Thursday, 5 December 2019


Carwyn Canvent (Part 1)

Carwyn Cellars is a name that every Australian Craft Beer lover should know. It's 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".

After the success of last year there was only ever going to be one Advent Calendar I'd buy this year! Once again this year I'll be cataloging the contents of the Carwyn Canvent Advent Calendar. The Carwyn Canvent Calendar is going to get the full treatment - and with any luck you'll have updates every 5 days. In the interim, let me know what Advent Calendar you've got this year and your initial thoughts on it so far.

Day 1 - Mr Banks/Range Keep the Change - One of the issues advent calendar producers face is the logistics that goes into their creation. They need to leave enough time from beers arriving to be packaged, dispatched & delivered to customers. This lead times means hop forward beers may be quite old by the time consumers receive them. Hence it makes sense that the finest Australian producers Mr Banks & Range are first up with a NEIPA.

This is a cracking way to start! It's exactly what you'd expect from the two best Hazy IPA producers in the country. There's no astringency, very little bitterness & a wonderfully creamy mouthfeel. It's entirely dry hopped with Citra & is one of the best expressions of Citra I've had. There's heaps of tropical fruit & citrus notes.

Day 2 - Mismatch Boston Sour - Day 2 saw a beer style far more suited to the rigours of advent calendar logistics. Mismatch have produced a Berliner Weiss mimicking my favourite cocktail, the whiskey sour. Apparently the name Boston Sour is another name for a whiskey sour with egg whites (which I see as the only acceptable way to serve one, but whatever...).

They've done a really good job of nailing the brief. It has got all the citrus notes that you'd expect, with orange peel the most prominent, whilst there is a good amount of vanilla/oak character. There's a good amount of whiskey flavour & the beer is refreshingly tart, but certainly not overpowering.

Day 3 - Quiet Deeds Open on December 3rd - Another hop forward beer arrived on Day 3. Quiet Deeds/Deeds Brewing are producing some seriously good IPA's at the moment. so it makes sense that their offering would come up early in the Canvent Calendar. Open on December 3rd was supposed to be a Hazy Double IPA, however do to a filtration issue "Hazy" had to be crossed out, by hand, on EVERY label...

It was brewed with Simcoe & Cashmere Cryo hops, Cashmere are one of these new hops that I'm not terribly familiar with. The beer was quite dry & had plenty of pine notes. It's a beer that I'm sure will polarize opinions but it's one that I really enjoyed as a bit of a throwback to IPA's of 5-6 years ago.

Day 4 - Bad Shepherd Smashable - I was really excited when I saw this come out of the Canvent Box. My love of IPL's is well known & it's a SMaSH to boot! Atlas is a cool new Australian malt coming out of NSW, whilst Sabro is one of the hot new hops! This is one of the first beers I've had with this hop, definitely the first single hop beer, but I'm really excited to see if I can pickup some of it's weirder descriptors!

The malt was quite light & laid a good platform for the hops to shine. Most of what I got initially was pine, but as the beer warmed slightly I began to pickup some of the coconut that this hop is famed for; I didn't get any of the mint however. The beer lived up to it's name - it was a very smashable beer!

Day 5 - Rocky Ridge Brown Bean Bear - Carwyn are probably the biggest pushers of Rocky Ridge beers on the East Coast. Their Canvent offering is a beer that could easily have made it to the last week in good condition; a 7% American Brown Ale with Coffee.

This beer went through phases throughout the course of drinking it. At times I thought it was really well balanced between sweetish malts & muted coffee notes, whilst at other time coffee & roast overpowered the malts a bit. I can't think of a beer that's oscillated quite as much as this one, as these thoughts interchanged throughout the course of drinking.

Five days in and I haven't had a bad beer yet, as expected! The pick of these 5 beers for me has been the Mr Banks/Range collaboration; Keep the Change. These guys have been consistently raising the bar for this style of beer, so I'm glad they were able to deliver to a wider audience. The other thing I'd like to note is the openness of Quiet Deeds in owning up to what happened with their beer; you can read their full blog post about it here. If you're doing the Canvent, or any other Advent Calendar for that matter, please let me know what you think of yours; or on our new Facebook page.

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

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