Saturday, 29 December 2018


Carwyn Canvent (Part 4)

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. Normal service has resumed at Beer O'Clock Australia, as we're now running well and truly behind schedule. If you haven't already, you can read Part 1 here, Part 2 here & Part 3 here.

Day 16 - Frenchies Oceanna - First up in this set of 5 beers was a Saison from Frenchies. Frenchies are a Sydney based brewery that we don't see a lot of beers from down here in Melbourne and frankly one that I don't know a heap about. This beer clocked in at 3.5% ABV and had also had a heap of fresh raspberries added to it.

The nose started off particularly promisingly with fresh raspberry the most evident aroma. There was also a bit of barnyard funk but little else - probably not surprising in such a small beer. Unfortunately the flavours didn't really translate to the flavour. There was some raspberry and some light funk, but not enough of one, the other or both for my liking.

Day 17 - Blackman's Sea Spray IPA - Day 17 brought an interesting offering from Blackman's, in Torquay. This is a brewery that I've been meaning to visit for a long time - maybe 2019 will finally be the year! This is an IPA that has had sea water from the beaches near the brewery added. It's semi-common in Gose's, but I've never had it in an IPA before...

This was another one that belongs in the great idea, shame it didn't quite work camp. It was a nice enough beer, but was a bit lacking on hop flavour and bitterness. The sea water addition was noticeable, although I wonder if it had an unintended impact on the hop character? The beer finished lightly salty and was quite dry. If they upped the dry hopping on this, it's a beer that I could quite easily see myself drinking a 6-pack of it.

Day 18 - Cheeky Monkey Mixed Berry Gose - I've been aware of Cheeky Monkey pretty much since they opened in 2012. They were locked in legal battles with a neighboring winery for a couple of years before opening their doors. Recently they installed a canning line and now we see some of their beers in Victoria. This is a Mixed Berry Gose, which should be relatively straight forward.

My initial thoughts were proved correct. If I was asked to describe a berry Gose to someone I would describe this beer. There was plenty of sweet berry flavour, I'm guessing it was extract as it didn't taste strongly of any particular berry. There was also nice tartness and plenty of salinity. It was nice and refreshing and one that I could see selling well.

Day 19 - Last Rites Count Dunkula - Last Rites are a Tasmanian brewery with a burgeoning reputation. From what I've seen of their beers over here on the mainland, they mainly focus on the hoppier styles. This beer is no exception; an 8.2% Imperial Black IPA. I love Black IPA's so can't wait to try this one!

I need to double check my notes, but I'm pretty sure this has now taken the lead as the best beer in the Canvent so far! It's a great example of a Black IPA; packed with roast and coffee notes initially before pine & citrus hops take over and provide a real bitter kick. I can see this beer being perfect on a cold Tasmanian evening - it went down beautifully in the middle of Melbourne summer after all!

Day 20 - Ocho Silent Night - Another Tasmanian brewery with a growing following is Ocho, who provide the beer on Day 20. This will only be the second beer I've had from these guys, so I'm pretty keen to get into it. It's a Dark Saison brewed with Blood Oranges, very Christmas-y but possibly not particularly weather appropriate.

Maybe it's a Tasmanian thing; but this was another excellent Canvent offering! There was a whole heap of orange on the nose and as soon as it hits the palate. There certainly were dark malts, but there was very little funk. Whether that funkiness was lost underneath the malt I'm not sure. I got more of a slightly funky Brown Ale vibe than a Dark Saison vibe. But whatever you call it; it's certainly tasty!

This set of 5 beers got better as they went on. Apologies that it's a little late - I got caught up in the ridiculously busy Christmas/Boxing Day Test period. With any luck the next installment will be up in a day or two. We've also got a podcast that is a little overdue as well as plenty of content - both well overdue & new!

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

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