Killer Sprocket Hey Juniper

Total Score: 7.15/10 Earth1 Caramel1 HopFlower1 Nonicpint1

Juniper berries? Who doesn’t love them and the multiple Monty Python references that can be made about them: “ARTHUR: There is no food in this high mountain! BRIAN: Well, what about the juniper bushes over there? FOLLOWERS: Ahhh! A miracle! A miracle! SHOE FOLLOWER: He has made the bush fruitful by His words. YOUTH: They have brought forth juniper berries. BRIAN: Of course they’ve brought forth juniper berries! They’re juniper bushes! What do you expect?!” err, ahem, anyway Hey Juniper is an American Pale Ale with juniper berries added for a “pine bitterness” as their website declares.

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Cloudy deep amber (almost brown) body with a 1cm off-white cappuccino head on top. 6/10.

S: Those juniper berries give a real hard earthiness to the aroma, which already smells fairly organic, with a hint of a caramel base and a citric hop backing rounding out the fragrance. There is also some fresh pine needles thrown in for good measure, overall the juniper berry is king here, as it should be. 8/10.

T: As with above that earthy character really dominates this brew quite succinctly. There are characters of a light caramel malting, that classic APA citric/pine combo, and a finish that is medium bitter, with a pang of astringency before a bitter aftertaste looms over everything. The whole flavour is really dirty (in a good way) and earthy. 7/10.

M: Mid to light bodied with an assertive but dense carbonation. 7/10.

D: This is one of those craft brews that really shows the direction Aussie small batch brewers have been going recently, in fact all the Kaiju! beers I’ve had have had that same overriding earth quality to them that made me think “organic ingredients, small batch quality control without preservatives” (all good things IMO). I found the aftertaste a little too bitter and unrelenting, but apart from that this was a nice APA, and their other brews now warrant my (slightly divided) attention. 7/10.

Food match: There’s something about this brew that whispered “grain-fed Angus beef pepper crusted rib eye cooked rare with celeriac mash and grilled asparagus”.