bottle shop

A pair of pales

Last year, the family had a weekend away way down the South Coast. One of the places we stopped at was Mogo. Needing a few bottles of refreshment, I visited the Mogo Village Cellars – and I weren’t expecting to find much. ‘‘It’s a bottle shop in a little country town,’’ I thought, ‘‘like it’s going to have much of anything good’’. But it did. And I certainly didn’t expect to find several beers I’d never seen before. I picked up a six-pack of one of them – Burleigh Brewing’s delicious 28 Pale Ale – and enjoyed it later at our lakeside cabin. More recently, I ordered a few bottles from Mogo – because they still had stuff no-one else did. In that order were two pale ales – neither of which I’ve spotted anywhere else on the coast. One of them was good, one not so good. The not-so-good one came from Badlands Brewery in Orange, which uses the tagline ‘‘dangerously drinkable’’. I’d have to disagree with that. This didn’t taste like any pale ale I’d had before – the flavour of the beer was slight apricot with a hint of mango. All-up it’s very flat and thin and not something I’ll ever drink again. The other pale is one I would most certainly drink again – if a bottle shop closer to the one in Mogo stocked it. That’s a pale from the Balmain Brewing Company. Where the Badlands pale looked ordinary in the glass (due to a thin colour and head), the one from Balmain comes with a nice frothy head and a light toffee colour. Just looking at the beer in the glass made you want to drink it. So drink it I did – not before giving it a big sniff and getting some lovely caramel aromas and a hint of toffee. The flavour is similar – there’s a wonderful creme caramel flavour, with touches of toffee before it’s undercut by a hops hit at the back. Jeez, it’s a nice beer.

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