Long-time beer drinker Ross Lewis puts some of Australia's top drops to the test.
A new trend at Nail Brewing is to produce beer in honour of something or someone.
So founder and brewmaster John Stallwood has planned to release a new brew around every six weeks.
A hiccup with packaging forced him to compromise on his original Brown Ale release but it worked out for the best because the craft beer consumer got to try two outstanding drops.
Originally the Brown Ale was to recognise the contribution of Hugh Dunn, who is the brewing guru at ECU in Joondalup and who has helped Stallwood considerably in his endeavours.
The result is a great honour for the mentor because the Dunn Brown Ale is a great addition to the Nail stable. The colour is unmistakable and the aroma has a rich woody touch. But there is wonderful smorgasbord on the nose with chocolate biscuit, earthy malts, toffee and fruit.
It has a wonderful taste that tickles the tongue yet still has hop undertone and lingering caramel finish.
The turbo-charged Imperial Hughe Dunn Brown is even better but comes in a limited release of 700 bottles in 750ml size. In fact the labelling refers to Hug(h)e which is an apt description. And this is a great beverage to share.
There is a great waft of burnt sugars, nuts and yeast and a wonderfully thick head that is almost a meal in itself.
It provides a creamy sensation on the palate with a shot of chocolate in the finish.
If this is the result of what Stallwood learned from Dunn then he was very well tutored.
The Imperial Hughe Dunn Brown is one of the best beers of the year.
The Sip Snip
Dunn Brown Ale and Hughe Dunn Brown
Brewer: Nail Brewery, Perth
Style: English Brown Ale and Imperial Brown Ale
Alcohol content: 4.7% and 8%
Standard drinks: 1.3 and 4.5
Bottles: 330ml and 750ml
The Sip Tip (rating): Dunn Brown Ale – A treat. Hughe Dunn Brown – Gold medal material
Average prices: $5/bottle and $29/bottle