As the days shorten and the temperatures drop, deeper, richer tones are favoured over brighter, crisper, finishes. Fruitiness via a generous helping of hops is still part of the equation but those big bursts of tropicana seen in Pacific or summer ales make way for a somewhat smoother mouth feel and more subtle finish.
We move from lagers and American pale ales into the land of IPA varieties and darker ales, with enhanced maltiness and a more muted top end the order of the day. With this comes a higher ABV, due to the heavier-roasted barley malt present, and lower bitterness.
Let’s take a look at some of the best craft beer Australia has to offer for that time when summer’s fizz has faded and winter’s ways are yet to begin.
The umbrella category India Pale Ale (IPA) covers a broad spectrum of flavours; when it comes to cooler weather beers, there are many options for lovers of bold hops. Seasonal approaches to brewing tend to dictate the direction breweries take when it comes to cooler weather offerings.
Cooler weather IPAs such as a New England IPA (NEIPA) tend to have a smoother, softer mouthfeel in comparison to their fairweather cousins. That’s due to the addition of malts, different wheats and varying techniques when it comes to the timing of hop addition and treatment. Try these great beers.
A whopping six types of hops are employed in Running With Thieves’ creamy New England IPA. Double dry hopped, this hazy brew gives you big citrus tones with a silken finish.
Western Australian brewery Innate Brewers have quickly established a cult following for their flavoursome offerings. Seasonal offering The Juice brings a big game, with stone fruit and citrus tones plus a smooth mouth feel.
A higher ABV than might be typical for a West Coast IPA, the addition of malt to an all-American hop cast creates a depth of flavour that is both robust but surprisingly sessionable.
A hop lineup of Ahtanum, Enigma, Galaxy, El Dorado, Simcoe and Citra make this jungle hazy, a little crazy and oh-so-drinkable. An excellent example of a Hazy IPA.
Malt makes all the difference between an American IPA and its rosier cousin, the Red IPA. Both colour and flavour are adapted as a result of a malt injection, which adds a smooth, caramel undertone to the brassiness of the hops. Start with these picks.
A double red IPA, this brew will leave you joyfully perplexed: ‘How can an IPA this deep and caressing have such a correct top note?’ An ABV of 8% belies the relatively gentle approach taken by the mountain dudes until you hit the malty bassline and it starts to dance. A great place to start on your autumn beer drinking journey.
Giddy up! Highly decorated and unique in its colour and flavour, the malty, creamy goodness of Prancing Pony’s India Red Ale is irresistible for the cooler months. And while the Adelaide Hills region is historically known for its wine production, this little prancer is a mighty fine export from down south.
They say that the cooler months call for extra vitamin C and Yulli’s delivers. Instead of boosting your immune system however, the citrus notes from added mandarin make for a deeper, more complex flavour.
The black sheep of the family… But not only black, really. Dark lagers vary in colour, from amber to black, and have their roots in German brewing. Also known as Schwarzbier or amber lager, this variety of dark beer is the most sessionable. Here’s one to try now
Brewed in the German Schwarzbier tradition, this dark lager from WA boasts a complex, eight-malt profile. You’ll not only get the expected chocolate and roasted coffee notes, but citrus and spearmint, too.
You like toffee? Good. And chocolate? Even better. They’re two of the biggest, boldest flavours to be found in a good dark ale. Typically lower in alcohol than stouts and with broader flavour profiles, dark ales (also known as old ales) are from a time when there was less show but plenty of go. Dark ales make the most of malt to develop a rich tapestry of flavour, which also lends itself well to accompanying hearty autumn and winter dishes.
Grab some of Bodriggy’s Blinker Dark Ale if you’re planning a Sunday roast and want the whole box and dice. A dry, clean, finish on top of a satisfying, malt-inspired, caramel and chocolate bassline makes this dark ale a prime target for cooler months.
Arguably the best-known and most loved of the dark beers, stout has its origins in the winter breweries of Ireland and England. Originally brewed as a ‘stout’ porter, their higher alcohol and more roast-heavy tones were able to ward against the hard elements of winter. Making the most of oats, malt and barley in their brewing, there are a number of styles of stout, usually according to which unique flavour is added to the fermentation.
White Lies brilliantly pushes the boundaries of flavour profiles and the quirky Queenslanders have again delivered in the dark arts. Their Maple Espresso Imperial Stout stands at a stout 8% ABV but boasts subtlety in the form of a gentle maple hit and delicious espresso-driven dark roast notes.
Products featured are available from 06/03/23 to 11/04/23, while stocks last. Some products or varieties featured may not be available in all stores.