Long-time beer drinker and The Sip editor Ross Lewis puts some of Australia's top drops to the test.
Two worlds collided recently at WA’s biggest brewery.
And the result was a metaphoric transportation to the western side of the United States.
Gage Road might produce a lot of beers for outside brewers but they took a new step by opening their vats to an amateur – and that is meant in the kindest possible way. Indeed, it is credit to his art.
Jeremy Sambrooks has plenty of credentials, as well as a raft of medals, as a beer maker. He just prefers to manufacture at home. Yet he produces some outstanding beverages on the small scale.
So getting the chance to work with the team at Gage Roads and turn his homebrew into a commercial product was a mammoth leap.
However, the result – the Rapid Fire IPA – proves that if you know what you are doing it doesn’t matter the size of the operation.
The unusual collaboration was an outstanding success and the Ale is a sensationally piney and citrus-edged drink well worthy of the American style.
The only issue is Rapid Fire was a limited batch although there are some a few samples floating around the country and Mane Liquor in Belmont have a healthy supply. It is well worth the effort to track down a few bottles. The palate will be the winner.
Drinkers can’t miss the hoppiness – there are four (Centennial, Amarillo, Simcoe and Columbus) – and there is fair bit of resin in the taste.
You can also detect a bit of peach and orange if you concentrate hard enough and it has a high bitterness rating. But it isn’t unpleasant by any means.
This beer doesn’t lack anything and craft beer consumers can only hope that some more of Sambrooks’ other recipes get picked up by the larger brewers.
The Sip Snip
Rapid Fire IPA
Brewer: Gage Roads and Jeremy Sambrooks
Style: American India Pale Ale
Alcohol content: 6.3%
Standard drinks: 3.2
Bottles: 640ml bottle
Estimated calories: 189
The Sip Tip (rating): Worthy of a special occasion
Average prices: $9 (640ml bottle) at Mane Liquor in Belmont.