Home' Bars and Clubs : BAC MarchApril 2015 Contents GLASSWARE
Many brewpubs and bars will serve their pale ales in a shaker pint glass
because they are cheap, sturdy and easy to stack. However, to better
enjoy the beer, you should opt for a British-style pint glass -- also known
as a Nonic. Bulging near the rim, the Nonic pint allows for a larger, longer-
lasting head and keeps more of the volatile hop aromas in the glass for your
Try these eight local pale ales:
1. Coopers Pale Ale -- the beer that defines the Australian pale ale style
2. Nail Ale -- multi-award-winning Australian pale ale
3. Lord Nelson Three Sheets -- produced at the iconic Sydney brewery
4. Little Creatures Pale Ale -- the classic that started Australia's love affair
with American pales
5. Eagle Bay Pale Ale -- a maltier, balanced American pale ale
6. Mash Pale -- a lighter bodied American pale, very hoppy and aromatic
7. Bridge Road Beechworth Ale -- a 'new world' pale brewed using American and NZ hops
8. James Squire Hop Thief 7 -- a fresh, earthy, malty American-style pale ale using Galaxy and
Mosaic hops. The hop blend changes from batch to batch.
Natural conditioning, or bottle fermenting,
is a centuries old technique that sees the
beers undergo secondary fermentation after
the beer has been bottled or kegged. While
only a handful of breweries in the world
still have the skill to do it properly at scale,
natural conditioning actually extends the
beer's shelf life, helps to enhance its flavour
and eliminates the need for preservatives
or additives. It also consumes any residual
sugars and oxygen, naturally carbonating
the beer and increasing its alcohol content
slightly. Coopers is one such brewery
championing this process with all its ales and
stouts undergoing bottle fermentation.
TRADITION YOU CAN TASTE
Yeast doesn't just produce alcohol and carbon
dioxide during fermentation. There are plenty
of other by-products that contribute to a
beer's flavour profile. These by-products
include compounds called esters, which
produce distinct aromas.
One of the most important jobs a brewer
has is to monitor the health of their yeast.
If you keep the yeast happy and healthy, it
makes magic happen during fermentation.
Did you know? Coopers has been
cultivating its yeast for 150 years. Successive
generations of Coopers have been collecting
yeast from their most exceptional brews
and handing it down from one generation to
another. The resulting yeast is literally a living
tradition you can taste every time you enjoy a
Coopers ale or stout.
LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL
Having done its job, the yeast falls to
the bottom of the bottle or keg as a fine
sediment. When that happens you know the
beer is ready to be enjoyed.
To have the complete Coopers experience,
people are encouraged to roll their bottle
before opening it. This helps move
the sediment through the beer,
enhancing its flavour and giving it
that signature, cloudy appearance.
Did you know? Coopers' ales
and stouts have a 'best after'
rather than a 'best before'
date? This is because the beer
is not ready to be enjoyed
until the bottle fermentation
process is complete and the
fine sediment is sitting at the
bottom of the bottle or keg.
Hence the need for a 'best
more prominent fruity esters. Both beers undergo
secondary fermentation in the package, with many
drinkers opting to roll the bottle to re-suspend
the yeast for a cloudy appearance. While Coopers
Sparkling Ale was one of the first beers made by
Thomas Cooper and has been produced since 1862,
Original Pale Ale has only existed in its current guise
since 1990. Prior to this there was a Light Dinner Ale
produced from 1961 to 1981, which was based on an
earlier beer, Light Ale, that was sold from 1895 to
1939, just before WWII. Today, Coopers Original Pale
Ale is by far the brewery's top-selling beer, making
up about 52.6 per cent of Coopers' beer sales.
While some might argue that Australian pale
ale and sparkling ale are different styles, the BJCP
treats them as one and the same and uses the name
Australian sparkling ale. The style is described as
being deep yellow to light amber in colour with
noticeable effervescence due to high carbonation
and brilliant clarity if decanted, but it is typically
poured with yeast producing a cloudy appearance.
The aroma is soft and clean with a balanced mix of
esters, hops, malt and yeast -- all moderate to low
in intensity. Malt flavours are grainy to bready, hop
flavour is somewhat earthy and possibly herbal,
resinous, peppery or iron-like. Esters often include
apples, pears and sometimes banana.
In today's IPA and hop dominated craft beer
scene, Australian pale ales are sometimes seen by
drinkers as being under-hopped.
"I find it frustrating when beer drinkers say (Nail
Ale) isn't hoppy enough," says John Stallwood,
brewer and owner of Nail Brewing. "It's not meant
to be hoppy -- too many drinkers misinterpret it with
its hoppier American cousin -- Australian pale ales
are fruity and not hoppy."
Stallwood should know; his Nail Ale has won
three gold medals at the Australian International
Beer Awards, more than any other beer of its style.
"The key is to get the fruitiness and bitterness
right," says Stallwood. "Like brewing any other beer,
the harder you work, the more you concentrate on it
(the better it gets) and drinking lots of it helps!"
A 'NEW WORLD' FOR PALE ALES
Recently, a number of beers have emerged which
don't fit neatly into any particular style. The rise of
'new world' hop varieties from Australia and New
Zealand has blurred the lines and created a sub-
style: new world pale ale.
Popular examples include Stone & Wood Pacific
Ale and Bridge Road Beechworth Ale. The latter
is is brewed by Ben Kraus, owner of Bridge Road
"We've always described Beechworth Ale as our
flagship brew, as it's a beer that showcases hops
and getting the balance just right," says Kraus. "The
challenge always comes from the hops. We blend
up to six different hop varieties in Beechworth Ale
in order to get the hop flavour profile we're after.
All it takes is for one of these varieties to run out of
stock, or for new seasonal variations to appear and
we're back to the drawing board." b&c
This article first appeared in Beer & Brewer.
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