Getting crafty this Chrissy

In the first of our 12 Beers of Christmas series, the Gazette panelists discussed the following craft beers:

BentSpoke’s Crankshaft IPA is an American style India Pale Ale from Canberra and has an alcohol percentage of 5.8.

Crankshaft has a bold orange/rust colour with a delicious bitterness and a floral nose, which includes some notes of citrus and pine.

Talking beer: From left, Finn Coleman and our trio of panelists Cillian Coleman, Krystyna Pollard and Taylor Mattes discuss the first of the Gazette's 12 Beers of Christmas series. Picture: Geoff Jones.

Talking beer: From left, Finn Coleman and our trio of panelists Cillian Coleman, Krystyna Pollard and Taylor Mattes discuss the first of the Gazette's 12 Beers of Christmas series. Picture: Geoff Jones.

It has a good punch that is full of hops but the nice malt finish provides it with diversity and a medium body.

Crankshaft was released just last year and has already ranked number three on the hottest 100 Aussie craft beers of 2017.

A good food pairing would be a Indian curry as the beer will really bring out the spiciness and intensity of the curry.

Two Birds Sunset Ale is an amber ale from Spotswood, Victoria, with a 4.6 per cent alcohol rating. Don’t let this ale’s darker colour fool you, it has very tropical and citrus aromas. It has a touch of toffee and some rich malts.

It’s not for everyone but if you like toastie flavours with an easy and light finish this amber ale is perfect.

This was released in 2012 and quickly reached number 16 on the hottest 100 that year. It is an ode to Western Australia’s ruby red sunset over the Indian Ocean. This sunset ale goes great with traditional wood-fired pizza as it will heighten the crispiness and tomato bases.

James Squire’s The Chancer golden ale is brewed at their Camperdown Brewery, and has an alcohol percentage of 4.5.

This golden ale lives up to its name as it has a rich orange colour. The hops provide a tropical stone fruit aroma along with a restrained bitter finish. Due to its toasted wheat and barley grains, the toastiness really rolls through from the first sip.

Upon its release the Chancer has been a very popular beer in the James Squire range. It placed 28th in 2015 as the highest ranked golden ale for that year. The Chancer goes great with slow cooked pork and especially pork belly as it will add to the juiciness of the dish.

Bridge Road Breweries Beechworth Pale Ale is brewed in Beechworth, Victoria and holds a 4.8 per cent alcohol content.

Driven by piney, citrusy and tropical hops, this pale ale provides  a crisp and refreshing body along with a lingering bitterness. It has become an Aussie classic and hallmark for Bridge Roads as they regularly alter the recipe to fit with the constantly changing Australian environment and availability of hops.

Beechworth pale ale can be paired nicely alongside Camembert cheese with garlic bread and prosciutto.

It will really add to the strong flavours and the intensity of each individual food.