I had what I thought was a very nice beer at the STATION BAR, KATOOMBA, A RED HILL ‘HOP HARVEST ALE’ , Extra Special/Strong Ale 6% which was on the hand pump. It was a bit to easy to drink so I had to be strong and know when to stop. This is one of Red Hills seasonal beer,s. I found this beer nice and malty with restrained hops and the bitters associated with and English bitter From their site ; “this is a traditional English style bitter. Copper in colour with a strong malt character, balanced by the use of our new seasons Willamette and Goldings hops to create a full hop flavour and aroma. The complex grain bill provides a full, rich & malty ale that has hints of marmalade and lashings of hop resin flavours, finishing with a peppery spicy note.” I am glad to see the use of marmalade in their description as it is a taste I identify a fair bit in some beers.
When I got home I had a bottle of STONE ‘CALI-BELGIQUE I.P.A.’ 6.9%. I can see where the belgique comes in with this. A pretty big honey malt taste,good and pleasant nose some citric bitters (string lemon zest) I don’t know where the California bit comes in. I found this beer interesting. From their site : “Stone Cali-Belgique IPA features a complex and surprising combination of flavors, …….. The addition of a carefully selected strain of Belgian yeast adds banana and spice notes to the hoppy brightness of our flagship IPA.”