One of my favourite things about beer is it’s connection to places, events and people. I understand that in many cases these connections, especially the ones blatantly advertised are artificially constructed or created purely for the sense of business but still I usually enjoy that about beer.
Mildura Brewery’s Astor Ale is one of those beers that fit the bill. The brewery is housed inside the old Astor Theatre in Mildura. Opening as the Astor Theatre in 1937 the theatre could seat 914 people. Television spelled the end of the theatre with it being sold in 1967 to the Mildura Grand Hotel. The Astor site was used as carpark until in 2004 it was reopened as the Mildura Brewery. The Astor, Ale was brewed to celebrate the history of the building.
The Astor Ale is what I would call an Australian Pale Ale with 4.5% alcohol by volume. It is made up of Galaxy and Cascade hops, if that makes a difference to how you feel about the beer. Not being an expert on hops beyond some different varieties for different styles I don’t know a lot about the taste of Galaxy or Cascade beyond the fact that they are good for pale ales.
Now to the beer itself; it is on the hoppy bitter side for a pale ale. It pours with a large head and is a bit sweet to smell but that pretty much covers up everything else that may be in the beer. The malt flavour that is hinted at in the aroma of the beer is not coming to the front but there is a really nice but fleeting dose of hops at the start which quickly dissolves. There is some really pleasant features but it is a beer which is just slightly off balance. I would recommend that everyone give it a go, but if you want to try something great for winter from Mildura try the Mallee Bull, a wonderful strong beer.