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  • Your Hunter Valley Magazine

Sweet Tipples

With Winter we start to see several really big tasting, small production seasonal brews that are real winter warmers. Some are made with fruit or spice, and some rely on the brewer's artful use of malt and hop combinations that provide for a wonderful complexity of flavours.

What we are also seeing is a move toward slightly richer, darker and sweeter tastings beers – and often with more alcohol.

Hunter Beer Co. is famous for brewing beer – and not just any beer, but instead, a unique range of innovative, handcrafted beers that come with a diverse range of flavours and styles.

The small brewing team headed up by Keith Grice “The Beer Guy”, believe that beer should be a journey – “an adventure” – bold in flavour and character. As a result, the guys at the Hunter Beer Co. have a great deal of fun experimenting and brewing many different types of beer and being creative with a variety of different ingredients.

Of course, the best way to get to know a brewery’s beers is to drink them, and a good place to start is with the Hunter Beer Co’s range of regular beers, such as the bold American style Pale Ale, the dark German styled Bock, the full-strength Lager, the light flavoured Belgian Witbier and the flagship beer the Hunter Kolsch. They also produce a wonderful easy drinking Ginger Beer.

In addition to the regular beers, the brewing team also produce a range of popular seasonal beers – which depending on the time of year could be anything from the Oyster Stout, the Apricot IPA, Christmas Pudding Beer or Cranky Pants IPA.

There are always plenty of options on tap but this winter, Keith has a few extra special brewing projects on the go with some big tasting “winter sizzlers” coming on tap from July and just perfect for the colder weather.

Make sure you sip on the Slaked Magpie which is one of their most popular seasonal beers and awarded a gold medal at the 2016 and 2018 AIBAs. This superior dark and tasty brown ale was based on their award-winning porter recipe and makes for an easy drinking ale with a bit of coffee, vanilla, mocha and a taste of sweetness.

A very unique beer with a big difference is the Barley Wine Beer. Keith has made two versions of this beer – one being aged for four years and the other aged for five years. Both are copper in colour, and at 10.3% alcohol provides for a sweet tasting beer with wonderful flavours of brown sugar, toffee, raisin and sherry.

Then there’s the Stout #28. This is a unique tasting, big drinking dark stout at 13.8% alcohol with a big personality and loaded with flavour – the perfect winter drink.

Joining the range of seasonal beers this month is the Aussie Lager, which at 4.2% is lower in alcohol and an easy drinking fruit flavoured beer made with all Australian hops and malt.

Also made with all local ingredients, that include a new and yet to be commercialised hop from Tasmania, is the new Aussie IPA - named IPAY. Despite the name, this beer has wonderful peach, mango stone fruit flavours.


Visit the Hunter Beer Company's spacious “beer bar” to see just how microbreweries function, talk to Keith or the brewing team and taste the wide range of beers on tap.

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