Friday, 10 April 2015


Untappd Catchup

It's been a shockingly busy couple of weeks, so apologies for the lack of content recently. As a result there is also a HUGE backlog of Untappd badges from a couple of cool events and a big Easter long weekend. Thoughts on these beers are welcome as always!

If you can only have one beer on St. Patrick's Day it has to be a Guinness! Everyone reading this now will have at least tried a Guinness once in their lives. Almost everyone I know has at least tried a Guinness! It's the ubiquitous stout, what Ireland is most famous for and earned me the lovely St Pat's Day badge below.

Boatrocker's Miss Pinky was the beer for Pucker Up (Level 14). These guys have very quickly made a name for themselves as makers of great beers and also have one of Australia's best sour programs. This is a raspberry infused Berliner Weiss and pours a fantastic light pink colour. You'll read more about this beer in the February 2015 Bear Club review...

Two weeks ago Tru Bru hosted a very special event with 6 beers very rarely, if ever before, seen on these shores. Basically it was a blind tasting of Russian craft beers blindly matched against similar Australian and New Zealand examples. It was a really nice intimate event, with I think 7 of us joining Anton for what turned into an excellent evening. Naturally a couple of badges were acheived along the way...

The first of which was Pale as the Moon (Level 36). The beer was an AUS/NZ offering, however it was also one of the most disappointing beers of the evening. I was shocked by the reveal; Renaissance Perfection! I don't think I've previously had a Renaissance beer I've disliked, but this was a very earthy English Pale Ale that just didn't do it for me... I will certainly be revisiting this in the future.

Hopped Up (Level 5) was badge 2 on the AUS/NZ vs Russia tasting night and thankfully it was a Russian brewery who took this one out! The beer was Jaws Atomnaya Prachechnaya IPA, which translates as Nuclear Laundry apparently... It was a seriously impressive IPA, from these guys in the based in what you would've thought as a craft beer desert, in the middle of the Ural Mountains. If this is indicative of the quality of Russian craft beer I can see why it's taking off!

Another Bear Club beer to make an appearance in this Untappd Catchup is another New Zealand beer; Darth Saison from Renaissance. It earned two badges Trip to Farm (Level 8), a badge for drinking Saisons (also known as Farmhouse Ales, and Drink Like a Kiwi (Level 16). It's a black Saison, and there is darkness, banana and funk in abundance. This was back to what I was expecting from Renaissance, it was bloody good! You can read more detailed notes in the Feb 2015 Bear Club review.

4 Pines's latest Keller Door release is a trip through the history of Pale Ale. Fittingly one of these, the 4th Bastard, earned the Pale as the Moon (Level 37) badge - the second time this badge has been earned in this badge. I won't talk too much about this beer now, there's a full review of this pack on the way... To summarize it in a sentence, it's a Cooper's Pale Ale clone with a little added hops.

Sierra Nevada's (relatively) new IPA is called Boomerang. It's hopped with Australian hops; Galaxy, Ella and Vic Secret. It was packed full of citrus, passionfruit and pineapple and was wonderfully bitter! I really enjoyed this beer and it earned me two badges; the North Carolina Beer Month (why, I honestly don't know) and the Sierra Nevada; New Year, New Beers badge - a badge for drinking and Sierra Nevada beer between March 5 and April 5, so if you're looking to add that to your collection you are out of luck.

Lizzie took me to a BBQ cooking class a couple of weekends ago. Halfway through smoking some ribs, chicken and fish and the guy offered us some beers. Thinking there was potential here for a nice IPA (ribs and IPA go so well together!), I accepted. Having got my hopes up a little, I was particularly disappointed to be then handed a Sol... If I'm being objective; it wasn't that bad for a Mexican Lager, although I would still advise all readers against drinking Mexican lagers! Lager Jack (Level 40) was the badge.

Victory's Dirtwolf is a beer I have been looking out for for a long time! Hopped Up (Level 6) is why we are here talking about it. It's a huge Imperial IPA packed with citrus, tropical fruit flavours and pine. It somehow leaves behind a very crisp finish, despite a big chewy body. It's a beer that I know I will have to buy more of and hopefully give a full review to in the future.

Land of the Free (Level 33) was earned by a beer that's been in my fridge for months; Twisted Manazita's Chaotic Imperial IPA. I'm not sure why this sat in my fridge so long, but it held us really well. The beer had quite a sweet, almost syrupy, malt base before a cachophany of bitterness drowns out any citrus and pine flavours that the hops briefly offer. It's a nice, different take on an IPA, although I probably wouldn't buy it again.

Another beer that I've really been looking forward to try was BrewDog's This. Is. Lager. These Scottish guys may be abrasive and put a number of people off, but they do know how to make excellent beers! This. Is. Lager. is an lovely example of a German Pilsner with light malts and a spicy and grassy hop bill. God Save The Queen (Level 26) was the badge.

My decision to buy a wide selection of the Bacchus range is being vindicated every time I have another one, they are really impressive across the board. Atomic Boysenberry was no exception, with an excellent Berliner Weiss base complimented by a strong boysenberry aroma and flavour. Pucker Up (Level 15) was the badge that means we are talking about it now.

A beer that I have been seeing raved about on Facebook for ages has been Mikkeller's Better Half IPA. It was a beer that I had to track down, which I naturally did and then decided to (unbeknownst to me) sample it on National Beer Day (2015), thus earning the badge. It was malt forward at times, yet there was also plenty of piney hops. The artwork on the can is pretty cool too, keep an eye out for this one.

This was one hell of a wrap up! Hopefully a few of you have had these/will keep an eye out for them now that you've read a glowing recommendation on many of them. As usual, shoot me emails, tweet me comment below, whatever is easier for you and let me know your thoughts/suggestions for beers I should have in the future. Cheers guys!

Remember it's always Beer O'Clock somewhere in the world!

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