Beer Review: Coopers Australian IPA

Coopers Brewery regularly releases new beers, and returning from our honeymoon I learnt the latest, an Australian IPA, is now with us; although like its predecessor the Hazy IPA, it might vanish before spring arrives.



Given this uncertainty I popped down the local last night to secure some from mine bottle shoppe host Neil, and stuck them in the garage fridge with an exaggerated sense of expectation and bonhomie despite it being a Saturday.



To be fair both the Hazy and the Australian IPA are described as limited editions, just as the Session Ale was a few summers’ ago, but it sold so well Coopers added it to the permanent roster before changing its handle to the slightly inelegant and vocally challenging Pacific Pale Ale. This is my beer of choice when at the Broady, but I continue to ask for a Session because the extra time taken to say its name in full is drinking/chatting/beer garden time wasted. And life is short.



Like all beers from the house of Coopers it looks great on the patio in my Southwark mug despite the ridiculous context of an early afternoon football match featuring the Adelaide Crows during which they kicked fifteen goals straight in just over a half and then couldn’t register a solitary major in the final quarter meaning, of course, they lost to the Evil Empire that is Hawthorn; whom I’m unreliably informed, don’t even like ale.



The beer is cloudy and a fetching straw hue which speaks of autumnal sun and Vampire Weekend and lighting a Sunday night fire under the verandah. At time of writing I’m confident all of these joys will happen today!



Hops remain a matter of poetic mystery for your correspondent, and the Australian IPA uses Eclipse and Vic Secret, and I’d like to volunteer to name a few types of hops. Old mate Fats long insisted that if he ever bought an eighteen wheeler, he’d call it Sandy’s Desire, not that he knew any particular Sandy, or even wished to, he just thought it suited the image his trucking empire may have needed in its genesis. I wonder if Slim Dusty ever recorded a song called Sandy’s Desire. I hope so.



Early 1990s horror movie Black Crow aside, I don’t think Coopers has offered up a bad beer, and my first sips of this young ‘un continue the trend. It’s arresting, and has pleasant, but not aggressive citrus notes as expected of an IPA. At 6.5% it’s not one to get overly excited with at a long BBQ with members of your wife’s esteemed family (Editor: take careful note).



As this Anzac Day drifted towards evening I found it a fun and lively drink although like the ancient Romans and Byzantines I prefer the Coopers triumvirate of Sparkling Ale, Pale Ale, and on the odd wintry occasion, when in most excellent company, a Best Extra Stout.



So while Coopers of Adelaide has released an Australian India Pale Ale, I wonder if, say, in Dharamshala, a local brewer is about to set boisterous sail with an Indian Australia Pale Ale? In this era when cultural and gastronomic boundaries have effectively disappeared, and new blends are expanding like gaseous galaxies I reckon I could be right.



But here by the cooling beach it’s a gentle Sunday and this is a complex hypothetical, so I’ll think about it tomorrow.




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About Mickey Randall

Favourite film: The Shawshank Redemption Favourite song: Khe Sahn Favourite holiday destination: Gold Coast Favourite food: steak Favourite beer: VB Best player seen: Dogga Worst player seen: Frogga Last score on beep test: 3.14159 Favourite minor character in Joyce’s Ulysses: Punch Costello


  1. I have wondered the very same thing, Mickey: do they have an Australian Pale Ale in India?

    But in the current political environment, I would fancy that it is all being poured down the sink.

  2. Luke Reynolds says

    Mickey, have tried the Coopers Australian IPA and thought it was absolutely sensational. Eclipse is a newly developed hop (Australian) that throws citrus and mandarin flavours and is creating quite a bit of excitement in the brewing world as IPA’s drift from the English and traditional American styles to more fruitier, hazy American West Coast and New World (Australian & NZ) styles. Vic Secret is also a relatively recent Australian hop variety.

    At Prickly Moses we did a limited release Australian IPA a few years back called “Commander” using Ella and Vic Secret hops, we need to bring it back.

    I’ll be buying more Coopers AIPA, hope it lasts longer than a limited release. Thanks for the entertaining review!

  3. Thanks Smokie – as always beer is central to many of the fundamental philosophical concerns of the day.

    Thanks for the information Luke. I do enjoy these fruitier ales as opposed to the darker, heavier ones. My next challenge is to try an AIPA on tap!

  4. Daryl Schramm says

    Sparkling Ale – my go to aperitif.
    Pale Ale – the best all round beer in Australia by some length
    Extra Stout – depending on the winter’s mood, either straight or with a dash of lemonade (not a third like a portagaff).
    Have enjoyed the odd Session Ale recently.
    Happy to try the others but will always go back to the above.

  5. Daryl- thanks for this. I agree with your choices but am also enjoying how the craft brewer explosion has forced Coopers to be a more vibrant and contemporary player by releasing new beers regularly. And what’s more fun than the excitement of a brand new ale, like a new album by your favourite band?

  6. Daryl Schramm says

    Or a new article by one of one’s favourite contributors.

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