4 Pines are an icon of Sydney’s Northern Beaches, with their cellar door a stone’s throw away from the Manly ferry terminal (an all-to-convenient spot for commuters I can imagine). In addition to their very decent permanent range of tipples, they also produce the Keller Door Series, a limited number of small batch beers. I was fortunate (without realising) to get my hands on one of the Keller Door concoctions, Imperial India Brown Ale.
As the name suggests, this beer comes with facets of both IPAs and brown ales, and this can be seen between the difference in its sight and smell – it pours brown with a thick creamy head (brown ale), before fresh, leafy and passion fruit scents are picked up by the nose (IPA). All different tastes come through – earthy hoppiness is the main flavour (leafy and piney with some spiciness), but it balances this out with some sweet maltiness at the back of the tongue, and some roasted nut flavours in the aftertaste. It’s a complex tasting brew, and is surprisingly smooth given it comes in at 8% ABV.
4 Pines have pulled together a decent drop with this one, its complex flavours being the real stand-out. It nails the fusion between brown ale and IPA perfectly, though I feel it leans slightly more to the side of IPA when it’s being drunk.
Drunk: from the bottle