Nomad show off their global influences with a collaboration brown ale, Berry Cubana.
I spend a lot of time talking about what’s happening in Sydney’s Inner West but north of the bridge is as good a shout for being the city’s craft beer heartland.
Nomad are doing some awesome things, and recent collaborations with American breweries including Stone demonstrate that.
This brown ale produced alongside the hearts and minds of Cigar City is a belter.
It pours a rich mahogany brown before settling out into a dark cola colour.
There’s decent carbonation and the head is a wholemeal bread kind of colour. It appears quite creamy before quickly fizzling out into a thin bubbly layer.
There’s a malt richness in the smell, as you’d expect from a brown ale. This is backed up by some nice hop character which has the recognisable aroma of Aussie and New Zealand hops; slightly fruity.
This beer uses a British ale yeast strain. This yeast can give a bit of character but not so much in this beer which is flavoured with riberry, and is otherwise quite malt-forward. Here the British ale yeast serves to enhance the malt character. It does it very nicely too.
The concept behind this collaboration was to use local ingredients to make a very interesting beer. The ingredient they used is riberry, or Lilly Pilly fruit.
This gives off a slight tartness with cinnamon and clove notes. It has a nice spiciness and richness which is well suited to a brown ale.
In fact, it smells and tastes like a better version of a spiced ale I brewed for Christmas 2014. That’ll be the cinammon and clove notes from the Lilly Pilly fruit which come through quite strong on the palate.
There’s a prominent tannic quality (like tea you let brew too long) which I’m guessing is also related to the cinnamon flavours.
After the tannins and spice you get some toasty flavours (burnt caramel to my palate). That said, there’s a touch of sweetness underneath it all. It’s quite sumptuous and almost morish.
The bottle is a work of art and that’s thanks to young Sydney artist Alex Latham. It manages to combine the brands of Nomad and Cigar City, which usually have quite different identities, very well.
From: Mona Vale
Beer style: Brown Ale (with riberry)
Pair with: A hearty goulash or hard nutty cheeses
Nomad Berry Cubana was a limited edition beer. Let me know if you managed to try it and what you thought of it.
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