Archive for the ‘Holgate Brewhouse’ Category

I could get used to this

I enjoyed another great food and beer dinner last week. The venue was North Melbourne’s Courthouse Hotel. The idea was to match each course with a beer or two and a wine and determine which was the best match. Its a great idea for a night out and I hope the concept takes off. My palate still has a way to go as does my descriptive writing. I thought I’d briefly capture my impressions anyway and maybe get a few laughs when I look back at this in the future. Thanks to crafty for not only organising the night but also typing up the menu and taking some photos (the italics are mine though). Continue reading


Holgate Mt Macedon Ale and Pilsener

I have just about completed my ‘tour’ of the Holgate brews. Their flagship beers are the Mt Macedon Ale and their Pilsner. I have enjoyed both of these recently but have to say that they didn’t really stand out when compared to other pale ales and pilsners available. Both were certainly good beers and will no doubt provide the cash flow for Holgates to keep experimenting for many years to come.

They do have a Dunkel Weizen but it is only available on tap. The perfect excuse to go and spend some time in Woodend at the brewery, I think.

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Holgate Double Trouble

Brewer: Holgate Brewhouse, Woodend.

Variety: Double Trouble Abbey Ale (8% ABV)

The marketers say: Drinks like a fine cognac or brandy – intense raisin, toffee and rum flavour

Appearance: Dark, dark brown with no head to speak of. Very little carbonation.

Aroma: Strong chocolate malt aroma.

Taste: I was expecting a little more given the colour, the aroma and the marketing. Stuggled to find much beyond the really good malt and hint of chocolate. Completly missed the “intense raisin, toffee and rum flavour” but will try to find them again 🙂

Overall: Again, I can’t comment on how true to style it was but certainly an enjoyable one to finish off the day. One at a time is probably enough.


Holgate ESB

Back to the flavoursome Holgates brews…

Holgate ESBBrewer: Holgate Brewhouse, Woodend.

Variety: ESB (5% ABV)

The marketers say: Top fermented copper-red with rich and complex malt additions and highly bittered with English hops

Appearance: Cloudy (expected given the yeast sediment) orange with very little head

Aroma: Strong hop aroma, sweet and fruity

Taste: Mildly sweet with a nice balance of malt and hops. Bitterness in the finish noticeable but not overpowering. A little ‘flat’

Overall: I have to admit I am not really clear what characteristics I should be expecting with an ESB (other than higher than normal alcohol content) so can’t comment on being true to style. I liked it though, just the right bitterness for my tastes.

Stay tuned for the last couple of Holgates brews soon.


Holgate Temptress

Still trying out all the Holgate brews in an attempt to broaden my tasting horizons a little (well thats my excuse). Here is the latest.

Holgate temptressBrewer: Holgate Brewhouse, Woodend.

Variety: Temptress Chocolate Porter (6% ABV)

The marketers say: Luscious chocolate, coffee, and caramel flavors are balanced by a hint of vanilla and a body of 6% alcohol

Appearance: Dark, almost black with a hint of head. Like a flat Guinness

Aroma: Desert smells – coffee and chocolate with a little vanilla

Taste: The rich chocolate aroma gives way to a slightly bitter cocoa flavour. Felt quite creamy in the mouth and had a smooth finish.

Overall: I enjoyed this much more than I expected to. I could see myself having one of these instead of an after dinner coffee.

I still have a few Holgates to go – Double Trouble, Woad Warrior, ESB, dunkel weizen, Mt Macedon Ale, Pilsener and whatever else they come up with in the meantime. Stay tuned but for the next little while I will be having a couple of Cricketers Arms lagers which have found their way into my fridge. I don’t know much about this beer but have had one before and it seems like a fairly mainstream brew despite the craft brew claims.


Holgate Big Reg

Brewer: Holgate Brewhouse, Woodend.

Variety: Big Reg Vienna style red lager (5% ABV)

The marketers say: A warming alcohol level and light bitterness make this malty treat a great food all-rounder, and an all-round favourite for both beer enthusiasts and the less adventurous alike.

Appearance: Beautiful copper colour with very short lived, weak cream head.

Aroma: Strong malt aroma with a touch of sweetness

Taste: The malt carries through nicely and some chocolate emerges briefly. Faintly bitter aftertaste

Overall: Flavour a little disappointing. There really didn’t seem to be much to this one. I think the marketing comment about the ‘less adventurous’ is telling.

According to BeerAdvoctae this style should show “subtle hops, crisp, with residual sweetness”. This is not really what I experienced – perhaps I  need to understand more about the style before I can judge how good this is.

I feel a trip to Woodend to talk with the Holgate brewers and sample the brews on tap will be in order soon.


Holgate Nut Brown Ale and Christmas Ale

I am certainly learning to appreciate the appearance and aroma of beers much more and in many cases this seems to be having the effect that I am slightly disappointed by the actual drinking. I often expect more than what is delivered. I suspect this is a matter of educating my palate a bit better but it may simply be my choice of beer. Just as I was getting a bit worried about this along comes Holgate’s Christmas Ale which had a taste that blew my socks off.

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