Beer Styles

Discover more about beer styles, iconic beers, and how best to enjoy them.

Beer Styles
Golden Days Before They End

A few years ago, as the Australian craft beer scene started to move into overdrive, golden ales looked like being one of the driving forces. Today, they're rarely found on tap or in fridges. So, what's changed?

Getting Blind With Crafty: XPAs

Is it just a marketing term? Are XPAs just pale ales or session IPAs by another name? Either way, there's plenty around so we took on more than 20 of them in another Crafty blind tasting.

Hard Times

Ginger beers have enjoyed some time in the sun in recent years, but what of hard lemonades? Avowed fan Hannah Louise Grugel spoke to two local producers, asking where such drinks sit in relation to beer and how far they might go.

Help Us Get Blind: XPAs

For our first blind tasting of 2019 we're going to look at XPAs. Sure, it's a category that remains open to some interpretation but plenty of people are brewing and drinking them so it seems only right.

The Story Of: Pacific Ale

As 2018 draws to a close, Stone & Wood has been celebrating a decade of brewing. That means its first beer, Draught Ale or, as it became later, Pacific Ale, is ten too. Here, we trace its story and weigh its role in the growth of craft beer.

Getting Blind With Crafty: NEIPAs

For the first time in many years of running blind tastings, we've had a brewery go back to back in top spot. In our final panel tasting of 2018, we looked at NEIPAs from breweries across Australia and here's how they fared.

Beer Food: The Brewer & The Chocolatier

Seven Sheds and House of Anvers are stalwarts of the burgeoning food-and-booze scene in Tasmania's north-west. Bert Spinks invited them to blend their two worlds – beer and chocolate – as they told him about their traditionalists' approach to production.

Getting Blind With Crafty: Mid-Strengths

Following our article on the golden age of mid-strengths, we gathered a panel to assess more than 20 available around Australia for our latest blind tasting. So who came out on top...?

From The Pacific To The Forest

The man who created the most successful Aussie craft beer of the past decade has been back on the tools. Stone & Wood co-founder Brad Rogers has returned to hands-on brewing with the launch of the new farmhouse range Forest For The Trees.

The Story Of: Hop Hog At Ten

When the story of this crazy period in Australia's beer history comes to be told, there will be a special place for Feral and its flagship beer, Hop Hog. As the beer turns ten, we go back in time with the two men behind it.

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The Vinification Of Beer

Barrel-ageing, mixed fermentation and the mimicking of wine in presenting certain beers isn't new. Yet the blurring of lines between beer and wine continues apace. We speak to brewers and somms operating on the frontier.

What's Wrong With Wheat Beer?

Australia's beer judges seem to love them, they're great with an array of cuisines and they have a fascinating history. Yet traditional European wheat beer styles remain unloved. Will Ziebell speaks to brewers, retailers and consumers to find out why.

Brut D'état: IPA's Grand Usurper

If you've not heard of Brut IPAs yet, you soon will. The style was only born in San Francisco late in 2017 but the first Australian versions are already out. So, will this replace NEIPAs as IPA's style du jour? We chat to some of the early adopters.

Beer Food: Baby Mammoth

There are few places in Australia that put as much emphasis on the marriage of beer and food as Baby Mammoth in Perth. The restaurant was founded by Ryan and Tania Lambson and here's the former – also the head chef – with his first pairing suggestion and recipe for us.

Getting Blind With Crafty: Session Sours

For our first blind tasting of 2018, we lined up a pretty eclectic selection of beers that form part of the beer world's current fondness for sour styles. And the year got off to a fine start with a winning beer from a brewpub few readers will yet have visited.

Getting Blind With Crafty: Pale Ales Pt II

Two months on from our look at American pale ales, we completed our two part blind tasting with a look at New World style pales. Who came out on top according to our panel of experts?

Getting Blind With Crafty: American Pale Ales

With so many pale ales on the market today, we split our latest tasting into two rounds. First to be put to the blind taste test was American style pales, with New World to follow before the year is out. Who did our panel put on top?

The Story Of: Little Creatures Rogers'

Little Creatures' new Single Batch Reinhold is "Rogers' German cousin", according to head brewer Russ Gosling. It led Ross Lewis to catch up with one of the Rogers' whose name adorns the mid-strength ale for a journey down Memory Lane.

The Story Of: La Sirène Saison

Traditionally, saisons were brewed to be consumed in the warmer months. As we (allegedly) head in that direction in Australia, we caught up with the man who has put farmhouse style ales at the heart of everything he does.

Beer Food: Paul West

River Cottage's Paul West recently collaborated with the team at Melbourne's Stomping Ground to create a beer to launch at a degustation at the Beer Hall. We chatted to him and Brewer Asher Hall about the partnership and also grabbed the recipes for the dishes presented on the night.

Getting Blind With Crafty: Imperial Stouts Revisited

After a four year break, we returned to the most epic of beer styles, imperial stout, for our latest blind tasting. Old favourites and beers not around four years ago went into battle. Who would win?

The Story Of: Moon Dog Black Lung

With the seventh iteration set to leave the brewery this week, we chat to Moon Dog co-founder Josh Uljans about the only special release to be released annually. This is The Story Of: Black Lung.

Getting Blind With Crafty: Hoppy Reds & Ambers

After an unplanned seven month break, we brought our blind tasting panel back. We focused on hoppy reds and ambers, with readers helping select the featured beers. Here's the results – and how readers can join us for a public version of the tasting.

Beer Food: Pucker Tucker

Chef Paul Kasten explores the nuances of pairing sour beers with food, and how to work with varying levels of carbonation, sourness and the broad range of flavours to be found in sour beer.

The Big Issue: Weird Beers

It's that time of year when more new beers hit the market than at any other thanks in part to GABS. A good percentage will be highly experimental or outright odd, with the oddest tending to gain the most media hype. But is all news good news?

Cocktails On Tap

Good Beer Week 2017 has seen a small army of American breweries travel to Melbourne. And it's not just owners, brewers and barrel program managers who've come. Cocktail guru Jacob Grier has visited as part of the retinue from Portland.

X Marks The... Something

It's been three years since Wolf of the Willows launched its XPA and the number of beers bearing that name is growing fast. But does anyone agree on what an XPA should be? We ask some XPA brewers about the X factor.

Looking For New England – The Haze Craze

New England style IPAs are appearing with ever greater frequencies on these shores. Frontiersman Guy Southern dove deep into their swirling, muddy pool in the company of four local proponents to find out more.

Here Gose

Perhaps nothing should surprise in the contemporary beer world, yet the rise of gose is still an unexpected development. We chat to a couple of gose brewers and also look back into the history of the style in Germany.

Beer Food: A Feast For The Saison

Following our saison blind tasting last month, food and beer expert Paul Kasten has put together a few dishes perfectly matched to saisons for you to try at home, including two featuring the top two beers from that blind tasting: Boatrocker Saison du Bateau and Saison Dupont.

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The Finer Things: Beer and Fine Dining

​While craft beer has snuck its way onto growing numbers of beer lists in pubs and bars, the realm of fine dining is still primarily dominated by grape rather than grain. But, in certain pockets of Australia, beer is beginning to be treated with equal reverence.

Getting Blind With Crafty: Saison Revisited

It's a style that's much loved at Crafty Towers and a favourite of many brewers, as well as one that's broad and complex. So, 40 months on from last time, we assembled another blind tasting panel to assess a lineup of saisons.

The Story Of: Mountain Goat Hightail

This month sees Mountain Goat turn 19, which means its first beer, Hightail, is also turning 19. A year on from the brewery's purchase by Asahi, we spoke to its brewer, Dave Bonighton, about the beer then and now.

Beer Food: The Chuck Norris of Collingwood

When you've got a brewery, restaurant, bar and deli under one roof, it makes sense to cross-pollinate. And that's what they're doing at The Craft & Co where the symbiosis between beer and food goes beyond simple pairing.

Mead Made Modern

A tiny number of Australian brewers have played with mead and braggots, but there's now a small yet growing number of people specialising in these ancient beverages. Marie Claire Jarratt spoke to some of them in her debut article for the site.

Pairings From Portland

Meet Paul Kasten, a chef who helped pioneer beer and food pairing in Portland and now calls Melbourne home. The head chef that helped launch new brewpub Stomping Ground is coming on board as a beer food expert at The Crafty Pint.

Now Is The Sour

While some might have forecast the renaissance that beer has been enjoying globally, would many have predicted the rise of sours? Award-winning writer Michael Donaldson laps up the tsunami of sours breaking on Kiwi shores.

The Story Of: Bridge Road Brewers Chevalier Saison

It's Australia's longest brewed saison, a style that's becoming increasingly popular, and continues to charm drinkers and judges alike. Will Ziebell brings us the story behind Bridge Road's Chevalier Saison.

Serving And Enjoying Beer

So, you've picked up a beer from your local brewery or bottleshop, now how can you ensure it's kept in the best possible condition? And what is the best way to serve it?

Getting Blind with Crafty: IPA (Part II)

After two sessions, we've now put 40 Australian brewed IPAs to the test. In part II, we set about blind tasting beers weighing 6.5 percent and above. And here's the results; how did your favourites fare?

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Drinking In Style: IPA

In advance of publishing the results from part II of our IPA blind tasting, our Resident Beer Scholar returns with a look at the style. Busting myths and telling the IPA's tale from the 18th century through to today's frenzied hop obsession.

The Story Of: Little Creatures Pale Ale

The first two beers in this series looked at quirky contemporary cult favourites. So, for the third entry, we thought we'd do something different and look at a beer that's done as much as any to change Aussie beer culture: Little Creatures Pale Ale.

A Meeting of Malts

From humble origins to another means by which we can take our palates on an adventure in booze, the boilermaker has come a long way. Will Ziebell speaks to some whisky and beer pairing gurus to find out why the two work so well together.

Getting Blind With Crafty: IPA (Part I)

It's been a while, but our blind tastings are back. And, having punished panelists with some less than thrilling lineups previously, here we tackle flavour of the month IPA. With so many now available, we're splitting the tasting over two panels.

The Story Of: Boatrocker Ramjet

For the second in our series looking at the story behind some of the coolest, most iconic or most sought after beers in Australia we showcase Boatrocker's Ramjet. The imperial stout even has its own day, with the first Ramjet Day on April 9, 2016.

Reduced To Beers

A Perth restaurant is taking the beer cocktail concept to another level. At Baby Mammoth, they're creating beer vermouths with local and imported craft beers to use within cocktails, a Pia Poynton discovers.

The Story Of: Watermelon Warhead

We're kicking off a new series looking at the story behind some of the coolest, most iconic and downright funky beers to come out of Australia. With 100 kegs ready for a major release, first up is Feral's Watermelon Warhead.

Down The Rabbit Hole

Last year, Lion announced it was closing the White Rabbit brewery in Healesville and moving Little Creatures' little sibling to Geelong. The move – and considerable expansion and diversification – is now complete, as Kerry McBride discovered.

Getting Blind With Crafty: Pale Lagers

For our final blind tasting of 2015, we looked at a style that's becoming increasingly popular with Australian craft brewers: pale lagers. We lined up 26 different beers (including a few "New World" versions) from brewers big and small. And this is how they fared.

Drinking In Style: Pale Lagers

Love lager or keen to know a little more about the world's most popular style? Before we publish the results of our pale lager blind tasting, here's Resident Beer Scholar Chris Brady with another colourful journey into beer's multifarious past.