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(I have been without the internet at home. It has made me very irritated. Hopefully this will be updated more regularly when the bloody thing finally comes back)
This’ll be a short one, because a) I had this one a while ago and am writing this based on old notes, b) I’m not really that familiar with the style they were going for (American Brown Ale); and c) while it was pretty decent, it wasn’t anything that lit a fire under my bum. This brewery has only recently come up on my radar, and I applaud their ethos. There is definitely a need for more like them. As you can see, they appear to do these brews in smallish batches (yes, the stats on tha label are hand-written). It poured with a massive head as you can see from the shot, which is a really nice change compared the the average Aussie brew, which usually gives up the ghost after a minute or two. Aromas were very bready and malty, and the taste was similar. As I understand, hops are generally welcome in this brew but my hop-meter didn’t detect nearly enough. Then again, I love the hop, so maybe my judgement is a bit biased. Regardless of the abscence of the bitter flower, it was a nice, fairly sweet malty brew that would go down a treat in winter.
And yes, you get Manilla Road again. This is their 2011 album, and as usual, with Mark “the Shark” Shelton’s vision, you get the haphazard-yet-true-as-fuck production, his epic themes, his bludgeoning riffs and his nasal voice that shreds posers from here to Eschaton. I have yet to be disappointed by any Manilla Road album, but this one was a bit of a let-down compared to their untouchable classics from the 80s, or even their 2008 killer Voyager. Then again, it still made it into my top album list, which tells you that even at their most disappointing, Manilla Road still tears the shit out of most bands’ best.
So, let’s get this ale-soaked ball rolling, shall we? This first post combines possibly my favourite brewery with possibly my favourite band.
Mountain Goat is a Melbourne instution, venerated by average punters, hipsters and beer afficianados alike. They’ve made a name for themselves for their homebrew-on-a-larger-scale approach and their signature hop-driven ales. They also try new things, such as their Crossbreed series which are generally limited edition and bit out of left field. Like this India Pale Ale blended with coffee. And it’s noticeable, not just a coffee tinge. You get the IPA aroma and flavour upfront, which is, disappointingly not enough for me, being the massive hophead I am. And the coffee flavour was at first strong and a little strange, but after a while it melded very nicely with the rest of the flavours. Very unusual, but once you get used to it it’s quite pleasant. This is not my favourite beer from them but it’s a nice experiment. I still prefer a straight IPA though, not to mention a paint-strippingly strong coffee in the morning.
Manilla Road. The best band no one’s ever heard of. They’ve been going strong for over thirty years and keep on plugging away, never veering off the “true metal” path but staying interesting and just plain fucking awesome. This album, released in ‘88, was a bit of an extension of their sound into thrash metal territory, which was seriously vicious but still majestically epic. A short-lived experiment but one that’s definitely worth of the ‘Road name. (and this is the only Manilla Road original pressing I own thus far [apart from their more modern releases Voyager and Playground of the Damned]. The asking price for some of those original pressings is, quite frankly, ridiculous…)