Food, Beer & Buffoonery - Hops

The Missing BJCP Styles, part 3: the Australian Lagers

We recently looked at some unique Australian Ales not found in the BJCP Style Guidelines. In this third installment of The Missing BJCP Styles series we’ll be focusing on a couple Australian Lagers: Australian Lager and Premium Australian Lager.

These two styles are very similar to their American counterparts: Standard and Premium American Lagers, though the Standard Australian Lager’s IBU range is slightly greater than that or Standard American Lager. Other contrasts would probably show up in choices for yeast and especially hops. Seeking out good Australian malt is desirable, of if you’re doing extract brewing, use Coopers’ extracts.

If you’re setting out to brew an Australian lager, you’ll probably want to use Pride of Ringwood hops for bittering and flavor/aroma; though if you can’t find them, Galena or Cluster are said to make acceptable substitutes. There are no readily available Australian Lager yeasts (in the USA) that I know of, but due to their strong similarity to American Lagers either White Labs’ WLP840 American Lager or Wyeast 2035 – American Lager yeasts would be appropriate.


Appearance: Very pale straw to pale gold colour. White head. Carbonation medium to high. Clarity good to

Aroma: Little to no malt aroma. Hop aroma may range from low to none and may be flowery. Slight fruity
aromas from yeast and hop varieties used may exist. No diacetyl.

Flavour: Crisp and dry flavour with some low levels of sweetness. Hop flavour may range from low to medium. Hop bitterness low to medium. Balance can vary from slightly malty to slightly bitter, but is usually close to even. No diacetyl. No fruitiness. Finish tending dry.

Mouthfeel: Low to low medium. Well carbonated. Slight carbonic bite on tongue is acceptable.
Overall Impression: Light, refreshing and thirst quenching.

Vital Statistics:
OG: 1040-1050
FG: 1004-1010
IBU: 10-20
ABV: 4.2-5.1%

Commercial Examples: Fosters Lager, Carlton Draught, XXXX, and Tooheys New.


Appearance: Straw to pale gold. Bright, with a reasonable head. Darker than common Australian lagers, due to the use of less adjuncts.

Aroma: A mild, malt aroma, which may be supported by low to moderate, and even possibly noble, hop notes. Estery fruitiness, diacetyl, and phenolic or yeasty notes should be absent.

Flavour: Low to moderate mild malt flavour may be supported by low to moderate hop flavours. Bitterness can range from low-medium (lagers) to high-medium (pilsners), resulting in a neutral to slightly bitter malt/bitterness balance. Medium to medium-high carbonation. Crisp and dry. Any fruity flavours, phenolics, yeasty flavours, diacetyl, astringency or harshness, should be penalized.

Mouthfeel: Light to light-medium.

Overall Impression: A clean, crisp lager, designed basically for quaffing, but containing more interest and more malt and hop character than the typical Australian session lagers.

Vital Statistics:
OG: 1045-1055
FG: 1008-1012
IBU: 15-25
ABV: 4.7-6.0%

Commercial Examples: Malt Shovel Pilsner, Boags Premium Lager.

Special thanks to Tony Wheeler and all those at the AABC for assisting me, directly and indirectly, with putting the Australian styles together.

Note: I was going to include Australian Bitter Lager here, but the Australian version of the BJCP, the AABC, recently removed it from their style guide.

Other Missing Styles to Be Covered Soon:
Kellerbier, Gose, Wiess, Honey Beers (not Braggots), Classic American Cream Ale, Czech Dark Lager, English Pale Mild, Scottish 90/- (?), American Stock Ale, English Strong Ale, Non-alcoholic “Beer”, Malt Liquor, Imperial/Double Red Ale, Imperial/Double Brown Ale, Imperial Lager, Imperial Pilsner, Imperial Porter, Rye IPA, Dark American Wheat/Rye.

Super Duper Turkey Meatloaf

We had a ton of vegetables sitting around and a couple pounds of ground turkey in the freezer.  So using a couple recipes as a foundation I whipped together the finest meatloaf I’ve yet had.  As I was just winging it, the below recipe is a very close approximation of the meatloaf I made tonight. Let me know if you try it!

Super Duper Turkey Meatloaf


2 lbs. (900g) ground Turkey (half breast meat, half thigh meat)
1 tsp. olive oil
2 medium onions
4 cloves garlic
1 large carrot
2 stalks celery
1 large zucchini
3/4 lbs. (340g) cremini mushrooms
1.5 cups (350ml) fresh bread crumbs
1/3 cup (80ml) milk
2 eggs
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
3 Tbsp. ketchup
2 tsp. chicken base (or equivalent bullion that would normally make two cups of broth)
3 Tbsp. beer (hoppy ale)
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. worcester sauce
1-2 tsp. malt vinegar
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. ground sage
1/4 tsp. black pepper
dash yellow mustard powder
dash cayenne pepper
dash mace
salt to taste (remember, there’s salt in a few of the ingredients above already!)


Finely chop all vegetables and mushrooms (keep the separated!) in a food processor.  Combine the bread crumbs with the milk and set aside.

Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C).

In a large skillet, saute the onions and garlic in the oil for a couple minutes until onions begin to soften.  Add the carrots and celery and saute for a couple more minutes. Add the zucchini and mushrooms and saute for a few more minutes until all vegetables are just a bit soft. Do not over cook.  Place vegetables in a large metal bowl.

Add the milk/bread crumb mixture to the sauteed vegetables. Mix. Use you hands, its more fun. Add the eggs. Mix more. Now add the beer, tomato paste, ketchup, chicken base (I use Better Than Bullion brand), soy sauce, worcester sauce, malt vinegar and all of the herbs and spices. Mix more. The mixture should be pretty soggy.

Add the turkey to the mixure. Mix more. Again, hands are more fun. When everything is thoroughly mixed, it should be extremely moist, but just “together” enough to keep its form if you shape it into a flat sort of ball. If it’s too moist, add a few more shakes of bread crumbs.

Lightly grease a large rimmed baking sheet with olive oil. Divide the turkey mixture into two equal portions and make two flattened oval loafs on the baking sheet. Squirt some ketchup over the top of the two loaves and spread around with a brush – or your fingers.

Bake at 400°F (205°C) for about 50 minutes, or until a meat thermometer registers 170°F (77°C) when inserted into the center of the loaves. Remove from oven. Let stand for 5-10 minutes before cutting (it’ll stay together better).

I served this with a side salad made of red leaf lettuce, some dried bing cherries, some home toasted sunflower seeds, some freshly grated parmesan cheese and topped with my own home made buttermilk ranch dressing.

When I make this again, I’ll take some photos and add to this post.

A Fine British Curry

A British Curry

A British Curry

Searching the net for something to cook tonight, I ran across a recipe for a British Style Curry.  The author of the recipe states, “I can close my eyes after eating it and hear the patter of rain on the streets of London.” Sounds good to me. I’ve only been to London once, and I didn’t have any curry while I was there … but I can imagine.

It’s just about done as I type and it smells fantastic.  I tasted a little with a spoon, and it tastes as good as it smells. Though the author of the recipe may not appreciate me cutting down on the oil…  Sorry, I just couldn’t do it!!!  Two cups?!?!  😀

I was thinking of ways to make this recipe just as rich as the “two cups of oil” version, but without the, you know, two cups of oil. So upon serving, in by bowl, I added a dab of honey for a slight hint of sweetness. This seemed to work well. I think I might also try adding a couple spoons of yogurt next time and see how that fares.

Anyway, I thought this recipe should be shared.  And I’ll be perusing through the rest of when I get a chance to see if there are more recipes hidden there. She does mention beer…

I’d suggest feasting on this with a nice 55°F (13°C) pint of Fuller’s London Pride.

The British Curry Recipe

(Oh, and I just had to cheat and bake some beer battered fish to go with it.  Fish and Curry.  Why not?)