Hop Thief - BOTTLEHop Thief American Pale Ale

Company info:
Malt Shovel Brewery Pty Ltd

Camperdown, N.S.W


Bottle size sampled: 345 mL

Alcohol: 5%
Standard drinks: 1.4

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: $3.50AU

Label info: ‘At the Malt Shovel Brewery, we craft beers in honour of the First Fleet convict who went on to become Australia’s first brewer. A series of American style Pale Ales using hops from around the world. These hops added late in the brewing process combined with Pale, Munich and Crystal malts create a smooth, deep amber brew with a pronounced aroma
‘By hook or by crook James Squire always found a way to source the finest hops available for his flavoursome ales. Sometimes this resulted in a good lashing and other times in a handsome reward, but always in a good story to tell with a great tasting beer.
Not for the faint hearted an American style Pale Ale with a firm malt backbone. Simcoe hops deliver a passionfruit and slightly pine-needle like aroma whilst the addition of Columbus adds further complexity and an earthy, spicy character’

What the label really means: The amount of info squeezed on to Squire labels is always quite astonishing, but I think this one takes the cake. This one is so long that I wonder if many drinkers make it all the way through. Still, honouring James Squire as the legend that he allegedly was is always a good thing – no complaints from me.

The Hell-Cat review starts hereHop Thief - GLASS

Label: I’ve said before that I like these MSB labels for their simplicity and their down to earth rustic nature. I guess it’s the same here but it does suddenly feel a little crowded. Almost every square inch is taken up with text and this isn’t doing the brew any real favours. Surprisingly though, I have no complaints with the blue or green used on this label – they seem to work.

I give it a label rating of 6.5 out of 10.

AROMA: A slightly fruity aroma heralds a smack of caramel and familiar American Pale Ale aromas.

Taste: GLASS – A good, smooth mouthfeel with deliciously strong, dry, bitter after-taste. It’s a good take on the APA (which I am clearly a huge fan of) and I believe it to be the best brew in the Squire range. However, there are far superior APA’s on the market that overshadow this brew in depth and punch, and finesse – I’m thinking mostly of Gage Road’s Atomic Pale Ale.

I give it a beer from glass rating of out of 10.

Taste: BOTTLE – Hop Thief from the bottle is still great with some of those good strong flavours clearly evident. It becomes a tad drier and a tad more bitter, but it’s still a very drinkable beast.

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 7 out of 10.

Accompanying food: A fatty cheesy kransky would go amazingly well with this.

Best season to appreciate: Those good dark, malty flavours suggest this brew would make a good Winter-warmer.

All-nighter beer? Yes I think so.


  1. 'Tard Blumpkin says:

    I love hops, and I love thieving. I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of this stuff until I just heard of it.


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