Wollongong beer alert!


There are a few new beers that have cropped up in Wollongong this week. Well, one of them is new, one is a few months old and the other is more than a year old.

So lets work backwards here – the last two are from Tim Thomas at HopDog. The really old one is Black Sunshine, an oatmeal stout that, if memory serves me correctly, was one of the four original beers that Tim brewed when first opened about two years ago. I also think the beer took a back seat not long afterwards and this is the first time it’s been back.

The one a few months old is American Werewolf in Belgium. A Belgian IPA he made for GABS in May, it’s been available in kegs for a while but has just made it into bottles.

The new beer comes from Shaun and Asher at the Illawarra Brewing Company – it’s their own version of an oatmeal stout. In the traditional English style it features roast barley and crystal and chocolate malt and of course, oatmeal.

What do they taste like? Well, I’ll give you the caveat that I’m quite a fan of Tim’s Belgian work so the American Werewolf was a beer I loved (and chose to drink to get my IPA Day badge on Untappd). This one was made with Belgian yeast and Motueka and Citra hops. For me, it tasted more dry, tart and spicy than I recall from the sample I had at GABS (I actually drank that sample while sitting across from Tim himself. I’m so in with the brewing crowd). Not that the dryness and spiciness is  a problem – I quite liked it. It’s just different is all.

I only tried one of the two oatmeal stouts last night – the one from the Illawarra Brewing Company. It’s a pretty thick number, with strong flavours of roast coffee, liquorice and – I swear – a slight hint of Vegemite. There is also the expected silkiness due to the oatmeal and, if you concentrate real hard, you can taste it too. I had this beer via growler and Shaun tells me it’s sensational under nitro. So I’ll be heading down to the brewery this weekend to have some on tap.

It's your shout

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