It’s no secret that I’m a little bit obsessed with the beer from the Moon Dog boys. It’s also no secret why, if you’ve had any of their beers then you know exactly what I’m talking about.
I don’t want to discuss it. On with the beers!
In no particular order;
The George Freeth Memorial Tropical Brown Ale
Even though as a brewery Moon Dog is relatively young, they have already established a reputation and an understanding that what they produce will be bold, unique and extreme.
So the idea of a coconut-pineapple brown ale was not out of the realms of expectation for Moon Dog, or even of onlookers.
The aroma had the nutty coconut nose to it but only floating just above a lovely, sweet malt aroma. Now, the taste was something quite extraordinary.
The pineapple is always there, the coconut is always there. Most importantly it’s a really excellent big bodied brown ale that would stand up on it’s own with no difficulty at all. The genius to this beer is that it ties all these strong elements together and presents a superbly balanced coconut-pineapple-brown ale.
Mrs Parmas came up with a Hawaiian Parma that complimented The George Freeth like a dream.
A very special beer.
Cock Sockin’ Ball Knockin’ Chipotle Stout
This just.....well I don’t even....you see there’s....
Let me start again by going straight into the beer.
Straight out of the tap this beer has a big, warming aroma that establishes anticipation that makes your mouth water.
Then your eyes water, and you realize it’s the chipotle kicking in.
This is a really classy stout with a wonderfully smooth mouthfeel. A stout with a big malty body, and hints of coffee and chocolate. Let it warm up a little and you see a little more chocolate wander along, closely followed by a hint of cherry but never leaving behind the chipotle finish that rounds out the experience.
A classy, solid, highly drinkable stout.
The Local Taphouse also ran this beer through it’s own Funky Brewster crammed with chipotle peppers and cascade hops. And believe me, this is the game changer.
Clearly this brings a huge chili heat to the beer, but it never overpowers the stout flavour. All of a sudden the chipotle flavour brutishly pulls up cherry and coconut flavours and you have an extremely bold, extremely Moon Dog version of a big stout.
Whilst warm this beer is phenomenal.
The Artisan Poser
|Doctored image? You decide.|
It seems funny to think that Moon Dog would have a “classic” beer, but this certainly fits that mould.
A honey roasted spiced imperial pumpkin ale is the correct description of this arrangement of flavours, and it doesn’t fail on any of those promised components.
This smooth, spiced ale is highly sessionable. In fact, I wish I had one right now. A perfect winter-warming beer that is distinct, but has a lot of subtlety swirling around it. A visual treat, this beer doesn’t hold back on anything. The pumpkin flavour is fresh and wonderful, and this is balanced some sweet spices and a beautiful malt character.
Let it warm to get the Moon Doggedness truly show itself with all the character becoming more apparent. More malty sweetness, more fresh pumpkin flavour and more sweet spices lift to the surface and highlights just what these lads can do.
I’m gutted that I only managed to snag one pint this time around. I’ll try harder next time.
Raindrops On Roses, and Hairs On Chests
A beast of an IPA. Not just any IPA though. Rose petals and rose water are used to calm it down a little bit, but at around 11% ABV this still has some attitude.
As an IPA loving hop-head, reading the description of this beer conjured a great deal of anticipation for me. Then I found out it was going to be on at Penny Blue going through the handpump. I nearly cried (of joy, I assure you).
I wandered off down Elizabeth St. at 4pm after work on the Tuesday before I met Rian for some Crafty Crawl work at about six.
Two hours I would have to enjoy the Raindrops on Roses! The joy!
But alas, when I did arrive there was nobody who could change the keg. I nearly cried again (not of joy this time).
I returned on the Wednesday I was certainly not disappointed.
A lovely hoppy aroma greeted me out of the glass with a hint of rose sneaking through.
The taste had me at hello. It’s a big, hop driven IPA with a smooth, sweet malt body. It really hides the ABV (which might be dangerous) tasting more like an 8% at most. The subtle rose character is a really interesting way to soften the big, mean IPA attack and really does compliment it well.
I described it to a couple of people as a less harsh version of BrewDog’s Hardcore IPA, but with the rose infusion. Does that help anyone? Probably not. I don’t know why I mentioned it.
This IPA was enhanced by the fact that Penny Blue were running it out of the handpump. So smooth. The way this kind of beer should be!
I may have gone back each day until it was out...
The Black Lung
A mighty impressive, mighty barrel aged porter.
A hot contender for my favourite Moon Dog beer from Good Beer Week. Hmm? You don’t care which was my favourite? I figured as much.
The Black Lung is bold from go to woe. A barrel aged smokey porter. It just sounds good doesn’t it?
It’s a real trophy to look at. It was almost a shame to take the first sip as it slightly ruined the perfect picture.
It’s a sessionably (beside a fireplace with a pipe and a robe kind of sessionability) solid porter but has the beautifully smoky character in the aroma.
The bourbon aged characteristic is immediate before it settles down into a glorious, rich, malty porter that consumes every thought until the glass is empty.
The Black Lung is the kind of beer that can make you forget that you didn’t actually pay for anything at Josie Bones before you left and have to call up the next day and sheepishly give over credit card details...
No, forget that. This beer isn’t anything like that.
The Abbotsford Collaboration Ale
This article wouldn’t be complete without mention of the collaboration ale that Moon Dog were a part of, known as the “Abbey Collabbey” to it’s friends.
Moon Dog, Mountain Goat and Matilda Bay put their wonderful heads together to concoct something would have a little piece of each of them inside a pint glass, and the result was remarkably successful.
A dark Belgian Dubbel was agreed upon as the style they would produce, but the Moon Dog paw print was set down in the form of belgian waffles and raisins added to the brew.
At the launch at the Mountain Goat Brewery the Abbey Collabbey was being poured very cold which revealed a really interesting dubbel, but it wasn’t until it warmed up until the real delights of this beer were revealed.
A lot is happening in this beer, with the waffle flavour coming on and the mixed spiced flavours from the raisins and dark sugars becoming more apparent.
This beer has got the drinkability that you would associate with Matilda Bay, the outlandish flavours of Moon Dog, and when this is combined it just feels like a Mountain Goat beer.
Quite a remarkable beer, and one that I will be seeking out again before it runs out.
In summary we’ve seen some flexing of the muscles of Moon Dog and we’ve been shown just what these guys can really do. If you’re not excited by them then I don’t know what it takes to excite you.
Once these guys hit full production there will be good times had by all.
I will be buying a hell of a lot of Moon Dog beer.