BEER: Gage Roads Sleeping Giant IPA, 5.4%
I blame Little Creatures. And James Squire. Oh and Matilda Bay for that matter. All of these ‘super boutique’ breweries have enjoyed unparalleled success over the last decade, their success driven by the desires of a population tired of the shitty muck that gets passed off as Australian lager, with all of these operations now spawning a generation of wannabes.
The problem is that these copycats (think this brewery – Gage Roads – and Bluetongue for prime examples) are still hollow imitators, the quality and intentions of the brews just failing to quite match the standards set by the trailblazers, even if they offer a significant step up on the swill that is mainstream ‘premium’ beers (Crown Lager anyone?).
Which brings us quite neatly to this beer. From all appearances it looks like it should be a goodun’, with the packaging, colour and even lively alcohol level (5.4%) suggesting that this is more than a token attempt at a proper IPA. But from first whiff it all just falls short, the nose heavy with caramel malt, the palate following with a rich and dull glob of malt, the whole package just a little too broad and lacking in freshness for real satisfaction.