Great Beer Menus – Morrie’s Anytime

‘Great Beer Menus’ is basically just a fancy name for me going to venues I like and celebrating the fact they have great beer …

‘Great Beer Menus’ is basically just a fancy name for me going to venues I like and celebrating the fact they have great beer …
I love craft beer and going to venues who share my passion, pubs likes The Sail & Anchor and Clancy’s Fish Pub and bottle shops like the International Beer Shop are WA institutions for great craft beer. It’s what they love, it’s what they know, it’s what they do.
But just because you’re not a “craft beer venue” doesn’t mean you can’t have a kick ass beer list. I’m delighted to find more restaurants, small bars, local bottle shops and pubs whose fridges were previously filled with European lagers have been invaded by a few local and international craft beers.
It puts a big smile on my face to see venues paying equal attention to their beer list as they do their food, wine and cocktails. Those who don’t, those who have settled on a beer list that features Cascade Light, Crown Lager and Stella, are well and truly behind the eight ball. It’s kinda like getting all dressed up for an elegant night out, putting all that thought into your hair, dress, make up and jewelry and then wearing your muddy sneakers. Crown Lager is a muddy sneaker.
It’s time to put the spotlight on these great places …

The paprika on the mayo really makes this dish zing!

At the top of the main drag in Margaret River is a particular spot that hasn’t been very kind to it’s previous inhabitants, the BoHo bar was short lived and I can’t even remember what was there before. I guess that’s the power of Morrie’s Anytime, since opening their doors in July last year they have not only claimed their territory but given their guests plenty of reasons to visit and love.

As the name suggests, Morrie’s Anytime welcomes you whether you’re looking for coffee and cake, lunch or dinner or just a few nibbles. The emphasis is on service, supporting locals and damn good food and drink. Sounds good to me.

Which brings us to their beer menu featuring loads of local favourites which is both a conscious direction for the venue and a requirement of their liquor license, applying not only to their beers but wines as well. Bootleg Brewery, Colonial Brewing, Eagle Bay Brewing, Duckstein Brewery and Cheeky Monkey Brewery & Cidery are all within an hours drive and appear on their beer menu. There’s also Feral Brewing and Little Creatures Brewing helping to round out the local flavour. Throw in a couple of internationals and that’s an extremely drinkable bunch of beers.

I recently sat down with Morrie’s Anytime general manager Billy Phillips to chat about the venue and their beers.

Billy and Alex at Morrie's

What's your inspiration for your beer list?

Well I guess a bad inspiration would be the law* but yeah (laughs) but sticking to the parameters we had it’s about going local and trying to get as many different styles as we can and showing off the local talent we have.

*Their liquor licence requires the venue to stock a minimum of 80% local beers and wines

What do you hope the beer list says about Morrie's Anytime?

That we are pushing sustainable and we want to support local just like we also do with our meat which is local produce from Margaret River Gourmet Meats. With pretty much everything we try to get it local but within reason of course, Tanqueray (gin) comes from England (laughs) . We also do specials where we’ll use the name of the person who has donated a batch of limes so you might see ‘using Kate’s limes for your mojito’ and things like that. It’s fun to keep the community involved.

Love the way the cheese has melted inside and droops as you cut it open!

How often will you update the beer list?

It’s on constant rotation. If someone puts a beer in a bottle that’s from here (WA) and tastes great then of course I’m going to put it on. Then you get great beers like Feral Hop Hog that you can’t go past. I want anything that’s great. We have a Spanish beer on at the moment and that fits in with the tapas – Alhambra Reserva which is a knock out beer and works well with the food. The beers all hopefully fit into our food and menu.

Margaret River is known predominately as a wine region,
how do you think Margaret River locals perceive beer?

It’s kinda cool cause we get a lot of winemakers in and winemakers drink beer (laughs). They’re super happy especially since because they’re a tight crew of people, they know who’s brewing the beers, they know all the breweries around here so they might say “oh yeah, let’s try Red’s (Jared Proudfoot, head brewer) beer from Cheeky Monkey” and things like that. The breweries are starting to really pick up; there was an article in the local paper a week ago about how Margaret River is now getting to be known for beer, it’s really booming.

Morrie's inside-but-kinda-outside-but-not area which I really dig

What is your favourite beer on the list
and what Morrie's dish would you pair with it?

Ohhh (laughs) (pause) the Alhambra Reserva and the Feral Hop Hog are just top notch beers and I’ve been a Little Creatures Pale Ale fan for a decade now and they’re all on the list so yeah, it’s a tough one for me to nail down. The Colonial Kolsch is on tap which is also really, really good. (pause) I’m only supposed to pick one aren’t I? (laughs) I guess it depends on what kind of mood I’m in, if it’s late at night and I’m looking for a heartier meal I’ll match it with a heartier beer like Feral Hop Hog and actually that’d be really nice with the Twice Cooked Japanese Chicken, it’s finger licking good chicken! (laughs) That’s probably the best tapas to match with beer instead of wine. The pork belly [Master stock pork belly with thai caramel, coriander and lime] is more of an Asian style dish which would be good with the Colonial Kolsch.

Terrine at Morrie's

What I love about beers at Morrie’s …

♥ Local love – with so many south west beers, coming from Dunsborough to Margaret River, it’s means they’re supporting local and it’s super-dooper fresh. Yay!

♥ The beers are on the website – I know that doesn’t sound like a huge thing but so many places list their wines, cocktails and even coffees on their website but totally overlook beer. Morrie’s doesn’t.

♥ High rotation – in the few weeks between my first and second visit to Morrie’s the bottled beer list had a few changes, keeping it fresh and interesting for the repeat offenders, of which I am confident there are many.

Maybe how all blog posts should end .. with a devoured meal and beer

Kolsch + Goat’s Cheese

A trip to Swan Valley’s The Cheese Barrel inspires a great beer and cheese match back home in the south west …

The Cheese Barrel - Swan Valley

The Cheese Barrel is a magical place in the Swan Valley that serves, almost exclusively and probably unsurprisingly, cheese. Cheese, cheese and more cheese. If you were to throw in beer and some prosciutto The Cheese Barrel would be my promised land, my Mecca, my own “if I could open a bar” fantasy of a beer/cheese/cured meat bar.

Sadly The Cheese Barrel doesn’t serve beer but their wines, from their winery partner-in-crime, Olive Farm Wines are quite tasty.

But I’m getting a little sidetracked … Between five of us we devoured over 1/2kg of assorted cheese across three platter selections, the Spanish Board, the Blue Lovers Paradise and Affineur’s Choice.

Indulging in piece after piece of cheese I couldn’t help but think about what beers I’d try to pair with them – in the middle of the blue cheese board I made a wish to the beer gods for an imperial stout to magically appear, sadly it was not granted.

IMG_20130810_132625

One cheese that jumped out at me was the Meredith Ashed Chevre which came out on the Affineur’s Choice board, three cheeses that The Cheese Barrel recommend you try before you die.

The Meredith Ashed Chevre is from Victorian dairy Meredith Dairy and run by a husband a wife team who are the “largest on farm producer of sheep and goat milk in Australia”. You can read more about Meredith Dairy and their philosophy around sustainable productivity at their website here

Tasting the Meredith Ashed Chevre I thought it was beautifully delicate and citrusy with a nice tang to remind your palate to keep its wits about it. Then DING!, like when the coyote gets a new idea about catching the road runner, it hit me … my god, that cheese would be fan-freakin-tastic with a Kolsch.

Colonial Kolsch and Ashed Chevre

And I was right …

I now had a very short shopping list – 1 x ashed goat’s milk cheese and 1 x growler of Kolsch. I found some WA goat’s milk cheese from IGA Margaret River produced by Kytren in Gidgegannup. I fetched myself a growler of Kolsch from Colonial Brewing. Yippee!

The ashed goat’s milk cheese from Kytren was citrusy, creamy and a little fruity and a wicked pairing to the lemony, bready and soft bitterness of the Colonial Kolsch. I reckon I’ll be adding this pairing to my regular line up!

tasty tasty goat's milk cheese

Kytren

#temptingtuesday – August

What the heck is #temptingtuesday I hear you say? (well, in my head you do). It’s combining my love affair with Twitter, the fun of chatting with great people and my eternal affection for beer. The mechanics are simple, just like its author, where on the first Tuesday of each month I ask the big wide world of the Twitterverse a beer related question. I get inspired and blog the results.

girl+beer logo with twitterWhat the heck is #temptingtuesday I hear you say? (well, in my head you do). It’s combining my love affair with Twitter, the fun of chatting with great people and my eternal affection for beer. The mechanics are simple, just like its author, where on the first Tuesday of each month I ask the big wide world of the Twitterverse a beer related question. I get inspired and blog the results.

It kicked off in June with – What’s your favourite beer and cheese pairing in recent memory? July was – Which beers have changed your life and totally rocked your world? It resulted in a hell of a beer wish list which you can check out here.

Which brings us to August, on the first Tuesday of August I asked –

#temptingtuesday

For me it all started with Hoegaarden, that’s the beer that changed everything for me. Until then I’d been drinking mainstream lager stuff and enjoyed it enough but Hoegaarden was something else entirely. It was low on bitterness and tasted like banana and spices and what do you mean it’s made with coriander and orange peel?! So I went exploring … and that’s how it all started.

For others the beers that sparked true beery love range from Emu Bitter, that I fondly remember drinking at The Grosvenor Hotel back when they were a dirty live music pub, to Spaten Optimator which appears to be only available in the United States and Germany. It was so much fun reading through people’s replies and in no particular order here is the list for your viewing pleasure …

Spaten Optimator | German double bock | @SBbrew

Buffalo Bill’s Pumpkin Ale | Pumpkin Ale | @maria_fulmer

Chimay Blue | Trappist Ale | @JustBeer_NoBull

Redback Original | Weizen | @chefdebeersine

New Belgium Fat Tire | Amber Ale | @JessShaverPhoto 

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale | Pale Ale | @JessShaver Photo (I know, I know, that’s two answers but sometimes it’s hard to narrow it down!)

Little Creatures Pale Ale | Pale Ale | @ruskijp

Photo by Sandra Megan
Photo by Sandra Megan

Emu Bitter | Lager | @DrRiggsy and @buckets74 – no other beer got two mentions except good ol’ EB

Toohey’s Extra Dry | Lager | @buckets74

Eagle Bay Pale Ale | Pale Ale | @buckets74

Eagle Bay

James Squire Amber Ale | Amber Ale | @frozensummers

Naked Ned Pale Ale (Bridge Road Brewers) | Pale Ale | @mpbrew

Brew Works Blueberry Belch | Fruit Beer | @beergirlbites

Young’s Double Chocolate Stout (in a nitro can) | Stout | @beergirlbites

Samuel Smith’s Taddy Porter | Porter | @MelbDave

Rooster’s Cream | Strong Pale Ale (seasonal) | @MelissaCole

Kelham Island Pale Rider | Pale Ale | @MelissaCole

Fustenberg | Lager | @BrewinLex

Le Fin De Monde | Tripel Golden Ale | @RafflesLiquor

Hope to see you all for September’s #temptingtuesday …

girl + hopfweizenbock

Untappd entry - Hopfweizen

This was my Untappd check in as I got stuck into the latest Mountain Goat Cross Breed, a Hopfweizenbock made with American beer royalty Brooklyn Brewery.

Though I can’t remember the first time I tried a Brooklyn Brewery beer they are now a firm favourite in my ever growing list of favourite brewers. Not only are their beers kick ass but their brewmaster Garrett Oliver edited The Oxford Companion to Beer, the only book to have permanent residency on my bedside table.

It won’t surprise anyone who knows me, even a little, that I’m a huge fan of Melbourne brewery Mountain Goat. Each goat beer that’s touched my lips has been brilliant. Their beers have been a big part of my continuing beer journey in the last two years, from first discovering Hightail Ale to now frothing at the mouth with each Cross Breed (limited release collaboration brews) and Rare Breed (limited release) that comes my way.

Me at Mountain Goat

Mountain Goat collaborated with Brooklyn Brewery during Good Beer Week in Melbourne earlier this year, you might have read one or seventy tweets and Facebook posts from my time there. The brew day was held the morning of the amazing The Apple and The Goat degustation lunch, a lunch that was my first visit to Mountain Goat Brewery and my first Good Beer Week event, you can check it out here if you want to drool all over your screen. Fifteen eager beavers joined the Goat and Brooklyn brewers to create the Hopfweizenbock and here is the end result.

Mountain Goat Hopfweizenbock

In this collaboration Brooklyn Brewery brings the German yeast strain and grain bill used in their Brooklyner Weisse whilst Mountain Goat contributes big Australian hops in the form of Galaxy from Tasmania. Basically it’s the bastard child of a German wheat beer and an Australian pale ale resulting in an unashamedly complex 6.5% abv gem of a beer.

Hops at Mountain Goat

I served it up with salmon risotto with big squeeze of fresh lemon, button mushrooms and leek. It was a decent pairing, the lemony citrus bringing a nice freshness to the ‘weizen’ part of the beer. Next time I’ll try for something a bit bolder in flavour to go head to head with the ‘hop’ and ‘bock’ (strong) elements.

Mountain Goat Hopweizenbock and Risotto

If you’re keen on some more reading, here’s a few good articles I found on the Hopfweizenbock –

  •  The Crafty Pint – as always my first stop for beery information and again offers up a great run down of the beer, if you don’t subscribe to Crafty already you’re a damn fool!
  • The Oz Beer Baron – one of the lucky 15 to be part of the brew day
  • From the mouths of the Goats themselves

Porter versus Porter + Roast Lamb

I spent my Friday working / day dreaming about cooking a lamb roast for dinner. Yup, I know, I’m so rock n’ roll.

I spent my Friday working / day dreaming about cooking a lamb roast for dinner. Yup, I know, I’m so rock n’ roll. Oh and I posted it on Facebook …

Facebook

Most of the suggestions screamed Porter, including this great idea. Thanks Chris!

Facebook 1

I was now a woman with a plan, it was time to go shopping. Well, after work anyway.

Nine long, mouth drying hours later I was finally at the bottle shop. Fifteen minutes later I was out the door with a case of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, a six pack of Sierra Nevada Porter and a bottle of Nøgne Ø Porter. Not a bad haul for a Friday afternoon from my local bottle shop.

I got home, opened a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and started in the kitchen.

With a title such as “Best Roast Leg of Lamb” it was hard to go past Jamie Oliver’s recipe and I love idea of a big whack of lemon rind in the marinade.

Preparing Lamb

I found this great little recipe for homemade gravy here which was simple and tasty though perhaps a little salty. I threw in a dash of white wine vinegar which seemed to ease the saltiness a fraction. The Porter also proved an excellent rich and bitter feature in the gravy.

Gravy with Sierra Nevada Porter

Sierra Nevada Porter

And here is the end result … Roast leg of lamb with roast onion, pumpkin, garlic, potato and carrot with Yorkshire Puddings.

Roast n Porter

Roast Lamb

Porter versus Porter

Both the Nøgne Ø Porter and Sierra Nevada Porter matched nicely to dinner, both having soft roasty characters that didn’t overwhelm the beer and food.

The Nøgne Ø Porter boasted brown sugar, red fruit and raisin flavours all wrapped up in a decent bit of booziness. Its predominately sweet-ish flavours went so nicely with the roasted veg.

Sierra Nevada’s Porter provided more floral and stone fruit flavours that acted as a refreshing cut through the oils from the lamb and Yorkshire pud.

Dinner didn't last long!

Great Beer Menus – Muster

Just because you’re not a “craft beer venue” doesn’t mean you can’t have a kick ass beer list – here’s my second post on where you’ll find great beers outside the usual suspects

I love craft beer and going to venues who share my passion, pubs likes The Sail & Anchor and Clancy’s Fish Pub and bottle shops like the International Beer Shop are WA institutions for great craft beer. It’s what they love, it’s what they know, it’s what they do.
But just because you’re not a “craft beer venue” doesn’t mean you can’t have a kick ass beer list. I’m delighted to find more restaurants, small bars, local bottle shops and pubs whose fridges were previously filled with European lagers have been invaded by a few local and international craft beers.
It puts a big smile on my face to see venues paying equal attention to their beer list as they do their food, wine and cocktails. Those who don’t, those who have settled on a beer list that features Cascade Light, Crown Lager and Stella, are well and truly behind the eight ball. It’s kinda like getting all dressed up for an elegant night out, putting all that thought into your hair, dress, make up and jewelry and then wearing your muddy sneakers. Crown Lager is a muddy sneaker.
It’s time to put the spotlight on these great places …

The first venue I wrote on this particular topic was The Precinct in East Victoria Park, a bar/cafe/restaurant boasting a impressive beer list of both single serve and large format, ideal for sharing, beers.

Big Beers at The Precinct

Next up, Muster Bar and Grill – the venue formerly known as Must Margaret River.

A recent name change hopes to define the well known wine bar from it’s even more well known sister venue Must Wine Bar in Perth. Must Wine Bar, located on Beaufort Street in Mt Lawley, is an institution so it caused quite the excitment when Must Margaret River opened its doors. A few years later and Must has been given an “E” and an “R” and presents a more casual and friendly proposition that fits into every day Margaret River, a venue not just for uber-special occasions.

Here’s a few words from Muster manager Mark (that’s a mouth-full!) about the venue and the beers …

Muster Bar and Grill

Tell us a bit about Muster Bar and Grill ...

Wow Muster, it’s funny how you have to change your name to get people’s attention. We have been evolving Must to Muster over the last year with small renovations and a huge push on local produce with our new head chef Sean Carter. Offering quality service, great food and wine at an affordable price and appearing a little less formal to when Must first opened its doors back in 2009.

What's your inspiration for your beer list?

Craft beer whether it is local or international, there are so many micro breweries opening around the world and all producing so many great beers. I was only speaking with someone this morning about pairing beer and cheese. Sensational! Beer has come a long way and is going to carry on doing so.

What do you hope the beer list says about Muster?

I hope it says we are out to give everyone a good time drinking a variety of beers.

How, if at all, do you think beer drinking habits
have changed since you started at Must two years ago?

They haven’t really changed and Australians don’t really drink seasonally like a they would in Europe. But everyone is open to trying new beers if you suggest it, recently I bought in some Rogue Chipotle Ale [brewed with roasted chipolte peppers]  thinking it would sit there for a while but everyone kept hearing me talking about them and I sold out in a week.

How many beers are currently on your menu and
how often will you update the beer list?

24 beers on our list, you can have a stubby, a schooner or a 1.3ltr jug, we even serve some of our beers in wine glasses as we feel they should be appreciated like a glass of wine. I update our list every month or sometimes fortnightly.

What is your favourite beer on the list and what Muster dish would you pair with it?

I have two “go-to” beers at the moment – North Coast Old No .38 Stout and it pairs so well with our 500g Rib Eye! I also love the Brooklyn East India Pale Ale as a staffie or with our Duck Breast and Risotto.

Squid and Eagle Bay at Muster

What I love about the beers at Muster …

♥ Two new beers taps! Installed just a couple of weeks ago, they’re pouring $7 schooners of Eagle Bay Pale Ale and Sapporo

♥ Bottle list is varied deliciousness – you can go for something brewed within 20km or something a little further over the ocean

♥ Unafraid to go big and bold with the likes of Rogue Chipolte Ale and Sierra Nevada Torpedo both currently on the list

Muster Margaret River

girl + IPA Day

Any excuse to have a beer or three, yeah? Not that I needed another excuse …

image

Any excuse to have a beer or three, yeah? Not that I needed another excuse …

IPA Day was last Thursday, celebrating the loved and popular beer style. Originating in 2011 in the US the idea rippled through the global beer loving community. Each IPA Day the hashtag #IPAday starts trending and everyone nose dives into their best hops for the occasion. It is all summed up rather nicely here at craftbeer.com and here at Australian Brews News. IPA Day is about celebrating beer, making noise about beer and starting a conversation. Does the date have historical associations to the origins of India Pale Ales? I don’t think so but if the day continues to grow and create conservation around great beer, drive education and spawn love affairs with beer then who cares?!

I celebrated IPA Day with two beers, one local and one international – Colonial Small IPA and Sierra Nevada Hoptimum.

Sierra Nevada Hoptimum

Colonial Small IPA

The Colonial Small IPA represents the first beer from the Margaret River breweries newest adventure – Project Beer (formerly known as Project X). The beers produced under this new label will be experimental limited releases and could be anything rather than being brewed to a specific style. I had the pleasure of chatting with Richard and Justin from Colonial about Project Beer which you can read here at The Crafty Pint.

The Small IPA is a reduced alcohol India Pale Ale and what a nice change it is to find a beer that clocks in under the 5% abv mark. Great tasting lower alcohol beers seem few and far between, in fact there are just two that spring to my mind – Rogers’ Amber Ale by Little Creatures (Fremantle/Geelong) and The Traveling Monk by Cheeky Monkey (Margaret River). More oh-so-tasty mids are needed and very welcome!

Dinner celebrations for IPA Day involved a growler full of Colonial beer paired with pork belly marinated in char siu sauce – a rich, sweet and spicy meal that proved a great compliment, bringing out the beers floral hoppiness.

Colonial and Pork Belly