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Is there an "true" beer geek beer in Oz?

Discussion in 'Australia & New Zealand' started by aussieoverlord, Nov 23, 2012.

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  1. aussieoverlord

    aussieoverlord Initiate (0) Oct 22, 2012 Australia

    Simple question and discussion.
    Or is it really Wig and Pen RIS and maybe Red Oak Baltic Porter?
  2. spicelab

    spicelab Defender (672) Nov 6, 2009 Australia
    Beer Trader

    This one's easy.

    Crown Ambassador Reserve Lager :grinning:
  3. scmorgan

    scmorgan Initiate (0) Apr 5, 2005 Australia

    Miller Chill I thought ...
  4. sirob

    sirob Initiate (140) May 30, 2007 Australia

    Clout stout
  5. MrKennedy

    MrKennedy Champion (894) Dec 29, 2006 Australia
    Beer Trader

    I think there needs to be a buzz around the release and no bottled beer has that yet out here.

    Murray's Anniversary Ale takes 6-9 months to sell 1,000 bottles. Wild Thing has been on sale for around 3 months and still hasn't sold out. Clout Stout sits around for months with the $70ish price tag.

    In NSW anyway, all the Mountain Goat Rare Breeds sit around for months. The Little Creatures Single Batch beers aren't flying off the shelf either.

    We don't have an equivalent of Dark Lord Day or the Pliny the Younger release, or anything resembling Darkness Day or a Hair of the Dog dock release.

    Closest we have for tap releases would be Wig & Pen Russian Imperial Stout, where people make the trek to one or one of a very few select places to drink a beer upon release.
  6. danieelol

    danieelol Savant (956) Jun 15, 2010 Australia

    No. We do not yet have the critical mass which requires both brewing prowess/passion and public interest to produce a widely-coveted whale.
  7. Lukie

    Lukie Initiate (0) Jun 16, 2007 Australia

    Lukie's gueuze.
  8. danieelol

    danieelol Savant (956) Jun 15, 2010 Australia

    Where can I purchase this coveted sour?
  9. hawthorne00

    hawthorne00 Initiate (133) Nov 23, 2010 Australia

    How is this a simple question? What's a "beer geek"? I mean, really. Presumably it's somewhere between someone who likes beer and is keen to try new (and possibly expensive) ones and a poseur whose choices are showy and mainly about a presumptively vacuous claim to superior taste. And what's a "true" beer geek beer as opposed to a true beer geek beer or a true "beer geek" beer? One that appeals particularly to enthusiasts, or one that appeals only to them and is rejected by persons of supposed lesser taste? Or something really strong that you can sit around with a little coven and talk about how wow, people just wouldn't get this? Or something simple and easy-going that I like that has a subtle quality that well, I've understood for years but the current moar!-o-files couldn't appreciate because they only heard of good beer from America (snerk!)?

    Or is it just something expensive or with a slogan about how it's not for bogans?

    So maybe Billabong 4 Hop Ale is my pick.
  10. Lukie

    Lukie Initiate (0) Jun 16, 2007 Australia

    So exclusive that no one can have it!
  11. brendanos

    brendanos Initiate (0) Oct 29, 2005 Australia

    You had me until "Billabong"!
    Lukie likes this.
  12. dgilks

    dgilks Initiate (0) Jul 14, 2008 Australia

    I think you are right that we don't have one yet. Even the Wig & Pen RIS is around for 5 weeks at the pub so it isn't a really quick seller.

    The other difference here is pricing. Most beers that have the potential to create significant buzz and become sought after are either priced very high to try and take advantage of the market (Clout Stout and Murray's Anniversary Ale) or are produced in such volume that they won't become limited (Wild Thing).

    If an Australian brewery wanted to generate buzz in the way that Three Floyds or Russian River does the answer is to produce very limited quantities and sell them at a standard retail price. Dark Lord is $15 and Pliny is cheap too. Massive runs and overpricing is what is killing the buzz on Australian beers.
  13. sinkas

    sinkas Aspirant (203) Jul 9, 2008 Australia
    Beer Trader

    Hey Brendanos I shit you not, the billabong kristal wheat that won best of show at the PRBS, was really bloody good,
    I was as shocked as you would have been...
  14. hopswiller

    hopswiller Initiate (0) Jul 17, 2011 Australia

    My father in law brews here and the quality of the beers in his fridge never dissapoints as far as you brew it beers go, I did hear that they sourced the yeast from weihenstephaner for the wheat beers too.
  15. foles

    foles Initiate (0) Jan 28, 2007 Australia

    The best beers are not bottled (in Aust). Feral for example has a few. I dont mind that - you'll never have a stale example. And you have to seek them out or make a special visit for them.

    Without knowing much about it, I suspect the bottling and distribution sector may be a bit weak & expensive in Australia. I know in Germany there are dedicated bottling plants that the smaller breweries pay to bottle their beer. This is the case around Franconia (you'll notice all the breweries have the same types of bottles).

    Back to the original question - we don't have the market to generate that sort of buzz. By releasing these beers - we are just trying to mimic the US, and profiteering by not selling them at standard price. The US brewers release these beers for fun and as a reward to their fans - not for profit. That concept got lost in translation. Along the same lines as the Sticke Alt in Dusseldorf - a reward to their customers for their patronage. Concentrate on growing a craft sector first, and then the real meaning of things will become clearer.
    spicelab likes this.
  16. dgilks

    dgilks Initiate (0) Jul 14, 2008 Australia

  17. hawthorne00

    hawthorne00 Initiate (133) Nov 23, 2010 Australia

    I will be leaving carrots out for Santa's reindeer, but I'm struggling to buy that theory.
  18. goodbyesoberday

    goodbyesoberday Initiate (0) May 12, 2005 Australia

    I know it's trotting out the same sad old nag (she ain't dead yet), but the problem here with comparing the US market to ours is excise. We pay a lot more than they do.

    And there's the geographical issues, smaller & less established market, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

    To address the original question, though, I'm going to be a little bit cheeky and wax on for a bit:

    Firstly, part of what defines a true geek beer is that nobody else is allowed to have heard of it. If you've heard of it, your mates have heard of it, and it's been blogged about on the internet, then clearly it is already sufficiently passé to lose some serious geek points.

    Second, factor in the aforementioned points about selling out quickly, generating hype, angry beer nerds missing out, etc.

    Also throw in the bits about not selling for a high price and throwing in some serious beery love into the making.

    That leaves me to suggest as true beer geek beers, the single-barrel fermentations coming out of White Rabbit. Now this may violate posting guidelines in terms of self-promotion, but dammit that only makes it geekier.

    They are batches that are gone within weeks of production (since it's only a single barrel), they have a lot of extra work and love infused within them (since they're made at the same time as full regular production) and they sell or are served quietly alongside other beers at the cellar door, festivals, beer dinners, etc.

    First beer from the barrel was the Wormbird, a Belgian stout served at Fed Square, the Dining Hall and the brewery. All that's left of that is a brewer's reserve corny keg that has just now fully hit its straps, when there's only a few litres left.

    Second is a hoppy tripel called la Brigid (strong and golden, like my wife), one keg served very young at the Albion in Newy just the other night with the rest of the kegs maturing before being released in the next few weeks.

    Third is a soured blueberry white ale currently fermenting in the barrel and tasting pretty damned crackerjack for a fruit beer.

    On the cards after that will be a saison, then a black saison.

    I'd call that true beer geek beer. Made with love, tears and unpaid overtime.
    brendanos likes this.
  19. heygeebee

    heygeebee Poo-Bah (1,557) Aug 6, 2010 Australia

    interesting to see this thread evolve....

    my first thought was indeed Clout Stout and maybe something like Beelzebubs Jewels - already covered.
    my second thought was that 'all geek beers are xxx-y dollar-wise already covered.

    so, a few extra thoughts are
    the collabs, they always seem in short supply. I was dead chuffed to get a Black Harvest Bridge Road/Mikkeller bottle.
    its also difficult to get some of the MG limited stuff. Black IPAs are seemingly on the outer and don;t make it to Vintage Cellars or such.
    also, Little Creatures Limited runs - really go quickly if the ABV is above about 7%

    I think Aus brewers could do well to follow SN and release something similar to Beer Camp boxes. Reasonable price, go quick. Try new stuff out.....
  20. heygeebee

    heygeebee Poo-Bah (1,557) Aug 6, 2010 Australia

    one further separate Q

    how often do Redoak release their Baltic Porter?
  21. MrKennedy

    MrKennedy Champion (894) Dec 29, 2006 Australia
    Beer Trader

    Not sure, i asked them 5 months ago about a/their Russian Imperial Stout and got crickets.
  22. scmorgan

    scmorgan Initiate (0) Apr 5, 2005 Australia

    Seems i have been usurped .... my IPA rocks out the door ... i'll claim the title myself ... ;p
  23. dgilks

    dgilks Initiate (0) Jul 14, 2008 Australia

    Yes, excise is an issue but it is still only $5 on a 750ml bottle of 10% beer. So Dark Lord is now $20 instead of $15. It isn't the killer that makes $60 bottles of beer.
  24. goodbyesoberday

    goodbyesoberday Initiate (0) May 12, 2005 Australia

    "Only" $5?? Bloody hell.

    But I do understand what you are saying. I think there is an element of trying to manufacture a price point for these special high ABV beers, much like trying to emulate the premium wine market. I think it's always a bad idea to compare beer to wine.

    I think there is also an element of trying to make a profit in a very tough market segment.
  25. mulder1010

    mulder1010 Meyvn (1,019) Aug 29, 2008 Australia

    Beer geek is the experience and the journey. not that Melbourne and Perth would get that.
    it is sharing opinions with friends and good road trips. Once again do you in Melbourne have cars??
    The best beer geek bar is in Canberra.
    It is about the journey, not the destination. More about opening your mind to other beers and styles. Not just low, high ABV beers, hoppy beers or sour beers. it is developing a palate for all of them and being able to have fun with others while doing that.
    I could go on but will seriously flame out. How good is your scene without others too explore your palate? If you are in Melbourne or perth you do have Mountain Goat or Feral so what does it matter anyway? Keep your heads in the sand. No need to explore.

  26. CarlisleWineBin

    CarlisleWineBin Initiate (0) Jul 8, 2008 Australia

    Perth needs more hipsters and a lot less cars before it gets lumped in with Melbourne! All we are is FIFO's drinking a lot of Cantillon!!!!

    Seriously, for a state that has a lot going against it - distance, low population and no CBD - there are plenty of geeks around ( I do not class myself as one). Then again, Camberra has the same issues I'm guessing..

    But I am digressing from the thread..... Clout Stout would be my choice, if any but still balk at 'geek'.
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