The peeps at Mountain Goat must be genuinely stoked with themselves pretty much all the time. Almost every beer that leaves their brewery is good if not excellent, I just don’t know how they get it so right.
Mountain Goat has to be one of the best known craft beer brands in Ozland; the story of MG is what dreams are made of, 2 mates, 1 brewing his own beers at home, the other backpacking in “Oh Canada” suddenly having an epiphany about craft beer, which if you’ve been to Canada you will totally understand, and deciding that craft beer was the future. It wasn’t as easy as just brewing beer however, it took them a long time to secure appropriate funding to take the dream to the next level and aren’t we glad they did!
Up until a few days ago MG to me meant 2 things; Steam Ale and Rare Breeds. Steam ale was a gateway beer for me, after starting with James Squire I soon started looking for other better beers, usually drawn in by marketing rather than knowledge at this stage, and Steam Ale is easily spotted around Australia. Steam ale (or beer) is an actual beer style, I thought it was just a cool name at the time, described as “highly effervescent” which, in it’s simplest form, means fizzy, using lager yeast. MG Steam Ale is indeed fizzy but it has a hell of a lot more going for it than just that, the subtlety of the hop flavours combined with the crispness of the finish make for a very sessionable beverage – the perfect 6 pack for the mate who’s still drinking slabs of Extra Dry.
Rare Breeds are generally the opposite of the Steam Ale; big flavour profiles, usually get you smashed way faster (so be careful) and are harder to find. I’ve sampled a few of these beauties; Hopfweizenbock, technically classified as a Cross Breed, was a collaboration with Brooklyn Brewery from NYC and it was an absolute cracker, I described it as wheaty, hoppy loveliness. Their latest, and first of 2014, is India Red Ale, another hoppy number offset with a sweetness you’d expect from a red ale full of flavour and substantial in the mouth. I’m sure there will be many more to come in 2014, so keep your eyes peeled.
In recent times they have also become known for craft beer in a can and it had taken me faaaaaaaaaaar too long to get my hands on their Summer Ale tinny. A pic I posted of me drinking it on Instagram went viral with 40+ likes and a couple of comments (that’s viral, right?), as the craft beer masses welcomed me and my taste buds to a special place where all MG Summer Ale drinkers end up. The beer is a standout, and has strong comparisons with Golden Nail from Nail Brewing; it’s got character yet it’s easy going, the clever use, yet restraint of the hops, means that you get enough upfront to see you through to the end and to keep you sipping more and more. Plus drinking from a tin is so good, I love it, don’t ask me why, I just do.
More beer please folk of Mountain Goat!
Before you go:
Fridge regulars? – Rare Breeds come and go but that Summer Ale will be holding down a spot for a while;
Wallet damage? – Nothing over the top, 6 packs of the core range are priced around $20, Rare Breeds around $11 – 13 for a longneck;
Where can I get some? – Most are available at any decent bottleshop, Dan’s and the like generally stock most of the core beers with the odd Rare Breed sighting from time to time;
Other beers from this brewery? – Hightail Ale and India Pale Ale complete the quartet of main beers, too many Rare Breeds to to list, just grab what you can!