beer review

What gives, White Rabbit?

There’s something to be said for sticking to what you’re good at and not being swayed by trying to follow trends. Not doing something just because everyone else is.

White Rabbit is a case in point.wpid-IMG_20140808_125638.jpg

For yonks the brewery has just had two beers in their stable (warren?) – the White Ale and the Dark Ale. They didn’t pissfart around – they did exactly what it says on the box. And they served as great entry-level beers – I’ve had the Dark Ale on tap a few times since and, damn, it’s still a fine beer.

These beers weren’t complicated. They were simple but put together very well – and that sort of thing is really under-rated in the beer world a lot of the time. See, in the world of good beer, it’s the weird stuff that gets the attention, that cuts across all the noise. So brewers will chuck in artichokes, sunflower seeds, building rubble or anything else likely to make geeks go ‘‘they made a beer with chunks of brick in it? I’ve got to try that’’.

Or they cram as many hops as they can into a beer so that your taste buds don’t work for the next three days.

With their latest beer – the Belgian style pale ale – I feel White Rabbit has tried to join the Weirdo Races rather than playing it straight. Because their third member of the family is, well, a bit of a mess. It doesn’t commit to being Belgian or a pale ale; in fact it’s as though it’s feeling totally confused about what it’s supposed to be.  The result is a jarring combination of Belgian characters and pale ale characters that never meld together.

I’d have preferred if they made a straightforward pale. Or a straightforward Belgian ale. Because this Belgian pale is very much the black sheep of the White Rabbit family.

I’ll still drink their Dark Ale, but I’ll give this a miss.

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6 replies »

  1. Totally agree. I can’t understand the reason for it. Although it might serve as an entry level Belgian for some.

    If this is still on the shelves in eighteen months time I’ll be very surprised.

  2. especially perplexing given their older brother being so renowned for their pale ale, you’d think they would stick to some different styles…

    I’ve never been a particularly big fan of their beers and I suspect this is not going to change it. That said I’ll give it a go as it’s more in line with my general style preferences.

  3. I know for a fact White Rabbit is going to be “down- sizing”. Their Healesville branch is closing at the start of the new year and being completely moved to Geelong. Bit sad really, was my local…

  4. Does anyone know if the White Rabbit Dark Ale has changed recently? Just bought a bunch the other day, labels have changed, alcohol strength has gone down from 5.2% to 4.9%, also to me has a different taste (not as good imo). To be honest I’m am dissappointed, this has been my favourite beer for a long time.

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