Posts Tagged ‘IPA’


Company info:
Fortitude Brewing Company
Mount Tamborine, QLD

[No website listed]

Bottle size sampled: 330ml

Alcohol: 6%
Standard drinks: 1.6

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: I picked this up for $TBC AU

Label info: ‘Codenamed #14901 in early trials in 2010, our flagship IPA honours the ANZUS treaty between the great (hop growing) nations of Australia, New Zealand and USA. The first and only time the ANZUS treaty was invoked was on 14 September, 2001, after the 9/11 attacks on the USA.
An IPA made for the Australian climate, it eschews the cloying effects of big crystal additions in favour of a very clean, almost light malt backbone, allowing the hops to take the centre stage. Galaxy from Australia, Nelson Sauvin from New Zealand and Simcoe from USA. give the beer a huge hop aroma and flavour, running the full gamut of earthy, resiny, piney and fruity notes.’

Label thoughts: I’m always up for a strong collaborative effort and this sounds like the finest example.  

The Hell-Cat review starts hereANZUS IPA - GLASS

Label: The label is all yellow/gold with black text. Look carefully and there are waves of gold very faintly in the background. The main piece to stand out is a minor bird, casually lying back, viewed in profile – one leg holds a megaphone to its beak, the other grasps pathetically at thin air. From the megaphone shoots the text ‘ANZUS IPA’. Up at the top of the label is the same bird, only smaller and with different text reading ‘Noisy Minor Brewing Co’ – there is nothing to explain this alternate brewing company and I’m still intrigued by this. The label is simple in design and colour construct. I’ve never really been a fan of too much yellow or gold on a label but because there isn’t too much going on, it works. I like the two-tone arrangement.  

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

AROMA:  Wow! Prominent Galaxy hops give a delicious earthy aroma, slightly herbal, grass-like.

Taste: GLASS – A deliciously clean, smooth mouthfeel makes way for an earthy, dry, bitter after-taste. This is outstandingly good. I can’t seem to comprehend the beauty of the mouthfeel’s crispness it’s simply breath-taking.

I give it a beer from glass rating of 8.5 out of 10.

Taste: BOTTLE  From the bottle ANZUS IPA becomes very bitter on the mouthfeel and one-dimensional as a result. Hints of the flavours are there, but they’re held back and can’t blossom. Stick to the glass for this.

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 6 out of 10.

Accompanying food: Roast chicken is my pick. Or roast minor bird. Whatevs.

Best season to appreciate: A Summer brew if ever I knew.

All-nighter beer? Probably not an all-nighter for me. The dryness is really starting to take hold by the end of one bottle and I’m seeking more refreshment.

NEXT WEEK: Stone and Wood Jasper Ale


Company info: Murray’s Craft Brewing Co
Bobs Farm, N.S.W

Bottle size sampled: 330ml
Alcohol: 5.6%
Standard drinks: 1.5
Cap type: Non-twist
Cost: I picked this up for $TBC AU

Label info: ‘At first glance you might think only his mum could him, but once you taste our new Fred IPA, we reckon you’ll fall under his spell. Sweet but bitter, Fred is aggressively late hopped with a house blend from the US Pacific Northwest. A beautiful hopped up brew to be enjoyed with smoky and spicy southern US style Mexican food’

What the label really means: Oh hell yes. This sounds like my kind of brew. Just be wary of using the term ‘new’ though label writers of the world – it’s only ‘new’ for so long. There’s a local business near me called ‘The New Cafe’ – it’s been around for fours years, surely people will tweak that it’s no longer new. I’ve already heard rumours that it’s referred to as ‘The Slightly Old and Not Really New Anymore Cafe’ by the social snobs.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: How much longer can I bang on about the sheer perfection of Murray’s labels? What can I say, they are sheer bloody geniuses at this. This once again is an example of their brilliance splashed across a bottle. It’s a red label with a caricature of a dude with tightly cropped hair and a three day growth. He has soulless eyes that stare out to beyond, his teeth gritted in concentration or frustration. A stripe of orange splashed paint is sprayed across his eyes, face, and out on to the label, dripping down the sides. On the left of his head is FRED while on the right is IPA. Just like last week’s review, it’s a fine mix of stencil art and graffiti and it’s brilliant. This is far and away Murray’s best label to date.Fred IPA - GLASS

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

AROMA:  This truly is hopperific. Delicious passionfruit and melon aromas pounce like a mermaid beckoning weary travellers to their untimely ruin. 

Taste: GLASS – This is one hell of a fine IPA. It’s very, very dry, full flavoured and meaty with an intensely citric bitterness on the finish. Swirl it round in the mouth and you’ll detect those fine passionfruit offerings that are just hanging back in the chorus line, refusing to take the solo. This is so much gutsier that I expected and is prompting me to use the expression ‘hat lifter’. 

I give it a beer from glass rating of 8.5 out of 10.

Taste: BOTTLE  This is damned fine from the bottle. The dryness is now reduced, which was totally unexpected and a pleasant touch as it helps present those other flavours more wholesomely. A little of the fruitiness takes a touch of centre stage and it is certainly welcomed. What a drop.

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 8.5 out of 10.

Accompanying food: My local pub serves a fine burger called ‘The Austen Midnight’ – smoked brisket, onion rings, bacon, cheese, and a jalapeno infused mayo. I’ll take one of them and a Fred thanks bar tender.

Best season to appreciate: A good Summer brew.

All-nighter beer? I’ve never been much of an all night drinker of IPAs or dryer brews so for me, no, this is not a session brew.

NEXT WEEK: Love Tap Double Lager

Bridgeport IPA - BOTTLEBridgePort India Pale Ale
USA flag - SMALL

Company info:
BridgePort Brewery
Oregon, USA


Bottle size sampled: 355ml

Alcohol: 5.5%
Standard drinks: 1.6

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: I picked this up for $3.99 AU

Label info: ‘Floral and hoppy, delightfully complex, smooth and satisfying’

What the label really means: Nuff said

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: I’m not too convinced of the effectiveness of this label. It looks as though it may have been designed in the 1980s and hasn’t moved from there. And I’m not talking cool Goonies-style 1980s, I’m talking Bobby McFerrin ‘Don’t Worry Be Happy’ 1980s. It’s like the back cover of a computer programming text book. There’s way too much green, and a horrible navy blue banner with gold print above it. The whole thing is like a horrible coffee shop menu. Time for a revamp Bridgeport.

I give it a label rating of 2 out of 10.

AROMA:  A gentle wave of floral and straw tones.Bridge Port IPA - GLASS

Taste: GLASS – This is a very mild take on an IPA. Sure, it’s incredibly smooth and refreshing with great after tastes. But it’s missing a real front of mouth smack to the kisser of bitterness and spiced hops that we’ve all come to expect from an IPA. It’s very drinkable and shouldn’t be dismissed too readily – allow it to serve as an introduction to the IPA kingdom. 

I give it a beer from glass rating of 6 out of 10.

Taste: BOTTLE – The small upfront flavours detected in the glass tasting have now all but disappeared and the beer becomes a little more flavourless and watery. Stick to the glass. 

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 4 out of 10.

Accompanying food: Beef. A good hearty beefy dish. Or a cake. A beef cake. Like Emilio Estevez in ‘Young Guns’.

Best season to appreciate: A good winter session brew.

All-nighter beer? While many IPAs may feel too heavy to drink all night, this is so light on its feet that I think it would be an awesome all-nighter.

Other: Happy Oregon Craft Beer Month 2014


Death Between the Tanks - BOTTLEDeath Between the Tanks – Double IPA

Company info:
The Little Brewing Company
Port Macquarie, NSW


Bottle size sampled: 330ml

Alcohol: 7.8%
Standard drinks: 2

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: I picked this up for $7.00 AU

Label info: ‘Our head brewer works ridiculous hours. Crazy hours. He never takes holidays or sickies.
His wife reckons that if he doesn’t change his ways, one day she’ll find him dead between the tanks.
Don’t worry though, if the worst happens, this double IPA is strong and hoppy enough to bring him back, proving the point that a little beer is good.
Hops: Citra, Cascade, Galaxy, Chinook, Simcoe, Motueka’.

What the label really means: If the head brewer does die from over work, this beer sounds to be his lasting tribute with all ounce of his strength poured into it. I am very keen to try this.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: In a dramatic departure from the regular Little Brewing labels, this label is innovative and brilliant. A gravestone engraved with ‘D.I.P.A’ sits amid a puddle of green sludge. Off to the side a green zombi-fied hand reaches from the earth holding a pint of beer aloft to the heavens. ‘Death Between the Tanks’ is emblazoned across the label in the same zombie-green while ‘Double IPA’ sits beneath in a bold white text. I love everything about this label. It combines my love of zombies with my love of beer, and all done in a strong fun cartoon style. Love it.Death Between Tanks - GLASS

I give it a label rating of 9 out of 10.

AROMA:  A fresh hoppy aroma that appears to be bursting at the seams. Hints of Summer fruits gently waft out.

Taste: GLASS – Hearty, meaty, warming and delicious. It slides back with the sweetest of ease leaving the mouth with a blissfully bitter aftertaste. This is an IPA with awesomeness and beauty turned up to 11. Without question, this is the most superior IPA I have ever tasted and one for us all to be proud of.

I give it a beer from glass rating of 8.5 out of 10.

Taste: BOTTLE – From the bottle it’s still an exceptional brew but the depth of flavour is now lost. All the elements are there…just reduced a tad.

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 7.5 out of 10.

Accompanying food: A crusty beef pie with mash seems very fitting.

Best season to appreciate: Enjoy this on a cold winter’s night and enjoy those dark deathly tones.

All-nighter beer? The strong alcohol content is barely noticeable and this brew is deceptively easy to drink. I could easily drink this all night.

NEXT WEEK: Rudeboy

Hop Hog IPA - BOTTLEFeral White

Australia flag - SMALL

Company info:
Feral Brewing Company

Bottle size sampled: 330 mL

Alcohol: 5.8%
Standard drinks: 1.5

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: I picked this up for AU$4.99

Label info: N/A

What the label really means: N/A




The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: Contrary to what I’ve said earlier on Feral’s labels, the hog on this one works a treat. Here is a ferocious razor back screaming out of the label like a hog that has had its goolies pinched. Light shoots out of it on all angles to emphasise the pain, the angst, and all set against a beautiful green that shines out brightly. Sure it’s tough, it’s in your face, it’s loud, but there’s a certain beauty to this too.

I give it a label rating of 7.5 out of 10.

AROMA: Delicious! There’s a soft melon-fruit aroma that is reaching out and gently cupping my nasal hairs.

Taste: GLASS: Classic heavy IPA flavours are held aloft to the beer gods on a wave of subtle, and not over-bearing, alluring Summer-fruit flavours. This is one hell of a finely crafted brew with all the hallmarks of an absolute classic. Delicious to the last drop.Hop Hog IPA - GLASS

I give it a beer from glass rating of 8.5 out of 10.

Taste: BOTTLE: Almost as good from the bottle, the fruit flavours shine through as the unsung saviour of this very fine IPA. I repeat, this is delicious to the very last drop.

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 8 out of 10.

Accompanying food: A tomato salsa on freshly baked corn/tortilla chips would set this beer ablaze.

Best season to appreciate: The fruity notes compel me to suggest this is a good Summer brew.

All-nighter beer? Yes please! One of the finest IPAs I’ve sampled.


Bling IPA - BOTTLEBridge Road Brewers Hefeweizen

Company info:
Bridge Road Brewers

Beechworth, V.I.C


Bottle size sampled: 330 mL

Alcohol: 5.8%
Standard drinks: 1.5

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: $TBC

Label info: ‘India Pale Ale is a beer style originally developed in England for shipment to its men in India. Traditionally more hops were used and alcohol percentage was increased to ensure the beer went the distance on the high seas. At Bridge Road we’ve gone all out to make an IPA that screams hops and malt but still keeps the balance in mind. A big bold beer with plenty of hop character & bitterness’

What the label really means: They have a long tradition of great IPAs to follow in the footsteps of. Bring it on.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: I’ve reviewed a few beers from Bridge Road now, and most of their labels are similar to each other with only the colour and the name being different. I like this label (as I like most of theirs), and the ‘Bling India Pale Ale’ is written in cool cartoon-like font. Once again I’ll comment on the fact that I love holding the matte-finished label in my hand.

I give it a label rating of 7 out of 10.

AROMA: A caramel-infused, hop-packed aroma.Bling IPA - GLASS


Taste: GLASS – Good, strong, familiar IPA flavours of bitterness and spices with a more than decent hit of espresso in the finish. A good IPA that is worth sampling, and one that can hold its head among its brothers.

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

Taste: BOTTLE – A little sharper in flavour from the bottle but equally as good. For a strong enjoyable finish, stick to the glass.

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

Accompanying food: Lamb with rosemary and baked potatoes. 

Best season to appreciate: More of a Winter-warmer I’d suggest.

All-nighter beer? It’s definitely smooth enough, and more-ish enough to drink all night.


Australian IPA - BOTTLEAustralian IPA

Company info:
Hawthorn Brewing Company Pty Ltd

Hawthorn, V.I.C 


Alcohol: 5.8%
Standard drinks: 1.5

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: TBC

Label info: ‘In the tradition of the travelling merchants of old, the Flavour Merchants criss-cross the globe to bring home the secrets of the world’s best brewers. It is only by trialling and refining these techniques that we are able to create beers of such distinction.
Like this Australian IPA, rich in bold flavours from crystal malts and a prodigious addition of unique Aussie hops.’


‘An Indian Pale Ale bursting with bitterness and hop flavour, derived from a lavish dose of Australian hops’

What the label really means:
 This is what I said when I last reviewed a Hawthorn Brewing Co. beer and my response still stands: ‘I love the harking back to days of yore tradition that this description exudes. I love the fact that they are drawing on the work done of beer pioneers, reading, sampling, reviewing their produce and then report to be bringing this knowledge to us in the form of an ideal brew. Very well crafted description that has me intrigued, excited, and almost teary. Thank you bygone flavour merchants, thank you’.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: The only variation between this label and the previously reviewed Pale Ale is that the IPA uses purple as its identifier. This is what I said last time, and my response still stands: ‘Excellent stuff, this label becomes instantly legend-ridden simply by its design. It’s traditional, it’s strong, it’s bold, it’s inspiring. It’s a label that is accurately supported in the label description as a beer of character and class and I’d be proud to hold a bottle of this in my hand. It has a washed out, old magazine/bulletin style feel to it and it just works. Nicely done, people!’Australian IPA - GLASS

I give it a label rating of 8 out of 10.

AROMA:  There is a refreshing, clean, peachy aroma wafting up. Smells great.

Taste: GLASS – Take a fruity pale ale and load it up with a decent helping of malts, and a good, strong bitterness emerges. I am really enjoying what I perceive as a very innovative take on an IPA. It is both refreshing and clean, and dark-inspired. I am enjoying it immensely. 

I give it a beer from glass rating of 8 out of 10.

Taste: BOTTLE – Good, but cuts straight to the bitterness-chase and feels like it skips the fruity hop profile. Stick to the glass for a much more fulfilling experience.

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

Accompanying food: A chunky beef casserole with thick sourdough bread.

Best season to appreciate: Drinking this in Winter, by a fireplace, would be my idea of heaven.

All-nighter beer? Yes please! Delicious!

NEXT WEEK: Bohemian PIlsner (Black Heart Brewery)