Wollongong’s busy brewers

If I didn’t know better I’d think the guys at The Illawarra Brewing Company gave up brewing beer for FebFast.

Obviously they didn’t, but their output this month could look like they were making up for lost time or something. See, in March, brewers Ashur and Shaun have cranked out three new beers. This is on top of brewing their core range.

Three new beers in a month? That’s an impressive effort in my books. Earlier this month, they brewed a revised version of The Chuck Norris, a beer that was previously made in collaboration with Sydney’s Local Taphouse.

Around the same time they pushed out a coffee porter, changing their name to El Illawarra Brewing Compano especially for it. They went to a bit of effort – cold-pressing about eight litres of coffee which then went into the fermenters. So the coffee flavour get is real coffee and not coffee-like notes from the malt. If you like coffee, it’s the beer for you.

The latest beer the guys have made is a golden ale with an odd name – Voracious Herbaceous. It’s an odd name because, for me, the name implies that I’m going to get a huge whack of hops (for the geeks, there’s Mosaic, Centennial and Tomahawk hops in here). But I didn’t – I found it neither voracious or herbaceous. I did find it something else that also ends with that ‘‘shuush’’ sound – delicious.

This is quite a tasty golden ale, light enough (lighter than a 4.8 per cent beer should feel) to make it quite easy to drink. But also with pleasingly long, lingering bitterness. There’s also a lovely light fruit tropical fruit aroma from the Mosaic.

Aside from the name, the only other issue I have it that it wasn’t released during summer. This would have gone down an absolute treat – and sold gangbusters – on a warms summer’s afternoon. Which is why I wouldn’t be surprised to see it return next summer. Which would be a very good thing indeed.

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