New Beers

Barely a day goes by without another seasonal or one-off special flying out of an Australian brewery. We'll do our best to tell you what’s coming when, where it’s going and – where possible – what it tastes like before it goes on sale. Be aware, however, that just because a venue’s getting a beer doesn’t mean they’ve tapped it straight away so maybe check it's pouring first.

Holgate Beelzebub's Jewels 2011

Tapped May 1st, 2011
The second appearance for what is to be the Woodend brewery's annual Easter release, this year's Devil's Whatsits is a different beast to last year insofar as rather than basing it on an existing Holgate beer, it's a whole new recipe, one that includes masses of candi sugar as the brewers set about creating a Belgian-style Quadrupel. At 12%, it's designed to age. And at $60-plus a bottle, it's designed to be a special occasion beer too. But what of it now - just released from the brewery, where it… Read more
Style
Belgian Quadrupel
Strength
12.0%
Stockists

Slowbeer

Purvis Beer

Purvis Beer Richmond

Holgate

[Smith Street Cellars](/beer/bottleshop/smith-street

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Hargreaves Hill AD (750ml bottles)

Tapped April 29th, 2011
At Crafty, we like to think we're on top of things when it comes to new beers coming out of Oz's craft breweries. So we were most upset when at a beer vs wine dinner at The Courthouse in North Melbourne earlier this month, the owner pulled out a bottle of this, Hargreaves Hill's latest Abbey Dubbel. How'd he get one before us, hey? Jesting aside, given it appeared rather late in the course of the evening, we wouldn't want to say too much of our recollections, other than it was a beer boasting layers… Read more
Style
Belgian Dubbel
Strength
7.5%
Stockists

Hargreaves Hill

Slowbeer

Purvis Beer Richmond

Purvis Beer

[Blackhearts & Sparrows](/beer/bottleshop/blackhea

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Feral Golden Ace

Tapped April 27th, 2011
In the ongoing quest to create new beers and serve up new flavours, brewers are often on the lookout for an ingredient that can add something different. Late last year, a new hop variety arrived in Australia - the Sorachi Ace developed by Japanese brewery Sapporo. A couple of Victorian brewers played with it - each thinking they'd brewed the first commercial Sorachi Ace beer in Oz, only for Crafty to discover the guys at Feral in WA had beaten them to the punch. Feral 983 was the beer in question… Read more
Style
Belgian Golden Ale
Strength
5.6%
Stockists

Feral - Now

Perth bars - Now

Perth bottlesops - From May 2

The Local Taphouse St Kilda - May 3

The Local Taphouse Darlo - May 3

[T

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Murray's Easter Ale

Tapped April 22nd, 2011
Never ones to hold back when there's an excuse to try out something new in their tanks, Murray's have brought out an Easter Ale in time for the holidays. A spiced ale, making it something of a distant cousin of the Pumpkin Ale released by the brewery for Halloween, it's a seriously limited released. Described by Murray's as "an Easter spiced beer to celebrate the season" it boasts "strong cinnamon and nutmeg spice aromas blended with bready British malts". Sound familiar? Well,… Read more
Style
Spiced Ale
Stockists

Annual Easter release, available in draught only

Murray's

Murray's at Manly

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Kooinda Karakaberry Witbier

Tapped April 21st, 2011
Does the fact that we've never tasted a karakaberry - a blackberry hybrid only recently developed in New Zealand - put us at a disadvantage when sampling a beer that features them? Given the vast majority of the human world hasn't even heard of the fruit, we'd suggest not, and given a sampling panel containing a number of Aussie brewers gave it the thumbs up, who cares? The latest variant on Kooinda's witbier was racked over raspberries for a week before being transferred to a tank containing karakaberries… Read more
Style
Fruit witbier
Stockists

Biero - keg

Josie Bones

Slowbeer

Europa

Harvest Wines

Swords

Mayerling Cellars

Penny Blue

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Little Creatures Single Batch Mí¤rzen

Tapped April 18th, 2011
Having cast their net towards the fields of Southern England for their last Single Batch release, this time Little Creatures has taken a hop and a skip to Germany to create the classic Mí¤rzen style. Blending four malts with Czech Saaz, NZ Pacifica & US Willamette hops, they've created a strong lager like those originally produced in Germany in March (Mí¤rzen is the German word for March) to last through the hot summer months when brewers couldn't brew beer due to the high amount of bacteria… Read more
Style
Märzen
Strength
5.8%
Bitterness
30 IBU
Stockists

Little Creatures Dining Hall

Slowbeer

Purvis Beer

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

[The Wheaty](/beer/bar/the-wheaty-s

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Bridge Road's The Harvest (2011)

Tapped April 16th, 2011
When a brewer makes it clear he's adding a truckload of wet hops to his hop harvest beer - and not allowing anything but wet hops anywhere near the brew - you've got to assume he's aiming for a beer that encapsulates as best as possible the experience of grabbing a handful of hop cones straight from the vine. And from the moment you pop Bridge Road's third annual Harvest into a glass, that's what you get. Just like drinking a fresh Stone & Wood Pacific Ale is like sticking your face into a bag… Read more
Style
Hop Harvest Ale
Strength
4.6%

Mountain Goat Fancy Pants (2011)

Tapped April 15th, 2011
One of the Goat's most popular limited releases is back. The Fancy Pants was originally described by Goat founder Dave Bonighton as "what Hightail would be if there were no budget constraints" - and this is its fourth appearance. We've not tasted this year's batch yet, but it's been tapped at the brewery this week which means it'll be hitting taps at bars soon. Loads of fresh hop flowers are added post-boil in the hopback with a heap more thrown into the fermenter to create what we described… Read more
Style
Amber Ale
Strength
4.9%
Stockists

Mountain Goat

Blackhearts & Sparrows (Growlers when available)

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Mornington Peninsula Imperial IPA

Tapped April 14th, 2011
Given the reception the brewery's recent IPA got, there's going to plenty of people awaiting the arrival of its big brother. The latest specialty beer from Mornington Peninsula is an Imperial IPA, tipping the scales at a hold-onto-your-hats-folks 8.5% ABV. Brewer AG says it's "burnt orange in colour" and "delivers ripe stonefruit and rock candy aromas through the lavish additions of American aroma hops". As for the palate, he says the hops are in charge there too - "citrus,… Read more
Style
Imperial IPA
Strength
8.5%
Bitterness
120IBU

MONA Hop Harvest Ale

Tapped April 11th, 2011
Unless you're near Hobart, you're gonna have to travel for this one. Moo Brew's Hop Harvest Ale is the first beer they're going to hold onto for themselves, serving it only at the new Mona Winery Bar. It's a wet-hopped version of the brewery's Pale Ale, using fresh Summer hops (also known as Summer Saaz - a variety only recently developed by Hop Products Australia at nearby Bushy Park), picked by the brewers and thrown straight into the tanks. According to Mona's bar manager Kris Miles: "It… Read more
Style
Hop Harvest Ale
Strength
5%
Stockists

Mona Winery Bar

Red Hill Hop Harvest Ale (2011)

Tapped April 9th, 2011
They say there's no better way to sample a beer than fresh from the brewery. Presumably that makes tasting it at the brewery, straight from the bright tank, through a traditional hand pump only installed on the bar 24 hours earlier is about as fresh as you can get. Either way, this year's Hop Harvest Ale is tasting pretty special. It's the annual release from Red Hill that makes use of the fresh hops grown on their farm - picked by friends and used in a brew the same day - and the 2011 could be their… Read more
Style
ESB (Extra Special Bitter)
Strength
6.0%

3 Ravens Double Ale Noir

Tapped April 8th, 2011
The latest limited release (very limited release) from 3 Ravens has undergone quite a journey. It takes the concept of last year's first Ale Noir (a Geelong Pinot Noir barrel-aged take on their Dark smoke beer) and adds another dimension. The barrel that was used last time around was refilled with Dark beer which spent ten months maturing. A second batch of Dark was placed into a fresh Pinot barrel for six weeks and then the two were blended. The result is a 6.5% beer that brewer Dave Brough says… Read more
Style
Oak Aged Smoke Beer
Strength
6.5%

Murray's Retro Rocket

Tapped April 2nd, 2011
Now here's a beer that's got Crafty intrigued. Billed as Australia's smallest IPA, it's a 2.8% beer that somehow packs in a lot of flavour - including pretty fierce bitterness, according to brewer Shawn Sherlock when we caught up with him last month for an interview we'll be running on the site soon. According to Murray's, it's brewed with British malts, "carries a big, almost over the top hop flavour and aroma" and is coppery red in colour. Perfect with tandoori chicken or a tikka masala… Read more
Style
Light IPA(!)
Strength
2.8%

Burleigh Brewing Fanny Gertrude's Bickie Beer

Tapped March 31st, 2011
Fanny's back! The beer that made its debut on tap at The Local Taphouse's Great Australian Beer SpecTAPular had a genesis as unusual as the actual brew itself, with deliveries of ingredients held up by the Queensland floods, thus making it a race against time to have it ready for the festival. As for the beer, the Gold Coast brewers added everything you'd expect from an Anzac bickie - coconut, golden syrup, oats - to create a really rather unique beer. Equal parts cream soda, nuts, toffee and the… Read more
Style
Cream Ale
Strength
5.0%
Stockists

Beer DeLuxe

Biero

Burleigh Brewing

IN BOTTLES:

Burleigh Brewing

Archive West End

Nectar

Sp

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Murray's Angry Man Brown Ale

Tapped March 29th, 2011
Given his regular musings online, one wonders if this is a beer based on Murray himself. Either way, when we tasted last year's batch, it found favour with Crafty. Big Brown Ales are a treat if done well (think Baird's from Japan) with everything - hops and malt characters - cranked right up for a palate-coating beer journey in every mouthful. We're yet to taste this year's version, which is the first time the Angry Man has ever been bottled as well as kegged, but are told it's "bitter up front… Read more
Style
American Brown Ale
Strength
6.5%
Stockists

Murray's

Slowbeer

Penny Blue

Newcastle: BYO on Beaumont (Hamilton), Bottle O Lambton, Bottle O Wickham, Cellarbrations Adamstown, Delany Hotel, Warners At The Bay

Sydney: C

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3 Ravens Uber Blond

Tapped March 28th, 2011
It might sound like the return of Brigitte Nielsen, but this is in fact the latest release under Thornbury brewer 3 Raven's Uber range, one which sees them take their Blond (or Golden Ale, depending how you know it) as a starting point then head into strong lager territory. Looking towards Europe - in particularly Germany - it's a recreation of an altbier, albeit something of an Uber version of that (its subtitle "Sticke Alt" means secret altbier - the one you'd have to request from the… Read more
Style
Altbier
Strength
6.4%
Bitterness
30 IBU

2 Brothers Grizz

Tapped March 24th, 2011
For Grizz, 2 Brothers returned to the land that gave them the inspiration to start their own brewery in the first place: the US of A. The beer that was originally introduced as a seasonal but has become a key figured in the 2 Brothers permanent lineup is an American amber inspired by Mack and Jack's Amber from Redmond, Washington. It delivers a great balance of rich, caramel and toffee malts with piney, earthy, citrusy and slightly spicy US hops, making for one of the best examples of the style… Read more
Style
American Amber Ale
Strength
5.7%

The Thorny Goat

Tapped March 11th, 2011
You could have some fun with this one. Grab a mate, pour them a glass and offer it up without warning. Practically black, shot through with blood red tints if held to the light, and with a hint of tan in its head, they'll be certain they're about to tuck into a porter or lighter bodied stout. At this point, we should point out that this will work better if said mate has no sense of smell or a bad cold at the time, as otherwise the pretense will collapse well before the drink enters their mouth thanks… Read more
Style
Black IPA
Strength
6.8%
Stockists

Mountain Goat

Slowbeer

Purvis Beer Richmond

Corner Hotel, Richmond

McCoppins, Fitzroy and Abbotsford

Church St Cellars

Vaucluse Hotel

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2 Brothers Chief

Tapped March 7th, 2011
This 2 Brothers seasonal release has previously only been available in draught form - and, being based on the Oktoberfest beer style, usually timed to hit taps around October. Given the Oktoberfest beers were spawned from the German Mí¤rzen style - a strong lager brewed in March to last through the summer when hotter temperatures could affect brewing conditions back in the Middle Ages - it makes perfect sense to release some in March too. So here comes The Chief in bottled form (plus a few kegs).… Read more
Style
Oktoberfest / Märzen
Strength
6.0%
Stockists

2 Brothers

Slowbeer

Purvis Beer

Blackhearts & Sparrows

[Valley Cellar Door](/beer/bottleshop/valley-cellar-do

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Bright Pinky Framboise

Tapped March 6th, 2011
They've been feeling fruity up in the Victorian mountains, it seems, with Bright deciding to mark the end of the summer with a Raspberry Lambic. Brewed using 60kg of locally grown raspberries from Bright Berry Farms, the brewers tell us it pours an "eye-catching red/pink colour" and has a "distinct berry aroma" that "leads into a tart upfront flavour which is instantly recognisable as raspberry". It's the first time they've made the beer in three years but still get… Read more
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