Long-time beer drinker and The Sip editor Ross Lewis puts some of Australia's top drops to the test.
There is nothing like the chill to bring out the cool people.
4 Pines in Manly have been producing some hip brews for a while and their latest instalment in the Keller Door series is a homage to those dudes and dudettes who like to take it easy in winter.
Indeed, the 4 Pines crew believe their Imperial India Brown Ale is right to be consumed “as we lay provocatively on out bear skin rug, roasting chestnuts”.
It could even be ripe for those who like to sit beside the fire in a smoking jacket consuming one of Cuba’s finest cigars.
While the earlier release in the Keller Door range, Amber Mosaic, was very much hop-driven, the new brew is sensationally malty.
There is a strong, nutty flavour to the beer, that is after you stop enjoying the resin early in the sniff of the aroma.
About midway through a sense of caramel comes through before a slightly tangy finish.
But overall there is a great balance which makes the Imperial India Brown Ale “so smooth it should be a Morgan Freeman monologue”.
You have to be careful with the drop. At 8 per cent and in 500ml bottles this 4 Pines beauty can make you a little uncool if handled irresponsibly.
However, being a key part of the in-crowd means you know how to handle your consumption.
As the 4 Pines team says, “dust off your Al Green records and enjoy”.
The Sip Snip
Imperial India Brown Ale
Brewer: 4 Pines, Manly
Style: Imperial India Brown Ale
Alcohol content: 8.0%
Standard drinks: 1.3
Estimated calories: 240 (approx)
The Sip Tip (rating): Straight to the pool room