Last Wednesday, the Darlinghurst Ale Stars descended upon the Local Taphouse for the highly anticipated launch of the Ale Stars brews.
This was the first time that anyone in Sydney got a chance to taste the beer that the Sydney Ale Stars went up to Hunter Beer Co to brew (Black & Tannin), as well as the St Kilda offering (brewed at Mornington Peninsula Brewery), the BONZA IPA.
To start off the night, we invited Hunter Beer Head Brewer Keith Grice up to talk about one of his favourite beers; his own Hunter Bock. A beautiful bock, with rich caramel and toffee notes, this one was the perfect start to a very boozy evening. Keith talked us through the recipe, and how he's changed it recently, tweaking it to deliver the flavours that you'd expect from a bock.
We then moved onto a delicious Black Imperial Pilsner brewed by our very own 'Ale Stars Czar' Doc from Doctor's Orders Brewing. A beautifully balanced, yet very extreme beer, this found a really nice middle ground between getting dark flavours without being too thick or roasty, and being very hoppy without being aggressive.
We then sampled the competition, the BONZA IPA that the St Kilda Ale Stars brewed at Mornington. Named BONZA for its mix of Belgian yeast and Aussie, New Zealand and American hops, this one was very fruity and spicy, coming from both the Belgian yeast and the pacific hops.
Finally, we got to the moment we were all waiting for. The tension in the room was palpable as the final beer was brought out. The Black & Tannin, a huge, rich Baltic Porter aged in Hunter Valley Shiraz Barrels. Needless to say, the crowd loved this beer, enjoying its layers and complexities. The Ale Stars had wanted to make a big, bold, ambitious beer, and in that, they succeeded.
The interstate fight continues... say tuned.