Beer of the Week

Five Things About … Stone & Wood Forefathers 2016


1) Maybe I’m getting slack about reviewing beers. Maybe it’s gotten to the point where there are so many beers that it’s hard to keep up. But I really meant to get around to writing about this beer much earlier than now. The Forefathers series is an annual release from Stone & Wood, which is a bit of a big deal and it’s been out for more than a month and I’m only just now getting around to writing about it.

2) Sure, there’s no obligation on me to write anything. It’s not like this was a review sample, which implies some obligation to write something – good, bad or indifferent – on the beer. I used to get their stuff all the time but about a year ago that mysteriously stopped. Which, in some ways, is a good thing, as it frees me up a bit to write whatever I want about a beer. See, when someone has sent you free stuff it can be a bit tricky to call it a crap beer.

3) I won’t lie about a beer I’ve been sent but I might be a bit softer on it than were it a beer I paid for. And spending your hard-earned on a beer gives you more justification to be disappointed in a beer, I reckon.

4) All of which is moot as I didn’t hate this beer at all. Whether I paid for it or they sent it to me I’d be throwing high praise in the direction this Forefathers doppelbock. There’s dark chocolate on the nose and palate, with flavours of dark fruit and cherries at the back and tingles of bitterness around the edges. It’s the sort of beer that, when you finish it, you tip your glass over your mouth and tap the bottom to make sure you get every last drop of it (please tell me I’m not the only one who has done something like this).  I was very pleased I bought more than one bottle of it.

5) But the main reason I wanted to write about this beer is it it honours the trailblazing beer writer Willie Simpson. I write about beer at this blog and also for the newspaper I work for. I even won an award for beer writing. None of that – NONE of that – would have happened if Simpson hadn’t shown people that writing about beer can be a thing. Everyone talks about the importance of Michael Jackson in terms of beer writing but, in Australia, it resonated more when you saw some guy writing about beer in an Australian newspaper, a guy who was writing about Australian beer and breweries. Willie makes what I’m doing right here, right now possible. Hard not to like a guy for that.

Free or paid for?: I bought myself two bottles of this when it came out. And should really buy a few before it’s all gone. But I’m probably too late for that.

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