1) There’s a bottle shop in Wollongong’s south that I’d say stocks the widest range of beers in the city. It’s Cellabrations at Warilla Hotel, which is completely unexpected, because who’d have expected such a thing from a bottle shop that’s part of a chain? In my experience, they all tend to stock the same thing no matter where you go.
2) Part of the reason (or maybe ALL of the reason) for this is the guy who manages the store is quite the beer geek. So he stocks a whole bunch of stuff – which is great for other beer geeks. The only downside is the place is a half-hour drive away from where I live, which means I don’t get there as often as I would like. My thought process tends to be like this: “I should go down to Cellarbrations and see what’s new…. But it’s so far away. And I have other stuff on. And I don’t want my wife to know I’ll drive a half-hour just to go to a bottle shop.”
3) But one beer forced me to make a repeat visit to get another bottle. That would be Epic’s Magic Dust, which is tagged as a “lupulin IPA”. From what I can gather, that means the beer uses a hop powder that is created by removing all the bits of the plants and just leaving the lupulin behind. That makes for a more direct – and stronger – delivery of hoppiness without all the other not hoppy stuff. If that makes any sense – maybe this video will help.
4) Drinking it, I remembered what it was like the first time I brewed a beer with a hop boil rather than just steeping them. The first time I tasted that beer it was like a flavour slot that had been empty in my other beers suddenly got filled. I was able to realise just what a hop boil added to a beer.
5) That’s similar to how I felt drinking Magic Dust. It felt like something had been added to the flavour profile, that I hadn’t noticed was missing in other beers. It was a sensation that must have been linked to the freshness of the beer, because the second one was bought about two or three weeks later and simply didn’t have the same special character. It still had some nice fruit and pine characters there but it didn’t quite climb to the heights of the first bottle.
Free or paid for?: I bought both bottles – and that first one was a little bit magical.
Categories: Beer of the Week