This past week-and-a-bit there’s been a lot of buzz about the latest Hottest 100 results – by which I mean the Local Taphouse’s Hottest 100 craft beers, not the Triple J hottest100. Although I guess it’s generated a little buzz as well. Anyway…as always I voted for my favorite beers, and I’m happy to say they did decently well – even if my number 1 beer came in at 82 (Come on people!!!!)
But I’m not here to talk about those results. Instead I’m going to examine an email from Dan Murphy’s the other day advising me of yet ANOTHER booze related hottest 100…their hottest 100 products of 2013.
I can hear you yelling at your computer now…”they’re the big guys, they’re the enemy!!”…they also happen to be one of the easiest ways for me to get my hands on decent beer. And the beer selection has been getting remarkably better at Dan’s in recent months, especially regarding local craft brands. So I was keen to see how many of these had made the hottest 100 list for 2013…
There’s six beers on the list. Six – three from Australia, three from overseas. Ok, we’ve obviously got some work to do. Here’s the lucky few that made the cut:
Feral Hop Hog IPA
Lucky this made the list. It also took out first place in the Local Taphouse’s Hottest 100 of 2013. And of 2012…so I guess it really doesn’t need any more recognition, but it does deserve it. There’s nothing I can say here that hasn’t already been said here (by me).
I would’ve voted for: This and every other Feral beer that Dan’s stocks…which is quite a handy collection these days.
The Australian Brewery ‘The Pilsner’
I like the Australian Brewery, especially the fact that they sell their beer in energy drink style cans. And I’m a big fan of their pale ale (called “The Pale Ale”) to the point that it was my choice for Australia Day this year. “The Pilsner” as the name suggests, is their pilsner. The aroma manages to reach me while I’m taking the customary Instagtram shot – sweet and citrusy. There’s a certain Sauv-Blanc character in the taste, something a little tart that finishes kinda creamy. A hint of peppery bitterness rounds things out. If you’re chasing a old world pilsner that has more of a new world hop charcter (which I often am) then you’d do well to grab yourself one of these.
I would’ve voted for: The Pilsner is fine, but I would’ve gone for The Pale Ale. There’s a special place in my heart for this beer. It made me a wizard…
(It must be noted that the can I had, had a Best Before date of Oct 2013, so it was 3 months past it’s prime. That’s one of the pitfalls you have to remeber when buying craft beer at Dan’s – potential for low turnover of stock. Always check the dates…)
When I feel like something crisp and zesty, I often grab a 4-pack of this. Although it may be the blue label that cathches my attention the most. There’s some candy in the aroma, some honey in the malt, a dry finish with not a lot of bitterness. There’s nothing really bad about the beer, it’s just not that exciting. Unless you’re comparing it to other Aussie lagers, in which case it virtually shoots fireworks out of your glass.
I would’ve voted for: The Vale IPA…because I like IPA
Moa ’99 Not Out’ SKW Pale Ale
This beer hails from NZ, and is a collaboration between Moa and ex-Aussie cricketer Shane Warne. I have no idea how this made the list – I can only assume that Warnie flogging it during his stints in the Ashes commentary box over the summer has generated enough excitement to score some drunken votes, possibly via text. Beer Is Your Friend sums up the oddities of this beer quite well in his post. As for the flavor – There’s an odd bitterness. Light flavours, slightly grassy, citrusy, spicy – a beligian wheat effort, with cloves and all that, sweet malt, a dash of apricot. But yeah…a really odd bitterness. It reminds me of ear wax. Not pleasant at all, and certainly not top 100 quality.
I would’ve voted for: Any other Moa beer that Dan’s stocks.
Karl Strauss Pintail Pale Ale
This one hails from San Diego, California. When I first saw this at Dan’s, I assumed that this was a new “cheap and nasty” import that often found their way into the Dan’s fridges.
Oh, how wrong I was.
Smells – amazing. Tastes – amazing. Ok, some specifics – pineapple, light resin, biscuit caramel,persume sweetness, some lime!…this beer is West Coast as! Time for a trip to San Diego (seriously, watch this space)
I would’ve voted for: Oh I would’ve voted for this beer. And their Tower 10 IPA as well. I wouldn’t vote for their Red Trolley red ale, but that’s because it’s more of a malty beast that’s not my thing. If you’re a malt fan, then you’d probably love it.
This Belgian beauty is also a beer from the epic list! So I’ll do a proper drinking notes on it, and put a link to that review riiight here…
So why are there only these 6 beers on the list, Well, this list is based on the 5 star ratings that customers are able to give products on the Dan’s website. I can only assume that beer drinkers either don;t use the website to order beer, or just couldn’t be arsed giving their opinion. Since this is a time when Dan’s is starting to get some pretty good beer on its shelves, it’s also time that we see a lot more good beer on the list for 2014. So I’m going to take up the challenge, and give beer a voice by rating and reviewing all beer I purchase from Dan’s. Lets see how many great AUSSIE CRAFT BEERS we can get onto the list for 2014!