Long-time beer drinker and The Sip editor Ross Lewis puts some of Australia's top drops to the test.
White Rabbit’s position in the Australian craft beer market can spark debate that can rage for months.
The brewer wants to be known as a little operation in Healesville while being owned by one of the big two beer operations, Lion. White Rabbit could be excused for having a foot trapped in both camps.
However, drinkers need to take the Bunny Brew in perspective.
While being linked with one of the overlords of Australian beverages does give White Rabbit more exposure in pubs and shops, they aren’t producing the run-of-the-mill beers.
So if they can encourage punters to try a Dark Ale or a White Ale then more might have their palates tickled and be keen to try other varieties, especially those from micro-operations.
White Rabbit can also give the boutique beer lover the opportunity to have some taste on their glass when they walk into a contracted tap set-up.
That is certainly the case with the brewer’s latest offering, a Belgian style Pale Ale.
The beer is a classic blend of two styles. There is the unmistakable yeast element synonymous with Belgian Whites but it has the bitterness and citrus aroma expected of a Pale Ale.
There is also a bit of toast early in the sip.
White Rabbit like to do things a bit differently despite the constrains of being in the Lion empire and head brewer Jeremy Halse said it took a lot of mix and matching before getting the Pale Ale to their liking.
“Here at White Rabbit we are interested in creating flavoursome and balanced beers and our Belgian style Pale Ale is no different – it’s a labour of love,” Halse said.
“For our newest release we’ve used a classic Belgian yeast strain to give the beer and air of mystery while producing a beautiful balance of delicate fruit esters and subtle spicy notes.
“We’ve also used truckloads of aromatic hop flowers in our hop-back giving our ale some of that “new world” character and complexity we all love.”
So just because of its association it would be wrong for beer snobs to turn up their nose at the White Rabbit Pale Ale.
It has its place on the good taste register.
The Sip Snip
Brewer: White Rabbit, Victoria
Style: Belgian style Pale Ale
Alcohol content: 4.9%
Standard drinks: 1.3
Estimated calories: 135 (approx)
The Sip Tip (rating): Always keep one in the fridge.