I don’t normally go for a honey beer… and when I say “don’t normally” I mean “never”. Don’t get me wrong, I love honey, and I love beer, but combined really doesn’t do anything for me.
So why, if I don’t like honey beer, would I write a post about it? Well it was really hot the other day, so I was maybe a little confused at the shop. I hadn’t tried any Mildura Brewery brews before so maybe subconsciously I thought I should try my least favourite style as some sort of test.
Lets put it down to either confusion, or subconscious… after re-reading this intro, I’m going to go with confusion.
Brewed in Mildura Victoria, this one is part of a stable of beers including some interesting seasonal beers. It appears to be fairly tricky to find a bottle. My local bottle store guy tells me that a lot of fans of the beer are visiting his shop especially to get some, as they can’t find it elsewhere. According to their distribution page; you can get it at Dan Murphy’s and David Jones (isn’t that some sort of fashion store?). Also at Macaulay Cleanskins on Macualay Rd, Kensington,Melbourne (where I got mine).
It comes in at a standad 4.5% 330ml bottle.
How does it look?
Bottle wise, not so flash. I’ve seen the Mildura Brewery beers at the shop a few times and wasn’t interested based on the bottle. The labels looks like a half assed cut and paste job. Pretty uninspiring stuff from a brewery that looks like this at night. Why the hell isn’t that building on the bottle? It looks so fancy and classy. Much classier than their current labels.
Actual beer wise, it looks kind of viscous, but that is what you would expect from a honey beer. Golden, viscous, not much head.
How does it taste?
This was the surprise with me. Being one of my least favourite styles; with a dull label, I was ready to write this one off. However, this tastes great. The honey is there, but it’s not overpowering. It kind of hums away in the background and is much less intrusive than other honey beers. The mellow hint of honey makes you want to keep going back for more (I’m sure I say that about most beers I review.. “they make me keep wanting to drink them” or something similar… I guess I just like drinking beer?).
Other than the honey, it’s fairly light and crisp. Not too complex but interesting none the less.
When should I drink it?
I would probably avoid this one with food. Maybe before or after dinner, or on a stinking hot afternoon. While it’s light on honey, it is still a honey beer and they tend not to work well with food. Maybe that’s just my honey beer prejudice showing again.
Despite this being disadvantaged by an uninteresting label and it’s honey-nature, I really enjoyed this one. So much that I went and tried some of their other beers… which I enjoyed less. I haven’t tried their seasonal stout or “Mallee Bull”, which are generally my favoured styles but their lager and ale weren’t really to my liking. Both were fine, but I wouldn’t rush out to get them again. The honey, however, is one I will try and enjoy again.
I don’t think I’m a fan of the names either “Mildura Brewery Murray Honey Wheat” doesn’t exactly fly off the tongue, and there seems to be some confusion on the website about whether or not they should be called by the bold part of the label, or the part beneath. Dropping the attempt at clever names and calling them just “Honey Wheat” and “Premium lager” would make more sense to me. It might seem pedantic, but if I can’t be pedantic, then I don’t want to play anymore.
I rate it; 3 subconscious tests.