Back at the start of the 1990s, there was a cult TV comedy show in the UK called Vic Reeves Big Night Out in which one of many catchphrases was: "You wouldn't let it lie." It would have been around the same time that Paul Holgate was a regular traveller to northern Europe as a result of his pre-brewing career. It was on these trips, sampling English cask beer and Belgian and German wheat beers, that he was inspired to launch Holgate Brewhouse in 1997.
One of the first beers he released commercially was White Ale, a homage to Hoegaarden, and since then he's released many a witbier and German wheat beer variant. This despite the fact that Australians seem determined never to embrace anything with "wheat" in the title (Redback's past success seemingly the outlier here). More than a quarter century into his brewery's life, he's still convinced their time will come and, as autumn 2023 arrived, so did another Holgate hefe, this time in 500ml cans with Bavarian-inspired livery and "The Original Hazy" and his family arms plastered on the cans. Can't fault the man for persistence.
It looks like a hazy with a dash of sweetening specialty malt too, but if you've been raised on tropical fruit salad IPAs, you're in for a shock; instead, it goes big on the banana bread, leaning more into that territory than the clovey spiciness for which such beers are also known. For anyone new to such historic styles who read "banana bread" and think pastry stout, this isn't that; even with its rounded mouthfeel, the beer washes over your palate with a cleansing quality that makes it easy to understand why it’s a session beer in parts of the world.
Well, Paul, as Vic Reeves would put it: "You wouldn't let it lie!" And neither should you.
Published March 10, 2023 2023-03-10 00:00:00