Autumn is my favourite time of year when it comes to drinking different styles of beers in the one day. Whether it’s sitting down for a Sunday session in the beer garden enjoying fresh hop harvest ales, or putting the feet up in front of an open fire to watch the footy with a lovely roasty stout, it really is the time of year beer-lovers relish all the colours of the ale rainbow.
Now it’s not common for me to review more than one beer, but the urge was too great once I tried some of the latest offerings from relative newcomer, Bad Shepherd. Based in Cheltenham, husband and wife Derek and Diti Hales left the office life behind and opened up their brewpub in 2015. Sharing the brew space with fellow husband and wife team Scott and Renae from Wolf of The Willows, the brewpub offers tasty and reasonably priced American-style bar food, which perfectly suits the Bad Shepherd range.
Their American Pale Ale (5.2%) is a solid example of the style with some Australian hops thrown in for a subtle tropical melon aroma hit. Expect a sharp bitterness experience at the back of the palate and a dry finish. For the hop-driven, the India Pale Ale (6.8%) delivers an intense pine bitterness trip on the sides of your tongue and not much of the malt comes into play–a real hop-head beer. The pick of the bunch for me is the sexy Hazelnut Brown (5.9%) made with real hazelnuts and additions of vanilla extract and a touch of Frangelico. It’s an absolute experience and I highly recommend. Finally, Bad Shepherd’s Oatmeal Stout (5.5%) is a seasonal release only available in autumn and winter, and it gives me the impression head brewer Derek really enjoys a dark beer. The Oatmeal Stout is such a pleasure to drink, especially if you like a smooth nutty chocolate shot and I highly recommend you get to the brewery and enjoy this one over the coming winter months.
According to Derek, the Bad Shepherd philosophy is simple. “We’re here to make beer that is tasty, interesting and fulfilling. Whether at a bar or through our bottles in people’s homes, we’re here to make things better, to make them good, great.” Couldn’t have put it better myself.
For the best experience, drop into the bar in Cheltenham and taste these beers straight from the source. They do have a number of stockists around Melbourne and are beginning to branch out into regional Victoria, so make sure to keep an eye out.
Brewery: Bad Shepherd
Origin: 386 Reserve Rd, Cheltenham Victoria
Brewery hours: 12 til late, Wed to Sun
Buy it here: www.badshepherd.com.au