Friday drinks

Friday drinks – Redback Wheat Beer

Sometimes in the rush to make crazy beers that exists in the good beer scene, some members of the old school tend to get overlooked.Mat-Bay-Redback_bottle

The new breed of beers boast enough hops to choke a racehorse, six different sorts of malt and additions like sunflowers, gummi bears, durian fruit and bricks (okay, so maybe not bricks). The result is that many good beer freaks can decide that is the future of brewing and those beers that have been around for ages are dull and boring because they don’t have so many hops that they blow a small hole right through the top of your head.
Sure, I am exaggerating somewhat but there does seem to be a yearning in the good beer world to forever be tasting the latest and greatest while giving short shrift to those older beers that deserve much more respect.

And Redback from Matilda Bay is one of those beers. For starters, this beer was one of the true trailblazers in the area of good beer in Australia. These days, most new breweries have less of a fight to find drinkers because there are so many beer geeks eager to try something new. But when Redback came out back in the late 1980s, the Australian scene was awash with lagers. So a beer with flavour was very, very different and something not many of us were acclimatised to deal with.

I can remember drinking this while at uni in the late 1980s (back when the Redback label was actually embossed on the glass) and feeling so incredibly cultured because I was drinking this unusual-tasting beer. And it was unusual – if my beer knowledge is correct, this was the first-ever wheat beer brewed in Australia. As far as my taste buds were concerned, I’d never tasted anything like it.

These days, I’m still a fan of wheat beers – both hefe and otherwise – but have been remiss when it comes to Redback. I don’t think I’ve had one in years, being one of those beer geeks keen to always try the latest thing. But I did, and found it’s still a tasty beer. It might not have as much banana aroma and flavour as some other wheats and hefes, but it’s still quite a refreshing beer.

And – if you’re a beer geek – it’s a beer definitely worth revisiting.

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