9 Aussie craft beers you have to try

Australia is creating some amazing beers at the moment, but it’s hard to choose which ones to drink. Here are nine of our favourite Australian craft beers you can find easily and that you just have to try.

Mr & Mrs Romance - Aussie beers - 9 Aussie beers title option

With Australian breweries leading the way in the domestic craft movement (here’s our review on 4 Aussie craft gins), the choice of amazing home-grown beers is at times quite bewildering. You can find these nine beers at Dan Murphy’s, and in most good bars and pubs.

Of course there are hundreds of other great beers to try, but this is a good starting point. We went from lightest beer to darkest, the same way you do when you’re tasting wine.

We assessed these beers using our custom-made beer score sheet that you can download here.

4 Pines ‘Kolsch’ – German style golden ale (Manly, Sydney NSW – 4.6%)

Mr & Mrs Romance - Aussie beers - 4 Pines Kolsch

Colour, character and flavour:

Golden straw coloured and clear, good fizz. Dry and medium hops. Long, bitter aftertaste.

When and where to drink this:

This beer’s so refreshing and easy to drink, it’s the perfect palette-cleanser. A good summer/session beer. Goes well with a bbq.

Hargreaves Hill ‘Pale Ale’ (Yarra Valley, VIC – 4.9%)

Mr & Mrs Romance - Aussie beers - Hargreaves Hill Pale Ale

Colour, character and flavour:

Golden and cloudy. Tangy bubbles. Very dry and hoppy with a long aftertaste. Bold flavour with a nuttiness mid-sip.

When and where to drink this:

Reminds me of proper English pub beer gardens. Great sipping beer – lots of flavour and my personal favourite from this selection.

Burleigh Brewing Company ‘My Wife’s Bitter’ – coastal version of a classic English style bitter (Burleigh Heads, QLD – 4.8%)

Mr & Mrs Romance - Aussie beers - Burleigh Brewing

Colour, character and flavour:

Bronze, clear colour. Short-lived head. Close to a typical English bitter but with slightly more carbonation. Rich flavours – not too dry or hoppy. Honey and caramel flavours.

When and where to drink this:

Good to have with dinner (or instead of!) – would go well with fish and beer battered chips or a pie!

Check out our review of Burleigh Brewing!

McClaren Vale ‘Vale IPA’ – American-style India Pale Ale (McLaren Vale, SA – 5.5%)

Mr & Mrs Romance - Aussie beers - McClaren Vale

Colour, character and flavour:

Copper colour and a little cloudy. Strong grassy fore-flavour but with complex malt toffee undertones. Citrusy smell. Heavy on the hops and a long lingering dry aftertaste.

When and where to drink this:

A good steak beer.

Endeavour Vintage Beer ‘Reserve Pale Ale’ – an Australian pale ale from the reserve range showcasing Endeavour’s best… endeavours! (Canyonleigh, NSW – 5.0%)

Mr & Mrs Romance - Aussie beers - Endeavour

Colour, character and flavour:

Golden/orange and crystal clear. Well-balanced sharp but sweet pale ale. Not too hoppy and some nice gentle malty flavours at the end from the Australian-grown barley – an easy-drinker.

When and where to drink this:

Great (but a little filling) session ale.

Sail & Anchor ‘Monkey’s Fist Pale Ale’ – pale ale (Fremantle, WA – 4.9%)

Mr & Mrs Romance - Aussie beers - Sail & Anchor

Colour, character and flavour:

Amber colour – clear as a bell. Rich malt flavour and a delicious bready grainy aroma. Not too bitter and a latent sweet fruitiness that balances well – another easy-to-drink brew.

When and where to drink this:

A fearless pale ale with lots of character. Would go well with a curry – or is that the other way round?!

Mildura Brewery ‘Mallee Bull Strong Ale’ (Mildura, VIC – 5.6%)

Mr & Mrs Romance - Aussie beers - Mildura Brewery

Colour, character and flavour:

A beautiful ruddy bronze colour and a head that seems to last forever. Coco-caramel aroma with a flavour to match. Robust toffee and nut palate with a bitterness that does justice to an ale of this heft.

When and where to drink this:

This is a powerful beer and – as the brewery suggests – would buddy-up well with comfort foods like tender beef cheek or a slow-cooked caramelised brisket.

Feral Brewing Company ‘Hop Hog’ – pale ale (Baskerville, WA – 5.8%)

Mr & Mrs Romance - Aussie beers - Feral Brewing Co

Colour, character and flavour:

Golden and a bit cloudy. Strong citrus and herb aroma. Full-mouth feel with strong hop flavours but not flowery. Front-palate dominant until aftertaste – where the bitterness from the hops makes its move. An extraordinary beer and a multi-award winner domestically and internationally.

When and where to drink this:

Drink as often as possible, with or without food!

Matso’s Broome Brewery ‘Smokey Bishop’ – dark lager (Broome, WA – 4.7%)

Mr & Mrs Romance - Aussie beers - Matso's Smokey Bishop

Colour, character and flavour:

Dark bronzy brown and clear. Chocolate and dark caramel on the nose. Smokey coffee with a slightly nutty aftertaste. A filling, full-on beer with enough flavour and body to keep even the most ardent drinker busy.

When and where to drink this:

A good option instead of dessert or the perfect option for a winter warmer next to a big fire. I’d love to have a couple of these with a good cigar.

Interestingly this is the only beer of the nine with a screwtop cap. Something to consider if you’re camping (and have a tendency to always forget that bloody bottle opener!)

Mr & Mrs Romance - Aussie beers - 9 Aussie beers titles

It’s a lot of fun doing a beer tasting session at home. It takes less effort than wine tasting and is cheaper too. Here’s our guide to running a DIY beer tasting.

If you’re not sure about craft beers but you want to know more about how to choose one for you (or your loved one), check out our 5-point guide to trying craft beer.

Now that there are so many more flavours of beer available, more and more people are discovering how much they like beer. It’s completely different to the mass-produced chemically enhanced stuff people are used to trying and not liking.

So if you haven’t already, give craft beer a go. I’m convinced there’s a beer out there for everyone… unless you’re a child. Or pregnant. Then there’s not.

Anyway, do you have a favourite beer? Have you tried any of these we’ve reviewed today? Tell us in the comments!

Images by Mr Romance.

7 Comments

  • Reply June 17, 2014

    Liz @ I Spy Plum Pie

    Nice selection! The only one out of those I haven’t tried is the Endeavour Vintage one, I shall have to give it a go! 4 Pines are now one of my-go to beers, I really like all the beers they’ve put out. It’s great we have access to so many different craft beers here now, and they’re easy to find (and not overly pricey!).
    Liz @ I Spy Plum Pie recently posted..Recipe: Sundried Tomato & Ricotta DipMy Profile

    • Reply June 19, 2014

      Mr Romance

      I was really quite impressed with the Endeavour, Liz. Very tasty! I couldn’t agree more with you – the beer selection in Australia is so broad now. And to think only ten years ago we were limited to about five choices – all of which tasted roughly the same! I was talking to a craft beer brewmaster the other day in fact; he confirmed my long-held suspicions that VB, Carton Draught and Crown are all the same brew – just with slightly different times left in the fermenter! Hardly a revelation, but good to hear it actually said!
      Jx

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