girl+beer meets Steve Grossman

Last night Steve Grossman, Sierra Nevada’s beer ambassador and brother of founder Ken Grossman, was at Five Bar in Mt Lawley. He is spending a few days in Australia visiting Perth and Melbourne, maybe even Sydney if my memory serves me right.

I don’t remember the first ever Sierra Nevada Pale Ale I had but I do remember the first time I had it off tap. It was when I was on holiday in London where I spotted it at a pub, perhaps one of the All Bar One venues.

I got excited, I’d never seen it on tap and having worked for Little Creatures I knew Sierra Nevada Pale Ale was the beer that inspired Creatures own Pale Ale. I had to have one!

That was quite a few years ago now and whilst my love of beer has only grown and I’m always looking for something new I still find myself coming back to Sierra Nevada fairly regularly, whether it’s the annual Bigfoot Barleywine style ale or the Ruthless Rye, or just picking up some Pale Ale case you know it’s going to be good. Sierra Nevada is like a comfy old chair and I mean that in a really good way!

Sierra Nevada Bigfoot 2013

Last night Steve Grossman, Sierra Nevada’s beer ambassador and brother of founder Ken Grossman, was at Five Bar in Mt Lawley. He is spending a few days in Australia visiting Perth and Melbourne, maybe even Sydney if my memory serves me right.

For someone who had flown in from the US that morning he was extremely upbeat and awake. I found Steve really engaging in a very sincere and polite way, not over-the-top or brash, just friendly and nice and great to have a chat with.

Steve Grossman kindly taking a photo with me

I awkwardly approached Steve and got to have a chat about how his trip was going, what his plans were, what he thought of the bars he’d visited so far and a little about beer camp and the new brewery in North Carolina.

“Beer Camp Across America is a multi-weekend path of beer festivals, a rolling tour that will cover 4,800 miles, celebrating the collaborative spirit of the craft brewing community with the fans that have buoyed its success. There’ll be seven stop —in cities with thriving craft beer cultures—moving geographically west to east, much like the craft movement has historically spread. The festivals will appropriately begin and end at Sierra Nevada’s two brewing locations.”

From Sierra Nevada Media Kit on their website

Incidentally there’s a great interview with Sierra Nevada Ken Grossman that was done during this beer camp rolling festival that you can check out here. It’s by Michael from Good Beer Hunting, my new favourite beer reading material.

When I asked how the logistical side of this years beer camp went, a seven stop tour across the country, he replied “a nightmare!” but I think he had a smile on his face. He also said the new brewery, though a little behind the original schedule, was just weeks away from opening their doors.

To celebrate having Steve in town, Five Bar had three Sierra Nevada beers on tap –

  • Snow Wit – a white IPA
  • Nooner – a session IPA
  • Harvest – an IPA showcasing either a hop variety, region or hopping method

Taps at Five Bar

The Snow Wit was my favourite, perfectly balanced and rather than just tasting like an IPA and looking like a wheat it was a great harmony of soft tropical fruit, a little spice and a really clean easy finish.

Five Bar matched this to some corn, jalapeño and cheese croquettes on a pineapple salsa, a really nice match with the beer easily cutting through the deep fried ball of yum (yep, that’s my other name for croquettes) and there was just enough fresh jalapeño to provide some contrast but not so much it destroyed everything else.

Croquettes at Five Bar

Next up I had the Harvest, juicy tropical hops mixed with caramel sweetness and a good match to Five’s steak tartare, served with horseradish, egg and an anchovy. The anchovy gave the dish to suitable omphf that it needed to stand up to the intensity of the Harvest. It was also nice to have a salty contrast to the beer’s fruit and malt sweetness.

Steak Tartare at Five Bar

Last I had, as I am sure you can guess, the Nooner and this was lovely and I wrote no notes at all. By this stage I stopped taking notes on my phone and just enjoyed the people around me and the beer in my hand. Happy Monday!

Weekend Reading #14

I love lounging in bed on weekends and catching up on all my favourite beery reading. From blogs to articles from the American craft beer scene and the best local beer news, there’s excellent reading material out there so every Friday I’m posting a list of the articles and blogs that have excited me.

I love lounging in bed on weekends and catching up on all my favourite beery reading. From blogs to articles from the American craft beer scene and the best local beer news, there’s excellent reading material out there so every Friday I’m posting a list of the articles and blogs that have excited me.

Good Beer Hunting | Episode 20 – Keith Villa of Blue Moon Brewing Co. [PODCAST]

This is 76 minutes of great story telling. The interview is casual enough that it feels like you’re in a room with old friends but not so casual that you don’t understand any of the jokes. It’s also structured enough to make sure there is an actual story being told but not so much that it’s painful to listen to.

Literally Coors didn’t know what to do with me”

Keith Villa, Blue Moon Brewing

Regardless of your feelings for what defines craft beer, wherever you believe the boundaries are, this interview is a fantastic listen. Not only is it the story of Blue Moon and Keith’s own personal journey but it is an interesting insight into the early growth of craft beer in the US.

“We were doing extreme beers before there was a name for it,”

Keith Villa, Blue Moon Brewing

Business Review Weekly | Meet BeerBud, the online marketplace for craft beer

It’s on-line craft beer shopping but it kinda takes away what I love about my craft beer shopping. I like asking the staff what they’ve been drinking, what’s new and what’s been flying off the shelves. I like grabbing more beers than I can carry.

BeerBuds website

Of course the idea of beer delivered to my door is equally appealing, especially if the price is right.

Beer shopping is always delightfully good fun!
Beer shopping is always delightfully good fun!

TribLIVE | Bartenders are discovering some inventive ways to use craft brews

I am working through some emotions, emotions relating to the idea of beer cocktails. It is something I’ve been seeing rising up slowly and I’m interested to see where it goes. This article quotes a few bartenders and I certainly like the idea of a beer viewed as another flavour ingredient, bringing something more to the drink.

I experienced more confused emotion as I read the following:

“Women are often the core market for beer cocktails, because they have a lighter alcohol content, are fruitier and not heavy”

Brewbound | $1.9 Million and Counting: How Stone Brewed up the Largest Brewery Crowdfunding Campaign Ever

The whole crowd funding thing is interesting, particularly when the person/people doing the funding are perceived to be able to easily fund the project themselves. It makes you wonder, if you crowd sourced raising money for charity how far would you get?

This campaign for the building of a Stone Brewery (US) in Berlin appears to have gotten off on the wrong foot, upset a few folk and then turn it around into, well, I think the headline sums it up nicely.

“The chief complaint was that Stone, the country’s tenth largest craft brewery, shouldn’t be asking customers to help finance expansion”

Serious Eats | Ask a Cicerone: How to Pair Beer and Chocolate

I found this article from February this year when I was drinking the Eagle Bay Cacao Stout and doing a little research.

I love the idea of a smokey rauch beer with chocolate as it’s not something I would have given great consideration to. Trying to get more sour beers in my life, this article has encouraged me to increase my chocolate consumption too. Win!

food by beersine: Bahen & Co Chocolate Mousse with hazelnuts
food by beersine: Bahen & Co Chocolate Mousse with hazelnuts at SouWest Smackdown

5 Minutes with Matt from The Freo Doctor

This edition of 5 minutes with features Matt Shiel, manager of the fantastic bottleshop The Freo Doctor

5 minutes with … a 5 minute/5 question interview with great beer loving people …

This edition of 5 minutes with features Matt Shiel, manager of the fantastic bottleshop The Freo Doctor – a place not only for great craft beer but also beautiful wines and spirits. The Freo Doctor also frequently hosts booze events in their kick-ass cellar, like the recent Sou’West Smack Down.

It’s always good to know your bottle shop crew so here’s a chance to get to know Matt a little bit better … (spoiler alert, he is a top guy!)

Matt Shiel with his wife
Matt Shiel with his wife

How did you fall in love with beer?

When we opened [Little] Creatures, my little Tooheys New drinking mind nearly exploded.

Finish this sentence: “The WA beer scene needs more …

… sour beer!

What beers do you recommend the most?

That’s almost as tough as ‘What’s your favourite beer?’ At the moment, Barrow Boys Stormy Lager, Bridge Roads Fat Man Red Suit Big Sack, any Mountain Goat, Two Birds… It depends what the punter is looking for.

What can’t you keep enough of in the store?

Stone and Wood Pacific Ale, but I think that has been remedied now.

wpid-wp-1393767241878.jpeg

If you could import any beer right now that’s not available in Australia, what would it be and why?

Lagunitas, I fell in love with their cappuccino stout on a road trip in the States with some friends a few years ago and I need more of it in my life, and the rest of their beers are pretty rad too.

 

Eagle Bay Cacao Stout + lots of chocolate

This years Eagle Bay Cacao Stout is the third annual release brewed using cacao husks from Margaret River’s Bahen & Co Chocolate. The launch was held at Mane Liquor with food by Me & Mabel …

I try not to have chocolate in the house which has nothing to do with anything other than my complete lack of self control. Anyone who saw me at the Eagle Bay Cacao Stout launch at Mane Liquor on Friday will be able to attest to this.

Black Forest Pots made with Bahen & Co Chocolate by Me & Mabel
Black Forest Pots made with Bahen & Co Chocolate by Me & Mabel

This years Eagle Bay Cacao Stout is the third annual release, each year offering a slight variant to the previous but always brewed using cacao husks from Margaret River’s Bahen & Co Chocolate. The bean to bar chocolate maker only uses traditional methods for making their chocolate and strive to deal 100% directly with farmers.

The last Eagle Bay Brewer’s Series was their Black IPA, also launched at Mane Liquor, you can read all about it here

When first brewed in 2012 Eagle Bay brewer Nick used 60% Brazilian cacao husks and 40% Madagascan cacao husks but this year some Papua New Guinea husks were added to the mix. When you smell these husks there is much more of a bright red berry aroma compared to the richness of the Brazilian and Madagascan, the result being that this years Cacao Stout is softer with gorgeous red fruit layered into its chocolate and roasty flavours.

Eagle Bay Cacao Stout launch

And what better food to go with this beautiful Cacao Stout than some gorgeous hand made chocolate desserts. Enter Me & Mabel …

Want to know more about Me & Mabel? Check out my short Q&A with Wendy here

No stranger to beer events and beer matching, Me & Mabel by Wendy Marinich provided delicious home made desserts that paired perfectly with Eagle Bay’s Cacao Stout. All desserts were made with Bahen & Co Chocolate.

Homemade Oreo Cookies by Me & Mabel
Homemade Oreo Cookies by Me & Mabel – Thin rich biscuits, stamped with EBBC (Eagle Bay Brewing Co) and homemade marshmallow shmushed in the middle, giving the beer a light base to showcase all its chocolate, roasty flavours
Me & Mabel brining back the best of the 70s with chocolate fondue with sticks of strawberry, banana and homemade marshmellow
Me & Mabel brining back the best of the 70s with chocolate fondue with sticks of strawberry, banana and homemade marshmallow. It was nice to kinda feel healthy on this one! The fruit playing nicely with the beers red berry flavours.
Black Forest Pots - if I had taken my handbag I would have stolen as many of these little bad boys as I could
Black Forest Pots – if I had taken my handbag I would have stolen as many of these little bad boys as I could. In the background – salted chocolate brownies, I had about three of these.
L-R: Josh (Mane Liquor), Margi (Eagle Bay) and Wendy (Me & Mabel)
L-R: Josh (Mane Liquor), Margi (Eagle Bay) and Wendy (Me & Mabel)

 

 

 

Weekend Reading #13

I love lounging in bed on weekends and catching up on all my favourite beery reading. From blogs to articles from the American craft beer scene and the best local beer news, there’s excellent reading material out there so every Friday I’m posting a list of the articles and blogs that have excited me.

I love lounging in bed on weekends and catching up on all my favourite beery reading. From blogs to articles from the American craft beer scene and the best local beer news, there’s excellent reading material out there so every Friday I’m posting a list of the articles and blogs that have excited me.

Crafty Pint | Getting Blind with Crafty: Porter

This is a great series from Crafty Pint where a panel of tasters including commercial and home brewers and beer reps get together for a blind tasting on a particular style. In short, people who love beer get together and drink it. It makes for excellent reading, interesting results and a severe case of drinks envy.

Colonial Baltic Porter
Colonial Baltic Porter

 Popular Mechanics | The Science Behind the Craft Beer Explosion

A great little Q&A with Chris Baugh, a molecular biologist and brewing scientist at Sierra Nevada Brewing in California. Love a little science with my beer!
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NDTV Cooks | The Craft Beer Revolution: How Hops got Hip

First, a word of warning, if you are really annoyed by internet ads then this article may prove a little challenging / so irritating you want to poke yourself in the eye just as a distraction. Two ads appear down either side of this article, the one of the left obscures the first letter of each line. It was really annoying but not enough to make me stop reading, a comment on the article more than my patience.

I don’t read a lot about the craft beer scene in the UK so this really interested me as the UK beer scene isn’t just mainstream and craft but there’s the CAMRA, Campaign for Real Ale movement to consider also. From the sounds of it Camra beers are perceived as being for old farts whilst craft beer gets the all embracing term “hipster” image. It’s grandad yelling at punks to get off their lawn. I wonder how accurate this is? How much of beer drinking is a matter of identification?

“Real ale struggled to shake, as Brown puts it, its “old man, flat cap” image; craft beer is young, urban and fashionable.”

The West Australian | Craft Brewer Bucks Trend

A super short article that, if you are super pushed for time can be summarised as – Matso’s to release mid-strength soon.

Whilst I am not pants-wettingly excited I’m certainly not saying it’s not welcome. The more craft brews that are lower in ABV the better if you ask me. Why I included this short piece here is because I’m not entirely sure I agree with the idea that mid-strengths are the redheaded step-child of the beer world. I feel like there were more lower ABV beers at this years GABS (Great Australasian Beer Spectapular) which may reflect more brewers going down this path. In WA alone we had Rogers’ by Little Creatures changing the idea of a mid for lots of drinkers. I am pretty sure that Eagle Bay and Cheeky Monkey have had a mid on their taps from day one. Colonial also recently added their lower ABV beer to the rotation, their Small Ale. I have not gotten the feeling that brewers shy away from mids, in fact I kinda get the opposite.

Incidentally, the story I heard when I worked for Creatures, the story I always liked, was that Rogers’ wasn’t designed to be a lower ABV beer, it just happened to come out that way and they didn’t change it. I like stuff like that.
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girl + Feral Beergustation

It’s not every beer dinner where one of the brewers recounts a story from a failed relationship where the punchline is “nice guy, dud root” – Welcome to the annual Feral Brewing “Beergustation” dinner.

It’s not every beer dinner where one of the brewers recounts a story from a failed relationship where the punchline is “nice guy, dud root”. Welcome to the annual Feral Brewing “Beergustation” dinner.

Feral invited my partner and I to the evening where we enjoyed seven courses of food, beer and banter with 128 other thirsty/hungry people.

Feral Brewing Beergustation

The welcome beer was, of course, Hop Hog – delicious, award winning and beer-geek pants-wettingly good. A very nice way to start the night.

Head brewer and owner Brendan Varis opened the night with a characteristically casual welcome, sharing with us his inspiration for starting Feral Brewing – a dislike for sweet potato. He painted an imaginary world where sweet potato was the only vegetable available and what an awful place that would be – same goes for beer. If boring lager was the only beer available … well, you get the idea. Thankfully our only vegetable isn’t sweet potato, though I happen to love the stuff, and Feral unapologetically make some big, bold, fantastic beers.

Blue Swimmer Crab and Horseradish Bruschetta w/ Feral Funky Junky

Pediococcus: bacteria that produces lactic acid, gives sour/tart qualities

Brettanomyces: wild yeast, gives “funk” and very dry qualities

For a little more info here is a short article I really enjoyed

Funky Junky is the oldest beer at Feral. Brewed back in 2012 with pediococcus (bacteria) and two types of brettanomyces (wild yeast) it was then left inside barrels to do it’s thing before being blended with some fresh stuff, a little like gueuze. The result is a sour beer with a good dose of funk and fresh sharp citrus.

Gueuze: a blend of young and old lambic

Lovely match to the dish especially with a squeeze of fresh lime and peppery rocket going nicely with the beers funk.

Blue Swimmer Crab and Horseradish Bruscetta

chinese bbq quail w/ white hog

The sweet glaze on the quail worked beautifully with the tropical fruit hops from the White Hog, a beer hybrid of two existing Feral beers – Hop Hog and White. This was one of my favourite pairings of the night. Laid under the quail like a little surprise were ribbons of pickled vegetables that complimented the crisp citrus in the beer. The dried noodles seemed to balance it all out, giving a counterpoint to hang the sweetness and citrus.

Chinese BBQ Quail

 

Smoked eel and pecorino croquettes w/ smoked porter

Having not had eel before I was a little worried I wouldn’t be able to enjoy this dish without the imagery of a slimy fat eel like you see on Animal Planet or something. Instead I took big sips of the smoked porter and almost forgot the intricacies of the dish and just enjoyed what a good smoked beer can add to food. Just that little more depth, that extra level of flavour. God I love a good smoked beer.

Smoked Eel and Pecorino Croquettes

 

… intermission

This is where door prizes were given away and brewer Will Irving was handed the microphone. He shared a story with everyone, a story attributed to the name of the next beer we were to be served – Nice Guy, Dud Root.

And so the story goes, whilst dating a girl they had been watching a movie on her couch and she was texting a friend and it appears Will was the subject of said messages. He was assured they were saying good things but when she then left the room curiosity took hold, he looked at the phone and read the words “nice guy, dud root”. He retold this story at work and now there’s a beer. This is why you don’t tell stories like this to co-workers, especially co-workers with a history of fun beer names like the Fanta Pants red ale or Karma Citra black IPA.

“That was years ago,” 

Will added quickly to finishhis story

Incidentally this is not the story told in Crafty’s article “What’s in a Name: Feral Brewing”

Feral boys - (L-R) Steve Finney, Will Irving and Steve Pickup
Feral boys – (L-R) Steve Finney, Will Irving and Steve Pickup

miso glazed patagonian tooth fish w/ nice guy dud root

Nice Guy Dud Root is an English style brown ale that was, according to sales manager Steve Finney, originally going to have coconut added to it as a late addition but upon tasting it was decided just to leave it alone, it was great as it was.

Certainly it is one of the most delicious brown ales I’ve had in recent memory with biscuit, tropical fruits and hints of red berry. It was a nice match with the sweetness from the glaze on the fish and a contrast with the pickled cucumber.

Miso glazed patagonian tooth fish

slow cooked beef cheeks with baby root vegetables w/ razorback

Hello Razorback, a 10% English style barleywine that’s just beautiful. Sweet red berries, a little port and a lot of warming booze; it’s unapologetically rich, smooth and delicious.

Barleywine: strong ale style, originated in Britain

The beer made for a bold pairing with an equally rich dish, the meat fell apart at the merest touch of the fork and the beetroot added a nice earthy sweetness that stood out from a largely rich pairing.

Slow Cooked Beef Cheeks with Root Vegetables

gorgonzola profiterole with watermelon jelly & sherbet w/ watermelon warhead

Ah, Watermelon Warhead, how I love thee. Low ABV, big flavour, crisp and refreshing and perfectly sour. It’s made with fresh local watermelon and left in Chardonnay barrels and I can’t get enough of it.

My first Watermelon Warhead experience – read about it here.

This was certainly the most left-field pairing for me of the night, the earthy gorgonzola playing against the sour beer and the sherbet together with a sip of Watermelon Warhead was like a small firecracker. Zingy and textually interesting, it was a talking point at the table.

I still cannot get enough of Watermelon Warhead and almost fell off my seat in enthusiasm as the waitress offered a top up.

Gorgonzola profiterole, watermelon jelly and sherbet

The chocolate nemesis w/ boris

Stupidly rich and indulgent, this chocolate nemesis almost defeated me … almost. Together with one of my absolute favourite Feral beers, Boris was his usual charming self – chocolate, fresh coffee beans and super smooth. Matching a Russian Imperial Stout to a chocolate dessert is one of those pairings that works time and time again.

Happy beer news – Boris will soon join the Feral family as a regularly brewed and bottled beer. Every day can be Russian Imperial Stout day!

The chocolate nemesis

You can read about the full range of Feral’s beers here at their website.

Thank you again to the whole team at Feral who invited my partner and I to this great event, we loved it!

Thanks also to my lovely partner who helped me get photos that weren’t black and the rest of the table for not laughing at me too much during photo taking!

Weekend Reading #12

I love lounging in bed on weekends and catching up on all my favourite beery reading. From blogs to articles from the American craft beer scene and the best local beer news, there’s excellent reading material out there so every Friday I’m posting a list of the articles and blogs that have excited me.

 

I love lounging in bed on weekends and catching up on all my favourite beery reading. From blogs to articles from the American craft beer scene and the best local beer news, there’s excellent reading material out there so every Friday I’m posting a list of the articles and blogs that have excited me.

SommBeer | What’s wrong with beer marketing?

This is a collaboration piece with Hops Canary and together these beer bloggers discuss beer marketing including labels and packaging and the all important gender based marketing. Do beer ads need to target women and if so, how so? And when, oh when, are we finally going to stop seeing T&A as the one-stop advertising solution to beer ads (or all booze as a matter a fact).

“Tell me what your beer smells and tastes like and keep the bikinis to swimsuit ads,”

Jen aka Hops Canary

You can read the piece on the Hops Canary blog too, entitled He says fruity, I say Hoppy, sour, spicy, bitter … which I’d recommend as both authors get different comments and introduce the article in their own way.

Whilst we are on the subject of marketing, my partner showed me these ads for Heineken featuring actor Neil Patrick Harris and I really liked them. Simple, funny and not the outdated blokes-hanging-out / boobs-and-beer formula.

Heineken with Neil Patrick Harris:  “Director”, “Party” and “Rules”

Paste Magazine | Top five craft breweries to watch

I am such a sucker for a list. I know lots of people find them a bit naff but it is total click-bait for me. Even though these are American and therefore I’m unlikely to get my grubby little hands on them I was still curious to see what made them stand out, what made them “watchable”. The one thing that struck me was the use of the term ” artisan brewing”  – is this the new “craft brewing” and if so, what then defines the two? Maybe it is simply an effort to stand out in a country where new breweries are opening all the time. Or maybe beer is getting a little too wanky?

I very much liked the one off, limited release beers that are just that – made once, never made again and that’s it. Imagination run wild, the variety never ends.

Compound Chem | What gives beers its bitterness and flavour?

A little nerdy with great information and a nice infographic to boot! This is one of those articles I’ll probably read every once in a while just to try and get it in my head properly. It serves as a good supplement to the beer books I read and try to understand. I’m no good at the chemistry side of beer, I can barely pronounce some brewing terminology and yeast strains and other such beer nerdery, there is a reason I write a blog and not try a podcast! But I find pieces like this are great – visual, easy enough to read and not so long you start to tune out and wonder what is happening on Facebook.

5 Minutes with Craig, head brewer at The Monk

This edition of 5 minutes with is with The Monk head brewer, Craig Eulenstein, chatting about WA Beer Week.

5 minutes with … a 5 minute/5 question interview with great beer loving people

This edition of 5 minutes with is with the man behind the beers at The Monk and who has one of the beards in the business, Craig Eulenstein and he’s been kind enough chat all about WA Beer Week and tease us with his plans.

WA Beer Week is happening 25 October – 2 November, filled with beer events across Perth and regional WA with collaboration brews, beer and food matching, meet the brewer nights and more. Save up your sick days now cause you won’t want to miss any of the action!

The Monk

What is most exciting about WA Beer Week?

I think WA has a lot of excellent breweries and brewers, just look at the AIBA [Australian International Beer Awards] each year to see how many WA breweries bring home the gold. What WA does lack a bit of though, is bars and venues that are solely dedicated to craft beer. It is a slow process converting the masses and WA Beer Week is a great opportunity to get punters into your shop/venue or brewery who would not normally be there, and who will hopefully take away a great experience, help peach the love, and forever only drink quality brews. Collective improvement and progress is the key to anything and as an industry we all need to work together to promote craft beer.

WA Beer Week Logo

What events are you doing for WA Beer Week?

The Monk Brewery and myself are going to keep ourselves busy this year!

Following the PRBS [Perth Royal Beer Show] awards night on the 24th, we will be hosting a beer and food matched degustation dinner at The Monk Brewery in Fremantle on Sunday night the 26th.

The Freo Doctor Liquor Store | 27 Arundel Street, Fremantle

Tuesday night, the 28th, I will be hosting a Beer and Whiskey matching night, along with Diageo (Talisker/Lagavulin etc…), at The Freo Doctor, this one will be a great night! Excellent whiskies matched with one-off specially brewed beers with food to match as well!

Wednesday night, the 29th, I will be taking part in the Young vs Old brew off, along with the likes of Hugh Dunn [Edith Cowan University], Justin Fox [Colonial Brewing] and Charlie Hodgson [Mash Brewing].

Before taking reigns at The Monk, Craig was a brewer for Mountain Goat in Melbourne

Friday the 31st, The Monk Brewery will be hosting a collaboration launch with Victorian heavyweights Mountain Goat Brewery with a smoked BBQ out on the terrace. Both myself and Dave Bonighton from Mountain Goat will be there to talk all things beer.

Mountain Goat, Richmond

Saturday the 1st, we will be hosting an open brew day with a beer style invented by an online competition we will run through our Facebookt and Instagram/Twitter feeds.

Sunday, the 2nd, I will sleep sleep sleep!!!!

Are you releasing any special beers for WA Beer Week?

Along with our regular seasonals, we will have a collaboration brew with Victorian based Mountain Goat Brewery. We may even sneak a few extra kegs across the border as well!

You used to be a goat in Melbourne, how do you think the WA and VIC craft beer worlds differ?

First of all, there no difference in quality!!! I think the ultimate difference in the two scenes comes down to population density and demand. In Melbourne, due to the higher and more progressive population, there are a lot of small bars that will only serve independent craft beer, some venues can have up 16 taps only pouring good beer. This keeps the industry charging forward with innovative and original ideas, with the likes of American Pale, IPA and Hybrid beers being prominent styles, with an exponential growth of craft beer drinkers. In Perth, due to a lower and more conservative population, you find all the breweries spread out into rural wine regions surviving primarily on tourism. This, I’ve found, has kept the beer styles quite traditional with the likes of Kolsch and Australian Pale ale being quite prominent, with a slower growth of craft beer drinkers. If I had my way, I would put all the WA breweries in one area, with a few key venues like Sail and Anchor, Five Bar etc and we would have am industry to challenge Portland, Oregon!

What does your perfect WA Beer Week look like?

Fresh, hoppy, malty and well balanced…