Australia's Finest Independently Owned Beers

by melissa whillas September 11, 2023

If you're a true blue bloke with a penchant for good old fashion honesty and an even better brew, you're in for a ripper. In this article, we're diving headfirst into the frothy world of Australia's best independently owned beers. We'll be taking a closer look at some of the top-notch beers that we’ve reviewed and enjoyed, and leave you belting out a hearty "strewth!"

Crankshaft IPA by BentSpoke Brewing Co.: Pedal to the Metal Flavor

First up on our frolic through the foamy fields is the Crankshaft IPA by none other than BentSpoke Brewing Co. Hailing from our fine nation’s capital, this brewery has become a heavyweight in the Australian beer game.The Crankshaft IPA in particular has taken out the top spot in both 2021 and 2022. This ripper of a brew pours a golden orange hue that's as refreshing as a dip in the local billabong. With a creamy head that's thicker than a koala's fur, this beer’s as delectable as they come.

When it comes to smell, it's like a stroll through an orange farm. Strong citrus notes dance around, doing the tango with pine and other citrusy aromas. It's like a fruity symphony serenading inside your nose.

As for the taste, it's sweeter than your Aunt’s lamingtons. The malt takes center stage, strutting its stuff with a sweet orange tang that'll have you puckering up. The finish? Dry and somewhat bitter, but not enough to knock your wig off. It's smoother than butter, leaving you yearning for another swig.

Feeling wise, it's medium-bodied with a smooth operator vibe. Not too carbonated, just the right balance to keep you sipping away without breaking a sweat. Overall, this beaut is a true winner. BentSpoke Brewing Co. has hit the bullseye with the Crankshaft IPA, and has single handedly redeemed the ACT’s craft scene. 

Crankshaft IPA Beer by BentSpoke Brewing Co

Original Pale Ale by Coopers Brewery Limited: A Classic Aussie Legend

One can’t avoid the Original Pale Ale by Coopers Brewery, the big kahuna of Australian-owned breweries. This brew is like the wise old uncle of Aussie pale ales, a true veteran of the game. It's been around the block and back again, and it's not planning on retiring any time soon. Coopers remains the largest Aussie-owned brewery in the country, and as any South Australian would tell you, the pride and joy of the state. 

Pouring a hazy, ochre orange, this one's got character from the get-go. The head starts strong but settles into a thin foam, like a true Aussie battler. In regards to the nose, orange, mandarin, and lemony citrus notes tango with a slight malt presence, setting the stage for a cracking taste.

Speaking of taste, it's a dance of earthy malty sweetness and fruity notes. It's not here to slap you in the face with bold flavors; it's a session ale with enough character to keep you interested. The finish brings a balanced bitterness that'll have you nodding your head in approval. It's like a good old chinwag with your mates – familiar, comfortable, and always a bloody good time.

In the feel department, it's a bit like a cold drink on a scorching arvo. Highly carbonated, but it's got that good balance, like a true-blue footy team. Overall, the Original Pale Ale is a classic down-under drop that'll have you raising your glass and saying, "Coopers, you've done us proud, mate." The Pale Ale scene may be more developed than when this baby dropped, but it remains the classic to this day. 

Coopers Pale Ale Beer Australia

Newtowner by Young Henrys: Newtown's Liquid Gem

Now, let's head North to Newtown, New South Wales, where Young Henrys is brewing up a storm with their Newtowner Pale Ale. This beer's like the local larrikin – laid back, full of character, and a true crowd-pleaser. Young Henrys has evolved to be the big player in the Aussie owned beer scene, and the Newtowner is their bread and butter - found all over the Premier State, it attracts honest blokes and arty inner city types alike. A true brew of the people.

When it comes to looks, it's a clear golden drop with a bubbly head that's here for a good time, not a long time. The citrus aroma is like a breath of fresh air, mingling with white bready malts like mates at a barbie. Taste-wise, it's a symphony of citrus and floral notes dancing hand-in-hand with a sweet maltiness. It's not trying to be the loudest in the room, but it's got that understated charm that'll win you over. The feel? Highly carbonated and a bit on the thin side, but it goes down smooth, making it easy to knock back a few on a scorcher of a day.

Overall, the Newtowner is like that old mate you haven't seen in ages but still know you can count on. It's a solid choice for those dipping their toes into the craft beer pool, like a warm welcome into the world of more complex flavors. Young Henrys has nailed it with the Newtowner, a brew that's as Newtown as a graffiti-covered laneway, yet tasty enough that any bloke can appreciate.

Newtowner by Young Henrys Beer

Three Sheets Pale Ale by Lord Nelson Brewery: Australia's Oldest Pub Brewery

Sticking around in Sydney and making our way to Australia's oldest pub brewery, the Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel is next with their Three Sheets Pale Ale. This brew is like the wise old grandpa of the beer world, steeped in history and still kicking it with the young guns. As one of the many claimants of Sydney’s Oldest Pub, this Pale Ale is both glorious and classic. 

As for looks, it's got a hazy reddish amber body that's as captivating as a sunset over the outback. The dense beige head is like a fluffy cloud resting atop your pint, inviting you to take a sip and stay a while. The smell is like a bouquet of caramel, biscuit, and a hint of floral and citrus – a true adventure for the beak. In the taste department, it's like a harmonious dance between malty, fruity, and citrusy notes. The mouthfeel is a balanced blend of medium carbonation and creaminess, making each sip a delight for the senses.

Overall, the Three Sheets Pale Ale is like a walk through history, a testament to Australia's brewing heritage. It's a fine drop that bridges the gap between the hoppy world of IPAs and the more malt-forward Aussie pale ales. Lord Nelson Brewery has kept brewing up this bad boy for good reason, helping Sydneysiders quench their thirst since day dot. 

Three Sheets Pale Ale beer by Lord Nelson Brewery Australia

Red Ale by Nail Brewing Australia: Nailing It Since 2000

Last but not least, let's tip our hats to Nail Brewing Australia and their Red Ale, a brew that's been nailing it since 2000. Hailing from Perth, Western Australia, this drop is like the underdog who rose from the ashes, a true testament to the Aussie spirit of resilience and determination. Equally remarkable is the brewery’s owner, John Stallwood, who bounced back from a coma in 2004 to becoming a pioneer of the Western Australian beer scene, and having inspired titans like Little Creatures. 

In the appearance department, it's got a hazy reddish amber body that's as inviting as a sunset over the Pilabara. The smell is a symphony of spicy, citrusy hops and toasty, biscuity malts – a true old factory masterpiece. As for taste, it's like a perfect blend of caramelly, nutty, and biscuity malts, dancing in harmony with citrus, pine, and tropical fruit hop flavors. That may seem like a bunch of mambo-jumbo to you, but we invite you to try it - you’ll be surprised. The bitterness is like a friendly tap on the shoulder, not too assertive but just enough to keep you on your toes. The finish is smooth as silk, like riding out a great break. 

When it comes to feel, it's like a well-choreographed dance routine. Highly carbonated yet balanced, thinnish but oh-so-drinkable. Overall, the Red Ale by Nail Brewing Australia is like a phoenix rising from the ashes, a brew that's as inspiring as it is delicious. Nail Brewing, you've truly nailed it with this one.

Red Ale by Nail Brewery Australia

And there it is: a rollicking ride through some of Australia's finest independently owned beers. We believe that these brews are as diverse and captivating as the land Down Under itself, and offer hope for the conglomerate dominated beer scene. So next time you're raising a glass, make sure it's filled with one of these liquid gold beauties. Cheers, mates!




melissa whillas
melissa whillas

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