Time Out Melbourne

Slake your thirst with our pick of the nation's finest boutique brews

Little Creatures IPA

Brewery Little Creatures
State WA
Style India Pale Ale
ABV 6.4% IBU 60

The Little Creatures Brewing does not take the decision to add to their stable of beers lightly. Hell, they haven’t released a new, permanent brew since 2006. But the time has come for them to welcome the newest member of the Little Creatures family, the super hoppy India Pale Ale. It has the rugged flavours and citrusy nose that you would expect from an IPA – historically designed to be exported from the UK to India – with subtle aniseed and savoury notes and a long firm bitterness to finish.

White Rabbit Dark Ale

Brewery White Rabbit Breweries
State Vic
Style Dark Ale
ABV 4.9% IBU 27

The White Rabbit Dark Ale is what you want when you’re after a brew with some body to it, but something that is still light enough to have a few of in one sitting. Though it may be a malt-driven beer, it keeps things fresh and easy with the aromatic lift of a generous dose of hops. The dark ale is brewed in open tanks so that the yeast is given free reign over the sweet, malty wort before whole hop flowers are added to the mix to balance it out with a bitter finish.

Two Birds Golden Ale

Brewery Two Birds Brewing
State NSW
Style Golden Ale
ABV 4.4% IBU 20

The golden ale was the first release from Australia’s first brewing company owned and operated by women. Like sunshine in a bottle, it pours a beautiful golden colour and you can detect honey, spice and stonefruit characters in the brew. But have no fear: it’s not a sweet beer, but a bright, crisp brew made with ale, wheat and Vienna malts and a combination of New Zealand Southern Cross, Motueka and Australian Summer hops.

Murray’s Whale Ale

Brewery Murray’s Craft Brewing Co.
State NSW
Style American Witbier
ABV 4.5% IBU 4

Here is one for the wheat beer fans. The Whale Ale gets its distinctive flavour from a high percentage of malted and unmalted wheat being used in the mash, as well as the addition of hops late in the brewing process. It’s slightly cloudy, as is traditional with wheat beer, and pours a light gold colour that plants it firmly in the summertime ale camp. It is light and smooth but has a clean, crisp, citrus flavour, a tropical fruit aroma and a dry finish.

Stone & Wood Pacific Ale

Brewery Stone & Wood
State NSW
Style Defies classification
ABV 4.4% IBU 18

We can’t all crack open a frosty Pacific Ale after a day’s surfing on one of Australia’s famous beaches, but with Stone and Wood’s Pacific Ale popping up all over Sydney fresh from their Byron Bay brewery, you can down one after a hard day in the office and it’ll be just as delicious. It’s made from all Australian barley, wheat and Galaxy hops and isn’t filtered or pasteurised so retains the cloudy golden colour. This beer wants a gentle roll before opening to get the most flavour out of each bottle.

4 Pines Kolch

Brewery 4 Pines Brewing Company
State NSW
Style Kolsch
ABV 4.6% IBU 22

With their brewery looking out into Manly Cove from its waterfront location, is it any wonder that 4 Pines make the kind of beers you want to drink all summer long? Their kolsch is what we like to call a gateway beer – order one and there’s no turning back. Soon you’ll be talking hop varieties and flavour notes to all and sundry. It may seem innocent with its light straw colour and clean, lemon-lime aroma, but looks can be deceiving.

Hangman Pale Ale

Brewery Rocks Brewing Company
State NSW
Style American Style Pale Ale
ABV 4.9% IBU 35

The Rocks Brewing Company is fiercely local, run by fifth- and sixth-generation convict descendants who are proud as punch of our shared  criminal past. The Hangman Pale Ale is named after Alexander Green, who was the Hangman of Old Sydney Gaol for 27 years and sent 490 people down to Old Nick – bet he was popular. It’s a deep golden brew with citrus and grassy aromas and a fair whack of hoppy bitterness to balance out the Munich and caramel pils malts.

Kosciuszko Pale Ale

Brewery Kosciuszko Brewery
State NSW
Style Pale Ale
ABV 4.5% IBU 25

It may have been developed as an excuse for Chuck Hahn to head to the mountains for a spot of fishing or skiing, but the refreshing Kosciuszko Pale Ale, with its passionfruit aromas, has proven to be a hit not just with the après-ski crowd, but in pubs around Sydney too. It’s slightly more bitter than the average pale ale, pours a light, cloudy golden colour and goes dangerously well with seafood or anything off the barbecue. Think mountain summer air in a bottle.

St Peter’s Killagh Stout

Brewery St Peter’s Brewery
State NSW
Style Stout
ABV 4.6% IBU 35

Developed in the style of a traditional dry Irish stout (and given a good Irish name) the St Peters Killagh Stout is true to its title; if you like refreshing dark ale then this one will positively slay your tastebuds with chocolate, coffee and banana aromas, a dry hop finish, silky mouth feel and modest alcohol content. It’s what you’d call a session stout – full-bodied for winter drinking but not too heavy for the warmer months. Plus it comes in 640mL bottles – the perfect halfway point between pint and longneck.

Feral Brewing Co. Hop Hog IPA

Brewery Feral Brewing Company
State WA
Style IPA
ABV 5.8% IBU 48

This award-winning brewery in WA is pumping out some seriously interesting brews such as their barley wine, India black ale, Belgian dubbel and a Sour – Berliner Weisse beer called a Watermelon Warhead. But our pick is the Hop Hog, an American style India Pale Ale that gets a heavy dose of American Hops to give the brew a strong pine needle and citrus aroma, followed by an aggressive bitterness and a dry finish. This is not a beer for those with weak palates.


Updated on 24 Mar 2014.

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