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TOP 10 CRAFT BEERS OF 2014

2014 has been yet another landmark year for the Australian Craft Beer Industry with many new
players getting on the ever increasing board of better beer drinkers. The following are in no
particular order the highlights for me this year from some of Australias best breweries and a
selection all craft beer lovers need to get their hands on. Below is a mixture of reviews from my
Instagram as well as my personal notes.

HopDog BeerWorks Super Beast III 2014 American Barley Wine


Once again coming out of the twisted mind and brewery @hopdogbw. SUPER BEAST their 3rd
anniversary American barley wine is more than just a barley wine though folks sitting at 200 ibu it
really are a beast. Pouring dark maroon enormous aromas of citrus, pine and tropical fruit
intertwine with sweet burnt caramel and dried Christmas fruits. Complex is an understatement the
palette is layer upon layer of delicious like a Christmas pudding full of citra and mosaic hops.
Burnt sugar, butterscotch, dark red fruits, apricot, brown sugar, fig and slight brandy sweetness.
Once you have made your way through the initial onslaught and think it's safe again the hops
come out to play. Grapefruit, lime, pineapple, mango all stream out from the hops showing
beautiful resinous pine. The beer is incredible and one I will source again and again. Possibly one
of the best beers I have ever had.

Dainton Family Brewing Grand Pappys Whip Imperial Red


Dainton Family Brewing are unapolgetically one of my most beloved breweries and although Dan put
out a very steady stream of hits in 2013 including Red Eye Rye, Insane Uncle IPA and Good Son
Golden Ale. 2014 though was the year he released his greatest brew yet Grand Pappys Whip
Imperial Red. This 7.7% Red is one of the most smashable brews in the market today. Pouring a dark
ruby red with solid off white fluffy head, the nose shows elements of burnt toffee and fresh
grapefuit zest. The palette is full of rich malt goodness just the way a big red should be, elements of
caramel and roasted nuts meld with a slight toffee apple bitter sweeteness. Large hop lashings come
in throughout with a large focus on citrus notes. Everything from lime, grapefuit and orange mellow
out into a more tropical combination with elements of passionfruit, pineapple, lychee and over
ripened mango. This finish is crisp and resinous leaving large amounts of residual flavour keeping
you thristy for more.

La Sirene Wild Saison


Pouring a hazy Golden straw evident bottle conditioning shows its self straight away with a strong
white head and beautiful lacing. Nose reminds me of an old lolly store where sweet aromas fill the
air and it's hard to pick a favourite. On the palette strong citrus kicks in gear quickly, fresh lime
juice lemon peel are the most obvious. As it settles the complexities begin to show and for craft
nerds it's like Christmas. Notes of fresh pear, under ripe mangos, granny Smith tartness mix with
classic Belgian yeast notes of banana, clove and cinnamon. Every sip showcases a new flavour.
Ladies and gentlemen here is a top 10 beer for anyone's list. Finish is smooth and luscious with
cleansing effervescent carbonation.

Dainton Family Brewing Sinister Sister Summer Ale


Those crazy bastards @dainton_family_brewery have created a monster here. Delicious doesn't do
justice to this mid strength (yes I said mid strength, only 1 standard drink!) summer ale. No secret
I'm a big fan of Dainton and have been since day one but taking all that away this is an incredible
drop. Pouring a perfect light golden for a summer ale up front this bad boy has got some hops! The
nose is a perfectly balance of fresh tropical fruits and ever so citrusy pine. The palate is light and
session-able perfect for hot Australian summer. Fresh notes of mandarin, mango and sweet fresh
pineapple are melded with just the right amount of fresh mouth puckering lemon, grapefruit pith
and orange peel. The finish is smooth and mellow leaving slight traces of resin on the tongue just
enough that makes you excited for that next sip. Well done Dan once again another delicious thing
you are putting in the mouths of craft nerds nationwide.

Blackdog Brewery Junk Yard Dog DIPA


Pouring a ruby red to burn toffee opaque with great head retention. The nose is full of
marmalade, mandarin juice, grapefruit and slight pine. The palate is rich and full but incredibly
well balanced for a DIPA hiding the alcohol behind a myriad of hoppy goodness. Sweet charred
pineapple charges a tropical storm in the mouth that is greeted with sticky sap like resin and solid
citrus zest. Notes of grapefruit pith, lime juice and orange peel. The finish is crisp with lingering
bitterness reminiscent of burnt toffee. I've said it before and will again Blackdog is possibly
Australia's most underrated brewery and beers like this show why it's world class.

Mash Brewing CopyCat American IPA


Pouring a nice light caramel, obvious west coast IPA notes of pine, resin and burnt citrus hit your
nose immediately. The palette is rich in dark toffee with hits of grapefruit, raisin, and unwavering
piney hop goodness. An an incredibly flavorsome and well balanced beer it's not hard to see what
all the fuss is about. Cheers

HopDog BeerWorks Redhopulous Hoppy Red


Pouring a dark luscious red it's obvious from the first sight, this is love. The nose smashes out hop
goodness, massive aromas of grapefruit, burnt orange peel, pine and ever so slight charred
pineapple. The palette where do I begin straight up assault of hops is paired to perfection with dark
fruit, biscuits and slight nutty overtones. Large amounts of pine goodness match with a strong malt
body showing classic IPA flavours such as grapefruit and blood orange. Finishing strong with
some lasting bitterness this may be one of my top brews for 2014.

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Nail Brewing Brockwell Brewedwell Red Ale
This is the fourth in Nail's brew log series, dedicated to Maurice Brockwell one of the founding
forces that got Nail back on its feet. Pouring lovely dark orange/light red instant notes of
unrippened mango, apricot and slight musk come straight off the nose. The palette shows notes of
charred pineapple, minimal pine, dried apricot and possibly some brandy overtones. Bitterness
slowly fades with sweet melon rounding out the palette. Excellent brew to finish the day.

Brew Cult Cant Fight The Funk Farmhouse IPA


What can be said about Hendo and Brewcult that hasnt already been said? Everything he touches seems
to turn to hoppy liquid gold. His steady stream of releases have one after another topped each other. My
first foray into the world of Brew Cult was the incredible and outlandish Acic Freaks Balsamic Porter.
Whilst for a long time that sat as my favourite brew from Hendo this year that all changed once my lips
hit the impecable Cant fight the funk Farmhouse IPA. Pouring a clear peach like yellow with suprisingly
minimal head. The nose is a mixture of sweet dried fruits such as peach, mango, grapefuit and cantalope
combined with classic yeast spice. The palatte is a bunch of funk and hops, evident Belgian yeast notes
parlay into citrus and tropical fruit . Lemon and Pineapple are the predominate flavours with some notes
of cookie dough and and creamy breadiness rounding out the mouthfeel. Yet another hit from Hendo and
one I reguarly partake in. Easily one of the top 10 brews of the year.

Exit Brewing - #001 Saison / #002 Scotch Ale / #003 Milk Stout
This may be a top ten list but I would be remiss to talk of only one beer coming out from the Exit
lads this year. 2014 saw the rise of many new breweries around the country such as Wolf of the
Willows, Riders and of course Modus Operandi. Whilst all of these breweries have launched
some incredibly brews this year its hard to look past the Exit team. Launching with a Saison is
possibly one of the ballsiest moves a new brewery can make. Following up with 3 more brews
before year end a slightly smoked scotch ale, milk stout and an IPA each delivering on the goods.
Exit has set quite the benchmark for new breweries in 2015. I along with many others called
Kaiju! out as the best new brewery of 2013 and Exit have more than taken that mantle for 2014.

Cheers for reading one of my ramblings guys! What a great year in beer 2014 was and I as
much as all of you are looking forward to the year of new and existing beers 2015 has to offer.

Ev