The Dainton brewery is one of the funnest outfits in my home state of Victoria. Their attitude is positive but harbours a dark, edgy theme right across their beers. They are also one of the only Australian microbreweries to stress the “family” nature of their operation; reminding me of the millions of “family” restaurants dotted across the United States. It’s taken me a while to write a tasting post for these guys, but I picked a winner: their latest beer is the Bastard Brother Belgian Rye IPA. It’s big and it’s good!
However, it’s neither particularly “Belgian” or “rye”. Instead it feels more like a typical U.S.-style double IPA. I don’t know if this is simply another case of naming the beer after the wrong ingredients i.e. it is meant to taste this way, or if they were were simply subdued by the brutal malt and hop bill. Regardless the beer presents the grandest, tightest head I have seen in a while. It neither thinned nor changed in the twenty minutes it took for me to drink my pint: it just sat, dense, foreboding.
The beer is a piercing orange with a whopping citrus hop aroma, bringing pineapple, grapefruit, cane sugar and wet carpet in equal measures. It’s a phenomenal aroma pushing into barley-wine territory: rich, rich, rich. It wafted across the table, it swirled through the air, it thickened the very atmosphere of the place. Gooood.
A haze is definitely present. The beer is not clear at all – my glass was ice cold, so it could be chill haze, but is more likely from wheat in the grist given the Belgian designation. A super bitter punch of hops still manages to sit under a sickly cordial sweetness – there are a lot of residual sugars, nothing dry about it. Hints of orange peel but so so so small you wouldn’t notice if not looking.
This is a punishing IPA perfect for winter’s eve. I got nothing interesting from the supposedly Belgian yeast, and it could be a touch drier, but it’s a damn fine drop and comparatively cheap to boot.
I drank a pint of this draught beer at Carwyn Cellars, Thornbury.