Prof’s Point of Brew: Two Birds Pale Ale
This gateway beer is not only the perfect wind-down brew at the end of a long week at work and at home, but also a shining example of the changing perceptions of beer in Australia.
Where for decades we had the ‘choice’ of fifty different mainstream brands of the same Australian-style lager, today we have the seemingly endless cavalcade of exciting, colourful and sometimes challenging beers representing traditional styles and new interpretations.
Many see the whole ‘craft beer’ thing as somewhat mystifying collection of big, bold, hoppy and alcohol-laden palate-shredders when, in fact, our overall taste is slowly shifting towards subtlety, nuance and a drinkable balance of malt and hops.
Perhaps sniffing the breeze and noting the drinker’s gentle shift to the more easy-drinking style beers, Two Birds dropped their Bantam IPA for this neat little package of aromatic hops, mild malt structure and gentle bitterness leading into a nice dry finish.
The hops are piney and lightly tropical in aroma and the mouthfeel is given a silky smoothness with the addition of two types of oats. Yes, oats, like breakfast cereal. Flaked and Golden Naked oats for those hoping to snag a tricky trivia answer one day.
This beer is aimed at the drinker happy to stray from a mainstream lager without jumping straight to a full-bore hop monstrous Imperial India Pale Ale with enamel-stripping bitterness. It’s pleasant and flavourful, rewarding in body, mouthfeel and bitterness but finishes dry enough to keep the palate from fatigue.
What’s the lesson for dads here? Well, just like the go-slowly approach you apply to, say, teaching your kid how to ride, so too with beer experimentation. Take your time, don’t go too bold too soon; savour and enjoy (responsibly)!
(Fun fact: The Two Birds Pale Ale recipe is a reworking of their limited release beer Oaty McOatface, who says beer can’t be fun?)