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Thus Let Us Drink Beer - Edge Project + Temple Brewing

Edge Project is one of the more worldly breweries in Australia as they not only keep tabs on the latest developments on international terrain, but pro-actively connect with like-minded partners overseas to broaden their horizons and to collaborate with their favourite brewers.

Having started as a gypsy brewery in New Zealand and Australia with hand drawn labels to adorn their liquid emissions, what has become known and well established as Edge Brewing Project has evolved significantly since its inception in 2013, including but not limited to being decorated with international awards as well as restaurants taking note, such as envelope pushing fine-dining powerhouses like Noma, which included Edge Project’s brews on their exclusive menu based on the shared interest in giving native ingredients the centre stage in their recipes.

While we have covered Edge Project’s focus on small batch lagers, imperial stouts and sours before, I was intrigued when I learned about them having launched an IPA – one that has apparently been years in the making.

Based on a collaboration with New Zealand partner brewery Omnipollo, the IPA occupies an interesting place as it marries West Coast characteristics in terms of hop-forwardness and approachable malty flavours with the juicy and tropical haziness that East Coast IPAs are known for.

Orangey in appearance, this little number has a subdued bitterness with tropical sweetness on the front end, which fades into a delicate maltiness dancing against a backdrop of stone fruits and citrussy highlights.

Clocking in at 7% ABV, this proves to be a vibrant companion to complement a boilermaker with a dram of peated goodness and one that should delight anyone remotely into India Pale Ales.

Let’s enter a reference to Talking Heads via Edge Brewing Project’s aptly named Imperial Red Lager, i.e. Psycho Killer.

Not unlike the aforementioned IPA, we find ourselves again in experimental hybrid territory in that hops from New Zealand, in addition to grains and rice add their idiosyncratic flavours to create something bigger than the mere sum of the individual components would have you think.

On the palate, butterscotch dances with nougat and toffee nuances with a smooth mouthfeel and hardly any astringency. Hoppy overtones are kept on the down low, providing just enough bitterness so that the sweetness is refraining from entering saccharine territory and the aftertaste is softened.

As the flavour notes suggest, Psycho Killer is something that one would not expect to originate on Australian turf and speaks volumes to Edge Project’s ability to not merely experiment for experimentation’s sake but nailing the flavours of what they have set out to end up with effortlessly.

Temple Brewing

Informed by the credo that beer is more than merely an alcoholic beverage and instead a way of bringing people together, Temple Brewing is engrained in Melbourne’s Brunswick East community with their core range and an ever-changing innovative roster of limited brews, with which their brewers challenge their skills, and push boundaries by playing around with different styles, ingredients and techniques to fuel their passion.

My first exposure to Temple Brewing was via their Weston St IPA, which, as the telling name suggests, is essentially an ode to everything that is to love about West Coast IPAs.

Upon approach the nostrils are tickled, by aromas of grapefruit and caramel-like malts. On the top of the mouth, a crisp, dry, over-the-top hop bitterness serves as a backdrop for citrussy, resinous, piney, and downright dank flavours to dance on.

Brewed with a ton of Cascade, Chinook and Simcoe Cryo hops, the intense hoppy, resinous pine flavours are amplified through the concentrated lupulin of whole-leaf hops containing resins and aromatic oils.

Clocking in at 7.4% ABV, this immensely crushable West Coast IPA knows to convince with its not at all subtly bitter flavour profile, culminating in delicious biscuit-like malt notes without taking away from the supremely dank flavours that showcase everything hops can bring to a beer.

The finish leaves on lusting for more with bitter pine reverberating.

Things get interesting with Temple Brewing’s X Market Lane Starry Sky:

Paying homage to Melbourne’s reputation of arguably being at the cutting edge of sourcing, roasting and brewing specialty coffee, the Van Gogh referencing Starry Sky constitutes a collaboration with local roasters Market Lane Coffee, resulting in a big imperial Irish stout made with Brazilian coffee.

Dark brown to black in colour with flavours that are intensely malty, deeply roasted with coffee accents of dark fruit (think raisins and figs) and dark chocolate, the bitterness is low to moderate.

Starry Sky is a full malty, viscous bad boy with an ABV of 12% and a vibrant melange of hazelnuts, dark cherries and a clean dry finish reminiscent of what you get from traditional Irish Stouts.

Let’s get La Vey-ian:

“Woe to you, oh earth and sea, for the Devil sends the beast with wrath because he knows the time is short. Let him who hath understanding reckon the number of the beast, for it is a human number…”

Temple Brewing finds itself on the altar of the Church of Satan with its 666 expression:

Being the brewery’s 666th batch of beer, with 6.66% ABV and a bitterness of 66.6 IBU, this Red IPA is so much more than the mere novelty in terms of metrics would suggest.

Hoppy, bitter, and moderately strong not unlike an American IPA, the complex flavour profile is dominated by caramel, toffee and a dark fruit malt character.

Retaining the dryish finish and lean body that makes IPAs so drinkable, what I love about this fiery red little number is that amongst the malty overtones, piney and resinous nuances shine through in equal measure along with a well-calibrated bitterness.


Devilishly delicious.

T • September 26, 2022

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