I’m back in my homeland and it’s good to see things have changed since I left. Fosters has sullied the reputation of Australian beer for many, but even a few years ago there were several upstarts putting the multi-nationals in their place.
Coming back, I realised how many of the smaller beers I’d forgotten about. Although the likes of Coopers and Little Creatures are fairly easy to find in London, even they, though acceptable, aren’t the best the country has to offer.
Matilda Bay is still at it with their prolific range, Burleigh Brewing is continuing to invent, White Rabbit is now virtually omnipresent in bottle shops. But with them you have Four Pines who possibly didn’t exist to anyone outside of Victoria a few years ago, who are now about as easy to find as Little Creatures. And damn if their Pale Ale isn’t amazing.
Western Australia seems to have a healthy scene as well, with Feral also widely available. In my hometown, Brisbane, Bacchus seems to be the tamer, less rock-child cousin of Beavertown in London, with a bold and exciting range. I’m happy to return to my old haunts Kerbside and Archive and find that its fridge is predominantly full of Australian beers – and mostly ones I’ve never heard of.
Reluctant kudos also goes to Yeastie Boys’ Digital IPA. It’s the only kiwi one I’ve had so far, but it’s possibly the nicest crafty I’ve had this trip.
It’s pretty exciting to be confronted by a fridge of unknowns for a change. I have spotted a few Rogues, Mikkellers and Evil Twins and the persistent Sierra Nevada, but the familiar Uk, Euro and US brews and largely absent. Exciting frontiers indeed.
On a side note, it’s also exciting that Brisbane’s coffee scene has reached as far as the formerly cow-trodden fields of Caboolture.
This certainly bodes well for future trips around the globe. Nice to know people everywhere are responding to better tastes and carefully curated brews. Well done world. Things are looking up.