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. Japan Black Beer
93 points
Walnut color. Aromas of smoked chocolate soufflé, cured meats, toasted matzoh, and egg drop soup with a slightly chewy, finely carbonated, dryish medium-to-full body and a tingling, medium-length black raisin bread and toasted nuts finish. An unabashedly complex black lager with an easy drinking appeal.
Awards: 2022 World Beer Championships Gold Medal - Best Black Beer
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. Sublime Mexican Pale Lager
89 points
Yellow color. Aromas of lime and pear with a supple, vibrant, effervescent, off-dry light body and a smooth, engaging, medium-length crisp tortillas and hints of passion fruit finish. A citrusy, shandy-like lager for daytime sessions.
Awards: 2022 World Beer Championships Silver Medal
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. Blonde Bier Garden
88 points
Golden yellow color. Aromas of toast, custard, and snipped chives with a silky, crisp, effervescent, dryish light body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length pickled peach and yeasty dinner rolls finish. A crisp, clean, easy-drinking Helles the wets the whistle; have a couple.
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. Bighead No-Carb Reduced Calorie Lager
87 points
Light gold color. Aromas of soufflé and hints of asparagus with a satiny, effervescent, dry thin body and a smooth, breezy hints of veggies and fresh lettuce finish. A light, savory lager in the easiest-drinking style.
Awards: 2022 World Beer Championships Silver Medal - Best Reduced Calorie Lager
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. Burleigh Sass Bright Ale x Ginger
86 points
Gold color. Spicy aromas of sliced and crystallized ginger, toasted baguette, plantain, and cardamom and lemongrass with a satiny, bright, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, refreshing, medium-length kiwi-papaya relish, jicama, crackers, and pepper finish. A quenching ginger accented beer that will be fun to pair with Asian cuisines.