Top beer judge calls for balanced beers

Highly flavoured brews need balance

If you thought the hoppy IPA you downed last night finished all hops and bitterness, you’re in good company.

Little Creature brewer and head judge of the Australian International Beer Awards, Warren Pawsey, has called for balance in beers – especially highly flavoured brews laced with hops, spice or smoke.

He was speaking at The Institute of Brewing and Distilling 2016 Convention, held 14–18 March in Sydney.

In brewsnews.com.au, James Atkins writes, “Pawsey said hopped beers such as India Pale Ales often lack malt sweetness on the finish giving the beer a thin body, which means hop flavour and bitterness dominate”.

Pawsey believes the beers “aren’t train wrecks but many of them could be tuned up to be a bit more balanced”. Pawsey’s solution to the problem, reports Atkins, is in “improving raw materials selection and brewhouse processes”.

Beer reviews

Guinness 1798 Limited Edition Double Extra Stout 750ml $49.90
Perhaps “limited edition” refers to its availabiliy in Australia only through Dan Murphy outlets. It’s a beefed up Dublin-brewed Guinness, black as ebony, with a warming nine per-cent alcohol content. Bitter–sweet malt, roasted-grain and dark-chocolate flavours easily take on the alcohol and hops, leaving a bitter chocolate aftertaste.

Castlemaine XXXX Gold 375ml stubby 6-pack $15
Full-strength VB and mid-strength XXXX Gold arm-wrestle for top spot among Australian beer drinkers. XXXX Gold impresses as it retains good beer flavours, bitterness and balance despite its 3.5 per cent alcohol content. It’s the antithesis of modern uber-hoppy styles, but it refreshes while delivering just one standard drink per stubby.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2016
First published 30 March 2016 in the Canberra Times

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