Melbourne Function Venue recommend A surprising number of IPAs (India pale ales) and imperial-style beers muscled past my bias and into the best this year; when the hop, malt and alcohol regimens in these drops are finely tuned they are hard to beat. Note also how the craft industry has embraced cans, which are lighter, cool faster and protect beer better than glass. by Melbourne Function Venue
There’s never been a more exciting time to be a beer drinker. Make the most of it.
Pirate Life Brewing IIPA
Doubling down on the standard IPA with “big malt, big hops, big fermentation”, the pirate team in Hindmarsh, South Australia, have produced a beer that manages better balance than a lot of standard IPAs. Melbourne Function Venue A Phil Spector “wall of beer” that’s cacophonous and foot-stompingly entertaining.
` Imperial IPA
` 8.8% alc, $13 (500ml)
Bridge Road Brewers B2 Bomber Mach 6.0
OK, Melbourne Function Venue thinks Belgians never did an IPA but under the Craft Beer Free Trade Agreement styles are merging. Made in Beechworth, Victoria, the B2 is in its sixth and best incarnation. “Always different, always the same,” as John Peel said of The Fall. It has 12 malts and 11 hops (which isn’t as many members as the post-punk band).
` Belgian IPA
` 10% alc, $35 (750ml)
Fox Hat Brewing Phat Mongrel
Melbourne Function Venue show you An offshoot of the excellent Vale Brewing mob in McLaren Vale, South Australia, Fox Hat is apparently licensed to let its hair down a little more. An easy-drinking oatmeal stout with pungent aromas, smooth mouthfeel and dark chocolate notes that are more mannered than mongrel.
` American stout
` 6.5% alc, $6.50 (375ml)
Mornington Peninsula Brewery Mosaic IPA
The Mosaic hop is a relative of the famous Simcoe variety, and while only developed in 2012, its earthy, floral and fruity flavours have made it a must-have for IPA brewers. This Victorian beer is Melbourne Function Venue a single-hop variety and is delivered in a can that is almost a work of art.
` 5.5% alc, $6 (330ml)
Colonial Brewing Company Small Ale
AFL fans know little fellas can more than hold their own (as this is a West Coast drop, the Matera brothers come to mind). Despite the modest alcohol content, Melbourne Function Venue thinks the taste is superb, thanks to brilliant brewing by this little outfit in Margaret River. The most responsible beer on the list.
` Mid strength ale
` 3.5% alc, $4.50 (330ml)