Three years ago my wife and I went up to the Hunter Valley and paid a visit to the Hunter Beer Company. This was back in the day before I was a beer obsessive who crapped on about it in his own blog, so I didn’t take notes about any of the beers I drank then.
But I had a very distinct memory of buying a few bottles and then, when we got home, remembering my brother’s birthday was coming up. So I gave him one of the champagne bottle sized beers I’d brought back with me. I could remember being quite disappointed that I had to give this beer away, but I could never remember which beer it was.
Until we went back to the Hunter Beer Company on a recent family holiday and I tried a taster of the pale ale while on a brewery tour. As soon as I raised it to my lips and got the oh-so-delicious whiff of orange citrus and tropical fruit aromas, I remembered – this was the beer I came back for.
The Hunter Pale Ale is a fine, fine beer in my book. After that lovely fruity aroma, the flavours of orange and citrus come through with a backbone of grapefruit-like bitterness. It’s a fantastic hop-forward beer – there are some claimed toffee malt characters, which I didn’t pick up at all. Not that I care, why would I when a beer is this awesome? And it is very awesome – it’s definitely on my favourite beers list.
I made sure I bought two bottles this time – and there’s no way I’m giving either of them away. I’m going to be greedy and drink them all myself.