fourth birthday festivities, Slow Lane have released a brand new trio of beers that are deeply cool and very fun. Long may it ever be so!

If someone had just told you that a brewery in Botany had just released a certifiably insane sounding fruited sour beer, you’d be forgiven for wondering what kind of delicious cake batter type nonsense One Drop had cooked up this time. This time, however, think less tropical creamy goo, more smoky funky acidity.

Figure of Speech is a Lichtenhainer that was barrel-aged with Brettanomyces for 16 months before being racked onto figs for a secondary fermentation. The smoked, sour Lichtenhainer alone is a weird one, but pairing it up with figs is on another level. Figs don’t tend to get much of a look in with beer except when they’re used to accentuate dark malts, so we’re very much in uncharted waters now.

They lend a very attractive rose orange hue to what is an entirely headless beer. Fruit and smoke aromas create an absolutely wild dissonance that trick you into thinking you’re drinking two beers at once. The first is a moderately tart beer of luscious figs, dusty brett and lacto. And then, simultaneously, woodsmoke and vanilla oak barrel. Even with the smoke, the fig is a really cool addition which I’d love to see more of in pale beers. What a joy!

The second new release is another fruited sour but of a completely different and far more conventional ilk. Slow Lane have made some absolutely gorgeous barrel-aged golden sours in their time and for Papaya Don’t Preach, they’ve created a blend of four different golden sours and aged this new liquid on fresh Queensland papayas. How about a little slice of the Sunshine State to get you through?

Pouring a slightly murky burnished orange, this bit of brewing wizardry leads with freshly peeled Granny Mmith apples and an aroma that’s alarmingly similar to being in my grandma’s backyard near the paw paw trees. In other words, overripe, earthy fruit. On the palate it’s face puckeringly acidic with a fresh and juicy papaya note and dusty barnyard finish. Oh baby, this one is complex, vinous and finishes super, super dry.

Now that this party is winding down, let’s slip into something a bit sweeter and warming, shall we? Slow Lane are again dipping their toes into One Drop territory here with a rich stout inspired by one of the greatest foods on earth, the Mexican mole. Mole comes in a myriad of colours and flavour profiles but this one appears to take inspiration from something like an Oaxacan black mole which is notorious for its complexity and the time it takes to prepare.

If you’re coming in to this thinking you’re going to be drinking something like a pastry stout, you’d better recalibrate your expectations. Yes, Slow Mole contains cacao nibs, cinnamon and tequila but, really, this is closer to bloody good oatmeal stout. The chocolate is prominent on the nose along with roasted malts, coffee and a hint of cinnamon. The body is silky smooth with notes of milk chocolate, toasted oats, cinnamon spice and a creamy nuttiness. A mild malt sweetness is offset by a welcome dose of bitterness that finishes clean and moreish.

Judd Owen

Published May 24, 2024

Slow Lane Brewing

30 Byrnes Street
NSW 2019

(02) 9121 6279
Open Hours

Mon to Thurs: Takeaway only
Fri & Sat: midday to 10pm
Sunday: midday to 8pm

Gypsy Hub
Indies 2024 B

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