Modus Operandi Former Tenant needs no introduction, it won Champion Australian Craft Beer in 2014, when the brewery was just a few months old.
Before April 2016 it was only available on tap and in one litre CANimals. Nevertheless, Former Tenant’s reputation proceeded it.
But now you can get it in cans. They’re monstrous 500ml cans but boy are they sexy. It’s fantastic to finally get this beer packaged and easy to take home fresh.
It’s a red IPA and as far as Australian red IPAs go, it sets the bar and it sets it high. It’s most certainly red in colour, with a smooth flowing, light raw sugar coloured head.
Former Tennant is named for the previous occupier of MO’s premises and, as the label on the can puts it, his “illegal horticultural endeavours”. If you haven’t heard the story before, I’m sure you can work it out.
Mouth Watering Fruit Salad
Completely unrelated, the beer could be said to smell very green! With hops that is. It has that bold, fresh hoppy nose packing lots of fruit salad into the initial whiff out of the can. It’s all juicy mango and passionfruit, just as you want from the Mosaic and Galaxy hops.
There a spice under those mouth watering, fruity hop aromas too. It’s one I always get from red beers, it’s similar to a rye spice and it gets the taste buds tingling even more.
This spice flows hand in hand with an assertively bitter hoppy bite. Once that first wave of aggressive bitterness passes, it’s the turn of the big malty backbone. It’s a 7.8% beer so there’s a fair whack of grain in there. It shows in the slightly sweet, caramel aftertaste.
It’s a delicious contrast, between the citrus that nips and bites the end of your tongue, through the drying bitterness, to the rich, burnt sugar sweetness at the end.
What’s so excellent about this beer though is the way all these flavours and sensations combine in the mid-palate, leaving you with a satisfying experience after each and every gulp of the beer.
And you can gulp it, which is crazy for a beer this boozy but it’s just another gold star on the can of this already gilded beer. It’s incredibly drinkable given the ABV and it does keep you coming back for more just for the sheer flavour packed into it.
You could pair this with food but it’s a beer that deserves to be experienced on its own. Whether by the tinny, middy, schooner or pint, immerse yourself in all this incredible beer has to offer.
Set To Be A Mainstay
The Sydney beer scene is still young and if we look to America where they’re a little way ahead in terms of development, we can probably expect that some beers will drop off in popularity.
Meanwhile others are in it for the long haul, taking on the status of modern legends in the beer scene. The likes of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Lagunitas IPA and Ballast Point Sculpin are renowned throughout the US and abroad.
I think Modus Operandi Former Tennant could become one of those beers in the Australian market. In 2016, at the time of the launch of this beer in cans, it’s still a relative upstart but, if the quality stays at this level, I think this beer will be a mainstay in the local and national beer markets for some time to come.
From: Mona Vale, NSW
Beer style: Red IPA
Pair with: Enough time to sip and savour the beer (or BBQ chicken)
Have you tried Modus Operandi Former Tenant? Leave a comment and share your experience of this beer.