Eagle Heights, Qld
4.4% Golden Ale
When a brewer of the calibre of Ian Watson is lured back to home soil to help build a brewery you can be assured the project has a bright future. Seemingly overnight Fortitude Brewing Co has crafted a core range of beers worthy of any beer geek’s favourite list as well as a swag of fans keen to vote it into popular ‘best-of’ lists.
Brewed under the Fortitude label (the more adventurous and specialty beers are brewed under the Noisy Minor tag) the Original Golden Ale is a cracking example of ‘easy-drinking-meets-interesting flavour’ with a beer that refreshes as the name would suggest without leaving the palate wanting at least a hint of taste.
This is the first beer of the week that is not yet available in bottles or cans (unless you count 50ltr kegs as rather large ‘cans’) but will soon be available I take-home form. The boys at Fortitude acquired the defunct Mt Tambourine brewery close to their own digs and have re-invigorated the old site with cellar door, bar and hospitality offerings the likes of which the area has not before seen. The bottling line is close to being ready to fire and carry the core range of beers at least.
The Fortitude website says, quite simply;
“The perfect session beer”.
“Our flagship beer, Fortitude Original is our interpretation of the modern British Golden Ale. Bright golden in colour, the aromas of stonefruit, pine and grapefruit complement the malty, nutty palate, leading to a crisp dry finish. A blend of malted barley, wheat and light caramel malts gives the beer a nutty flavour, while Waimea, Mosaic and Amarillo hops create a melange of fruity notes. The beer finishes crisp and dry with a light effervescence. 4.3% abv”
250 beers put the sessionability factor very well;
“As opposed to Noisy Minor Brewing releasing seasonal, some would say eccentric, limited brews, Fortitude’s aim is to produce more sensible, sessionable beers and the Original Golden Ale is exactly that. Packed with flavour, it is very easy to see why the guys describe this flagship brew as a beer that you can sit on for as long as you like. Just one would work. You know….a ‘quickie’ somewhere after a busy day on site or at the office? However, because of the amazing depth, this Golden Ale is equally fitting as a beer that would last the duration of a session.
The sessionability is partly due to the respectable alcohol content of 4.4% but the Amarillo, Mosaic and Waimea hops are playing a huge part here too. They drive a smooth dryness to a crisp finish of a very intriguing beer that also gives a subtle nuttiness whilst providing gentle citrus waves. Quite simply my palate kept asking my legs when they were planning on going back to the bar for more. That is a good sign.”
This year’s Taphouse Hottest 100 saw the beer sneak into the top 20 which followed on from its first appearance in The Critics’ Choice at #31. Matt Kirkegaard said of this brew;
“Putting its bigger flavoured and more experimental beers under the Noisy Minor label lets brewer Ian Watson concentrate focus on brewing solidly made and drinkable beers through the Fortitude label his Golden Ale was a welcome beer to launch with blending rich pale malts with a punchy bitterness that still leaves you wanting more.”
Matt and I also found the beer a great way to get non-craft drinkers to try something different when we tapped it for the first time at The Ekka two years back. Our original order for three kegs ran dry by the third day (of a ten day show) proving that you can, in fact, teach old dogs – and country cockies – new tricks.