A widely celebrated Australian pale ale that has been dubbed an “epiphany beer” is about to make a comeback almost 22 years since it was first brewed.
Awarded ‘Brewer’s Choice Best Champion Australian Beer since 2012’ by the Australian International Beer Awards in 2020, Matilda Bay’s iconic Alpha Pale Ale is one of the most awarded beers in the country but hasn’t been brewed in large amounts since 2018.
But now, Matilda Bay’s original recipe from 1999 has been dusted off and is about to make a limited return.
Matilda Bay’s Head Brewer Harry Sexton said craft beer drinkers had been calling for the beloved Alpha to make a comeback for some time now.
“I’ve heard many people refer to Alpha as their ‘epiphany beer’ – it was the first beer that made them think ‘this is what pale ale can be like’,” Mr Sexton said.
“It was first brewed by the Matilda Bay brewers in 1999, inspired by the best pale ales around at the time. It’s quite a simple beer – it’s not too complex which is part of its beauty. It’s lovely and balanced and focuses on fresh hops and caramel malts.”
Mr Sexton said unlike other iconic Matilda Bay beers that had been brought back in a modern adaptation, Alpha will be brewed to the original recipe.
Matilda Bay Founder Phil Sexton said he had enormous respect for the beer’s original brewer,
“Alpha is a fantastic beer. It’s beautifully put together and was very successful for Matilda Bay Brewing Co. It was the first Australian pale to take out the beer competitions for quite a few years successively. The biggest fans were the brewing professionals themselves and that speaks volumes about the quality of the beer,” he said.
“It’s a pale ale in the real, classic sense of a pale, with great balance and drinkability”.
The aroma is fresh spicy citrus and exotic spice dust, derived from fresh hops sourced from around the world. The palate is firm with malted sweetness, refreshing bitterness and a long finish. It’s 5.2% ABV.
Alpha Pale Ale will be available at Liquorland, First Choice and Vintage Cellars stores nationally from 13 October for a limited time only. It will also be available on tap at the Matilda Bay Brewery in Healesville, Victoria in accordance with ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.
Malts: Premium Australian pale malt, crystal malt
Hops: American cascades, Australian topaz
Aroma: Fresh pine and citrus notes with floral hints
Best enjoyed between 2 – 4 degrees Celsius