adventures in craft beer in Perth and beyond

5 Minutes with Fiacre from The Boulevard Hotel

Fiacre with some of the beers from The Boulevard’s current beer menu

5 minutes with … a 5 minute/5 question (or in this case 7!) interview with great beer loving people

This edition of 5 minutes with features Fiacre Mulhall, Assistant Manager at The Boulevard Hotel

Fiacre, aka Fi, and I worked together at The Brisbane Hotel many years ago. One of our first meetings, if not the very first, was at a Daft Punk concert. We’ve camped at Southbound, we’ve gone to The Blue Mountains and laughed together at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

(and remembering all of this just sent me on a little time travel via photographs for the last twenty minutes!)

Anyway, Fi phoned me up a while ago and was very excited about an event he wanted to host at The Boulevard – a beer market in the beer garden. Happy Days!

Brews in the Beergarden Market

The Boulevard Hotel – Corner The Boulevard and Howtree Place, Floreat – see map

Happening this Saturday (11 October) it’s an afternoon showcasing some of Fi’s favourite local breweries and cideries. But of course you don’t want to be looking all scruffy when you’re tasting such wonderful craft beer so Weston’s Barbershop will be on site for all your grooming needs, well almost all of them. Meanwhile, in the hot department there will be Dr Paul’s Hot Sauce to test your fiery palates.

If you’ve not been to The Boulevard before this event would be a fantastic way to get acquainted. A big beautiful modern pub with warmth and personality and a kick ass outside area perfect for markets. I’m really looking forward to this event.

What was your epiphany beer?

That would be Little Creatures Bright Ale.  Before I moved to Perth in 2008, I really only drank mainstream lagers and pilsners.

In my first few days here, a mate took me on the obligatory pilgrimage to Freo and the Little Creatures Brewery.  That first sip of Bright Ale blew my mind.

It had so much fruit and complexity compared to what I usually drank. I never knew that beer could have so much going on.

What do you hope your beer list says about The Boulevard Hotel?

I hope it says that we are a pub that is serious about craft beer.  We have so many outstanding breweries and cider makers on our doorstep and try to support them wherever we can.  We are also very proud of being a pub and that fantastic local and international beers like [Feral] Hop Hog and Founders All Day IPA live happily in the fridge beside pub staples like Swan Draught.

Blvd Beer Menu

How often do you update the beer list?

We update 3 to 4 times a year which allows us to work with the seasons.  We always keep our eye out for limited releases form the local guys, though and stick them in the fridge as guest beers (if the staff don’t take them home first).  These don’t make it onto the menu, though so it’s always worth asking the staff what we have going on in ‘Cellar Stock.’

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

Haha.  What time is it?  That really does vary, depending on the direction of the wind.

What am I drinking most of at the moment?  That’ll be Eagle Bay Kolsch.  I’m giving my palate a bit of a break from the big punishing IPAs and the like and the Kolsch is filling that gap nicely.  It still has enough character to keep me happy without numbing my tastebuds.  It’s dangerously morish, though.

It’s a perfect match for our Pork Cotoletta with Italian Coleslaw.  The bitterness in the Kolsch contrasts perfectly to the slight sweetness of the pork and stands up nicely to the spice of the Dijon mustard and coleslaw.

Kolsch Bottles

Eagle Bay Kolsch bottles at Eagle Bay Brewery

What can we expect from the Blvd Brews in the Beer garden Market?

Most of our favourite local producers are coming to play: Eagle Bay, Little Creatures, Mash, Cheeky Monkey and Gage Roads, along with Core Cider and Custard & Co.  The beergarden will be turned into our own mini beer festival with stalls for tasting and more.  JD from Westons Barbershop will be here to make sure all the boys (and some girls) look their smoothest and Dr Paul’s Hot Sauce is bringing the chilli.  Charlie Bucket will be playing tunes all afternoon in the beergarden.  All this along with everything you would normally expect from the Boulevard Hotel and a giveaway or two.

Is the kitchen doing any special dishes on the day?

For the month of August we ran Ribs ‘n’ Bibs where slow cooked beef ribs, Turkish bread and coleslaw were matched with our favourite beers.  The reaction to them was fantastic so chef is bringing them back for the day.  We will also have our polenta chips with a blue cheese and beer dip for something a bit more nibbly.  Our full menu will be available on the day too.

What beers are you most looking forward to trying?

Almost every brewery has said that they’re going to bring a little surprise for us.  I reckon I’m going to be like a kid in a toy store on the day.

Thank you Fi, see you Saturday!

 

2 Responses to “5 Minutes with Fiacre from The Boulevard Hotel”

  1. Crafty Taps

    Nice write up Pia – but with all due respect, I can’t help but wonder if pubs like the Boulevard aren’t just cashing in on the craft beer movement because they can charge a premium, and more easily pair them with food for ‘special events’ such as this.

    As you know, it takes no effort to whip down to Mane Liquor, or Cellarbrations Carlise grab a few cartons of crafties and SHAZAM! you’re now a ‘craft beer pub’. IMO the real indication of a craft beer venue is – taps, taps and more taps!

    From your article, I didn’t see anything about taps (all I saw was photo’s of bottles), so whilst i’m not dis’ing Fiacre’s craft beer pedigree/enthusiasm i’d like to see the Boulevard putting their money where their mouth is, and getting rid of a few of the CUB taps, and investing in a more dedicated craft beer tap range – after all, back in my day they used to be called the Boulevard ‘ALE’ House.

    Reply
    • girl + beer

      Thanks for reading! The Boulevard have had a really good range of bottled beers for some time so I don’t believe it’s cashing in, rather it’s another part of their menu that they put a lot of effort into like they do their wine list or food menu. Something that lots of places, whether pub or restaurant or bar, seem to forget (so many nice restaurants are still pitching a Stella/Crown Lager/Corona beer list!).
      Totally understand where you are coming from with the taps, it is mostly the big boys on tap plus a few Monteith’s, and I’d LOVE to see some of our local beers on tap. Having said that I don’t think they are pitching themselves as a craft beer pub, I think they are a great neighbourhood pub who have a good list of bottled beers.
      Hopefully sometime down the track we’ll see a few more crafty taps but right now I think the current bottles and a beer event supporting just local craft is a pretty good result! 🙂

      Reply

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