Julian put me onto this stuff a while ago and thanks to Jim’s Cellars, one of five bottlos (that I know of) in Crows Nest, I have a handy supply should I need some. Which I felt like I did today.
Sometimes you want something cool, crisp and refreshing but also with a distinctive taste. Knappstein Reserve Lager is that animal, a pale Bavarian style beer made with sauvin hops that are grown in New Zealand, not far from some classic Sauv Blanc vineyards which, it’s suggested, affect in some way the taste of the hops. I guess it’s something to do with the (I can’t believe I’m going to use this word) terroir. There’s certainly a citrussy, slightly floral taste to the beer, leavened with a smooth bitterness which stops the fruit and flowers from cloying. It’s very drinkable but, in true boutique style, it only comes in (expensive) 4-packs so a full-on session on these is difficult.
The beer is a spin-off of the Knappstein Winery in Clare, South Australia, and the promotional material suggests, a little too strongly in my opinion, that beers are better with a master wine-maker’s attention to detail. Bit patronising and patently not true, as there are countless great beers made by people who have never made wine at all. But this is definitely one of my top ten Aussie beers so they must be doing something right. There’s unlikely to be any of my 4-pack left tomorrow morning.