Success and two new breweries

The last couple of weeks have seen a major change in the beer consumption landscape in my life, due to a major success. And as a result of that, visiting other breweries, such as Black Hops at Burleigh, have now become a much more pleasurable event.

So starting with the success – if you have read my previous blogs, you might be aware that my wife, perfect in every other way, does not like beer. That is not the case anymore. Matt Kirkegaard, known around town as the Beer Matt, once said every lady loves beer, the problem was finding which one it was. I have always clung to that hope, and now I owe big time to the Beer in Cider Festival, Brouhaha Brewery and their Raspberry Saison. Unlike all the other beers I have inflicted on my wife over time, the Brouhaha Raspberry Saison doesn’t have a ‘beery’ taste. Great beer brewed by a great team. We’ll be driving up the visit them as soon as I can.

cod-blackhops-hires-9_optimized1Seizing the moment, I dragged my wife down to Croft Brewing’s tent and force fed her more Saisons, and yep, that’s the beer! So, now Lachlan, my brewer at Ballistic Beer Co. will be making Saisons for the next 20 years. Who knows, as my wife gets more exposed to Saisons, she might yet broaden her tastes to other beers. I’ll keep trying but at least now I’ll always have a fall-back beer.

Last week, while at the coast, I dropped into Black Hops Brewery to say hi to the guys down there. Black Hops has been in operation there for a little while and sold beer prior to that as gypsy brewers. They broke into the market with a cracking Eggnog stout – a lovely stout with subtle eggnog flavours. Give it a taste if you see it on tap. Fortunately for me, Black Hops had a range of beers on tap, including their Pink Mist, another Raspberry Saison, with Citra and Nelson Sauvin hops. Another winner for my wife. Curiously, Black Hops biggest seller is their Beach House, a light bodied, dry saison. Honestly, not my favourite beer, but also loved by my wife. If you can’t guess, my life has improved immeasurably during September!

Black Hops does a seasonal beer, Code Red which was brewed for Autumn. Bugger the seasons, this should be a year-round beer. It’s an American Ale, chockers with Citra, Simcoe and Mosaic. Mosaic is a bit of a fave hop for me, and this beer also had rich malty body beautifully balancing the hops. This was as good a beer as I have had anywhere and would happily have drunk a heap of these or taken some away, were it bottled. Alas not, and it seems I will have to wait until next Autumn to try it again.

The brewery is located in the middle of Burleigh and has only a small Cellar Door area. But it’s a great little bar with some really excellent beers. If you see a Black Hops beer on tap at one of the pubs around the place that stock them, give them a go. And if you see any Code Red, give me a call and tell me where to go. I’ll owe you. In the meantime, I’m off in search of more Saisons.

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