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 16 - Hop Nation Sweater - I was really excited to see a Red IPA make it's way into the Canvent pack, particularly after the somewhat lacklustre offerings in the last set of 5. I was also pleased to see that Hop Nation were the brewery charged with the responsibility of producing this beer. They're a tricky thing to balance with the malt sweetness almost as important as the hop characters, despite the IPA name.
Hop Nation knocked this one out of the park. The balance between sweet caramel malts and quite sticky, resinous hop characteristics (a real throwback to a few years ago before Hazy/New England IPA's became all the rage) was perfect! I would love this beer to become a year round offering!
It was a really interesting lager. I was impressed with the malt complexity & the full, yet not heavy, mouthfeel. Carbonation was on the low side & there was just enough hop bitterness to balance out the residual sweetness. The real star of the show however was this subtle smokiness that permeated the entirety of the drinking. It was in no way overpowering but it really did add nicely to the experience.
Day 18 - Bells Beach G&T Gose - There were actually two different Bells Beach beers in the Canvent this year. Due to some unexpected losses at packaging the G&T Gose came up a few cases short, meaning some people ended up with a different Gose that the Torquay brewery were planning on releasing shortly along with a voucher for a drink at the brewery.
I got the original G&T version, which I quite enjoyed. It ticked a lot of boxes on the execution of the idea front. There was Juniper, there was salt, it was tart & there was some citrus acidity. What I found slightly strange was a spice that I couldn't quite put my finger on - which was possibly nutmeg.
After my first sip I knew this beer would be seriously polarizing! There is heaps of cucumber on both the nose & the palate! This masks most of the grain flavour components. The real star in the beer though is the mint, which comes in and the back end and provides a really refreshing minty hit leaving you wanting more. I was quite disappointed I didn't have another when my can was empty.
It was also one of the most controversial beers of the Canvent owing to one of it's ingredients; bone broth, which naturally upset some vegetarians/vegans. I thought the bone broth actually added an interesting umami character as well as some salinity. There's a good amount of caramel malts as well as some floral hops. It was ambitious & for me worked
It feels good to be back writing after a few pretty shit weeks with an infected wisdom tooth, not much sleep or drinking. I'm hoping to bust out these last two Canvent posts, finalize the Golden Pints & then get back into The Year of Local posts. I thought this set of 5 beers was much better than the previous set, with ambitious beers more in keeping with what I think the pack is supposed to be about.
Remember it's always Beer O'Clock somewhere in the world!