Prepare for mega beer

Flat sales spur consolidation Spurred by flat beer sales in major markets, the world’s biggest brewer, Belgium’s Anheuser-Busch InBev, confirmed in mid-September it would make a bid for the second biggest brewer (and owner of Foster’s since 2011), Britain’s SABMiller. “The combined firm would earn roughly half the industry’s profits and sell one in every […]

Wine review – Freeman, Long Rail Gully, Vasse Felix, Yering Station and Ulithorne

Freeman Nebbiolo 2013 Freeman Altura vineyard, Hilltops, NSW $35 Nebbiolo, the great red variety of Barolo and Barbaresco, Piedmont, provides more disappointments than triumphs. All too often intractable tannins swamp any initial pleasure in the soaring aroma and fruit sweetness. However, in Brian Freeman’s nebbiolo from Young, NSW, deep fruit flavours – reminiscent of dark, […]

Sydney brewer honours Albo

Albo bender Like so many craft brewers, the blokes behind Tempe’s Willie the Boatman Brewery, rose from the ranks of home brewing. They named the brewery after William Kerr, a boatman and local character of the 1830s, as a statement, they say, of the strong community spirit they believe in. Their beers, too, carry the […]

Wine review – Grosset, Yarrh, McKellar Ridge, Tselepos, Windowrie and Hay Shed Hill

Grosset Polish Hill Riesling 2015 Grosset Polish Hill vineyard, Clare Valley, South Australia $55 Geoffrey Grosset’s thirty-fifth Polish Hill riesling harvest arrived early. The vintage, “Was mild and early. Starting February 8th following a very mild December and even cooler than average January, vintage was not only the most compressed, but also the earliest in […]

Strange tales of ale

New beer book For an eclectic look at the world of beer over two millennia, grab a copy of Strange Tales of Ale by British beer author, historian and blogger, Martyn Cornell. Cornell’s new book kicks off with the tragic tale of London’s great beer flood of 1814. He writes, “A huge vat filled with […]

Tempranillo from six top Aussie winemakers

Mayford Tempranillo 2014 Mayford vineyard, Porepunkah, Alpine Valleys, Victoria $38 Though planted throughout Australia and used by about 340 winemakers, Spain’s tempranillo remains a niche variety. Our vignerons harvest just four to five thousand tonnes of it annually, depending on vintage conditions – about one tenth the volume of pinot noir, or one hundredth of […]