Name: Boatrocker Brewing Co Epice

Style: Blonde Ale

Country: Australia

ABV: 5.8%

Beer Description: Boatrocker Brewing Co is a Melbournian craft brewery. They’re one of the old craft beer workhorses of Melbourne who aren’t afraid to try some new flavours here and there. At the same time, the brewery has a few standards that aren’t too out there but also good enough to back to time and again.

The Epice by Boatrocker is one of their more interesting beers that is a bit more of a slower beer. It’s not a standard recipe Blonde Ale, with ingredients such as star anise and orange peel added for interest. The brewery also chose to use Champagne yeast to change things up from a standard beer. They describe it as a “moussey mouthfeel.”

The beer pours a light straw colour. It’s certainly blonde! There’s tons of head as the beer pours, with a good amount of lacing on the side of the glass. The head is an egg white colour, possibly coming from the Champagne yeast. Quite simply, it’s a nice beer to look at. It’s enticing.

If you’re not a fan of star anise, skip this beer, because that’s what you’ll find in the aroma. Star anise and not much else, as it’s a smell that tends to take over the senses. There’s a bit of malty good times in there, but it’s really the star anise that comes out. So for those who like star anise, hit this beer up!

The beer is surprisingly sweet, but combined with the star anise and orange peel, it creates a pleasant licorice flavour. Hop tones are either disguised behind the bigger flavours or a bit subtle. This is a spiced Belgian style Blonde Ale, so it’s not like it’s a hop driven beer. It’s a beer driven by other flavours. That is, the spices.

Going further, it’s far from a “beery” beer. It has a crisp (and moussy) mouth feel from the Champagne yeast. It has a bit of spiciness and tartness to it that is different from other types of spice and tart sensations that are often found in beer. It’s really interesting how the Champagne comes through, and how much a yeast can really change up an alcoholic beverage. And that’s really the stand out for this beer.

Boatrocker aren’t the first to use an unusual yeast in a beer, and Champagne isn’t even that unusual! But this beer is a bit of an eye opener on how much a yeast can and will change a beer. For home brewers, maybe it will give  you some ideas on how to make your otherwise average beer stand out. For others, it’s a nice study.

Boatrocker Brewing Co’s Epice is part of their standard release, so it should be pretty easy to track down. Check it out.

Check out other reviews of Blonde Ales.

Go to other Boatrocker beers.