Beer review — North Coast Brewing and Heather Ale

North Coast Brewing Pranqster Belgian Style Golden Ale 355ml $8.90
This delicious, deep-golden Californian ale, weighing in at a solid 7.6 per cent alcohol, comes from Fort Bragg, California. The makers say it’s brewed using “a mixed culture of antique yeast strains”. The aroma’s fruity, with a caramel-like malt background ¬ – these come through, too, on a round, well balanced, fresh, clean palate.

Heather Ale Ebulum Elderberry Black Ale 330ml $6.90
The label says Welsh druids introduced this beer style to Scotland in the ninth century. It’s a potent (6.5 per cent alcohol) brew, including malted barley, elderberry and roasted oaks among the ingredients. Black as tar, still lively a month from its use-by date, with generous roasted-grain flavours, it’s a unique winter warmer.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2011
First published 3 August 2011 in The Canberra Times