On the Hops
Liquor Barons Craft Beer Guide
We’ve finally done it and pulled together a bunch of local industry experts including beer judges, brewers, retailers and passionate beer connoisseurs to bring you the very best in craft beers, selected through a series of blind tastings each fortnight. These really are the very best, tastiest and most fresh crafties out there whittled down to our standout top 6.
Grab a mixed six pack - one of each of our featured brews for only $24.99
Nail Brewing MVP Session Ale
Drinking mid-strength beer was once a matter of sacrificing mouthfeel and flavour for the benefits of lower alcohol. Thankfully, a host of Australian craft-brewers have sought to address that long-accepted compromise; none better than Perth’s own Nail Brewing and the award-winning MVP Session Ale. Yeast in suspension sees the beer pour a hazy gold, and adds body, while Galaxy hops deliver a well-rounded citrus and tropical fruit character – and a refreshing hit of bitterness. It’s all class for all afternoon; no wonder MVP picked up the ‘Best Reduced / Low Alcohol Beer’ trophy at the 2018 Australian International Beer Awards.
$4.50 can | $14.99 4pk
Boston Brewing Afterglose Raspberry Gose
Sour wheat beers are ideal thirst quenchers for our summer months, and this Great Southern (Denmark) brewery gets the German ‘Gose’ style so, so right. Boston’s Afterglose pours with a hazy pink blush and healthy effervescence, and offers a hit of fresh, almost sugar-sweet, raspberry on the nose. On the palate, though, that fruit sweetness is perfectly balanced by the style’s trademark lactic tartness, with the traditional prickle of added salt contributing to a splendidly dry finish. A high proportion of wheat malt is also traditional and apparent in this fine brew; a Gose that’s right at home in WA.
$5.99 can | $29.99 6pk
Black Brewing Pale Ale
Most Australian craft-brewers would regard an American-style Pale Ale as an essential part of their stable, and there’s good reason for that. Eighteen-plus years after Little Creatures first opened its doors, most of us can appreciate the classic style’s clean, fruity, hop-forward characters and superb drinkability – which is exactly what you’ll find in Black Brewing’s revamped Pale. The beer’s citrus and pine-needle aromatics immediately grab your attention, with malt support – including a touch of spice from rye malt – providing good balance across the palate. A moderate bitterness wraps up an ever-so-tidy and very approachable brew from this Margaret River mainstay.
$5.50 can | $18.99 4pk
Cheeky Monkey West Coast IPA
India Pale Ale includes a range of sub-styles, as the current flood of juicy, hazy, low-bitterness New England (NEIPA) variants makes apparent. The ‘West Coast’ version typically reins in its malt base to showcase the array of aromatics and flavours, and bitterness, that a ‘shedload’ of hops can bring to the table. They are solid brews, and Margaret River’s Cheeky Monkey have used a sizeable trio of American hop varieties – Cascade, Amarillo and Mosaic – to deliver bold citrus-and-tropical-fruit, orange-zest, and pine-needle characters, with that required whack of bitterness and a toasty malt backbone playing a supporting role. Cheeky and classy.
$5.99 can | $22.99 4pk
Otherside Harvest Red AlE
Otherside Brewing looks set for exponential growth in 2019, but it’s been the venture’s earlier, more methodical steps forward that have led to this point. Harvest Red Ale was the first beer in the brewery’s limited-release ‘Pilot Series’, and it didn’t take long for its distinctive, even nourishing, blend of melon-and-citrus hop characters and caramel malts – delivering raisin, plum and sweeter grainy notes – to find an audience. The Red was, and still is, a brew that’s both artisanal and approachable, and has become a reliable lynchpin in the Otherside core range; while the ‘Pilot Series’ continues to create what’s next.
$5.50 can | $18.99 4pk
Beer Farm IPL - India Pale Lager
Almost every year, the craft beer intelligentsia proclaims an imminent ‘craft lager’ boom that never seems to come. It’s understandable that recent converts – still haunted by the ghosts of a mass-produced past – might be resistant to such notions, but styles such as the IPL offer a way forward for the lager family. Beer Farm’s brewers have beautifully integrated the hopping schedule of an IPA with the clean, crisp, sparkling drinkability that only a bottom-fermenting yeast, and time, can produce. Vibrant citrus and stone fruit characters roll into subtle malt notes and a firm bitterness, making it a lager to love.
$5.50 can | $18.99 4pk