Brewer's Choice is a new series of one-off, small batch, draught only releases from Temple. The brewers will decide what they want to brew and any venues wanting the beers on tap go straight to the brewing team – well, head brewer Glenn Harrison to be precise – to order them. From the brewer's heads, through their brewery and direct to you, so to speak.
They're launching the series with three beers, one of which introduces a new acronym to the local beer world. The Astra AXPA is an "Australian XPA" first brewed for the recent IBA Conference in collaboration with fourth generation hop farm Ellerslie Hops. It features three of their varieties: Super Pride for bittering, Melba in the whirlpool and most recent arrival Astra for a round of dry-hopping. Peach and melon hop characters dominate, with a quick glimpse of caramel malts in their midst, while the Super Pride contributes an earthy bitterness.
Bold New World is their second annual imperial stout. We tried it side by side with last year's more English and traditionally minded version (which has mellowed and aged rather nicely). The 2017 version looks more to the US, featuring lots of Mosaic and Simcoe hops. It's a paler pour and, at this stage, is hoppy, young and lively. The brewers talk of tobacco, forest berries, dark chocolate and liquorice, while we reckon there's some distinct orange hop and treacle characters too. Either way, it's a very different beast to 2016.
The last of the trio is Half Time, the pot-sized take on their popular One Time double IPA. It's a session IPA that really does pack an IPA like bitterness. There's a cavalcade of US hops in there and, while they offer up grapefruit and drying, resinous, grassy characters too, the main takeaway is its proper IPA bitterness – one for those who complain session IPAs are just another name for a hoppy pale ale.
- XPA & Imperial Stout & Session IPA
- 4.8% & 9.4% & 3.8%