Cam's Top 5 Autumn Beers
As much as I always hate to farewell summer, autumn can be a pretty nice time of year. The water is still warm but the beach is nice and quiet now that the backpackers have gone north for the season; I can legitimately wear my ugg boots; that crazy humidity has calmed down and my temper (and hair) with it, and, best of all, I can drink warming ales by an open fire. Or at least next to the gas heater. Or the Weber. Here are my top five current favourite craft brews for savouring on a chilly night. Or even just a quite mild afternoon.
Vale Brewing Amber 4.5%
This filtered amber from one of our favourite breweries is brewed with a lager yeast which gives it a bright refreshing crispness. Pale, Muich, Crystal and Carafa malts add chocolate and coffee notes and American Simcoe and Falconers Flight hops give it a pine, vanilla and citrus hop balance. This is one of my go-to beers for the season. It’s like the perfect stepping stone toward the darker stouts and porters I’ll be enjoying in winter.
It pours a deep coppery red colour – just like freshly fallen autumn leaves if you’re into that kind of thing – with a dense, creamy head. I love the balance of the biscuit and caramel malt flavours with the citrus and tropical fruit hop hit. There is a little earthy spiciness in there to and this eclectic mix of flavours makes for a really enjoyable ale, and, at 4.8% a nicely sessionable one too.
Wow – what a collaboration. Two world class breweries - one Italian, one American – makes for a pretty special beer. They call it a lager for ale lovers and it has the qualities of a solid IPA and a classic abbey ale. Sweet, spicy, and citrusy, it has been continuously hopped for 60 minutes in classic Dogfish style and you can savour the resinous hoppy notes and honey backdrop. At 7.8% I don’t plan on doing much else when I’m sipping one of these except for staring into the flickering fire and thinking deep(ish) thoughts.
This is a great one to crack open around the BBQ and goes down a treat with a nice smokey chop or a few snags. It has a delicious balance of hops and malt starting with a toasty, nutty, piney, citrusy aroma which gives you a good idea of what’s to come flavour-wise. It looks beautiful in the glass with the late autumn sun filtering through its deep, hazy copper.
This is the first Aussie beer to feature the Japanese Sorachi Ace hop which was developed by the legendary Sapporo brewers. It brings a distinctive lemongrass tang to this light, bright German style ale. With a few of these in the fridge and my favourite takeaway Thai food about to be delivered, I’m a happy man.