Bush Shack Brewery Beer Dinner

Looking for something different to do on Thursday night? Like beer? Like food? Well, I think Yallingup’s Bush Shack Brewery might have you covered …

Looking for something different to do on Thursday night? Like beer? Like food? Well, I think Yallingup’s Bush Shack Brewery might have you covered …

Owner/Brewer Danial has provided me with the menu for the night and it’s positively drool-tastic, you should go because I need to experience it vicariously through someone else since I have a work-thing that night.

The event will be the launch of their yearly release Old Saint Nick’s, a bigger bolder version of their popular Yallingup Old.

The food will be done by Stephen Reagan from Busselton’s Newtown House.

Stephen and his wife Barbara have owned and operated Newtown House for the past 21years. During this time they have established the property as a mecca for fine food lovers the world over. The restaurant regularly features in international publications, Frommers Fodors and Lonely Planet as a ‘Must Visit’ destination for food.

Thursday 31st October, 6.30pm

Canapés

Fresh Albany oyster shooter, stout jelly, stout, lime & mint dressing

Goat curd tartlet, caramelised shallots, rocket pesto

Served with Summer Golden Lager

2nd  Course

Seared Geraldton tuna, udon noodles, spring greens, chilli & coriander, lime

Served with Chilli Beer

3rd  Course

Roast pumpkin & tallegio ravioli, burnt sage butter

Served with Spelt Wheat Beer

Palate Cleanser

Pear Cider Sorbet

4th Course

Confit of duck, puy lentils, game jus

Served with Strawberry Blonde

5th Course

Margaret river venison, chocolate beer jus with chocolate nibs, roast beetroot

Side Dishes of salted roast baby potatoes & sautéed green beans with shallots

Served with Yallingup Old

6th Course

Zuccoto with rum & raisin glace, Italian meringue

Served with Old Saint Nicks

Bookings can be made with Danial on e: info@bushshackbrewery.com.au or ph: 97552848

3 Hemsley Road, Yallingup WA

A bunch of brewers walk into a bar …

… and they drink, share and chat about the collaboration beer they made. If you were expecting a joke, sorry, if you were expecting this to be a very tasty beer, you’re right.

Last month a few brewers from the south west got together and made a beer. If I was to be more accurate I would say that seven brewers made a beer. If I was to be even more accurate I’d say seven brewers threw in some malt, hops and yeast in between long bouts of standing around and chatting and with that in mind the brew was dubbed …

The Council Worker

The Council Worker made it’s debut at Perth’s Five Bar event – South West in the City Festival. It was poured alongside Cowaramup Pilsner, Duckstein Fest Bier, Colonial Small Ale, Cheeky Monkey DIPA and Eagle Bay ESB. In short you could have taken a trip to several south west breweries without getting up from your bar stool.

WA Beer Week – 8th – 17th November | Check out http://www.wabeerweek.com for all the information

With WA Beer Week less than two weeks away it was a nice way to warm up the beer muscles and it was great to see so many faces from the WA beer community like Brian Fitzgerald, President of the Western Australian Brewers Association, Reece Wheadon from WA Beer Week and The Monk brewer Paul Wyman. A few of the brewers responsible for The Council Worker, Jared and Alex from Cheeky Monkey, Nick from Eagle Bay and Jeremy from Cowaramup Brewing made it to the event too, Jeremy fresh off the plane from Sydney’s Craft Beer Week, to mingle, drink and share the beer with some thirsty punters.

I know I look drunk in this photo but I only had two beers, I blame lots of laughing and my own poor timing for my appearance. I should also say that Nick isn’t that tall and under no circumstances was he standing on a couple of wine buckets.

Jeremy (Cowaramup), Jared (Cheeky Monkey), Nick (Eagle Bay), Paul (The Monk) Alex and Dave (Cheeky Monkey), some writer chick and Mitch aka Beersine
Jeremy (Cowaramup), Jared (Cheeky Monkey), Nick (Eagle Bay), Paul (The Monk)
Alex and Dave (Cheeky Monkey), some writer chick and Mitch aka Beersine

Sadly a few of the brewers who made this happen couldn’t make it but a milestone in your child’s life is probably a perfectly valid reason; I’m looking at you Foxy. On the up side it did allow me to insert myself into the photo, after all I did a lot of very important stirring.

Me and some malt

The Council Worker ended up a pretty heavily hopped pale ale thanks to a big dose of Galaxy in the dry hopping. This beer definitely had some balls along with big fruity and piney flavours that you’d expect from an American style pale but balanced out really nicely with big malt that gave it an almost caramel undertone.

Since I was driving I allowed myself just two beers and the second was a tough choice. I had salivated at the idea of Cheeky Monkey’s Double IPA but at 8.3% abv I can’t imagine mister police officer understanding how a beer can be irresistible. Instead I went for Colonial’s Small Ale, indulging once again in my recent love for tasty lower alcohol beers.

It’s that damn good that Paul Wyman, head brewer at The Monk, reckons Colonial’s Small Ale will take out a medal or two at this years Perth Royal Beer Show.

Congratulations to The Monk & brewer Paul Wyman on their Beer & Brewer Magazine Awards!

On the subject of awards Paul was runner up for Young Brewer of the Year and his venue The Monk took out Best Brew Pub/Bar all at this years Beer and Brewer Magazine Awards.

Local produce sourced by Beersine and Katrina Lane (Taste of Balingup)

Like any beer event at Five Bar the beer was accompanied by some sensational food, namely a South West Ploughman’s Board by Beersine, aka Mitch Mitchell. I am proud to say that I devoured this board in a most unladylike fashion.

Smoked big red pork and hazelnut terrine, Colonial pale ale cheese, red cabbage Kim chee, pickled colcotte and salad onions with cooladerra extra virgin olive oil.
Smoked big red pork and hazelnut terrine, Colonial pale ale cheese, red cabbage Kim chee, pickled colcotte and salad onions with cooladerra extra virgin olive oil.

I left this event with a huge smile on my face, a new beer mug and pumped for WA Beer Week!

I don’t know how much of The Council Worker was left at Five but if it’s still there I’d highly recommend checking it out. For those of us in the south west, keep an eye out because it may pop up at the likes of The Pourhouse, Clancy’s Fish Pub Dunsborough and/or participating breweries.

Thank you to Margi and the team at Eagle Bay Brewing for hosting the collaboration and inviting me along, Macca and the guys at Five Bar for letting everyone invade the bar, all the brewers who got involved and of course to all the smiling beery folk who rocked up to support WA beer. See you all in a fortnight!

girl + Fremantle Beer Festival

It’s WA Beer Week soon and what better way to kick off the beery celebrations than the Fremantle BeerFest, 9th & 10th November on The Esplanade.

It’s WA Beer Week soon and what better way to kick off the beery celebrations than the Fremantle BeerFest, 9th & 10th November on The Esplanade.

There will be lots of stalls which means plenty of great craft beer. There’s also a home brew competition, live music and master classes.

“What master classes are happening?” I hear you say (in my imagination). Well, I’m glad you asked …

There are some excellent master classes including Unleash the B(y)east – a look at beer yeast, Cooking with Beer, Beer and Chocolate and Beer in Judgement – a closer look at beer judging. For all the information on these and more BeerFest Master Classes you can check out the full run down here.

Another Master Class that’s happening on the Saturday at 2pm is Cheese & Beer which I’ll be co-hosting with Margi Wallace, Eagle Bay Brewing’s fabulous marketing manager and all round top chick. We are very excited to be taking part in the Fremantle BeerFest and even more excited by the topic. Many of you will know my extreme and sometimes unhealthy fondness for beer and cheese so if you come down to see our master class please brace yourself for high levels of enthusiasm which, let’s face it, will only be fueled by the one or three beers I’ll have consumed before hand.

You can be assured that there has been plenty of preparation going into our Cheese & Beer Master Class. There has been a lot of research. Trial and error has been the preferred research method but there’s also been a lot of reading however test subjects found that reading inevitability lead back to trial and error.

Conducting some beer and cheese research with Margi at Eagle Bay Brewing
Conducting some beer and cheese research with Margi at Eagle Bay Brewing
Stone's Oaked Arrogant Bastard met it's match in some stinky gorgeous blue cheese
Stone’s Oaked Arrogant Bastard met it’s match in some stinky gorgeous blue cheese
Trying Lagunitas IPA and Maffra Cheddar, not a bad match but perhaps too many hops for the cheddar to handle
Trying Lagunitas IPA and Maffra Cheddar, not a bad match but perhaps too many hops for the cheddar to handle

I hope to see you at the Fremantle BeerFest and at the Cheese & Beer master class, come and eat cheese and drink beer with us! It won’t just be you and 49 people watching me eat cheese and drink beer. I’ll share, I promise.

WA Beer Week Logo

Thinking about flavour …

We all know that flavours in craft beer are practically limitless, that’s what lets us sit down to beers that are adventurous and beer that are very traditional. On any given day we can sip on a Cantillion lambic, traditionally brewed with raspberries, or a Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale made with smoked bacon and pure maple flavouring.

I recently visited Yallingup’s Bush Shack Brewery. For those who haven’t been it’s just south of Dunsborough and it’s a small operation, as the name rightly suggests, and their beers are probably not what you would expect. The core range of beers includes Strawberry Blonde, Chili Beer, Chocolate Beer and Twisted Lemon Lager.

As I sipped on a Strawberry Blonde I thought about beer and flavour and what preconceptions we have about certain additions.

Bush Shack Tasting Tray 2

When you read the words “strawberry”, “chocolate”, “chilli” and “lemon” I’m sure you had some kind of reaction. It might have been positive and it might not have been. I have to confess to a “ugh” reaction when I saw the words “strawberry blonde”. My brain immediately feared a Chupa Chup in beer form. Instead I sipped on a lightly malty beer with hints of real strawberry, not lolly strawberry, and it was fresh and clean and it surprised me.

Acid Freaks – a Baltic Porter that’s been infused with a Shiraz barrel aged balsamic vinegar, a weirdly stunning brew that I highly recommend.

In contrast to my initial reaction to strawberry, when I heard about Melbourne brewer Steve “Hendo” Henderson and his Brew Cult beer called Acid Freaks, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on in. A balsamic vinegar baltic porter?! I was as excited as a kid who’s high on red cordial.

Brew Cult Acid Freaks

We all know that flavours in craft beer are practically limitless; on any given day we can sip on a Cantillion lambic, traditionally brewed with raspberries, or a Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale made with smoked bacon and pure maple flavouring.

Apricots, raspberries, cherries, bacon, tea leaves, balsamic vinegar, chilli, cacao husks, beetroot, honey … these are all additions that can be found in beers today. The list goes on.

But why does one flavour make you think “that would be amazing!” and another make you think “ugh”

I know a lot of our preconceptions come from our own taste preferences and encounters but over my years of beer drinking I’ve noticed there’s certain flavours/additions that are universally cringed at.

Strawberries

I start with strawberries because I had rolled my eyes at the idea of strawberries in beer. I had to then roll them back in the other direction as I found myself enjoying Bush Shack’s Strawberry Blonde. Chris and Merideth from thebeergeek.com, their website documenting their global beer travels, had a similar surprise when they were in Margaret River in March last year.

“Frankly, we were a bit worried. A chili beer, a lemon lager, a strawberry beer; these all raised red flags in our minds. But we couldn’t have been more wrong.”

You can read the full run down of their Margaret River adventures here. From someone closer to home, the great Tipples blog (which is no longer but it’s author hasn’t left us totally – see Drink, Pluck Yell) also had a similar “not sure about this” moment at Bush Shack before coming away happy after a few beers.

Of course there are moments when you’re totally forgiven for rolling your eyes …

Bud-Light-Straw-Ber-Rita

Chili

Oh chili, many of us love and adore you and keep punishing ourselves by overindulging in you but I have yet to have a really positive experience with chill beer. Much like Melbourne beer blogger Glen Humphries aka Beer is Your Friend I’ve found the couple of chili beers I have tried have been either unpleasantly hot or it’s added nothing at all.

“I’d truly given up on chili beers because they are the dumbest things on Earth (…) then I tried Garage Project’s Death From Above and I went, “aha, so that’s how to make a beer with chili that tastes good”.”

Then Glen tried Garage Project’s Death from Above, a beer with Vietnamese mint, mango, lime and chili, and found himself enjoying it. I hope to get my hands on some of this one day, if you like you can read more about it here.

Honey

Braggot – a blend of mead and ale dating back to the 12th century

Once upon a time my go-to beer was Matilda Bay’s Beez Neez but as my craft beer journey continued I left it long behind. It was many sips until my next honey beer which was The Bear by Red Duck Brewery, a honey braggot. It was stunning with soft smooth honey sweetness combined beautifully with biscuit, fruit and a little spice.  You can read more about my braggot discoveries here.

Red Duck Beers

Have any flavours/additions in beers surprised you? I’d love to know ..

WA Beer Week – South West Style

For my fellow south west-ians who won’t find themselves in Perth during the “week” I’ve listed together the events in our backyard. I’ll be getting along to as many as I can and I hope to see you there!

If you’re in Perth and thinking about going booze-free for a while I strongly suggest you don’t pick dates from 8 – 17th November because that is WA Beer Week.

Like many other beer weeks across the country WA Beer Week goes for ten days … love it.

There are over 40 events throughout Perth, Fremantle and the south west. From beer and food matching to home brewing and new beer launches there’s an event for the uber-beer-nerd and the beer-curious alike.

For my fellow south west-ians who won’t find themselves in Perth during the “week” I’ve listed together the events in our backyard. I’ll be getting along to as many as I can and I hope to see you there!

All Week Long

Where: Eagle Bay Brewing | Eagle Bay

When: 11am – 5pm Daily

What’s Happening: Hear Hear for Fresh Beer! $15 Growler Refills all week long, treat every day like it’s a Friday and grab yourself a growler using either your Eagle Bay, Mane Liquor or Pourhouse growler.

Wednesday 13th November

Where: The Pourhouse | Dunsborough

When: 7pm

What’s Happening: Eagle v Goat … no, not an actual eagle fighting an actual goat though if it was surely you’d have to bet on the eagle yeah? Anyway, it’s a beer, burger and brewer bonanza with beers from both Eagle Bay and Melbourne’s Mountain Goat on tap and paired with tasty Pourhouse burgers. Brewers from both breweries will be on hand to chat to and even touch*

*touching may require permission, please check with the brewers first

Pourhouse and Burgers

Thursday 14th November

Where: Clancy’s Fish Pub | Dunsborough

When: 6.30pm

What’s Happening: Beer Fact Hunt. Say it fast aloud … did you get it right or say something naughty? Anyway, this annual event is back and well worth coming down for a tasty beer and to put your beery knowledge to the test!

DJ Chet Leonard Hosts Beer Fact Hunt at Clancy's Dunsborough

Friday 15th November

Where: Colonial Brewing | Margaret River

When: 11am – 8.30pm

What’s Happening: Car Park Brew – South West Edition. Pack up your home brew kits / chemical sets / plastic tubs and get them to Colonial for their first ever car park brew! Brewer Justin Fox will be on site for tips and chat whilst doing his own brew day too.

Colonial Brewery

girl + chilli

Chilli con carne is more than just a tasty meal, it’s the total delight at having a kitchen bench full of spices and colour and the aroma filling the entire house. It’s about slouching on the couch afterwards in your favourite trackies and being full and happy. And yes, it’s totally made better with beer.

I love chilli con carne; it’s warming, inviting and bursting with flavour. It’s a dish that falls into my “home food” category, i.e. I’m very unlikely to order it at restaurant because my love for it is greater than just the dish itself; it’s about my total delight at having a kitchen bench full of spices and colour and the aroma filling the entire house so much so that our dog is practically drooling. It’s about slouching on the couch afterwards in your favourite trackies and being full and happy.

Granted I could say this about a lot of dishes if I really thought about it but it is particularly true with chilli con carne.

Last week I had a go at making Paul Mercurio’s version from his Cooking with Beer book. I’m surprised that I’ve owned this book for a year and only just tried this recipe. Shame on my beery heart.

Chilli con carne

Weizenbock – a strong wheat beer, ‘bock’ indicating strong and ‘weizen’ German for wheat.

The recipe calls for a 330ml bottle of Weizenbock and I immediately wished I hadn’t drunk my last bottle of Mountain Goat / Brooklyn Brewery collaboration beer, the Hopfweizenbock – a hopped up weizenbock. With such strong wheat beer characters like banana and spice, coupled with biscuit, stone fruit and a good punchy finish, well it would have been pretty damn good.

Nøgne Ø Tiger Tripel … a little barnyard, dried pineapple, stone fruit, spicy, crisp citrus and a little red fruit. Sensational!

However, having enjoyed all the Hopfweizenbock I had to find a suitable substitute in our fridge. I decided on Sierra Nevada Kellerweis and a splash of Nøgne Ø Tiger Tripel, hoping my beer mathematics would work – Kellerweis + Tiger Tripel = Weizenbock.

Sierra Nevada Kellerweis

Nogne O Tiger Tripel

The end result was an amazing chilli con carne, seriously one of the best I’ve made. I think this will be the chilli con carne recipe, the go-to recipe. My partner and I matched it with the Sierra Nevada Kellerweis, the wheat beer qualities like spice and coriander complemented the dish perfectly. The beers uber-refreshment also made for a fantastic palate cleanser for the heat in the dish.

Chilli con carne with Sierra Nevada Kellerweis

Click the image for the full recipe
Click the image for the full recipe

Seven Brewers Brewing

Breweries from the south west unite for this once off collaboration beer …

L-R: Justin Fox, Sorcha Gillen, Jeremy Good, Alex Poulsen, Jared Proudfoot, Nick d'Espeissis and Shannon Grigg Photo Courtesy of Jessica Shaver
L-R: Justin Fox, Sorcha Gillen, Jeremy Good, Alex Poulsen, Jared Proudfoot, Nick d’Espeissis and Shannon Grigg
Photo Courtesy of Jessica Shaver

I recently was lucky enough to be invited along to a collaboration brew day and I know it feels like there’s a new collab every second day but I still love ’em. Perhaps it’s because I’ve yet to come across one that wasn’t a genuinely good beer or perhaps it’s because I just love the idea of brewers getting together to do the thing they love. If you’re super keen you can read more about my love for collaborations here.

This particular collaboration is extra special because it was brewers from the south west coming together under one roof, in one brewhouse and with multiple pints. Despite the fact their breweries are all roughly within an hours drive of each other this collaboration is a first for the region, as far as I am aware anyway. The collaboration included Colonial Brewing, Bootleg Brewing, Eagle Bay Brewing, Cowaramup Brewing, Duckstein Brewing and Cheeky Monkey Brewing and the brew day was done at Eagle Bay. For a full run down check out my article for Crafty Pint here.

The beer will make it’s debut at South West in the City, a Five Bar event where the brewers will also be there to engage in all sorts of beer-geek talk or just say g’day. Each brewery will also bring along one of their own beers so there’s plenty south west goodness available; apologies if that sounded a little dirty. The event will be held on Sunday 27th October, two weeks before WA Beer Week kicks off – think of it as a good warm up exercise!

Anyway, I just wanted to share a few photos I took on the day and some of the more memorable quotes and moments that put a smile on my face …

“Are we putting more hops in this or are we making Swan Draught?”

“I only put honey on my toast or in my Lemsip”

“I want to be in Victoria’s Secret”

“This is the Rolls Royce of brewery drainage”

Nick (Eagle Bay), Jeremy (Cowaramup) and Red (Cheeky Monkey) looking down at a drain, talking about brewery drainage
Nick (Eagle Bay), Jeremy (Cowaramup) and Red (Cheeky Monkey) looking down at a drain, talking about brewery drainage
Cowaramup's Jeremy Good adding some malt
Cowaramup’s Jeremy Good adding some malt
Colonial's Sorcha throws in a bag of malt and shows off her Freo jumper
Colonial’s Sorcha throws in a bag of malt and shows off her Freo jumper
I'm only just the right level of qualified to do this - cleaning out the mash tun
I’m only just the right level of qualified to do this – cleaning out the mash tun
Potential name for the beer is The Council Worker - this photo may explain why
Potential name for the beer is The Council Worker – this photo may explain why
Jared (Cheeky Monkey) and I throwing in handfuls of hops over seven minutes
Jared (Cheeky Monkey) and I throwing in handfuls of hops
Justin (Colonial), Jeremy (Cowaramup) and Nick (Eagle Bay) weighing out hops
Justin (Colonial), Jeremy (Cowaramup) and Nick (Eagle Bay) weighing out hops
Stop! Hop time!
Stop! Hop time!
When asked to make a funny face, this is the resulting photo Photo Courtesy of Jessica Shaver
When asked to make a funny face, this is the resulting photo
Photo Courtesy of Jessica Shaver