Drunken Speculation

#22 Holgate Brewhouse Mt Macedon Ale

holgate mt macedonI had a bit of an accident. Nothing serious. I just ploughed my mid-range road bicycle into the passenger side of a car at a touch over 40km/h. The driver had decided the middle of the street that I was descending was the perfect place to pull a U-turn. Fortunately, no one was hurt, except for Focy, my poor little bike, which ended up with a fractured fork. Sadly, Focy later had to be put down.

Oh yeah, turns out the driver was the uncle of a colleague. Small world, huh?

Anyway, that night, and freakishly concussion-free I might add, I was whiling away some time at the Archive trying to keep a lid on my frustration and increasingly stiff left shoulder. My mate grabbed us something random from the bar, which brings us to Holgate’s Mt Macedon Ale.

I’ve seen Mt Macedon Ale at the bottleshop but shied away because of the price tag. At $6 more than a sixpack of 4 Pines, this had better be a damn fine beer. Gloriously, it is.

Holgate describe it as

This popular Pale Ale has a broad appeal, it’s delicate caramel malt flavour from a base of Vienna malt is balanced by generous late additions of New World piney/resinous hops. Easy on the taste buds but offering a complex character, this beer matches well with Meditterranean style dishes.

I assume this doesn’t extend to Coles’ brand Vegetable Lasagne, which was my food pairing. I don’t pair food well.

Holy God, it looks so good. It’s the perfect balance of pearly white head and full-bodied amber goodness. Just looking at it eases the pain of Focy’s death. It smells good as well. There’s a bit of Kolsch about it but with more subtlety, and strangely pineapple, to it. The aroma definitely suggests something sweet.

Now, I’m getting sick of pale ales. There’s 150 in the market and once you’ve had Little Creatures, what’s the point of going on? Upon tasting this beverage, I slapped myself and washed my own mouth out with soap.

Certainly, comparing to the likes of 150 Lashes and Fat Yak, it’s so much better. The first thing that I notice is the caramel. While I’m over pale ales, I’m not over malt flavours, so we’re off to a good start. It’s not a strongly hopped beer. There’s a nice twinge of bitterness and hoppiness underlying the caramel but nothing is overpowering. It’s very ying and yang.

The beer is eminently sessionable. It balances my personal desire to have a somewhat malty beer with something that’s easy to drink. The mouthfeel, like it’s appearance, is a good balance: not too carbonated but not flat. Again, Holgate have taken a Zen-like balanced approach in putting together this fantastic brew.

To put it simply, the Mt Macedon Ale is delicious and it is the picture of a well-rounded, balanced beer. So good.


  • Website
  • Genre: Pale ale
  • Regionality: Woodend, VIC
  • Strength: 4.5%
  • Rating: 3 / 3 taste + 2 / 2 ancillaries = 5 / 5
  • Plus: Balance is any respect you care to mention.
  • Minus: Bit on the pricey side.
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