Name: Black Dog Brewery Howling Pale Ale

Style: Pale Ale

Country: Australia

ABV: 5.2%

Beer description: Black Dog Brewery is a small brewery in Taminick, Victoria tacked onto the Taminick Winery. Their head brewer comes from wine-maker stock and he puts a wine-maker’s care and thought into his beers.

Howling Dog’s pale ale pours with lots of head, it’s a pretty vigorous beer, but it dies down quickly, leaving a nice couple of millimeters on top.

Typical to other beers by Howling Dog, there’s definitely something interesting going on with the yeast here, and it really comes through in the aroma. There’s just that calculated wild yeast feel to the beer that is a little more pronounced in their saison and present in their ale as well. It’s very nice and really highlights how much the brewer is thinking about all the different elements of the beer. With the yeasty smell is grapefruit and earth tones that are very typical of the American style the brewer was aiming for.

The funky yeast goodness of the beer continues on in the taste, giving an almost mushroom like quality in the earthiness of the beer (which may also be coming from the hop profile). The label of the beer lists a “generous malty profile,” which is almost correct: malt is there, but it’s no more pronounced than any other pale ale. The malt is simply providing a backbone for everything else to sit on.

If anything the beer could have more malt to thicken it up a little bit as it ends a little bit thin. The beer ends on a fairly bitter note, even for the style, and it feels a little dry. There’s a little bit of sweetness, but there could be a bit more to compliment the bitterness so it doesn’t take over so much. It’s a well hopped beer, but just needs a bit more to round it out.

That being said, it’s a light and easy drinking beer for someone who wants a good amount of bitterness without having to have a big IPA that’s heavy, and full of malt and alcohol. Black Dog have done a good job in making a simple and hop driven beer that can be enjoyed by the hop heads in a session.

Check out other pale ale reviews.

See other Black Dog Brewery beer reviews.