Merchant Brewing Co. are new to the Sydney scene and they’ve started perfectly on style with a cracking pale ale.
It pours a dark gold colour with a big fluffy, frothy head of pure white. The head sticks around impressively.
There’s a bit of haze in the glass and it looks a bit darker than some pale ales, perhaps something edging closer to the colour of 4 Pines Pale Ale.
The aromas are clearly hop forward with some citrus and passionfruit. It’s the smell of a solid, modern American-meets-Aussie pale ale.
The flavour errs more on the grassy side but there are some delicious, refreshing citrus notes that play across the palate. It definitely has that lawnmower beer aspect to it. Easily sessionable, and with flavours that remind me of a freshly mown summer lawn. (Without the hay fever of course!)
Coming in at around 5.5% is just about perfect too. That probably makes it at the higher end of the range for this kind of Aussie pale ale but the malt backbone is necessary to give the beer balance.
The mouthfeel benefits from the grain bill too as it prevents it being too wishy washy as you can sometimes find in lesser examples of the pale ale style. Instead, it has some bite too it, a satisfying body which makes drinking it a joy.
For an otherwise hop forward beer, the bitterness is fairly mild. The hops have done some good work but the Merchant boys have kept it balanced.
From the first pour to the last sip, Three Toe shows off some good carbonation, making it a fantastic and versatile beer in terms of food pairing. I had it with a lamb pitta with tabouli and hummus. The grassy and citrus flavours went perfectly with the juicy, meaty lamb.
As the summer months roll in this could prove to be a go-to beer for many craft beer drinkers. I’d also wager it would be a great beer to convert the lager drinker in your life to good beer.
From: Inner West
Beer style: Pale Ale
Pair with: Lamb pitta with tabouli and hummus
Leave a comment if you’ve tried Three Toe Ale, or any other beers from Merchant Brewing Co.