“One of these beers is not like the other; one of these beers just doesn’t belong. Can you tell me which beer is not like the other, by the time I finish my song?”
Currently there exists a truly outlandish amount of beer creations begin thrown up by brewmeisters around the world, which can sometimes cause a general lack of excitement whenever a new brew hits the fridge shelves.
I mean, if you’ve drunk one Oak-Aged-Dry-Hopped-Belgian-Black-Pale Ale you’ve drunk ‘em all right?
I personally blame Brunswick.
The craft-beer scene has in many ways been thrown on its head by a hipster-led, ‘post-modern’ counter-culture throwback to the 80’s with the likes of VB & Melbourne Bitter bellyflopping onto the PBR ‘craft beer is too try hard, let’s drink adjunct lagers ironically’ band-wagon.
Thankfully, many brewers are fighting back with the idea of seasonal beers – the limited-edition, single-batch, mostly-only-on-draught-at-the-brewery beverages that attract a crowd.
Unfortunately most good things come to a rapid end and such brews tend to disappear at the passing of the season when the kegs run dry; the precious liquids destined never to pass a drinker’s lips again.
*Let us all take a moment to honour our fallen comrades*
However, every once in a while some beers attract such a cult following that they transcend expectations and comeback with the fury of a honey badger.
*Thank you Bill Pullman*
Now boys and girls, are you ready for the moral of the story?
It is summer motherlickers. Thus we have summer ales.
*Understand the lil’ ditty at the start now?*
Now, one of these beers is – on a hot summer’s day – literally nectar from the Gods. The other? Well, let’s just say they do things differently across the ditch.
Monteith’s Summer Ale is described as “a refreshing different beer with a style dating back to the late 19th Century, this bright gold beer’s spiciness adding a real flavoursome zest-balance by a touch of Rata honey and four different malts”.
Straight-up, I’m going to be honest here: I have no clue what zest-balance is, or how it should apply to a beer.
Regardless, this beer is not quite what it seems. In fact, it’s a honey-dipped ginger beer masquerading as a ‘summer ale’. It pours a clear, golden colour with a small head that dissipates quickly and kind of smells like a German radler infused with ginger. It’s confusing to begin with, but it easy drinking and actually quite refreshing. As far as ticking summer drinking requirements, it does OK.
Mountain Goat takes a different but nonetheless more effective route. Hitting you on the nose and on the palate with a huge chunk of passionfruit driven flavour – with gentle citrusy undertones – the Sauvin Nelson & Moteuka hop-driven ale hits you early with huge flavour and then….disappears as quickly as it threw that flavour grenade. Flowing down your gullet with tremendous speed all the beer asks of you is that you take another sip. Of which you do. Eight cans later your tastebuds still aren’t tired, and swimming is suddenly a proposition you can’t undertake anymore.
Now, as to which beer doesn’t belong?
Each and every dull tasting, watery, borderline-poison-when-consumed-warm lager.
Now be free children of the hops, rejoice in the perfect drinking conditions enabled by our (hopefully) hot weather. For those in need of inspiration, try this on for size…