A few weeks ago, I singled out Temple Brewing in Melbourne as one of the best breweries in the country.
They liked what I wrote so much that, a few days later, a box of Temple beers landed on my desk at work. Yes, I might have implied in that original post that it would be nice if, one day, I received a package from Temple, but I didn’t expect that to happen so quickly. Or at all.
But it did and I’m chuffed. For two reasons.
1) It’s a box of beer. Who doesn’t like getting a box of beer in the mail?
2) It contained a four-pack of the new Scarlet Sour beer.
That was a particular surprise as I wasn’t entirely sure it came in bottles. I thought it might have been a tap-only deal. But no.
And now I have four of those bottles – well, two. I’ve already drunk half of them. And why not? They’re a nice, nice drink for the warmer weather we’ve been having lately. But not for everyone, sour beers are a bit of an acquired taste – my wife didn’t much like the sourness, which is fine because it means I get all of them to myself (though a little surprising, because, as far as sour beers go, this is a bit on the ‘‘easygoing’’ end of the spectrum, instead of the lip-puckering numbers at the other end).
The beer pours a pale crimson colour, which made me think of diluted beetroot juice (because I recently had a beetroot berliner weisse from the Wig and Pen that was the same colour). There are some soft berry fruit aromas but no hibiscus flower, which is one of the ingredients here. But, hey, I have no clue what hibiscus flowers smell like in beer, so maybe they are there.
The flavour is sour – well, derrrrr – but not at all unpalatable. Think sour like cranberries and you’re in the ball park. Also think, ‘‘refreshing on a hot day’’. And think go ‘‘buy some’’.
Also in the Temple box was their Extra Special Bitter – another of their beers I hadn’t tried. To be honest, I didn’t much care for it when I had the first bottle. But I figured that had to be an aberration because I really like all their other beers, so I tried another bottle last night and found it more to my liking.
What was the difference? Well that first bottle had come out of the fridge too cold, which seemed to accentuate the caramel/butterscotch flavours and push everything else to the background. In effect, it made the beer unbalanced.
But serving it slightly warmer last night made quite a bit of difference. The out-of-kilter flavours all slipped back into their rightful positions and keeping Temple’s perfect record with me alive and kicking.
Would I drink it again?: It’s a yes to both. So it’s good that I have a few more of each in the Temple box.