Mildura craft beer brings a taste of summer

MY SHOUT: I am always in awe of people who have a memory for tastes and flavours.

Every now and then you come across somebody who can pick up a glass of wine and say something to the effect of "the prominent tannins and slight hint of aldehyde on the nose combined with the walnut overtones lead me to think it's a Barossa shiraz, possibly the pepperjack from Saltram".

And blow me down if they aren't usually on the money or thereabouts.

In fact, I have a neighbour, Hugh, who, while he would freely admit he is not in the Master of Wine class mentioned above, has a good memory for a beer.

His talent came to the fore when we were sharing a six-pack of the beer for this week's review - Stefano's Pilsner from the Mildura Brewing Company.

Hugh reckoned it tasted like the Abotts Lager he fondly remembered from his youth, as it was in all probability the brand of the first sip of beer he took from his father's glass.

Abotts Lager was considered a bit more upmarket than Melbourne bitter and some others in the Carlton stable, without being over the top - in effect a white-collar worker beer, rather than one for a special occasion.

It disappeared from bottle shop shelves in the mid-90s, albeit to have a brief resurrection in limited release a year or so ago although, in truth, the most notable thing about it was the can, which had a lovely white retro look about it.

The beer, however, was by all reports a bit underwhelming.

Stefano's Pilsner at around just under $20 a six-pack is a bit more of an occasion beer rather than an after-work quaffer, but it certainly is pleasant drinking.

A crisp and light European-style beer, you do pick up on the hops without it becoming overpowering, and it finishes with a bitterness that is again there without being in your face.

Renowned chef Steafano de Pieri is involved with the brewery and lends his name to this Pilsner, which is brewed at a craft brewery in Mildura on the Murray River in northern Victoria.

After drinking predominantly darker beers over the cooler months, this beer makes you feel like summer is well and truly on the way.

Enjoy it with food that has a bit of spiciness to get the full effect.


  • Stefano's Pilsner, Alcohol content: 4.7%.
  • Price from $18.99 per 6 pack/$60.99 per carton.

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