bottle shop

Worshipping at the Temple

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L to R: A bicycle and a Bicycle Beer. But you’re smart enough to have worked that out for yourself.

Sometimes I can come up with pretty dumb reasons not to try a beer.
For the longest time I’d put off trying anything from Temple Brewing. Why? Because I saw their labels – which appeared to be shiny in the photos I’d seen. And because they appeared to be shiny, I put them in the ‘‘Oh God, they’re trying to look like a premium lager’’ category.
Like I said, dumb.
I eventually did buy one of their beers during a stopover in the Blue Mountains to visit Leura Cellars. I picked up a Bicycle Beer, most likely because I thought it was a lame name and most likely to confirm my dumb preconceptions. Hell, it even had salt as an ingredient, which made me think of those odious Miller Chill things.
I obviously didn’t expect it to amount to much because I didn’t bother to take any notes on it.
That was a mistake on my part. See, I tend not to be able to remember in detail what a beer tastes like, so my memory banks operate on the ‘‘tick or a cross’’ system. That is, a beer I like gets a tick, a beer I don’t gets a cross.
So the Bicycle Beer got a bloody great big tick. With a circle around it. And underlined. Because it was really goddamn awesome. Though I can’t remember what it tasted like, I do remember going ‘‘Wow!’’.
I also remember thinking I’d never get to try it again because Leura was too far away and no bottlo near my place would ever stock it.
Of course I was wrong on that score too. I walked into Thirroul Cellars on Saturday afternoon and what did I spy in the beer fridge? Well, a six-pack of Bicycle Beer, derr.
The beer features no fewer than seven hops (Magnum, Simcoe, Sorachi Ace, Citra, Centennial, Amarillo and Crystal, if you’re some sort of hop trainspotter and care deeply about such things) and salt ‘‘sourced from an ancient sea bed in the Grampians’’ (as opposed to the shelf at Woolies).
Aside from those monumentally stupid Miller Chill things, I can’t think of any beer that uses salt. So I’d figured that would make Bicycle Beer taste awful.
But it didn’t. In fact it made for a very pleasing counterpoint to the delicate fruit flavours in the beer. My only complaint is that I wish it was slightly less carbonated – but that’s a minor issue.
It’s certainly going to be one of my go-to beers this summer.
Would I drink it again?: Yep, sure would. That’s why I bought myself a six-pack.

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