With all the panic surrounding the current pandemic we are living in it’s easy to let stress and anxiety consume you but don’t forget that beer is still here to comfort you in these sleepless nights. Just getting through the door before all the other events got locked down was Wish You Were Beer at the Tower Hotel in Magill. A small and quaint event held on a perfectly sunny day in the Tower’s serene outdoor space. A perfect way to separate yourself from the hysteria everywhere and settle down with a good beer.
Being a smaller event, 12 stalls were on display, showcasing growing staples and newcomers alike to the beer scene. It only went for about 5ish hours but that’s plenty of time to try every beer there. This is what stuck out as AFC highlights.
Session ale has been causing a storm in the brewing scene for about the last 12 months with every man and his dog looking to show off their new easy drinking brew. Well nothing comes easier than Feral Brewing’s Sly Fox Session ale. Smooth, light yet still containing enough of a punch to remind you it’s a beer. There were a lot of producers looking to promote their ‘easy’ drinking beer but there was nothing there easier than this.
Next on the ticket is Goodieson Brewery based in McLaren Vale. With plenty of experience in different aspects of the beer industry and in the pristine location of McLaren Vale, Goodieson have the tools and expertise to produce a swathe of different brews. From IPAs to Pilsners to Indian Red Ale and Brown Ales, Goodieson’s love of all thing’s beer have them producing to their heart’s content. Two that caught our eye were the Lemon Pale and the Mango NEIPA. Generally, when you drink a beer infused with an out of the ordinary flavour you can maybe taste a hint of the introduced ingredient if that. Goodieson’s have much more than just a hint in their Lemon and Mango beers. Both have a distinct flavour of either Lemon or Mango that turn these beers into different experiences. Leaning towards the Lemon Pale more as the citrus twist gives it a lighter more refreshing flavour while the Mango NEIPA is still a pleasant surprise. Another beer to take a crack at an intriguing flavour was Brooklyn Brewery with their Bel Air Sour. This was another easy drinking deer which is distinctively sour but not enough to be overpowering and while still tasting like a beer.
It wasn’t only beer that was on display at Wish You Were Beer. Barossa Cider Co were available to showcase a handful of ciders. Most Cloudy Ciders err on the side of being a tad too dry but Barossa Cider Co’s Squashed Cloudy Cider has that perfect balance of sweetness as well as the Apple to Pear ratio where one fruit doesn’t overpower the other. Not too tart and ideally sweet, this is a perfect lazy day cider. Also steering off the beer road was Quincy with their Sparkling Alcoholic Seltzer. This stuff is dangerous. At 4% ALC/VOL it’s a bit on the light side but it is so easy to drink that stopping could become an issue. Coming in both Lime and Passionfruit flavours it’s most akin to Sparkling or Tonic water. You can have it by itself or you can use it a as mixer to make your drinks even more alcoholic.
So now it’s time to make a defining statement. AFC’s Beer of the Festival. Big Shed have established themselves as the innovator of creative and delicious brews. From their F’Yeah American Pale Ale to their Golden Stout Time Dessert Stout (which smells like a Golden Gaytime) are no strangers with finding success with new recipes. So, it’s no surprise that their award winning New England IPA, Boozy Fruit, is another hit. The perfect blend of a hoppy craft beer taste which is still as smooth as any summer ale. Boozy Fruit leaves an impression on the taste buds with a fruity twist while maintaining the body of a good IPA. 5 stars.
So, if there’s anything you should be panic buying at this junction it should be beer. Not only will the selection in this article be supporting local business in SA but it’s also a good way to forget your troubles.
Words by Jonathon Tonkin