I love the way Mountain Goat approach things, always with their own stamp and clearly with an immense amount of passion.
For those unfamiliar with the Mountain Goat story, Dave and Cam operate their microbrewery out of Richmond, Victoria and they named themselves after a big hairy animal that won’t fall over (as they say on their website). You gotta love that. Along with their core range of award winning beers including Hightail Ale and Steam Ale, they regularly produce limited releases in attractive 640ml bottles under the label ‘Rare Breed’ and collaboration brews called ‘Cross Breed’. The Critics’ Choice Australia’s Best Beers 2011 saw 7 entries from the Mountain Goat boys, more than half of those in the top 40.
The Black Pepperberry IPA represents another addition to the Cross Breed range with Mountain Goat teaming up with Danish Brewer, Mikkeller. Born from The Crafty Pint assisted The Gypsy & The Goat dinner held at Mountain Goat during the 20th anniversary Melbourne Food & Wine Festival this year, it was only natural that something would start brewing …
Our bottle was given to us as a gift from Jess & Scott at our dinner at The Pourhouse over the weekend (read about it here). Thanks Guys!
The brew uses local Pepperberries, sometimes referred to as Mountain Pepper, that carry a luscious sweet flavour before releasing a good amount of heat, much stronger than that of peppercorns. It pours with a beautiful black appearance and a rich coat of foam on top and just begs to be devoured! The bitterness is upfront and well balanced with mildly tropical fruity flavours and chocolatey malt. Oh and the 7.3% abv is well hidden. I loved how it developed as it warmed up, the effects of the pepperberries became more evident with each gulp, bringing more spice and pepper to the back of the tongue. It was just a shame we only had one bottle, I guess I’ll have to visit the bottleshop later today. It’s a tough life!
Be sure to spend a little time on Google Translate to read the label. I always enjoy reading the Rare Breed and Cross Breed labels and this one even has a little bit on the God of Thunder, Thor, to enjoy. For at dit helbred!
As for food matching, I cooked up some Char Sui-style Beef, deliberately selecting a sweeter sauce that may compliment the hop aromas and pepperberries. The sauce was properly sticky and the thickness stood up well to the medium bodied and full flavours of the beer. It wasn’t an altogether perfect match of course but when dinner was over it was time to finish off the last two chocolate muffins. It was a delightfully different match to the dark cocoa flavours and a great way to finish a meal.
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- Local Pepperberries from the Victoria High Country
- Dry Hopped with Galaxy, Citra and Cascade
- 3 different Roasted Malts