Thursday, 13 December 2018


Carwyn Canvent (Part 2)

Carwyn Cellars is a name that every Australian Craft Beer lover should know. It's one of, if not the, preeminent bottle shops in the country. For their advent calendar, they've partnered with 24 Australian Craft Breweries to make an exclusive canned release for their "Canvent Calendar".

I'm not 100% sure why I didn't document my BrewDog Advent Calendar this time last year - I wonder if it got lost with moving in and recovering from surgery... In any case; I'm not going to make the same mistake this year!

The Carwyn Canvent Calendar is going to get the full treatment - and with any luck you'll have updates every 5 days. You can read about the first 5 days of the Canvent Calendar here. It's been a great ride so far and I can't wait for these next 5 days!

Day 6 - Akasha Brut IPA - Another Brut IPA kicks off Part 2 of the Carwyn Canvent Calendar. This one is from Akasha in Western Sydney. Akasha could lay claim to having one the finest IPA brewers in the country, in Dave Padden, as their Founder & Head Brewer. If ever there is going to be a Brut IPA I really get - this will be it!

My hunch proved to be correct; this was the one! This beer clocks in at 7% ABV - but you'd have literally no idea! It's dangerously easy to drink and is loaded with tropical fruit notes - which is from what I believe is a heavy dose of Citra. It's also nice to have an IPA with a fair whack of bitterness again. If all Brut IPA's were like this I could see the style taking off...

Day 7 - Little Bang SNEIPA - Day 7 brought with it a Sour New England IPA from Little Bang in Adelaide. These guys are best known for their spectacular Barley Wine, Galactopus. All of their packaged beer is in cans and they are slowly making their way more and more into the eastern states. I make a point of grabbing their beers whenever I see them as they are usually excellent.

Unfortunately I was left a little disappointed here. I thought the idea had promise but the flavours just didn't gel how I thought they would. It had a strange sweet and sour thing going on, where I think the malt sweetness was accentuated by the tartness of the beer. There was some fruity hop notes although this was also lost amongst the sweet & sour thing going on. In summary; good idea, shame it didn't work.

Day 8 - Left Barrel Red Wheat Ale - Another brewer from South Australia, this time Left Barrel from up in the Adelaide Hills, was on show on Day 8. These guys have limited distribution in Melbourne, I think I've only ever seen their stuff through Carwyn, but make really good beer! Probably the most interesting thing about this beer is that it's brewed with Kveik - a strain of Norwegian Farmhouse Yeast that ferments at really high temperatures.

I thought this beer worked quite well; there was plenty of wheat character, whilst the addition of juniper was evident without being overpowering. The body was a little thin, something I wouldn't normally associate with a wheat based beer, and there were some slightly funky citrus notes that I'm going to put down to the Kveik. This is more the sort of beer I was hoping to see in this pack.

Day 9 - Hop Nation Jedi Juice - Black Edition - Hop Nation probably produced the most confusing beer of the Canvent so far, when it appeared on Day 9. I hate to think how many messages that Carwyn & Hop Nation would've received about this beer... The confusion was caused by the standard Jedi Juice can, with no differentiation other than a black lid...

The beer that poured from the can certainly wasn't regular Jedi Juice, one of Australia's best NEIPA's. This was superb, possibly the best beer of the Canvent so far! This combined the chocolate and roasted malt flavours associated with a Black IPA with the juiciness of a NEIPA. This was a brilliant idea that worked! I imagine this will be re-brewed - hopefully with clearer labeling!

Day 10 - Sailors Grave Summer Pudding - One of the most eccentric brewers in the land comes out of far Eastern-Gippsland, in the most unlikely town of Orbost. Sailors Grave are the those mad enough to brew in one of the least likely places in Victoria. Named after the English dessert; Summer Pudding is a kettle sour with plenty of lactose added alongside a whole heap of fruit.

The descriptor held true to the taste with plenty of fruit flavour present alongside some lactose sweetness. That would be an overly simplistic take on the beer however, the berry flavours in particular have a sweet yet tart thing going on. It really reminds me of a tart creamy soda - it's something that I would quite happily drink regularly.

This post may be a couple of days late, but it is finally up! I think this set of 5 beers was more what I was expecting from the Canvent pack - with more brewers reaching outside the box. With the exception of the Little Bang SNEIPA, I thought these were all really good attempts at what the brewers were trying to achieve. Join me in a couple of days when the next 5 beers in the Canvent go live.

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

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