Slow Lane Barreljuice, Same But Different & The Time Is Rye

Barrel-Aged Brett IPA, Hazy IPA & Barrel-Aged Dark Rye Sour
6.5% & & 8.5%

Another month in which the Slow Lane new release machine just keeps rolling on. I gotta be honest, I am worried that they’re going to run out of colour combinations for their cans soon. I mean, how many two colour combinations could there really be? One hundred? Two hundred? Are they going to have to invent new colours just to stay ahead of the game? That really seems like a lot of work for a small brewery. Maybe the Independent Brewers Association can look into lobbying the Federal Government for new colours? It’s rough out there, folks.

Barreljuice is a barrel-aged sour brett IPA just like nonna used to make. This is not the first barrel-aged IPA Slow Lane have released and based on the resulting beers I hope it’s not the last. This time around we’ve got what is essentially a hopped sour that was aged in wine barrels for three months with the addition of a strain of Brettanomyces. The hop combo of Motueka, Nectaron and Simcoe sounds like it would absolutely slay in a standard IPA, so how does it go here?

Remarkably well, in fact. The Bretty pineapple shines through but there’s a big hit of grapefruit, lychee, white grape and lime too. You don’t really expect a barrel-aged beer to be particularly fresh and vibrant but that’s on the cards here. The body is sleek, mildly bitter, and bone dry which accentuates the Brett funk and bright hop character. This is a very easy beer to drink.

Next up is another IPA but one much more familiar to a BJCP judge. Well, almost. Just because you’re brewing a style of beer that everyone else is also brewing, doesn’t mean you can’t make it true to form. Like, say, maybe go with a German ale yeast for your can -conditioned hazy?

Same But Different certainly looks the part, pouring a murky orange with a big, luscious head. First impression seems on par with a standard hazy too, with aromas of mango, blood orange and grapefruit, but within a few seconds the pear-like yeast esters start creeping in. It’s actually solidly bitter which, when combined with a chewy malt base, serves up a hefty drinking experience. Full disclosure: I’ve also written down “economical finish” on my tasting notes which I do not remember writing and I’m not sure I know what that means. That’s just the kind of needlessly confusing honestly you can only find on The Crafty Pint.

Last of the new beers for August 2022 is The Time is Rye – Slow Lane’s ode to the humble rye grain in the form of a barrel-aged dark sour. It’s one thing to decide rye is an under-utilised grain in the brewing industry, it’s another thing completely to take more than 12 months to brew, age and condition a dark sour using both malted and unmalted rye to try and show how good it is.

She pours a deep coffee brown with a large but dissipating tan head. The initial ferment was done with Abbey yeast and that’s the first note I pick up but, funnily enough, it really smells a lot like cola to me. Flavourwise, it’s a kind of hybrid of an oud bruin and an English barleywine. The cherry cola tartness of a Flanders brown with this undertow of tobacco, dates and spicy dark fruitcake. It’s a thoroughly complex beer, but one that I delighted in savouring.

Judd Owen

Published August 23, 2022

Slow Lane Brewing

30 Byrnes Street
NSW 2019

(02) 9121 6279
Open Hours

Friday: 5pm to 9pm
Saturday: midday to 9pm
Sunday: midday to 7pm

Fermentis SafLager E-30
Obsidian 2024

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