About Australian Beer

About Australian Beer
Although Australia accounts for only 1% of the total worldwide beer production, beer is an important beverage in the country. While most of the beer is made by a few large corporate breweries, brewpubs and microbrews have been in existence since the mid-1980s crafting top quality versions of bitter lager, India Pale Ales and pale lagers, to name only a few. Wine is a bit of a quandary when one speaks of Australia. Here is a country that ranks sixth in the world as far as total production, yet it so too often associated these days with inexpensive, mass-produced wines.

This is understandable, given that a few huge corporations produce a great majority of the country's wine, with much of its destined for supermarkets in the USA and England. But this reputation is a true shame, as there are so many excellent wine regions that are home to some magnificent producers.

Shiraz is the country's signature wine; not only is it Australia's most widely planted variety, it is also the wine with the greatest reputation. Especially in the Barossa and Clare Valleys, there are explosive versions of this wine that can age for many years. Other notable reds from Australia are the Rhone blends with varying percentages of Grenache and Mourvedre added to Shiraz.

Certain areas such as Western Australia are ideal for cool climate varieties such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Probably the best white wines are Semillon from Hunter Valley and especially Riesling from the Clare and Eden Valleys. These Rieslings, thought quite different from those produced in Germany, are equally brilliant and are most assuredly world-class.

Per capita consumption has decreased by 30% since the late 1970s, but it has remained at a consistent level for the past few years.

Top Picks for Australia

Coopers Brewery Best Extra Stout
92 points
Opaque ebony color. Aromas and flavors of fig-apple chutney, chocolate muffin, and honey-herb lozenge with a supple, lively, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, complex, medium-long finish with overtones of nutskin, frisee with radishes, dark coffee, and topsoil finish. A crisp and lively, mouthwatering stout that is definitely a sessionable quencher.
Awards: 2017 Best Australian Beer
Burleigh Brewing Co. Hassle Hop Session IPA
90 points
Clear golden amber color. Fruity aromas and flavors of caramelized tropical citrus, honey roasted corn with paprika, lemon cake, and delicate fresh herbs with a supple, vibrant, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, delightful, medium-long finish revealing nuances of arugula and pepper finish. A well balanced IPA with a juicy center.
Burleigh Brewing Co. Fig Jam IPA
90 points
Clear dark amber color. Aromas and flavors of dried herbs, hop pellet, and onion marmalade on toasted corn bread with a supple, crisp, dryish light-to-medium body and a tingling, buoyant finish that exhibits nuances of pepper, radicchio, and earth finish. A full-bodied chewer for those who want to teach their tongues a lesson.
Burleigh Brewing Co. Burleigh Black Giraffe Coffee Lager
89 points
Ebony color. Aromas of roasted nuts, toasted russian black bread, frosted spice cake, and fresh coffee with a velvety, vibrant, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and an even, compelling, medium-length creamy gelato, charred espresso bean, baking chocolate, and charred frisse finish. A bold, roasty, coffee-inflected beer with a silky texture; light enough to session.
Sidewood Pear Cider
89 points
Golden yellow color. Waxy aromas and flavors of roasted pear, bruleed apple, buttered crusty bread, and vanilla wafer creme cookie with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a medium-length finish displaying notes of minerals, tea, and green apple skin finish. A pleasantly dry cider with wide appeal.
Burleigh Brewing Co. Twisted Palm Pale Ale
88 points
Clear gold color. Tropical, floral aromas and flavors of tropical fruit salad, honeyed lemongrass and herbs, caramelized pineapple, and pinesap with a supple, crisp, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-to-long finish with accents of buttered Hawaiian toast, nutskin, lettuce, and dried banana finish. A nice tropical session pale ale that is front-loaded with hops and is sure to please.
Sidewood Apple Cider
87 points
Golden yellow color. Aromas of toasted apple pastry, cinnamon-vanilla buttercream, wisteria, and balsa with a slightly chewy, lively, fizzy, fruity light body and a smooth, breezy lime zest, sour pear candies, lemon slices, and jicama finish. A zesty, sparkly cider that will appeal to Chardonnay lovers.
Burleigh Brewing Co. Bighead No Carb Lager
87 points
Brilliant golden yellow color. Toasty aromas and flavors of buttered toast and dried green pear with a supple, crisp, finely carbonated, dry medium body and an even, stimulating, medium-length finish displaying shades of arugula, hint of lemon rind, and saltine finish. A very nice, clean, malt-forward light lager that is a pleasure to drink.
Burleigh Brewing Co. HEF
87 points
HEF
Hazy light gold color. Aromas and flavors of fruitcake, banana-raisin muffin, and caraway rye bread with a supple, crisp, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium body and an effortless, interesting, medium-long finish that exhibits notes of melon and custard finish. A very spicy, tasty and easy drinking hefe.
Burleigh Brewing Co. 28 Pale Ale
86 points
Brilliant amber color. Aromas and flavors of butter roasted nuts, lemon poppyseed muffin, and slapped herbs with a supple, vibrant, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, charming, long finish that shows impressions of grilled tropical citrus, white pepper, polenta, and radicchio finish. A wonderfully hoppy pale ale that engages the palate.