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Thus Let Us Drink Beer – Aether and Bojak Brewing

Aether Brewing is another craft brewery that over the last couple of years has been on my peripheral vision, yet it took five years into their existence for me to finally sample some of their finely brewed emissions.

With the name being a thinly veiled reference to Greek mythology, their mission statement being centred around the pursuit of not merely brewing perfection but on creating experiences for their customers based on the aromas and flavours of their beers along with the design of their artwork adorning their tins offering eye candy by following an overarching theme, expectations were quite high.

With a core range offering staples like a mid-strength Pilsner and sessionable lager along with an accolade decorated Pale Ale, I was first drawn to their much fabled out Hop, Skip & Jump IPA and their black IPA, with the latter being one of the more unusual offerings within the realm of India Pale Ales.

Being a West Coast IPA variant, Aether’s Hop, Skip & Jump overwhelms with an avalanche of citrussy aromas that are married with deliciously resinous characteristics derived from the quartet of Citra, Simcoe, Columbus and Galaxy hops, which are accentuated by stone fruity nuances.

The whole affairs is rounded out nicely by a perfectly calibrated malty bitterness, clocking in at 70 IBU. An excellent strong-bodied IPA that makes me deeply regret that I missed out on Aether channelling its alchemy in the creation of a hemp based IIPA and a much fabled about Irish red ale with bone marrow. The latter should give an indication of Aether’s intrinsic willingness to experiment to push the envelope and take things to the next level flavour-wise.

Let’s move on to the oxymoron that is the Black As Your Heart India Pale Ale. Being not exactly the biggest fan of dark beers, I was intrigued as to where the verdict was going to land on this one.

While one might think that flavours would clash or overwrite one another, what Aether has accomplished in this case is a well-composed melange of hoppy, resinous fruitiness with the expected rustic, malty roastiness of the malty backbone shining through.

The result is the diametric opposite of a one-dimensional experience as it starts off with a taste of what one would normally expect from an IPA to then take a left turn into stouty territory, with coffee and dark chocolatey flavours taking on a dominant role

I paired it with a dram of Ledaig 10 and it resulted in one of the more enjoyable and intense boilermaker experiences I have recently had. Despite the strong flavour components and an ABV of 6.7%, the Black IPA is a dangerously moreish little number.

Talking of darker brews – towards the end of the eighteenth century scientist John Michell proposed that gravity in the vicinity of massively compact objects can be powerful enough for not even light to escape.

Not claiming that Aether’s Event Horizon expression was brewed in a black hole but as the name suggests, Danzig would be proud as it is the equivalent of Burzum in the world of beers. Compared to Aether’s Event Horizon, the abovementioned Black As Your Heart IPA shines fluorescently in comparison.

Porter by nature, as the blackness of the pour suggests, flavours are dominated by a malty, roasty richness, which still leaves space for subtler notes of dark chocolate and delicately sweet highlights to shine through, courtesy of vanilla beans that have been aged in spiced rum.

With their attentional to detail as far as every facet of their brews is concerned, I can only hope that Aether Brewing will continue to expand their distinctly flavoured IPA range and am looking forward to their future creations.

Let’s travel South to Victoria, where a fiercely local brewery operates under a moniker derived from the founding couple sons names’ being merged.

Bojak Brewing started out as a small brewpub before spreading its wings to make a splash on the crowded Melbournian craft beer scene, which given the amount of quality brews on offer around Melbourne is not an easy feat to accomplish.

With a core range comprised of a Teutonic pilseners, stouts and sours, Bojak’s Calypso Hazy IPA won me over straight away.

As the name suggests, this lil’ number comes with a bit of a Caribbean vibe with flavours being on the juicier end of the mango and pineapple spectrum, accentuated by earthy hints of wheat and oats, culminating with a deliberately subdued bitterness.

With an ABV of 6.4%, an extremely sessionable IPA that lends itself perfectly well to become a trusted companion on hot summer days.

Let’s venture on have a look at an expression with quite a fitting name, i.e. the Season Changer.

The season we are changing to is colder one, where one feels like cosying up in front of a fireplace, lusting for a US style brown ale with bold malt-based flavours.

Low on fruity esters and resting on a backbone of caramelly, nutty dark chocolate flavours, the melange of Chinook and Centennial hops complete the picture by counterpointing the malty backbone with their citrussy and resinous characteristics.

A medium dry finish rounds things out with a mid-high hop bitterness.

My favourite of the expressions I sampled from Bojak is the Legal Mess extra pale ale, the malt base of which is situated on the lighter end of the spectrum, with a well-calibrated subdued bitterness that leaves the spotlight for the hops to shine through.

Essentially, Legal Mess is the best of both worlds - an incredibly hoppy Pale Ale with IPA characteristics: Medium bodied, refreshing and with just the perfect amount of supporting malt character.


August 15, 2021

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