Grand Ridge Brewery – Hatlifter Stout

A stout at this time of year? Sure. That’s just how I roll.  Some say I’m crazy, I say, I’m just one man, trying to talk about beer.  Just one man.  Beer.

The basics

Grand Ridge is based in Gippsland (Mirboo North to be exact) and they have a range of beers. This is an award winning stout. It’s fairly easy to find around Australia. I picked mine up at my local (small) bottleshop which from memory, has never stocked it until recently so it may be best to try a larger store if you are looking to get some.

Alternatively, if you are in the neighbourhood, stop by the brewery. The website tells me they have a restaurant and brewery tours.

The stout is 4.9%  alcohol.

How does it look?

Brown bottle, brown and gold label. The last beer I reviewed, I talked about how the label stood out. This one stands out for a different reason. Nestled between some other boutique beers, this beer looks old fashioned and to be honest, there isn’t a gimmick to be found on this one. Seeing the name “Hatlifter” makes me think of a polite old man. I’ve always associated stout with old men, so it’s fitting really.

The first thing I noticed when I poured it is that it held it’s head, which is always good to see in a stout. In the glass, it looks very muddy and cloudy.  It looks like it will settle to be dark copper and I fully expected it to, but it never did.

How does it taste

Before I go into this, I should add a disclaimer; I got this from my local bottleshop, which had it in the fridge… so I’m drinking this chilled. I have another bottle which I’ll try tomorrow at room temp.

Even though it’s chilled, it definitely tastes like a stout. Not like the good old fashioned stout my Grandad used to make (ok I have no idea how they tasted, he stopped brewing them ages before I could appreciate beer), but definitely a stout none the less.  The taste is initially fairly light then it develops into a nice bitter aftertaste which hangs around to let you know you’ve definitely been drinking it. It wont put hairs on your chest but it’ll let you know it’s been in your mouth and you’ll be happier for it.

When should I drink it?

Do you have a dad, an uncle or a brother-in-law who loves a family gathering ? With this, you’ll drink a few bottles and all agree that it’s a good beer. Then you’ll talk about sports and meat, and nod to each other a little.  It’ll probably piss everyone off who doesn’t drink stout. Most people wanted you to bring a nice imported lager. Who cares about them though. You’ve got stout and you’ve got male bonding.

So forget pleasing everyone this holiday season. Everyone sucks.

Verdict

As I said earlier, the name Hatlifter reminds me of a polite old man, which is probably the best way to describe this one.  It’s the polite old man of Australian stouts. With a jaunty hat and a warm smile, I bet he has a good story and it’s a story I want to hear… in my mouth.

I rate it; Four sports and some meat.

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