Wednesday, 13 January 2016


Untappd Catchup

Here we are again with another Untappd Catchup post... At least this time I have a good excuse; it's December! December seems to get busier and busier every year, and this year has been no exception! And then it became January... And then more and more badges kept coming along. In any case, here is one of the longest Untappd Catchup's I can recall.

The first beer was Bridge Road's Beechworth Pale Ale, a beer from #craftbeercountdown that I've already mentioned here. It's a beautifully balanced Pale Ale and is one that I'd recommend for people looking for a new Pale Ale to try, Happy Hannukah (2015) was the badge.

I don't go to the movies very often anymore, but when I do I aim to go to Gold Class; beers make everything better! Blondes Do It Better, a badge for drinking Blonde Ales, was unlocked by my Leffe Blonde. It's certainly not the best example of the style it's perfectly serviceable; but for a movie beer it's pretty spectacular!

Founders recently released "The Bastards" badge on Untappd. To unlock this one you had to check-in to either a Dirty Bastard or a Backwoods Bastard. I pulled one of my Backwoods Bastards out of the cellar, I've got another 2 still aging away. I think the year and a half in the cellar has done this beer wonders, the ABV has mellowed dramatically (as in, it's not hot anymore!), whilst the caramel, vanilla and bourbon flavours have all seemingly increased. You can read about my full review from the beginning of last year here. It's a special beer!

As usual a Tru Bru Bear Club beer made it's way into the Untappd Catchup post. This one was a new IPA from Kooinda; Sun Hunter. It's a fantastically balanced IPA with malt and hops both being well represented. It is quite bitter and finishes beautifully dry with some nice pineyness. As expected the badge it unlocked was Hopped Up (Level 26).

Les Trois Mousquetaires' Porter Baltique is a beer that I've been a fan of for years. This one was over 3 years old and right in the suggested age range for sampling it. It's packed full of roast and molasses characters. This beer clocks in at 10% on the nose and therefore is able to unlock Sky's the Limit (Level 13). I reckon there are a number of you who would enjoy this Canadian drop.

Two Metre Tall is one of Australia's most exciting breweries at the moment. It's a long way from Ash's feelings a few years ago when he thought about quitting. His sour program is producing incredible results! Richo and I had a night a few weeks ago sampling some of his finest including the Raspberry Wild Cider. This is far and away the best cider I've had! It finished beautifully dry, had great raspberry flavour and was plenty sour. Johnny Appleseed (Level 3) is why we're talking about it.

Another beer from that night earned Fruits of Your Labour (Level 3). Dainton Family Brewery released Santa's Cheery Sack Attack, a beer with a fantastic label in time for Christmas. Ostensibly it's a kriek, but in reality it didn't really deliver. It didn't have enough of either cherry or sourness. A little more of either could've made this a much better beer.

The final beer from our sour and cheese night earned two badges; Pucker Up (Level 26) & Danish Delight (Level 2). The beer was from my favourite Danish gypsy brewer; Mikkeller - and the beer was his Spontandoubleblueberry. This was simply incredible! It's got as intense of a fruit flavour as any other fruit beer I can recall. That flavour is distinctly blueberry and it coupled with massive tartness! I would love to know how they get a spontaneous fermentation to 7.7% ABV! I assume it's not completely spontaneous...

Anton from Tru Bru has recently been back to his motherland and brought out a few more choice offerings. Ivan Kozhedub from Victory Art Brew is 13% Russian Imperial Stout that unlocked two badges; Heavy Weight (Level 38) and Hopped Up (Level 27) - many people don't release that most Imperial Stouts clock in around 80 IBU's... In my opinion this smokey stout was the best Russian beer he's brought out so far. I'm hoping to get a full review done with my other bottle of it, stay tuned.

I will always have a soft spot for Sierra Nevada and never resist an opportunity to try a new beer of theirs. Their collaborative Oktoberfest beer with Brauhaus Riegele, a German microbrewery, earned Land of the Free (Level 42). It was a very impressive Marzen with that distinctive German malt base, while the hops are slightly more new world with a fair bit of citrus and a bit of grass. Apparently Sierra Nevada are going to release an Oktoberfest beer in collaboration with a different German microbrewery every year going forward, which is a nice touch,

Another Russian offering, this time on tap, was a collaboration between Bakunin Brewery and Tru Bru. It's an 11% Imperial Black IPA brewed using Australian and New Zealand hops called Black Kangaroo, the artwork for which you can see at the top of the page. You'd have no idea about the ABV whilst drinking it. Black Kangaroo is very balanced, with roast characters and hops mixing beautifully. I think the keg is dead, but I still have about 3 litres left... Tovarisch (Level 3), for drinking Russian beers, is why you're hearing about it now.

What Gose Round is one of the new badges that were released in October. For those of you who haven't already guessed; it's for drinking Gose's - a specialty German style of sour beer. Nomad, Leonardo from Birra del Borgo's Australian brewery, had the honour of being the first beer to unlock this badge for me. Their Freshie Salt & Pepper is a great example of the style with nice saltiness, a bit of wheat and plenty of citrus. I've been meaning to review this beer in full for ages...

Whizz Bang is one of the newer canned offerings from NZ's Garage Project in collaboration with Modern Times from San Diego in the U.S. It's an IPA brewed with gunpowder (tea)! It's a got big fruitiness, I think it's mango, and is super clean and easy drinking. I'm going to try and stock up on this as I think it'll be great on the hotter days this summer. Drink Like a Kiwi (Level 25) is the reason for this appallingly written little paragraph, that horrendously undersells this beer!

My first beer on Christmas morning had to be in the spirit, as it was going to earn Merry Brew-mas (2015). I ended up settling on Hop Dog Quincemas Baubles, a quince flavoured sour to kick off the day. It was a really nice beer with plenty of tartness and a dry finish. It was also possible to detect the quince, although it wasn't a particularly strong flavour. There was a bit of spice as the beer warmed as well.

Later on Christmas Day BrewDog's Hoppy Christmas unlocked Highlander (Level 2), for drinking Scottish beers. Getting this beer fresh makes such a difference! The flavour is great with plenty of tropical fruits coursing through this beer, I'm picking up more pineapple than I have in the past. The bitterness is relatively restrained by BrewDog standards, although it is more bitter than Punk IPA. If you're looking for a Christmas IPA, you could do a lot worse than track some of these down.

One of the last beers I had on Christmas day was Sierra Nevada's Celebration Ale. How this qualified for Winter Wonderland (Level 4) I'm not sure... In any case, it's one of the best Red IPA's on the market with great colour, great malts and great hops. This beer is designed for the American winter, but in a sign of how good it is, it still works in our Summer conditions! For those of you who haven't tried it, go track it down!

New Year's is one of few times in the year when I get very drunk on average beer. This year we stepped up the quality a little and accordingly; Little Creatures Pale Ale brought in the Happy Brew Year (2016). This is one of the best readily available Pale Ale's on the market in Australia, with it's fruitiness and light floral qualities making it endlessly drinkable.

Nomad is a brewery that has really surprised me with some of their stuff. To mark their 1st Birthday they have released Supersonic, an Imperial version of their core IPA - Jet Lag. It's brilliantly balanced with good caramel malt flavours combining with plenty of citrus, particularly grapefruit, and a bit of pine. It's a brilliant double IPA with good bitterness and almost no hint of the 8.6% ABV. It's a beer that I really hope they make again! Hopped Up (Level 28) was the badge.

A weekend at Somers somehow ended up having two beers that Crooked Stave collaborated on, purely by accident. All Brett's are Off is brewed by Siren Craft Brew in the U.K. with help from the aforementioned American brewer and unlocked Better Together (Level 8). The beer is marketed as an English Bitter that has had Brettanomyces added. That's what it is - it's got a bit of a sweet orange flavour at first, before the Brett takes over and overpowers everything else. I never thought I'd say this, but I think this is a little too Bretty...

Abita Golden earned the eternally confusing New Brew Thursday (Level 17). Making Thursday an AFD most of the year means this badge is thankfully turning up less and less. The beer was part of a mixed 6-pack my brother got me for Christmas. I think there was a reason I didn't buy this myself. It was a pretty disappointing lager; it was thin, sweet and pretty bland. I wouldn't recommend buying it...

Boatrocker are one of the most talked about brewer's in Victoria at the moment. Their new Saison, Gaston, unlocked Trip to the Farm (Level 13) for me. I was sensational! It was aged in Chardonnay barrels, which was quite noticeable and there was a nice amount of Brett. There was also a bit of apricot coming through. Gaston finished beautifully dry and at 9% was dangerously drinkable!

What I really hope is the last beer in this MONSTER Untappd Catchup was the collaboration between Brother Burger and Murray's; USEB. As you might have guessed it's an ESB brewed with plenty of American hops, the perfect beer for a burger restaurant. It had plenty of caramel malts with grapefruit at the back end and good bitterness. You're Extra Special, a new badge for me, is why you're hearing about it - I'd recommend getting down to Brother Burger to try this beer and their awesome burgers, they're bloody good!

Finally I have managed to complete this ridiculously long review! If you've got to the end, well done! There were heaps of new badges that I've never unlocked before and a few old favourites. Considering it's length, I'd be surprised if anyone can't find a beer they'd think they like. Hopefully there will be some more content over the next couple of days! Cheers guys!

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

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