1) When you buy a growler, the brewery usually puts a tag around the neck. On that tag is written the name of the beer and the alcohol content. This is, as I understand it, a licencing requirement. Generally it doesn’t really help all that much because you were the one who bought the beer so you should know what it’s called. When it does help is when you buy a high-alcohol beer, because it gives a very strong reminder that it’s a beer that can knock you on your arse if you drink the whole damn growler.
2) That’s very important when you buy a beer from the Illawarra Brewing Company. In my experience they’ve got a great track record of making big beers that don’t taste like big beers. Usually a high-alcohol beer leaves some evidence on the palate in terms of an alcohol burn; the beer’s way of saying “easy big fella”.
3) Not with the IBC beers; some of them have been very deftly balanced that you figure brewers must be telling porkies when they claim it’s 8 or 9 per cent. I’ve heard of people buying growlers and waking up on the lounge room floor because they drank the whole thing, not realising how potent it was.
4) That, again, is a risk with the Southern Brewers collab between the IBC and Shark Island. Called We Lost an Eye, it’s a double IPA that finishes at 9.5 per cent. But I’ll be buggered if it tastes that strong. There’s only the very merest hint of an alcohol burn but overall it’s an absurdly well-balanced beer. They’ve chucked a lot of malt at it, and then a lot of hops to pair u[ nicely with that malt. There’s a lot of sticky, sweet hop action on the palate followed by sweet malt characters too.
5) Turns out this beer could have been even more dangerous. The name of the beer is a reference to the fact they were aiming to make a Triple IPA – or a IIIPA. Instead, it finished a bit low in alcohol for that and became a double IPA – an IIPA. So they lost an “I” – or an eye. Geddit? Man, I love a clever beer name.
Free or paid for?: I got a free squealer from the brewery but later went to a bottle shop and bought a bottle of it so I could take a photo of it for this post.
Categories: Beer of the Week
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