Long-time beer drinker Ross Lewis puts some of Australia's favourite drops to the test.
The proliferation of craft beers has added a new dimension to one of the country’s favourite pastimes.
Sipping an ale, lager, kolsch or stout isn’t just about quenching thirst. Taste has to now generate an experience. The 4 Pines Pale Ale does as such, even if the maker’s name gives a hint of what to expect even before the dark amber liquid hits the tongue.
4 Pines Brewery is based in Manly, Sydney. It wasn’t a stretch to find a moniker for the manufacturer as the Norfolk Pines that dot the suburb are almost as iconic as its beaches.
But the element of pine isn’t restricted to the badge on the bottle label. After noticing the almost ruby colour of the pale ale the first thing that strikes the taster is the hint of pine. There is also a sense of orange in the citrus on the palate that so often defines Australia beers of this variety. And it has also a sting of bitterness in the finish.
There is also a good flavour from the Munich and crystal malts used in the brewing.
A good drop for a hot day, maybe one when the drinker is dreaming of a leisurely hot afternoon on a beach reminiscent of Manly.
THE SIP SNIP
4 Pines Pale Ale
Brewer: 4 Pines Brewing Company – Manly, Sydney
Style: American Pale Ale
Alcohol content: 5.1%
Standard drinks: 1.3
Hops: Cascade, Amarillo, Citra
Estimated calories: 153
Awards: Australian International Beer Awards – Silver
The Sip Tip (rating): Straight to the man cave
Average prices: $67/carton. $18/six-pack. $4.10/bottle