Total Score: 6.6/10
Here’s yet another new brewery: Balter from Currumbin on the Gold Coast (Queensland, Australia) founded by Mick Fanning and a bunch of other surfers (whose names escape me simply for the fact that they haven’t been in punch-ups with sharks). Plus their XPA, which I tried while out one night, tasted suspiciously like Stone & Wood Pacific Ale – turns out Balter’s head brewer worked for Stone & Wood, so there you go: Never question my tastebuds people! In any case a good Brown Ale always goes down a treat with me so I thought I would give this a shot – let’s see if Balter ALT Brown can live up to the overhype of its XPA sibling.
Poured from a 375ml [I for one am liking this trend of 375ml cans coming back] can into a Sierra Nevada US pint glass.
A: It’s brown… that’s a good start for a Brown Ale – I generally like my Brown Ales brown. Hazed Russett (which is a type of brown) body with a cream-coloured 1 centimetre head that drops down to a thin lace covering. 7/10.
S: Clean toasted malts provide a decent base with nutty overtones and a light grainy character that lingers throughout. There is a touch of caramel sweetness in there as well. Pretty standard Brown Ale characters, nothing outstanding here, just a simple laidback brown – which I guess is what the brewer/owners (being surfy types) were looking for… still, I wouldn’t mind something a bit more: “KAPOW!”. 6/10.
T: Toasted malts a plenty with nutty tones, caramel sweetness and a slight dry finish. Again its biggest negative to me is the “Wow!” factor – this beer doesn’t have it for me, and not all beers do – it’s just the only thing I find lacking with this brew: Flavour intensity. Fine if old Mick and his surfy mates want to sit back and chill with a beer after a hard slog surfing and escaping shark attacks, but not so great for yours truly: IZE NEEDZ THA FLAYVA! 7/10.
M: Mid to light bodied with a nice light/tight carbonation. 7/10.
D: Not bad, not great, just middle-of-the-road craft brew – no major flaws but nothing really compelling to bring me back to it – it’s on that arm-length list of brews that I wouldn’t turn down if offered but I wouldn’t go out of my way to get it again. Which is a shame because it had all the elements in place to be a great beer but it’s just far too laidback and surfy for my tastes… dude. 6/10.
Flayva match brah: Like dude, spliffs and other surfy stuff aiight… cowabunga burgers for when we get the munchies… then like packets of munchies for our munchies brah.