It’s a story that’s not uncommon in the beer world. Back in the mid-00s, Murray Howe ventured stateside and was stung by the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale love-bug, which inspired him to start his own brewery and make beers he wanted to drink.
Located 30min north of Newcastle at Port Stephens Winery, Murray’s make a mean imperial stout which is popular among its regular drinkers. But for me, I have a real affinity for the brewery’s take on craft beer’s biggest trend at the moment: India Pale Ales.
Thunderbolt IPA was a highlight of 2016, winning Champion IPA at the Australian Craft Beer Awards and an eternal place in my heart, but since I drank every last bottle of Thunderbolt in my possession, I decided to talk about one of my favourite “I want an IPA that I can have a session on” IPAs–the Fred IPA.
Fred can only be described as “juicy”. But in the interest of appearing like a serious beer reviewer, I’ll try harder: this beer is wonderfully carbonated, showcasing a deliciously fluffy head with a hint of strawberry jam aroma and a touch of kiwi fruit thrown in. The bold bitterness arrives a few moments after sampling but it’s so beautifully balanced that your palate is not beaten up beyond repair. The flavour journey continues with a touch of citrus and pine. By this stage, you’re thinking “Wow”.
Fred IPA is one of Murray’s core beers so you’ll be pleased to know you should be able to get a hold of some quite easily. Available at all good beer venues around Melbourne and regional Victoria. Cheers!
Murrays Fred IPA ABV: 5.6 Style: India Pale Ale Food pairing: Smokey Chicken Fajitas Origin: Bobs Farm, NSW Price (RRP): 4 pack 330ml $19 murraysbrewingco.com.au