Yep, you’re looking at a thong stuck to a beer tap.
Why? Well, why the heck not?! It marks Colonial Brewing’s new Australian India Pale Ale “Gazza”.
English IPA: English hops, malt & yeast giving a moderately strong pale ale. Less hop and more malt flavours than American IPAs
American IPA: US hops, malt & yeast giving big hoppy and bitter beer.
Source: 2004 BJCP Style Guidelines
We are all pretty well versed in the English and American IPAs, officially recognised BJCP styles, but what is the profile of an Australian IPA? That’s probably a good start to a debate but let’s take a look at Gazza.
Gazza is made with all Australian malts and hops resulting in one very smooth Aussie. A background of fresh stone fruit with layers of toast, melon and grass with a borderline creamy finish. Tasty as hell with a cheeky and unexpected 6.3% ABV.
For Colonial brewer Paul Wyman Gazza is a great mix of an English and an American IPA,
Gazza’s Malts: Pale, wheat, Munich, crystal, dark crystal & a bit of choc
Gazza’s Hops: Cluster, Helga, Summer, Galaxy, Vic Secret
“That’s what I wanted because Australia clearly colonised from the English but now getting lots of influence from the American IPAs”
But the most important element about Gazza is that it showcases the high quality malts and hops we are lucky enough to have growing in Australia.
“Not everything is all about crazy beers from America & Europe. When it comes to IPAs fresh is best so drink local”
The drink local, drink fresh approach to hoppy beers is being echoed more and more. I’ve always known this, fresh is best when it comes to hops, but the burden of the beer nerd is over excitement when spotting beers from infamous US craft breweries like Stone, Rogue or Deschutes. You fill your arms with as many as you can carry, take your imports home, open, pour and enjoy. Then you sit down with something local like Gazza or perhaps Feral Hop Hog or Bootleg Speakeasy and that whack of fresh hops taste better than any American hop giant ever could after a journey over the oceans.
Gazza, you’re bloody beautiful and I’ll finish with the write up from the brewers at Colonial themselves …
Sitting smack back in the middle between a deep copper sunset and Ayers rock in colour, Gazza couldn’t look more Australian. The brew stands up with a fistful of Australian hop aroma, full of floral and grassy punch over background notes of melon and pineapple. The nose is backed up with a hearty malt palate showing sweet, nutty and toffee characteristics. The bitterness is mouth coating, just like any good IPA should be, and it lingers on the mid palate which is crisp and dry. All in All, the beer is a lovely balance of malt sweetness and Australian hops, best enjoyed in thongs!