Exams are over and you can hear cries of “Road Trip” all around Australia right now. In the coming weeks, the country’s youth will put down their pens, shut their laptops, and pick up the bare minimum in food supplies, maybe(?) some beer, grab a tent and a couple of mates and head off for a summer of fun and frivolity!
I remember my first road trip, over 20 years ago when I was in college. There was a group of about 20 of us who packed up our mid 70’s card adorned with P Plates and headed up the East Coast for a few days of getting away from it all. There were the usual teenage antics that went on…too much drinking, drunken behaviour, drunken hook-ups and many hangovers that were soothed with very dodgy camp fire food.
If I remember correctly, in three days I was able to fall in love with a girl on the trip, had my heart broken by that same girl and saved another heartbroken girl form the night time surf who had the same experience with one of my mates! The food was crap and covered in sand, spent the entire time hungover, chased mates for petrol money that didn’t eventuate, got bitten by mosquitoes, threw up in the front seat of my 1976 Corolla (Hello Ladies!!) and declared the trip to be the “best ever”…ahh good times!
In hindsight, that is an example of a pretty ordinary road trip…I have had better but also seen worse in the 2000 movie starring Tom Green, and I have also “drunk” plenty of great ones. I am of course referring to the Holgate Road Trip American Pale Ale, one of my favourite Aussie Craft beers. After planning out a California Road Trip to take in all of the great craft breweries in my post last week, I thought I would stay on topic and throw this great beer in there, even though it is not new to the market.
I really like the beers that Holgate brew, especially Temptress which would have been a great beer to use in Chocolate pairings this week. What I don’t understand is why they aren’t as part of the conversation around “great craft breweries” on the Australian landscape? I mean, they have been around as long as, or longer than, many of the current “Hot” breweries like Stone & Wood, Feral, Mountain Goat etc…but I feel (and I could be wrong) that they are kind of an afterthought in the conversation. It’s kind of like:
“Oh yeah, I love this beer and that beer form this cool brewery, or that cool brewery, blah, blah, blah…oh and yeah, that Holgate brewery do some pretty good stuff too…I love their Temptress”.
I don’t understand it, they had 4 beers in the Hottest 100 Craft Beers last year, and they were awarded a bunch of medals in the 2015 AIBA awards, walking away with the Best Porter trophy for Temptress. They have runs on the board, so let’s start including them in the conversation more when discussing the best craft breweries in Australia!
Back to the beer…The Road Trip American Pale Ale. This beer is exactly what you would expect from an American Pale ale…a very inviting thick white head on top of a slightly hazy burnt orange liquid that emits all kinds of piney and citrus characteristics on the nose…a really nice and intense hit to the senses, I find.
Down the hatch and you experience a nicely balanced beer with a solid malt/caramel backbone and more of those piney and citrus flavours that are finished off with a refreshing bitterness. This is an absolutely sensational beer, which is the reason why on this rare occasion during this tasting session I was able to go back for more of them…cos I have a case of it in my fridge!
If you haven’t tried the Holgate range of beers, I encourage you to do so, they really are great.
Cheers to great (and sometimes underrated) beers!