Long-time beer drinker Ross Lewis puts some of Australia's top drops to the test.
The crew at Mountain Goat had a clear challenge.
What could they do with their most popular brew? The answer was to make it better.
The Melbourne-based team has gone back in time to produce a revolutionary product with their delicious Fancy Pants Amber Ale.
Mountain Goat looked at their Hightail Ale and wondered what it would be like if the beer was given a tweak or two.
They released the creative shackles and came up with Fancy Pants in 2012. At that point it was considered part of the brewer’s special range and came in 640ml bottles.
The beer was resurrected last month and now features in 375ml cans, still a contentious move in the industry.
However, owners Cam Hines and Dave Bonighton discovered the aluminium vessels can be a success because of the popularity of their Summer Ale in the slightly larger size last year.
And it is the can that could be playing tricks in the mind of the taster.
There isn’t a dull brown or green bottle with a bright label. The whole can catches demands attention and Fancy Pants’ colour in a particularly bright light somehow brought back memories of an orange soft drink. If there is a lack of concentration the “Fancy” can turn into “Fanta” in the taster’s blurry eyes.
And, it might be part of sub-conscious, but it is almost if there is a hint of the fizzy drink in the first taste of Fancy Pants.
It is probably the citrus element that creates such a view. There is a touch of kiwi fruit in the mix which helps deliver a sweet feel.
The beer pours with a respectable head and the Galaxy hops give the drop a strong fruity and piney smell.
The blend of ale and crystal malts also delight before leading off to a toffee sensation.
Fancy Pants comes in four-packs and would make a great addition to any Sunday session.
The Sip Snip
Brewer: Mountain Goat, Melbourne
Style: Amber Ale
Alcohol content: 5.2%
Standard drinks: 1.4
Bitterness: 35 IBU
Bottles: 375ml can
Estimated calories: 156
The Sip Tip (rating): Top shelf.
Average prices: $4 (bottle), $15 (four-pack), $70 (carton of 24).