Beers that come and go with the sea­sons

Life & Style Weekend - - EASY EATING - MY SHOUT with Si­mon Ir­win

CHERRY trees in full bloom are one of the sights that draw thou­sands of tourists to Ja­pan ev­ery year. It is not only a vis­ual feast of cas­cad­ing del­i­cate pink flow­ers. The cherry blos­som has a deeper and more spir­i­tual mean­ing, and is seen as a metaphor for the ephemeral na­ture of life it­self.

In other words, it sym­bol­ises that we are here for a beau­ti­ful but short time be­fore we too fall to the ground. In Aus­tralia, the clos­est thing we have is the re­lease by brew­ers of their sea­sonal beers – ones that you can re­ally get to like and then they are not around to en­joy any more. Maybe it is not as po­etic but you get my drift.

Hugh the Neigh­bour and I tried an ex­am­ple of one such beer last week­end, joined by HTN’s mate Farmer Bob.

The three of us sat down to try the Lit­tle Crea­tures VHA – Shade Chaser IPA, a sin­gle-batch US West Coast-style beer de­signed to quench a sum­mer thirst, which is seem­ingly only avail­able at the brew­ery or on­line from

I pre­sume the VHA stands for Very High Al­co­hol as it is 6.5% ABV. The flavour pro­file is what you would ex­pect from a USA IPA – loads of fruity hop­pi­ness com­ple­mented by a bal­ance of malt tones with­out be­ing over-the-top bit­ter. We all en­joyed the Shade Chaser.

We also tried the White Rab­bit Brew­ery Ted­dy­wid­der – a tart weisse beer that is usu­ally only avail­able on tap but which has also been re­leased in lim­ited sup­ply through MOCU.

The brew­ers’ notes sug­gest sub­tle flavours and a zingy punch that are con­ducive to flavour­ing with syrups or fruit purees.

Un­for­tu­nately, Hugh, Bob and I were all brought up in an era where the need to add syrup to a beer was not an in­di­ca­tion of great taste and or­der­ing a shandy was a last ditch at­tempt to make a strange beer drink­able.

For us, the Ted­dy­wid­der missed the mark – with Farmer Bob sug­gest­ing it should be put back in the camel. Love the White Rab­bit range, but this is not one I will seek out.

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