The long awaited Ashes series just kicked off in Australia. It gave me a timely idea to look at some of the best craft beers hailing from each of the regions that are hosting the 5 test matches this year. Cricket and craft beer – is there a better combo for a fan of both?
Brisbane (Queensland) – 3 Bolt Pale Ale
Brewed by Green Beacon Brewing Company in Brisbane, 3 Bolt Pale Ale is an American styled Ale that packs in an ABV of 4.5%. It’s got the sweetness of malt with underlying flavours of passionfruit and mango, much like the sweet batting paradise at the Gabba in Brisbane.
Sydney (New South Wales) – James Squire Hop Thief No.8
Going by its name, the Sydney cricket ground at the Ashes this year should be filled with hop lovers. The Hop Thief No. 8 is, but naturally, a hoppy beer and is for beer enthusiasts who like their drink bittersweet. Brewed by Malt Shovel Brewery in Sydney, it’s got a citrus-y, pine and floral flavour, and packs in an ABV of 5%.
Perth (Western Australia): Murray’s Brewing Wild Thing Imperial Stout
With an ABV of 10%, this one is fittingly titled and is absolute gold for beer lovers who like their brews strong. It’s almost pure black in colour, has an intense flavour of dark chocolate, and has tinges of coffee as well to go with its predominantly bitter taste. Ask batsmen what they feel about the intense, bouncy pitches at the WACA in Perth, and their experiences will strike uncanny similarities with this beer that hits the deck hard.
Melbourne (Victoria): Mountain Goat Barrel Breed Barley Wine
My personal favourite on this list, brewed by one of Melbourne’s oldest microbreweries coincides with my favourite cricket ground in Australia, the breath-taking Melbourne Cricket Ground. Matured in whiskey barrels, there is a distinct ‘whisky-ness’ to this beer, if I may call it that, which just makes it sound like an absolute winner. At 11.3% ABV, this one is also the strongest beer on this list.
Adelaide (South Australia): Coopers Sparkling Ale
Brewed by Coopers Brewery in South Australia, this one clocks in an ABV of 5.8%. With a negligible hop aroma and mild malty-ness, this one is one of Australia’s rare sparkling beers, just like the sparkling Adelaide Oval in South Australia.