Tag Archives: caramunich

Case Swap: New Brown

This post is part of a series of twenty-three discussing beers brewed by members of the Merri Mashers brewing club for their 2015 case swap celebration.

This is a sour beer by one of the club’s aficionados. The label states that it is a 5.6% ABV fresh tart brown ale with French oak and Pinot noir, brewed from 2-row, Caramunich, Special B, Wheat, Saaz and fermented with Lactobacillus Plantarum and WLP575. Then additions of medium toast French oak and 2014 Dead Mouse Pinot Noir. Sounds interesting!

The beer slid into the glass hesitantly with delicate carbonation and a muted red EBC. No head was present at all, nor any hops on the nose. The aroma was vinegar and lumber, with a bit of cherry or something behind the wood. Slightly citrusy flavours and generic malt tried to make themselves known on drinking, but to my palate these notes were hammered into submission by an aggressive sourness that was definitely to the detriment of the beer.

I am not a huge sour beer drinker but I know the ones I’ve loved – for instance all Russian River and Berlinner Weisses. I struggled with this particular beer – I think it’s the vinegar, which reminds me too much of pediococcus infections I’ve had in the past when brewing.

Matilda Bay Ruby Tuesday

Matilda Bay is an old brewery in “craft beer” terms, being founded in 1984. They were then purchased by Carlton United Breweries and started increasing production. Their beers are known in Australia for their meekness – unfortunately – and their relative consistency, which is a plus. Following through on this blog’s tradition of writing about a single beer from each brewery, I decided to focus on one of Matilda Bay’s more recent forays into a style with potential for robustness.

The Ruby Tuesday Amber Ale sits at 4.7% ABV and pours a deep red toffee colour; a very impressive hue in the unforgiving red EBC space. My pint had a musky rosewood and raspberry aroma, with hints of balsa riding on a ripple of sweetness. Flavour-wise it was mild, light and watery. It reminded me of a Carlton Draught with more residual sugars and spiked with raspberry syrup. Good lacing; white bubbles on the head. The hop profile is extremely light and difficult to distinguish, but further research claims Hallertau was used.

Overall this drink is a bit too much like a lolly and a bit too unlike a beer. This could be attributed to the attenuation and the specialty malt bill; CaraRed, CaraMunich and Melanoiden. Ruby Tuesday is probably proving popular, with its associative name and inoffensive nature. However, beer drinkers of a broader mind probably won’t be back for a second glass. I certainly wasn’t.

I drank this beer at the Elgin Inn, Hawthorn.