Nail + Clancy’s

What’s not to love about the Clancy’s Fish Pubs? Casual pubs with good food and they’ve always been a haven for craft beer lovers, in fact their Fremantle venue was Little Creatures first customer. It has to be said however that Clancy’s City Beach has the bragging rights to the best views with the gorgeous City Beach practically under the seats.

Clancy's City Beach
Clancy’s City Beach
195 Challenger Parade, City Beach
(08) 9385 7555
No Bookings Required
Open 12noon Daily

What’s not to love about the Clancy’s Fish Pubs? Casual pubs with good food and they’ve always been a haven for craft beer lovers, in fact their Fremantle venue was Little Creatures first customer.

It has to  be said however that Clancy’s City Beach has the bragging rights to the best views with the gorgeous City Beach practically under the seats.

Clancy's City Beach Menu Grid

By my count the beer list boasts more than 70 beers featuring local Aussie rock stars like Temple, Red Duck, 4 Pines, Boneyard, Feral, Two Birds and Moon Dog and international beasts like Anchor, Sierra Nevada, Brewdog, Heretic and Green Flash. The term “spoilt for choice” barely covers it.

It’s rare for me to go into a Clancy’s venue without having a Nail Ale so in keeping with tradition that’s what we ordered. It also saved me from the embarrassment of drooling on a beer list. Fruity hops and clean refreshing bitterness, it’s a classic and a firm favourite on my god-i-love-that- beer list (a list that grows longer by the week).

What makes Nail Ale so special? It tastes amazing and it’s brewed by ONE guy who has been dedicated to this for over 15 years. The best way to understand the Nail Ale story is to read it – here it is.

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Ordering food was another tough decision and resulted in ordering way too much food but it was all delicious.

The Prawns with fresh kiwi fruit and coriander were a stand out, massive prawns cooked perfectly and the zing from the kiwi fruit added a delicious extra dimension. It was impossible to resist the urge to order chilli mussels, just one of those dishes I find hard to pass up, and whilst they weren’t very hot on the fire alarm scale, they were very tasty. Then there’s the Fried Mice, another impossible dish to pass by and a signature dish in all Clancy’s venues however these have a unique City Beach twist. The Fried Mice, jalapenoes stuffed with cheese and deep fried, are done with panko bread crumbs and served with tomato salsa. Panko Bread Crumbs are used mostly in Japanese cooking, which I already knew but what I didn’t know or even think to ask was what makes the bread different? The dough is baked by passing an electric current through it, thus baking bread without crust and making it crisper and airier. Wiki told me so. The result is a lovely crisp but light batter with great texture and a nice change to the usual regular batter. The careful food presentation was greatly appreciated, showing a lot of care from start to finish in the kitchen.

Now I’m making mental notes to try the Clancy’s Cafe, next door to the pub, as I hear they’re food and coffee are tops too!

Chilli Mussels Coconut Crumbed Prawns Fried Mice

Temple + Barra

Temple Brewing is one of those breweries who stop me in my tracks at the bottleshop and create child-like excitement in me if I spot something new. Finding the Saison De Miel generated such excitement – a special edition of their Saison made with honey, hence “de miel”, and therefore had some very big boots to live up to.

Saison Grid
[Left] Saison Dupont pouring at a Five Bar / Beertasters event
[Mid Top] Artisan Saison by Brian Fitzgerald, President of WABA
[Mid Bottom] Romp Ferme Saison by Eagle Bay / The Pourhouse
[Right] Temple Saison
I do love a Saison.

From the family of Farmhouse Ales, the Saison style originated Belgium where farm workers would brew beer in winter to be drunk in summer, hence the name “Saison” which is French for “season”. Not only did it provide beer for summer but it also meant spent grain for the livestock and full time workers still had stuff to do on the farm during winter.

A bunch of farmers brewing beer, now that’s my kind of farm!

So you’ve got farmers, not brewers, making the beer so they’re not out to sell it to the public. As far as my knowledge of the topic goes, this seems to be the reason why there’s not much history on what these beers would have tasted like or even made with. After all, if there’s not enough hops on your farm, you’re going to have to find something else to flavour the beer with. Hello spices! As for grain, well it could have been a matter of whatever was lying around whether that be barley, spelt or wheat or, very likely, a combination.

For a brewer it seems the Saison is whatever you want it to be, whatever herbs or spices you wish to play with, and put your mark on the style. Of course there is a generality that Saisons are usually a little boozy, dry, hopped, fruity and golden but again, it’s wide open to interpretation you don’t want to open a beer with any expectations.

Which brings me to Victoria’s Temple Brewing Saison De Miel.

Temple Grid
[Left] Temple Bicycle Beer
[Mid] Temple Saison De Miel
[Right Top] Temple Midnight IPA
[Right Bottom] Temple Scarlet Sour
Temple Brewing is one of those breweries who stop me in my tracks at the bottleshop and create child-like excitement in me if I spot something new. Finding the Saison De Miel generated such excitement – a special edition of their Saison made with honey, hence “de miel”, and therefore had some very big boots to live up to.

Temple Saison De Miel pours a beautiful golden straw colour with a thick bubbly head that just screams “Consume Me!” I got aromas of mandarin, peach and honey and flavours covered off burnt orange, honey and a hint of nuttiness and a nice clean bitter finish.

Of course I’m not the only one who loves their stuff, this brew gets a mention from James Smith of Crafty Pint fame in his article for James Halliday, a Year in Beer – along with 49 other great Australian Brews, check it out here.

I decided to match it with some grilled barramundi, BBQ potatoes and zingy chilli salsa. The pairing was nice but could have been improved with some sweetness in the dish to really enhance the citrus/honey flavours in the beer, perhaps some honeyed green veggie or mango based salsa.

Temple Saison De Miel with Barramundi

girl + festival [part 3]

With the madness of Saturday now behind us it was time to see what the Sunday edition of the South West Craft Beer Festival would bring and with that thought in my head I awoke to the sound of rain. I looked out the window to see that Saturday’s bright sunshine and blue skies had been replaced with cloud.

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With the madness of Saturday now behind us it was time to see what the Sunday edition of the South West Craft Beer Festival would bring and with that thought in my head I awoke to the sound of rain. I looked out the window to see that Saturday’s bright sunshine and blue skies had been replaced with cloud.

Eventually the sun came out but it bought along a friend in the shape of some gusty wind. There were no queues when my partner and I arrived, in fact there was no lining up for anything. In so many ways Sunday was indeed shaping up to be a very different day.

Sunday was family day so admittedly it shouldn’t be surprising that the two days were so different but it was a strange contrast none the less.

Free kids activities seemed popular with countless kids running around with painted faces and balloon animals.  The bouncy castle resembled a containment area for hyperactive kids.

Time for beer.

Since Duckstein Brewery were the first stall in the line up we decided it was a good starting point. Having had the Wolf Pale Ale the day before it was time to try the Pilsner. Toasty, citrusy and with a little green apple it is a really great pilsner and now available in bottles, brewed under license by Gage Roads Brewing Company.

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It was impossible to walk past Colonial Brewery without sampling a Kolsch and Jerry Fraser’s sensational freshly shucked oysters. Knowing Jerry from working together on Sundays at Five Bar in Mt Lawley, it was great to see his smiling face and catch up. Oh and did I mention, I got to eat oysters?! Mmmm oysters …

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Cheeky Monkey Brewery and Cidery were pouring their new limited release Southern Wailer Ginger Pale Ale. It’smone of those beers that stops you in your tracks and completely engages your brain. All I could think was “wow, where has this marriage of hops and ginger been all my life?!” In my notepad I wrote down a few words on this one but I think it says it all when I’ve written “ginger + hops = awesome”.

Head Brewer Jared Proudfoot has used a kilo of fresh ginger during fermentation and ground ginger in the boil. The hops are American Columbus and Centennial, both known for their big citrusy characteristics and typically found in American Pale and IPAs. The result is the citrusy/piney hop bitterness you’d expect from an American Pale Ale that’s been softly wrapped in fresh ginger. To say it’s balanced feels like an understatement. I’ll be seeking out more of this for sure!

It has been a while since I’ve had the ciders from Custard Cidery Donnybrook so it was nice to revisit their delicious Scrumpy Cider and try their new Original Sparkling Apple Cider. Chatting with Ian and Tom, it is clear the guys are super passionate about cider and they love it, their energy is infectious. It’s a good thing they have so much energy because they’re set to open a venue near Meelup Beach appropriately called ‘The Cider Room’ and hope to open the doors sometime near Easter. The Cider Room will feature a fully local line up of food and endeavour to be as environmentally low impact as possible.

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Time for cheese.

We headed over to see the brilliant Mitch, Chef at Five Bar and the man behind Beersine who makes hops and beer a key ingredient in his food. Luckily for us Mitch had something special to try, his new Beersine Malty Wit Cheese made with Colonial Brewing Witbier and whole grains of malt. It was served picnic style with a fresh bread roll, wooden knife and some hop honey and … holy mother of …. WOW. It’s amazing. I’ll be honest, he’s my friend, a great chef and all round top guy so you may think I’m a bit biased but trust me – eat this! The hop honey is made with Saaz hops which is a little based on availability and also based on their lower alpha acid content which means lower bitterness and thereby less aggressive with the honey.

Keep an eye out for an upcoming beer and cheese event with Mitch at The International Beer Shop.

Malty Wit Cheese

My final beer for the day was the Eagle Bay Vienna Lager, lovely toasty aromas and rich malty character, it was nice to finish with a beer I’ve not had in a while.

Eagle Bay Vienna

The last stop of the day, however, wasn’t for a beer but it was for a beer related product. The Brewers Dray, run by husband and wife team Matt and Mara, make a mean Spiced Stout Chutney that’s featured on many a beef burger in our house and we were in dire need of a top up. Matt and Mara were kind enough to give us their chutney and also their Tomato Chilli Hopped Relish as a gift, thank you!. I’m looking forward to dishing these up with some home cooking soon!

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