Tag Archives: wheat

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.

Case Swap: Can’t Hardly Wheat

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.

Today’s tasting comes courtesy of Luke Richards and Sara Bennett. They have designated their beer the “Can’t Hardly Wheat” and it is identified as an American pale wheat beer with pilsner, wheat and a touch of light crystal malts. It was dry hopped with Mosaic, Lemondrop and Centennial and fermented with Wyeast 1010 for an OG 1045.

This wheat beer pours a sort of manky, mudwater brown – not at all clear – with a robust snow white head. Its aroma is hop-inspired and contains strands of peach, rockmelon and paw paw. The faintest hint of DMS could be there; but to my nose its a great combination.

An immensely quaffable rush of muffin malt, stocky resin-like bitterness and melon hop flavour coat the tongue on drinking. This is a sensory overload that is pleasing to work through. Slightly more bitter than your average wheat beer, this merry take on the style is bursting with juicy new world hop flavour and feels to be balanced more like a pale ale.

I have had a few hoppy wheats over the years and this one may take the cake. The mouthfeel is neutral with a slightly dry finish that is heightened by the resin-like, almost burnt bitterness. This is a sensational beer and I was lucky to be able to try it! Well done guys!

Case Swap: Skittlebrau

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 beer is named the Skittlebrau – and you guessed it, the mystery ingredient is Skittles. I don’t really like Skittles. I do however love wheat bear, and that’s what this is. The label reads “A classic hefeweizen with the addition of Skittles throughout the boil and straight into the fermenter. OG 1060.”

The beer is a golden straw, not quite krystal territory, but not perfect gold either. It had a rushing, urgent carbonation and a nice centimetre of head that retained like Donald Trump (read: well). Liquid was nearly translucent but a bit of chill haze hung around and the bubble streams contributed to its high opacity. An aroma of banana first, clove second and sugary bubblegum third wafted from the glass.

This is definitely a classic Hefeweizen, but with a delicious creaminess. The head rests on the upper lip like silk. The malt is very forward with a rearguard action of zingy sugar-citrus; a little bit like Skittles. Hop flavour is nonexistent and mouthfeel is medium. The wheat yeast presents a very round phenolic package for this combination of flavours.

This is a nice beer, but although I never thought I’d say it … this wheat beer is a bit too sweet and malty for me! The citrusy background feels like it should cut across the malt, but it doesn’t, instead it lends a slightly artificial fruit note – just like a deliciously fresh beer brewed with mass-produced, lolly-flavour Skittles! I don’t know how many of these I could drink in a session …

Southern Tier 2xIPA

I was in Pittsburgh with some mates earlier this year. We rented a house and had a pretty good time – drank too much, ate too much, plenty of cards, music and ten-pin bowling. On the first night there were only two of us, and having driven right across Pennsylvania all the way from Worcester, MA earlier that day we were pretty wrecked. We needed beers.

Cruising around what appeared to be the “cemetery district” of Pittsburgh in my rented SUV we found ourselves at a rough-looking tavern with utes (trucks) parked all around. It was a hectic place from an Australian’s perspective: there were at least twenty flat-screen televisions mounted about the walls and a large, rowdy crowd was dotted about the venue in hockey uniforms watching an important game. It wasn’t going well for the Pittsburgh fans.

A huge square bar sat front and centre with skimpy bartenders serving in all four directions. And would you believe it: tonight was 25% off craft beers! That didn’t stop 99% of the patrons from continuing to drink Bud Light of course.

We sat at the bar, I had the “Pittsburgh Sandwich” (a normal sandwich with fries in it) and hit the beers. I went for something big, the Southern Tier Double IPA.

Southern Tier produces its beverages out of Lakewood, New York and have wide distribution in-country, though I’ve never seen their beers outside of the U.S. The company was founded by two brewers in 2002 and originally focused on Mild and India Pale Ales as well as Pilsners. They expanded in 2009, 2010 and 2013.

The 2xIPA is a steady 8.2% beer brewed with some wheat malt and a complex hop/grain bill. It looks a bright, shiny straw and transmits fresh resin and pine to the nose. There’s citrus in there too, but not a full fruit salad like many American and Australian IPAs. Carbonation average.


Featuring a light touch for an IPA, the beer goes down smooth with a thin mouthfeel given its flavour punch of doughnut sweetness. Not too bitter, this IPA is big and dry but light. It’s ridiculously easy drinking for the alcohol content.

I’d recommend it to any IPA drinker – if you don’t know the ABV beforehand, you’ll think it’s only 5-6%. A bit tricky in that regard.

I drank this beer on draught at Shenanigan’s in Pittsburgh, PA.