Are you ready for sauvignon beer?

Grape and grain have been mixed before – for example in Saltram Pepperjack Ale, where Barossa shiraz juice provides a sugar boost for the fermentation. But it came as a complete surprise in March when BentSpoke brewer Richard Watkins and Wily Trout winemaker Will Bruce fomented the idea of combining hops with sauvignon blanc. Watkins was to provide […]

Cider review – Bridge Road

Bridge Road Strong Scrumpy Cider (Beechworth, Victoria) 330ml $3.85 Sweet, bland, ciders dominate the popular market, but Ben Kraus gives us the real flavour of apples grown in the hills near Beechworth. He ferments the fresh-crushed juice with an English scrumpy yeast to delivery a 7.8 per-cent alcohol of suprising delicacy and purity, with a […]

Coopers releases 2016 vintage ale

In 1998, at the dawning of the craft beer boom, Adelaide-based Coopers launched its first strong vintage ale – a potent beer built for medium-term cellaring. It remained an on-again, off-again project for a few years, but since 2006 Coopers have produced the beer annually, with minor variations to the style. The 2016 release combines […]

BentSpoke 18%-alcohol ale: brewer’s secret revealed

BentSpoke Brewery’s Cluster 18 tastes as rich, warm. and harmonious as it looks, despite having an alcohol content of 18%. We visited the Braddon, Canberra, brewpub on a cold winter morning,  savoured every drop of our 200ml glass (prudently, that’s the only size available) and quizzed brewer Richard Watkins. How does he achieve such high alcohol content in a natural […]

Wine review – Dal Zotto and Pizzini

Dal Zotto King Valley Rosato 2016 $17.35–$18 At Dal Zotto cellar door recently Christian and Michael Dal Zotto noted the rising popularity of rosé. Their Rosato 2016, a dry style made from barbera (with a splash of sangiovese), reflects the family’s specialisation in Italian varieties. The glowing pale pink colour evoked warm summer days, though […]