Guy Davies

Beers that come and go with the seasons

CHERRY trees in full bloom are one of the sights that draw thousands of tourists to Japan every year. It is not only a visual feast of cascading delicate pink flowers. The cherry blossom has a deeper and more spiritual meaning, and is seen as a metaphor for the ephemeral nature of life itself.

In other words, it symbolises that we are here for a beautiful but short time before we too fall to the ground. In Australia, the closest thing we have is the release by brewers of their seasonal beers - ones that you can really get to like and then they are not around to enjoy any more. Maybe it is not as poetic but you get my drift.

Hugh the Neighbour and I tried an example of one such beer last weekend, joined by HTN's mate Farmer Bob.

The three of us sat down to try the Little Creatures VHA - Shade Chaser IPA, a single-batch US West Coast-style beer designed to quench a summer thirst, which is seemingly only available at the brewery or online from

I presume the VHA stands for Very High Alcohol as it is 6.5% ABV. The flavour profile is what you would expect from a USA IPA - loads of fruity hoppiness complemented by a balance of malt tones without being over-the-top bitter.

We all enjoyed the Shade Chaser.

We also tried the White Rabbit Brewery Teddywidder - a tart weisse beer that is usually only available on tap but which has also been released in limited supply through MOCU.

The brewers' notes suggest subtle flavours and a zingy punch that are conducive to flavouring with syrups or fruit purees.

Unfortunately, Hugh, Bob and I were all brought up in an era where the need to add syrup to a beer was not an indication of great taste and ordering a shandy was a last ditch attempt to make a strange beer drinkable.

For us, the Teddywidder missed the mark - with Farmer Bob suggesting it should be put back in the camel. Love the White Rabbit range, but this is not one I will seek out.

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