My visit to Australia has produced many more preservative-free beers than ever before, and I have never had such a great trip down under, as a result.  It is so much easier to enjoy the sun and surf when I know that I am not going to have a hangover.

In addition, I must say that having my son with us for the first time, now 8 months old, makes it all the more special.

Ironically, the first beer I had down under was actually this Steinlager from New Zealand.  As it turns out, they actually seem to know their beer. Much like in Canada we have a stronger brewing culture than in the US (although they have far more selection I must say), I suspect that New Zealand may have much better beer than Australia.  I can see from this one beer that they get it, they just get it!!!

I judge, yes I do, based on this one New Zealand Beer.  Since Australia is only starting to get on to the preservative-free bandwagon (preservatives must mean profits in a hot climate…). This one beer has single-handedly won the ANZ beer gold medal!!!

This clean crisp lager is an absolute beauty!! I loved every sip, and felt strong, confident, and dare I say, Canadian, with its 5% strength!!

The head was beautiful, and it had a gorgeous clean and crisp taste. I would question its ability to make it to North America in drinkable condition (think skunky Stella, Heineken and Corona), in its green bottles, but while down Under, feel free to sample this gem.

4.5/5  G1&2

[xrr rating=4.5/5]

Granville Island Limited Edition Chocolate Porter

Granville Island Brewing can pretty much do no wrong in my books. They consistently make the best beers and deliver a lot of it to a lot of people.

When they made this beer a limited edition, I think they knew deep down that it just wasn’t appropriate to keep as a permanent beer, but it is a nicely crafted novelty.

The actual porter is quite smooth, with just a hint of bitter Rogers chocolate added.


[xrr rating=4/5]


Propeller Brewing Company Extra Special Bitter

Well I am trying something new today from Propeller brewing in Halifax Nova Scotia.  Propeller Bitter has a nice off-white head and a lovely brown colour.  The aroma is moderately intense a little bit citrus and bitter.  The mouthfeel is very dry and bitter.

This bitter is a new style of beef for me, so I am not quite sure what to make of it.  I have only tried VB (Victoria Bitter) from Australia (blech!) and well, that’s it.  It seems that this style of beer doesn’t really occur around here very often.

I think it certainly has its place.  The flavour is very full, dry and refreshing.  There are some underlying pale-ale type caramelly flavours, but they are overpowered.

This beer also left lovely foam rings on my glass, and it has a nice full body, and overall the drink is quite satisfying.

What I don’t like is the aftertaste.  At the end of each sip there is a nice bitter taste, but then a lingering aftertaste that brings this drink’s score down a notch or two.

Some people might be turned off by the name, because it is called “bitter.”  I think it is still worth a try.   The name (by definition..) is just semantics.  For example, most people would prefer a dry wine over a sweet one, and I would sort of describe the taste of this beer as having a very “dry” taste.

[xrr rating=3.25/5]