New Beers

Barely a day goes by without another seasonal or one-off special flying out of an Australian brewery (if not ten). Here and in our weekly newsletter, we'll bring you news and, if we've sampled them, our take on as many of them as possible. Happy hunting!

4 Pines Keller Door Series 2012: Wee Heavy

Tapped November 30th, 2012
We seem to recall that, back in the depths of time when GABS was merely the Great Australian Beer Spectapular held at the Local Taphouses rather than the behemoth that now bestrides the Royal Exhibition Building, one of the highlights was a rich, multi-layered malty number from 4 Pines going by the name Wee Heavy. So this, we assume, can be taken as some sort of relation of said beer. Its big, musclebound older brother perhaps, as while we remember the previous one rocking in at around seven per… Read more
Style
Wee Heavy
ABV
9.5%
Bitterness
22 IBU
Stockists

4 Pines

Prickly Moses ChainSAW

Tapped November 29th, 2012
It's not that long ago that heads were turned and palates were pricked by the Bridge Road / Nøgne Ø India Saison for its combination of big, punchy Aussie hops and funky saison yeast - a combination of opposing styles that worked so well both brewers continue to make the beer for their respective markets. It wasn't the first beer to meld styles you wouldn't necessarily put together in a glass but was one that really got people talking. Since then, there's been a wave of white IPAs, hoppy hefes… Read more
Style
Australian Wheat Beer
ABV
4.8%
Stockists

Prickly Moses

Aireys Pub, Aireys Inlet (tap)

Farm Food Birregurra

The Otway Fly - Lavers Hill

Warners at the Bay

Vue Grand, Queenscliff (tap)

Otway Nourishe

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Red Hill Christmas Ale 2012

Tapped November 29th, 2012
This beer brewed in the depths of the Victorian winter to be ready in time for the festive season is one of Red Hill's longest-serving seasonals and, as with Christmas itself, is reassuringly consistent in its quality, albeit with a welcome lack of family arguments and late night meat sweats. A Belgian Dubbel by style, it's the colour of brandy snaps, pouring with a big, white head and full of dried fruit and spices of the star anise and cinnamon variety. It's moderately boozy at this relatively… Read more
Style
Belgian Dubbel
ABV
8.3%

Stone & Wood Garden Ale

Tapped November 28th, 2012
It's not too often that Stone & Wood release a short run beer, what with having to brew six million litres of Pacific Ale every day to meet demand. But in time for summer comes the Garden Ale, a sub-four per cent ale with its eyes firmly fixed on the post-lawnmower set. Like the Stone Beer, there's inspiration from the past, with juniper berries added to the boil in a nod to pre-hop days when brewers would raid their gardens for ingredients. According to Stone & Wood, the berries are said… Read more
Style
Session Ale
ABV
3.8%
Stockists

Get your thorn-pricked gloves on some here

Bullant Bruthen Special Bitter

Tapped November 27th, 2012
Bullant Brewery is Victoria's easternmost crafty outpost, a relatively new addition to the Aussie beer landscape that is not only bringing craft beer to East Gippsland but also offers the people of Bruthen the town's best dining spot too. Their summer seasonal has sessions on the brewery deck looking across the surrounding farmland in mind, as it's a four per cent English style bitter. Brewed with Maris Otter and crystal malts and East Kent Goldings hops, it couldn't be more traditional if it tried.… Read more
Style
English Bitter
ABV
4.0%
Stockists

Bullant Brewery

Lord Nelson Royal Red

Tapped November 26th, 2012
With the last of the One-Eyed Rye disappearing from the taps at the Lord Nelson and featuring at Newcastle's Craft Beer Week, that means there's room for something new at the hotel in The Rocks. And that new thing is the Royal Red, another beer that follows the Lord's passion for all things British and beery. It's an English mild ale, designed with sessionability at heart, and coming with "a nice hop aroma, malty palate and drying bitterness on the finish." The Lord, which knows a thing… Read more
Style
English Mild
Stockists

Lord Nelson

Moo Brew Saison 2012

Tapped November 23rd, 2012
For the second year running, Moo Brew has decided that their summer seasonal shall be a Saison. As before, this farmhouse ale is a light-bodied affair that has drinkers with their fingers poised over the "Drain and Repeat" button in its sights. Pale orange / yellow in appearance, it's a melange of spicy, fruity, citrusy esters. If the Crafty memory serves us correctly (and given how many times a week we spend hunting high and low for wallet, glasses, key, child, etc, this is not a given)… Read more
Style
Saison
ABV
5.5%
Stockists

On tap at good bars.

This is a good place to start too.

Mountain Goat Rapunzel 2012

Tapped November 21st, 2012
They don't venture into Belgium too often at Mountain Goat, but when they do it tends to result in the appearance of this flaxen-haired maiden. A fixture in their annual release schedule for some time now, it's a strong golden ale inspired by the classic Duvel. True to its name it's strong (8.3 per cent) and golden in colour. And true to its heritage, it's a a slightly hazy number with clove, spice and vanilla aromas that's spicy and dry to taste. A previous incarnation spent time inside a Chardonnay… Read more
Style
Belgian Strong Golden Ale
ABV
8.3%
Bitterness
28 IBU
Stockists

Mountain Goat

Rainbow Hotel (only tap outside the brewery)

Other stockists TBC but expect to find Rare Breed in the usual good spots

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3 Ravens Bittersweet End

Tapped November 15th, 2012
Melbourne's 3 Ravens marked 10 years of brewing beers this year. We say "marked" rather than "celebrated" as things haven't necessarily gone as planned, what with the building and brewery appearing to be on sale at one point and the whole affair looking close to disappearing. A solution has been found (we'll bring you news on that soon) and the tenth anniversary beer is here too. The aim was to create a 100 IBU (international bitterness unit), 10 per cent beer to mark the occasion.… Read more
Style
Imperial IPA
ABV
9.6%
Bitterness
100 IBU
Stockists

Rainbow Hotel

Nillumbik Cellars

Carwyn Cellars

McCoppins

Bar Etiquette

[Mrs Parma's](/beer/bar/mrs-parma-s

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Red Duck The Tiger

Tapped November 14th, 2012
It looks like we got things a little out of whack with Red Duck recently. Turns out The Tiger was released when we said the Bell Hop was and vice-versa. But given the brewery is releasing 277 new beers every hour for the duration of 2012, it's a forgivable mistake. Anyhoo, for those interested in knocking back a Tiger, it's another nod to the Old Country from Red Duck: a strong pale ale inspired by those of the British Empire. The brewer says it has "strong malt and alcohol notes, soft hopping… Read more
Style
Strong Pale Ale
ABV
6.7%
Stockists

Slowbeer

Purvis Cellars

McCoppins

Press Cellars

Blackhearts & Sparrows

Swords Select

Olinda Cellars

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Red Duck Sexy Thing

Tapped November 12th, 2012
Journeys in Mother Pint's car when a child were rarely blessed with anything remotely approaching decent music. Her favourite musician - the result, one assumes, of meeting him when she was 13 and he was a young, untainted-by-Saviour's Day-and-Wimbledon pop star - was Cliff Richard. She had a soft spot for Chris de Burgh too. You get the idea. Thankfully, there was a period in which she left Hot Chocolate's Greatest Hits on rotation in the tape player, providing a welcome respite from the aforementioned… Read more
Style
Hot Chocolate Ale
ABV
6.7%
Stockists

Slowbeer

Purvis Cellars

McCoppins

Press Cellars

Blackhearts & Sparrows

Swords Select

Olinda Cellars

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Red Duck Bell Hop

Tapped November 11th, 2012
Apparently Red Duck promised that they'd never brew a black IPA - too much bitterness coming from two directions, they reckon. However, they've decided to offer up something with a generous helping of hops and a fair touch of the dark stuff too with the Bell Hop. Described as a "mildly hoppy, dark brown ale" it features a blend of eight well known hops - Columbus, Chinook, Simcoe, Willamette, Cluster, Galaxy, Amarillo and Cascade. And apparently, they're considering a double Bell Hop in… Read more
Style
American Porter
ABV
5.8%
Stockists

Slowbeer

Purvis Cellars

McCoppins

Press Cellars

Blackhearts & Sparrows

Swords Select

Olinda Cellars

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Temple Scarlet Sour

Tapped November 9th, 2012
Brendan "Watermelon Warhead" Varis, from Feral, told The Crafty Pint a while back that the only element more refreshing in beer than bitterness was the acidity found in well made sour beers. And, as a tiny but growing number of Aussie drinkers begin to explore the world of wild and sour beers - helped by the experimentation of a tiny but growing number of Aussie brewers in this area - we can expect to see more beers that test his theory. The latest is the first sour beer from Temple, the… Read more
Style
Fruit beer
ABV
4.0%
Stockists

Temple

Others TBC

The Monk Three Fires IIPA

Tapped November 9th, 2012
The beer brewed by the masters of facial topiary at The Monk in Freo for the brewery's 250th batch was released on the first day of this year's WA Beer Week. It promptly won a gold medal at the Perth Royal Beer Show the very same day, suggesting it was worthy of marking not one but two occasions. The brewers sent us the story behind the beer, which you can read in full here. Alternatively, know that the three fires refer to Buddhist philosophy and are the huge IBUs (250), massive alcohol content… Read more
Style
Imperial IPA
ABV
8.6%
Bitterness
250 IBU
Stockists

The Monk

Moon Dog Mustafa's Dancing Helmet

Tapped November 7th, 2012
Another eminently sensibly named beer from the Abbotsford crew that comes complete with another eminently sensible label. Just don't try and locate it via the label as they decided to make this batch keg-only. The beer was offered up for sampling at last month's Fed Square Microbreweries Showcase, alongside the Artisan Pouseure (sic), which will soon appear in bottles (confused yet?). It's an apricot IPA and, in keeping with Moon Dog tradition, tips the scales close to 10 per cent ABV. Brewer Josh… Read more
Style
Fruit IIPA
ABV
9.2%
Bitterness
60 IBY
Stockists

Slowbeer

Belgian Beer Cafe Eureka

Royston

Others TBC

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Bridge Road / The Scratch Scrotch

Tapped November 5th, 2012
It's easy to see how the name for this beer was conceived. It's a Scotch Ale from a bar called The Scratch. That said, knowing the guys that run the Brisbane bar, it wouldn't surprise us if they actually decided they wanted a beer that sounded like crotch and worked from there... Either way, the fourth release in the Bridge Road bar series, following beers produced with Josie Bones, Beer DeLuxe and The Norfolk Hotel, is a strong Scotch Ale that's spent time soaking up the characteristics of American… Read more
Style
Whisky Aged Scotch Ale
ABV
6.9%
Bitterness
20ish IBU
Stockists

Josie Bones

Beer DeLuxe

Norfolk Hotel ( Fremantle)

The Scratch

Archive (Brisbane)

New Sydney Hotel

[The Wheaty](/beer/ba

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Murray's Smashing Pumpkin Ale (2012)

Tapped November 3rd, 2012
A collaboration between Murray's brewery and kitchen this one. It starts with head chef Adam Ritchie and his kitchen team peeling and dry roasting 60 kilograms of pumpkin before selecting the cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice that also goes into the beer. At that point brewers Shawn Sherlock and Ian Watson take over to create "pumpkin pie in a glass". This is the third year that Murray's has brewed its special spiced beer, which features British and German malts and cooked pumpkin in the mash.… Read more
Style
Pumpkin Ale
ABV
5.2%
Stockists

Annual Halloween release available on draught only

Murray's

Murray's At Manly

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Red Hill Saison

Tapped October 30th, 2012
They've certainly been living up to their promise to make more beer and more beers since closing down their bar and cafe a few weeks ago. In addition to their regular, much-loved seasonal releases, Red Hill has put out a special Jubilee beer, joined forces with Mornington Peninsula for a collaboration specially for the Beers By The Bay festival and also released their first saison. They're claiming it could be Australia's only "true" saison as it's brewed on a hop farm. Whether it is or… Read more
Style
Saison
ABV
6.0%
Stockists

Red Hill - Cup Weekend only!

Other good beer venues around Victoria - TBC

Little Creatures Puffing Billy

Tapped October 26th, 2012
While the impact of the Lion takeover remains to be seen at Little Creatures, the Single Batches continue to appear, much to the delight of the beer-loving public. On a roll after the likes of the Big Dipper, Dreadnaught and Quiet American, here they've returned to Germany for inspiration (following last year's Single Batch Marzen) with a lightly smoked Bock. The use of beechwood smoked malt is such that it's barely detectable on the nose, where sweet malty aromas hold fort; instead, it appears more… Read more
Style
Smoked Bock
ABV
6.5%
Bitterness
33 IBU
Stockists

[Little Creatures](/beer/brewery/little creatures/)

Little Creatures Dining Hall

We'll provide a link to other stockists once it's available

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Bridge Road Bar Series: The Norfolk Cecil

Tapped October 24th, 2012
The third beer released as part of the Bridge Road Bar Series, where the Beechworth brewers invite members of staff from top beer bars across Australia to come up with a beer and brew it with them. The Cecil is the work of the team at Freo's Norfolk Hotel and was designed as a Red Brewed with a combination of Cluster, Sauvin, Zythos and Falconers Flight hops, the outcome wasn't quite as red as intended - "a lesson to be learnt for us here at BRB," says head brewer Ben Kraus, but makes up… Read more
Style
Red(ish) IPA
ABV
6.5%
Stockists

Josie Bones

Beer DeLuxe

Norfolk Hotel ( Fremantle)

The Scratch

Archive (Brisbane)

New Sydney Hotel

[The Wheaty](/beer/ba

More stockists...
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