#temptingtuesday – October

It feels like low booze beers are difficult to come across in our beloved craft beer world in which demand for flavour continues to surpass higher and higher peaks. I think about low ABV (alcohol by volume) beers when I know I’ll have to drive but with more and more extremely tasty low booze beers available it’s time to remember they are no longer just for times of responsibility.

What the heck is #temptingtuesday I hear you say? (well, in my head you do). It’s combining my love affair with Twitter, the fun of chatting with great people and my eternal affection for beer. The mechanics are simple, just like its author, where on the first Tuesday of each month I ask the big wide Twitterverse a beer related question. I get inspired and blog the results.

Christmas decorations, wrapping paper and silly little trinkets have made their way into Coles and Woolworths supermarkets which means we must be in October.

October’s #temptingtuesday was …

What’s your favourite beer that’s under 4% abv?

“Small Beer” is a ye olde type of English beer, very low in booze and common until the 19th century. It was a beer for anyone regardless of age or class. It was also considered a good alternative to water since water quality could be very poor. Health advice has certainly changed …

This question was inspired by two things –

1) I recently discovered the wonderfulness that is Brewdog Dead Pony Club, a 3.8% California Pale Ale from Scotland.

2) Last week Margaret River’s Colonial Brewing introduced their recent limited release Small Ale into the permanent line up. The Small Ale is a reduced alcohol IPA clocking in at 3.5% abv.

I recently wrote a post about my new found love for Brewdog Dead Pony Club and the lower alcohol beers I’ve enjoyed so far but thanks to #temptingtuesday I’ve now got a long list to seek out!

Brewdog Dead Pony Club

Colonial’s Small Ale is now available at all good Colonial outlets and is, as Brewery Manager Richard Moroney describes it, “deliciously responsible”

Colonial's Small Ale

It feels like low booze beers are hard to come across in the craft beer world, a world in which demand for things to be “bigger” seems to grow. I think about low ABV (alcohol by volume) beers when I know I’ll have to drive but with more and more extremely tasty options available it’s time to remember they are no longer just for times of responsibility.

So, what were people’s favourite beers under 4% abv? Prepare to copy and paste these into your beer shopping lists folks!

Feral Brewing (WA) Watermelon Warhead

Cheeky Monkey (WA) Travelling Monk

Birbeck’s Brewing (SA) The Captain

Brewdog (SCOT) Dead Pony Club

Emerson’s (UK) Bookbinder

Mornington’s (VIC) Little Irish Red Ale

Murray’s (NSW) Punch & Judy’s Ale

The Monk (WA) Mild

Old Coast Road (WA) Bitter

Moor (UK) Revival

Colonial Brewing (WA) Small Ale

Redemption (UK) Trinity

And special mention to my friend Scott Bennett and his homebrew The Postman that cracked a mention or two!

girl + Dead Pony Club

My first thought when I poured the beer into a glass was “fat bubbles!” It’s full of fresh and crisp fruity hops with a dry bitter finish that practically dares you to take another sip. It’s also a mere 3.8% abv. Yippee! A tasty lower alcohol beer!

Brewdog Dead Pony Club

For those unfamiliar with the beer called Dead Pony Club from Scottish brewers Brewdog, the title of this post may seem a touch weird / creepy / a cry for help. For everyone else it’s just another blog post about a nice tasting beer.

So, Dead Pony Club – why the name? I honestly couldn’t say. I love a quirky website and punchy beer blurb but this made zero sense to me. Perhaps it’s because I don’t know anything about howitzers, internal combustion or mufflers. Heck, I don’t know anything about ponies either. My dad has two miniature horses which are definitely not ponies and that’s as far as my pony knowledge goes but I’m getting somewhat sidetracked. Why is this beer called Dead Pony Club? I don’t know. Does it taste good? Yes it does.

Something you can't do with bottles ...
Something you can’t do with bottles …

My first thought when I poured the beer into a glass was “fat bubbles!” It’s full of fresh and crisp fruity hops with a dry bitter finish that practically dares you to take another sip. This beer is all about the hops but not in an overbearing way. There’s piney, grapefruit and citrus notes and I got a little grassiness and biscuit flavours to boot.

It’s also a mere 3.8% abv. Yippee! A tasty lower alcohol beer!

For whatever reason the beers with big booze numbers get a fair bit of attention. Big booze is sometimes mistakenly equated with brilliance. The same can be said for high IBU and massively hopped beers. In reality, and I’m probably stating the obvious, it’s about balance over and above claiming the “biggest” something.

Dead Pony Club is well balanced and tasty with great fresh hop characters and is less than 5% abv, adding to it’s appeal. I can have a few of these and not worry about the booze factor too much or more accurately about the headache the next day. I’ve noticed that since turning thirty I don’t bounce back from boozy nights as brightly as I used to.

The problem is that great tasting, full flavoured lower alcohol beers are hard to come by. Recently my partner tried a booze free beer and when I asked how it tasted he replied “like sadness”.

Here are a few of my favourite low booze beers that don’t taste like sadness, regret or any other depressing flavours …

Little Creatures Rogers’

3.8% abv | Little Creatures Brewing | Fremantle (WA)

This is my go-to lower alcohol beer. Fun fact about this beer – the name is Rogers’ not Roger’s, as in it doesn’t belong to one guy named Roger but it belongs to two guys named Roger – namely Roger Bussell and Roger Bailey who designed the beer. I guess “fun fact” might depend on your definition of fun. Anyway, this malty, hoppy amber ale has long been a favourite of mine and has become pretty widely available.

Cheeky Monkey Travelling Monk

3.5% abv | Cheeky Monkey Brewery & Cidery | Margaret River (WA)

It pours a gorgeous deep amber colour, you gotta love a sexy appearance, and is a great balance of sweet malt and fresh hops. I get hints of marmalade and oranges too. Available at the brewery, in bottles and mini kegs.

P1040867
Mini Kegs from Cheeky Monkey

Eagle Bay Mild Ale

3.5% abv | Eagle Bay Brewing | Eagle Bay (WA)

Tropical fruits, a little citrus and good bitterness. Available at the brewery and in bottles.

P1060594
Eagle Bay Mild at Morrie’s Anytime, Margaret River