Boatrocker Yorkshire Pale, Northern Red & Old Brown

English Pale Ale, English Red Ale & Brown Ale
4.3% & 4.5% & 5.5%

What's old is new, I guess, so perhaps I shouldn't be so surprised to see something of a revival in traditional beer styles, but I can't deny that I am. Seriously, given the past few years – maybe even a full decade – have seen craft beer for the most part pushing ever further away from beer's roots, did anyone seriously think we'd be seeing English bitters, brown ales and milds from Aussie brewers on a weekly basis again? However, as someone who grew up drinking real ales, I'm not going to complain.

In Boatrocker's case, they're not so much doubling as tripling down, with a sort of beer-traffic-lights trio of releases. And, while they're keen to highlight Yorkshire Pale's use of Fuggles, East Kent Goldings and Styrian Goldings hops and the malt character of the other two, there's plenty of common ground to be found in all three.

It's like a play in three acts, in fact, with Yorkshire Pale opening proceedings with floral, earthy, woody hops bumping up against soft, almost creamy toffee / nutty / cake batter malts within the cloudy, rust-coloured liquid. Add in a broad, earthy bitterness and, really, it's only the carbonation that brings it into the new world.

I detect a hint of old world hops on the nose of Northern Red too, a beer that's been performing well on tap since mid-autumn. More amber and ruddy in colour than out-and-out red, it's a citrus-flecked toffee meets bread crusts, malt-driven beer for enjoying at your local boozer.

And from there, it's just a hop and a skip to Old Brown, in which an English ale yeast adds a little underlying dried fruitiness, but again it's more about the malts, in this case leaning into choc biscuit and cacao territory.

Taken as a whole, the triple release is almost enough to make you forget about smoothie sours, if only for a little while.

James Smith

Published June 13, 2024

Boatrocker Brewers & Distillers

34 & 51 Macbeth Street
VIC 3195

0438 394 972
Open Hours

Thursday: 4pm to 10pm
Friday: 2pm to 11pm
Saturday: midday to 11pm
Sunday: midday to 6pm


By appointment

Gypsy Hub
Indies 2024 B

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