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Thus Let Us Drink Beer - Exit and Whitelakes Brewing

Updated: Jan 1

If you are following this series attentively, you would be aware that we have covered Exit Brewing and their excellent IPA when they first hit the scene.

Now, given my weak spot for IPAs it was not further wondrous that given the quality and meticulous attention to detail and every facet of their operations when it comes to channelling their crafting alchemy, the slab I got did not last very long and ever since I harboured an Exit IPA shaped hole in my heart.

Needless to say, when I heard about Exit releasing a Double IPA it was high time to revisit how the family-owned, consistent brewery has evolved.

With Double IPAs some brewery rely on the credo that “more is more” by merely dialling all aspects of the flavour spectrum to eleven when it comes to hoppiness, which is fine with me.

However, it is when the finer nuances shine through that the expertise of the brewery shows itself, which is where Exit Brewing excels:

In terms of hops, one is proffered an eclectic melange of Citra, Mosaic, Sorachi ace, Centennial and Chinook variants, which are calibrated in a manner so that not only individual characters are discernible, but to masterfully complement one another.

Meandering the spectrum between resinous piney highlights, burnt toffee and an earthiness that is pervaded by orangey and citrussy flavours, it feels and tastes like a well-orchestrated party for the palate.

The character of the bitterness is accentuated by Crystal and Munich malts, which counterpoint the aforementioned bold hop and sweet flavour components and serve as a stage to showcase them simultaneously.

Having enjoyed it as an accompaniment to a wee dram of Ardbeg’s Corrywreckan, I could not have asked for a more accomplished boilermaker combo and can only hope that this expression will become an integral part of Exit’s core portfolio.

A recent limited release is Exit's Red IPA, which manages to add an interesting facet to their offerings, not merely colour-wise but by being the borderline perfect tipple for the colder months of the year to sit by the fireside.

As one would expect, the Red IPA has toffee and the solid foundation of maltiness come through in a more prominent manner, flanked by hop notes and a nice grainy sweetness. With a finish reverberating with both the fruity highlights and the grounding bitter notes, it proves to be dangerously moreish.

Let’s take a journey to Western Australia, shan’t we?

Whitelakes Brewing is a relatively new player on the Australian craft beer firmament that despite being highly decorated with accolades on both terra australis as well as international terrain, so far I have not yet had the pleasure of samples brews from.

Word around the campfire has that the brewery setup is state of the art and quite extensive in scale, so I was looking forward as to what Whitelakes’ frothy emissions would be all about.

From a core range of seven brews, which seem to have accessibility as the common defining denominator, both in terms of ABV clocking in around the 5% mark as well as far as the style is concerned, i.e. mainly based around the Pilsner approach to beer making.

Whitelakes’ approach seems to be informed by a mission to create sessionable brews rather than ones that hit you bullseye with novelty flavours and high alcohol content and I can attest that they accomplish what they set to do in terms of creating moreish beers that won’t punish you for having a second helping.

Whitelakes’ Extra Pale Lager proves to be an example par excellence for a well-calibrated beer with balance and drinkability at its core.

While there are quite a few XPLs that are just overly reliant on hoppiness, Whitelakes’ adds orangey, peachy and biscuity highlights accentuate the malty aromas, which linger on the resinous side of things.

While there is deliberate emphasis on the power of the hops, curbing there exuberance sharply with a distinct bitterness elevates the flavour profile into complex territory rather than curbing it.

Whitelakes’ Dark Lager is the yang to the XPL yin: Brewed in the tradition of a Teutonic Schwarzbier, we are entering a world defined by a smorgasbord nuanced maltiness.

As one would expect from a Lager from the darker realm, roasted coffee and chocolatey flavours dominate the scene without being overwhelming, resulting in a hearty yet refreshing brew that might look stouty yet eschews the heavy-handedness by infusing the malt flavours with citrussy and spearminty nuances.

Summa summarum, Whitelakes delivers the goods and it appears that every flavour nuance is as carefully thought through as the presentation of their cans, their website and the merchandise range.


September 8, 2021

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