Brisbane quality beer importer Innspire will soon be landing its first shipment of beers from US microbrewer Rogue.
With America being fairly regarded as the engine room for craft beer development globally, coupled with some old fashioned hype and the scarcity of US craft beers in Australia, this is seen as huge news for the beer geek set. I was fortunate to sit down with Dave Andrews from Innspire recently and try a few, together with some of his other prospective imports, and I have to say, while they’re good they’re not GREAT.
Now, I haven’t tried these beers in the US and beer is never at it’s best after a undergoing a 11000 kilometre boat ride so my comments are given in that light, and maybe with US beers so hyped I was expecting the equivalent of liquid gold. But, as is often the case when you have such high expectations, I was a little underwhelmed. I sampled the American Amber Ale, Juniper Pale Ale and Mom Hefeweizen – nothing blew me away. I was even a little disappointed by the hefe – but then again I prefer my wheat beers Bavarian – big on banana and clove – rather than American, which I find a little plain.
I don’t mean to burst any balloons with these comments – they are definitely good beers. If you see them in the shops come October give them a try. More than anything it will give you a good idea of how good our best craft brewers are. Just approach them as you would any other beer and don’t get caught up in the excitement.
(All that said, while I was sampling the Rogues with Dave I also got to try a couple from Nøgne Ø, Norway’s largest brewer of bottle conditioned ales and they were outstanding. Their Brown Ale (4.5% and their India Pale Ale 7.5%) were excellent beers, balanced, flavourful and incredibly moreish…in a responsible drinking way. These are beers that are definitely worth looking out for and worth a bit of a rave.)