Hargreaves Hill Pale Ale

I have now learnt a few things about tasting beer.

One of the most fundamental is that it should be done from a glass as this allows the aroma and look of the beer to be properly assessed. For many years, I have insisted that I’d rather drink beer from a stubbie. This is a habit I picked up in my younger years drinking VB while leaning againstĀ  mixing desks at various live music venues around town. Probably the perfect way to drink VB but not appropriate when trying to detect the subtleties of well brewed beers. There is a time and a place for stubbies and cans.

I have also learnt to slow down a little and pay attention to the head, the clarity and the aroma rather than just scoffing and heading to the bar for the next one.

Having grasped a few basics, below is my opinion of Hargreaves Hill Pale Ale. Apologies if I don’t do it justice – no doubt I’ll give it another go in a few months to see if my skills have improved.

Hargrave hill PaleBrewer: Hargreave Hill Brewing Company, Yarra Valley. The Hargreaves Hill brewery was destroyed in the bushfires of February 7th, 2009. They are continuing to produce beer using the facilities of other microbreweries.

Variety: Pale Ale

Appearance: Cloudy, I believe this is expected from a bottle conditioned ale. Its hard work to pour a good head (is this a bad thing?)

Aroma: I felt it initially had a sweet, honey aroma

Taste: Slightly nutty with a pleasantly bitter after taste

Overall: I really enjoyed it and give it a 4/5. Certainly more interesting and enjoyable that your average mass produced beer.

Despite the rating I have given above, I’m not convinced scores are appropriate because I don’t really know what I’m doing yet and as I don’t think its about finding ‘the best’ or creating a league ladder anyway. As I am often telling my kids, “life is not a competition” – perhaps its better to just be able to match the right beer to the occasion/food/ambiance.

I will need to develop my skills further before determining just what that occasion/food/ambiance is for this beer.



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