4 Pines Pale Ale
In a week where we seem to have created quite the conversation about a certain, iconic US-inspired pale ale, it seems only fair that we showcase a beer that would also have a fair claim to ‘Australia’s best’. Always of a consistently high quality and – perhaps most importantly – widely available, it has carved a niche in the ever-broadening pale ale landscape.
4 Pines Pale Ale ticks all the boxes when it comes to great beer. It’s hops are punchy and give a fresh hit of flavour and aroma atop a solid malt backbone. It’s also a beer that, after a slowish start, has garnered its fair share of critical acclaim, awards and respect from an often fickle drinking audience.
The 4 Pines website says;
“A colourful deep Ruby Amber appearance. Aromas of Pine and Grapefruit overlay a malt background. On the palate full bodied malty flavours with a tight and bitter finish.”
The Crafty Pint is succinct as well;
“A beer crammed with four varieties of American hop and a hefty malt bill that results in a deep amber beer with a touch of ruby. The hops give you aromas of pine and grapefruit before the malt gives way to a solid bitter finish.”
The Sip’s Ross Lewis in his very first piece in a series chose the Pale Ale and spake thusly;
“4 Pines Brewery is based in Manly, Sydney. It wasn’t a stretch to find a moniker for the manufacturer as the Norfolk Pines that dot the suburb are almost as iconic as its beaches. But the element of pine isn’t restricted to the badge on the bottle label. After noticing the almost ruby colour of the pale ale the first thing that strikes the taster is the hint of pine. There is also a sense of orange in the citrus on the palate that so often defines Australia beers of this variety. And it has also a sting of bitterness in the finish.
There is also a good flavour from the Munich and crystal malts used in the brewing. A good drop for a hot day, maybe one when the drinker is dreaming of a leisurely hot afternoon on a beach reminiscent of Manly.”
Scott form Bendigo Beer suggested some good matches;
“Pouring like clear liquid copper with solid carbonisation and an economical head. This American style Pale Ale direct from Manly NSW is a gem. Citrus and spice comes through in the aroma as does the forward malt style courtesy of the ale, wheat, Munich and crystal malts used in brewing. An impressive mouthfeel and lingering bitterness leave a great finish. Enjoy this beer with earthy cheeses, herbed crackers and good friends.”
Darren Magin at 250 Beers said;
“This is equally as sessionable as the Kolsch. I enjoy a decent pale just as long4 pines pale ale as it drives home that ‘paleness’ that I go looking for (Little Creatures’ pale is a good example). 4 Pines have certainly achieved that along with a load of added bonuses such as a gentle bitterness boosted by hints of pineapple and zesty grapefruit. I know of a number of overseas visitors that name 4 Pines Pale Ale as their ‘go to’ beer when visiting Australia. That is saying something!”
4 Pines Pale Ale has found a spot in The Critics’ Choice in two of the four editions so far with position 49 last year and 91 in edition 2. Matt Kirkegaard was glowing in his praise when he said;
“In a world of US-inspired pale ales, 4 Pines still manages to make theirs stand out.”