Review: Little Ceatures burn bright with the Fire Falcon Hoppy Red

the cons of Winter are always balanced against the undeniable benefits that the colder season brings. Yes there’s a lot of rain, but throughout Australia there’s also plenty of celebrations, many of which have to do with food and drink. Sydney’s got Vivid and Sydney Film Festival coming up, Tasmania has Dark Mofo to look forward to, and there’s a whole bunch of food and wine festivals popping up over the next few months. Then you’ve got stalwarts like Little Creatures who have just launched a new Winter brew, adding to the successful Seasonal Release series with Fire Falcon Hoppy Red.

The brew, which takes it’s name from a flaming red Freemantle sunset, is the latest innovation from Head Brewer Russ Gosling who puts the focus on the beer’s signature distinctive hops and malts to give the brew some real character.

“We’ve used for the first time some Falconer’s Flight hops, hence the name of the beer: these provide the beer’s aromas of fresh citrus and pine”, explained Gosling. “They originate from the Pacific Northwest of the United States, a region famed for its beautiful coastline, not unlike Fero or Geelong [where Little Creatures’ second brewery is located]”.

Six specialty malts have been used for this limited edition brew, including Rye Malt, Caramunich T1, Cararoma, Golden Naked Oats, Chocolate Malt, and Carared. The complexity of the beer’s malt bill is also mirrored with the use of the aforementioned Falconers Flight hops as well as Centennial hops, both of which are blended varieties. Of course, this would have made it even more difficult to strike the right balance, but then again, it’s Little Creatures and they have proven time and time again that they are amongst the best in the business.

The kind of quality this series of specialty beer has offered in the past is still in tact with the Fire Falconer. Its nose is big and dramatic with those aforementioned characteristics of citrus and pine but the real magic happens on the palate; huge waves of caramel and bready notes swim around on the first sip, coming together nicely on the back with more of those pine notes before burning off with a bit of spice and a lot of bitterness.

Anyone who follows Little Creatures’ release schedule closely will know that the Seasonal Release beers are now a permanent fixture for the brewery, giving the brewers a chance to experiment with new styles and highlight the importance of the climate. Previous entries have included Dog Days Summer Beer, The Hotchkiss Six Domestic Stout, and Return of the Dread. While the ballsy Dreadnought is still kicking around as the favourite over here at the AU offices, this Fire Falcon does a very fine job at upholding this as one of the best craft beer collections around.

Fire Falcon is now available at all good craft beer outlets across Australia, in both bottles and kegs while stocks last. For more information head to the official Little Creature website HERE.