We can’t wait for the year ahead! With lofty yet achievable business goals, a few beer festivals on the horizon, plus a bevvy of new breweries set to open in Brisbane and throughout SE Queensland, it’s going to be a beer bonanza!

Each passing year sees us learning more, working in closer proximity with venue owners, managers and brewers, and becoming more immersed in the incredible community that is “craft beer” (or “good beer” or “independent beer” or “boutique beer” – you see where this is going), and we are always honoured and humbled at our inclusion into a group that is so experimental, intelligent and supportive. (Speaking of which, if you haven’t already, make sure you check out the Crafty Pint’s list of Best New Queensland Beers of 2017 – we got the chance to add our two cents!)

With so many incredible beers on offer, we thought we’d share how we ended 2017 (and began 2018):

  1. Beard & Brau @ Malty Grain (for their closing night event – too sad!): 1888 Red Rye IPA, Black Snout Milk Stout and CUJO Belgian Ass-Kicker. These beers were both incredible for very different reasons. Cujo, a Belgian Tripel (or Quad, almost!) is rich, fruity, sweet, syrupy, thick, boozy and flavoursome beyond words. Sitting somewhere between 9-11%, the flavour develops as the beer warms. Glad we have a couple bottles stashed away in the fridge! Black Snout is a staple Milk Stout in our fridge, with chocolate tones and a silky mouthfeel from the lactose addition. The only thing that would have made this beer better is if we’d paired it with a brownie and some ice cream. The 1888 was a new beer for us, with deep flavours of sweet caramel, balanced by peppery rye and bitter but balanced hops. A squealer somehow made its way into our esky for later in the evening….
  2. Van DiemanMotor Mouth IPA. We ordered this beer as part of our Christmas haul after trying it at a festival in its home state of Tasmania last January, where it quickly became a favourite. A sharp, bitter finish balanced by juicy hops on the front palette make this beer a great starter. And at just under 6%, it won’t totally wipe you out too early in the evening!
  3. Aether: Hop, Skip & Jump IPA. Jimmy and Dave, the legends behind this brewery, pour their blood, sweat and tears into perfecting their brews. A few months ago this beer may have come across as too bitter for some, but either they tweaked the recipe to manage on a larger scale or our tastebuds have transformed, because this beer has a great body and mouthfeel with a malt profile that doesn’t overwhelm but beautifully compliments the hops that take front and centre in this 6.4% IPA. Delish.
  4. Balter: Alt-Brown. There’s not much to say about this beer, other than it’s been a staple in the fridge (when it’s not sold out at the bottle-o’s). Light bodied, sweet-but-not-too-sweet, malty with an underlying blanket of subtle hops, this brown is perfect for the hot, humid Gold Coast.
  5. Killer Sprocket: Bandit. Only one of the pair of us like this beer, so it’s safe from over consumption and endangerment in the beer fridge. A peated pale ale, the sweet malt means the peat doesn’t overpower the flavour profile. It’s been love at first sip for this beer.
  6. Noisy Minor: Admiral Ackbar. A limited release Anti-Imperial Red Ale, this is a big, boozy, one-of-a-kind beer. Enjoy in moderation, you must.
  7. Brewdog: The Occultist. What a great finish to the night/start to the morning – silky, smooth, sweet and vanilla essence coming through, the oats round out the mouthfeel of this delicious dessert beer. Great way to ring in 2018!

And so begins the new year with fresh new beers to look forward to, including Green Beacon’s 5th Birthday release (26 Jan) Mango Milkshake IPA and Ballistic Beer Co’s Pale Ale, as well as new, hoppy additions from Bravo Brewing, Semi-Pro Brewing, Range, and other breweries on the rise.

Cheers and beers, everyone!