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

Burleigh Brewing Co. Burleigh Smokin Lager
90 points
Walnut color. Aromas of smoked walnuts, dark chocolate, artisan banana loaf, black licorice, and autumn leaves with a velvety, vibrant, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, complex, medium-long luxury cigarettes and chocolate mousse finish. A dense but finely balanced Rauchbier with delicate smoky notes and decadent flavors of roasty malt.
Burleigh Brewing Co. Burleigh HEF
89 points
Golden amber color. Aromas of whole wheat banana bread, orange creme cake, and dried herbs with a satiny, crisp, effervescent, fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, relaxed cream of wheat with brown sugar, candied apple, and malted milk balls finish. A rich and chewy Hefeweizen with kisses of brown sugar sweetness.
Burleigh Brewing Co. Burleigh All Ways Hopped Strong Pale Ale
89 points
Minutely hazy golden amber color. Aromas of romaine, toasted onion roll, and grapefruit curd with a satiny, vibrant, effervescent, dry medium body and a tingling, relaxed ground nuts, carrot tops, grilled parsnips, and injera bread finish. A dry, chewy APA for pairing.
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.
Burleigh Brewing Co. Burleigh 28 Pale Ale
88 points
Light goldcopper color. Aromas of caramelized citrus and nuts, grilled belgian endive, and raw walnut with a satiny, crisp, effervescent, dryish light-to-medium body and a seamless, interesting, medium-length breadsticks, marmite, and caramel finish. A well balanced and refreshing pale ale that will go well with pub food.
Burleigh Brewing Co. Burleigh Bock
87 points
Dark copper color. Aromas of green apples with caramel, hints of bubblegum, cherry cordials, and crisp gingerbread with a satiny, lively, effervescent, off-dry medium body and a warming, medium-length cajeta, whole wheat crackers, and ripe melon finish. A warming, dense Bock with lots of fruity esters to discover.
Burleigh Brewing Co. Twisted Palm Ale
85 points
Golden amber color. Aromas of dried mango and orange pith with a satiny, vibrant, effervescent, dry light-to-medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length lavash, caraway, and crisp lettuces finish. A light and lager-like IPA with a balanced bitterness.
Burleigh Brewing Co. Mid Tide Pale Ale
85 points
Gold color. Hoppy aromas and flavors of juicy mango candies, apricot jam, tangerine, and fruity panettone with a satiny, bright, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a graceful, amusing, medium-length finish manifesting touches of toasted pine nuts and dried apricot and pineapple finish. The Pale Ale for those that adore the aromatics of American hops, but desire a less bitter sipping experience.
Burleigh Brewing Co. Bighead No-carb Lager
84 points
Golden yellow color. Aromas of dinner rolls, savory herbs, cheddar, and lemon with a slightly chewy, spritzy, dryish light body and an even, brisk parchment, asparagus, dough, and black tea finish. A light but toothsome reduced calorie lager that satisfies.
Burleigh Brewing Co. Burleigh Blonde
84 points
Light gold color. Aromas and flavors of whey, green apple, water chestnuts, and nut skins with a round, crisp, effervescent, dryish light-to-medium body and a smooth, medium-length finish that presents overtones of dusty grain finish. A solid craft Helles for the table.