WA Beer Week Preview: South West in the City II

A look into the upcoming WA Beer Week (25 Oct – 2 Nov) – here is a sneak peak at the South West in the City II event, celebrating collaboration between 8 South West breweries

What is the event about?

It’s collaboration but not as you know it – it’s not just two brewers getting together, this is a collaboration brew between some of the South West’s finest brewers including Cheeky Monkey, Colonial, Eagle Bay, Bootleg, Bush Shack, Duckstein and Cowaramup plus new south west residents Young Henry’s.

Last years collaboration was “The Council Worker” Pale Ale and being that it was such a success they decided to join forces again this year.

Your first chance to try this brew will be at this event. Brewers from the day will also be on hand to chat, laugh and share a beer with you.

SW collaboration brew 2013 L-R: Justin Fox, Sorcha Gillen, Jeremy Good, Alex Poulsen, Jared Proudfoot, Nick d'Espeissis and Shannon Grigg Photo Courtesy of Jessica Shaver
Last year’s SW collaboration brew at Eagle Bay Brewing
Photo Courtesy of Jessica Shaver
When is it?

Sunday 26th October, kicking off at 12noon

Where is it?

Five Bar – 560 Beaufort Street, Mt Lawley

Five Bar

How much for tickets and where can I get my grubby mits on them?

$50 per person, purchased through here

Tell me more!

The still unnamed beer was brewed at Cheeky Monkey Brewery & Cidery. Brewers bought along something to contribute to the brew. The result is a wide and varied number of hop varieties including Mosaic (from Roxy, Five Bar venue manager), Topaz (Young Henrys), East Kent Golding (Bush Shack), Galaxy (Bootleg), Chinook (Duckstein) and Enigma (Colonial).

Enigma was most recently used in WA for the Bootleg & Mane Liquor collaboration – Ryezilla

Nick, head brewer at Eagle Bay Brewing, threw in a curve ball with his contribution of star anise and cinnamon.

When I asked Alex, head brewer at Cheeky Monkey, what Cowaramup Brewing had bought along to the brew day his answer was simple, “Jeremy”. The respect and love for Jeremy Good, head brewer at Cowaramup, is absolutely clear.

Besides their generous hospitality, Cheeky Monkey’s contribution was their Belgian yeast strain that is used in their Hagenbeck Belgian IPA.

Whilst last years “The Council Worker” was an Australian Pale Ale Alex said they didn’t want to do the same style again but still wanted something to satisfy both the beer-geek and casual beer drinker alike.

Paul, brewer at Colonial Brewing, is a self confessed malt-man rather than a hop-fiend so having an good malt bill was important to him. With this in mind the brew was designed to be a bit of a red ale, having a good malt structure to support all the hops. Paul is hoping that the beer will have a good burnt toffee malt character to play nicely against the bubblegum flavours from the Belgian yeast.

“It was pretty much a ‘wing it’ brew,”

Paul, Colonial Brewer

Roxy’s choice of hop, Mosiac, was added at the end of the whirlpool for a hint of spice and the relatively new hop variety Enigma was used mostly for aromatics, dry hopped alongside Galaxy.

If your OCD is going crazy and you’re wondering what style this beer is, it’s not really clear cut but Belgian spiced red ale was about as close as Alex got to labelling it. Oh and it should clock in at around the 6% ABV mark.

All in all it’s probably best to get along to South West in the City II and decide for yourself.

WA Beer Week Logo

WA Beer Week banner

5 Minutes with Dave from Mountain Goat Beer

A quick interview with Dave Bonighton, co-founder and head brewer at Mountain Goat Beer, talking about WA Beer Week

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

This edition of 5 minutes with features Dave Bonighton, co-founder and head brewer at Victoria’s Mountain Goat Beer.

WA Beer Week is less than two weeks away so your excitement levels should be fast approaching the status of ‘pants-wetting’. With this in mind I’m hoping you’ll forgive the extension of the normal 5 questions!

WA Beer Week Logo

WA Beer Week banner

We are lucky to have so many exceptional brewers right in our own backyard and WA Beer Week will also bring brewers from across the country and even across the water including Jos from New Zealand’s Garage Project and Jayne from Two Birds Brewing.

Dave from Mountain Goat will also making the trip out west and he was kind enough to do this little interview.

Mountain Goat, for those unfamiliar, are one of the older Australian craft breweries. Their first beer, the Hightail Amber Ale, was released back in 1997 and they’ve been driving the industry and satisfying palates across the countries ever since. Whether it’s their original Hightail, their Rare Breeds (limited releases) or Cross Breeds (collaboration beers) or beer in a can, I’ve always found Mountain Goat beers to be consistently great.

Mountain Goat, Richmond

If you’ve not had the pleasure of meeting Dave I would strongly suggest to make plans to change this. If there was a ‘nicest brewer in Australia’ award I reckon he’d place in the top five for sure. Until then …

What do you enjoy most when visiting WA?

This is an easy one. The beer! There are so many great beers that we just don’t get to try over east, it’s great to get amongst it in its natural habitat.

Where did the idea to collaborate with The Monk Brewery & Kitchen come from?

Follow Craig on Twitter

Craig, the Head Brewer at The Monk used to brew with us at Goat, so it seemed a pretty logical thing to do. It worked well in Melbourne – it should work pretty well in Freo!

What can you reveal about the beer itself?

It’s a lager. They’re often a forgotten style in the craft world, so we wanted to have a crack. It’s a full, 6.2% golden hued ‘new world’ lager with Australian Summer and Galaxy Hops. 25BU, 6 EBC. Built for special occasions, like WA Beer Week!

Will any of the beer make it back to Melbourne with you?

I hope so!

Any clues on what Goat beer will be at Bob’s Fest?

[Bob’s Fest – a WA Beer Week event happeing 30 October to 2 November at Bob’s Bar (upstairs at The Print Hall) featuring over 60 beers from over 30 breweries – only 1 keg of each beer and chance to meet the brewers! ]

It should be The Delmont West Coast IPA, our current ‘In-Breed’. It’s a 7% IPA brewed with Amarillo, Cascade, Citra, Centennial and Simcoe hops. Named after and conceived by our first On-Road-Goat, Tom Delmont.

What WA Beer Week events are you keen to check out?

I’m only in town for a 2 days, so its going to be tricky to get to everything I’d like to. Bob’s Fest should be fun, and I might head over to the Sail & Anchor after our event at The Monk for their barrel event [Night of the Barrels].

What can we expect to see from Goat this summer?

More of the same I reckon! Summer Ale in a can has been so much fun for us, we’ve got no intention of stopping that one. Something else should appear in a can early next year, as well as our next Cross Breed, which is shaping up nicely, but I can’t say too much more!

Catch Dave at at Bob’s Fest on Thursday 30 October at Bob’s Bar at Brookfield Place, Perth CBD and at The Monk and The Goat Collaboration BBQ on Friday 31 October at The Monk Brewery & Kitchen in Fremantle. 

Weekend Reading #18

This week features articles on the Lebanese craft beer scene, craft beers at sports stadiums in the US, a look at WA Beer Week and how our love affair with extreme beer might be shifting

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.

The Daily Meal | The Best NFL Stadiums for Craft Beer (slideshow)

I am not an NFL fan, in fact I don’t follow it whatsoever however this slideshow caught my attention given my post recently about the lack of any beer remotely crafty at Perth Arena. My partner and I had gone to see  Robbie Williams and it was the first gig ever where I didn’t even bother getting a beer. You can read my post here then look through this list of what I assume are some pretty big stadiums and lament how far we may be from seeing this sort of things in Perth. Sigh.

San Francisco Chronicle | Wine learns a thing or two from craft beer – which is good

Both wine and beer have shed the notion that either complexity or rarity have to be elitist

I really enjoyed this article as a look into what is happening in the wine industry, something I admit that I don’t pay much attention to.

Crafty Pint | WAy To Go

Yup, this is me shamelessly self promoting my most recent article on Crafty Pint about the upcoming WA Beer Week – just over two weeks to go! Plus James, aka Crafty, is kind enough to call me a “lady” … something that I don’t hear too often as I swig on my beer.

Matt Marinich at Bob's Bar - WA Beer Week official HQ
Matt Marinich at Bob’s Bar – WA Beer Week official HQ

The Economist | Lebanese Craft Beer: Pour Me Another

After reading about the craft beer scene in Mexico last week (here) this article caught my attention. It’s not in-depth but it’s nice to read about a few beer success stories.

The Globe and Mail | Let there be light: Why less intense craft beer is a good thing

I love my beer, I really do, and I love a big bold statement of a beer too but I think I am going through a little palate fatigue right now. Lately I’ve been craving lighter beers, looking for great pilsners and reassuring pale ales to quench my beery thirst. I think it was spurred by looking in our fridge one night looking for a beer and realising I had half a dozen different types of smoked beers. I like them, don’t get me wrong, but I’m not about to enjoy three different smoked beers on a Wednesday night.

“It got to the point in the U.S. where if you went to a beer bar you’d be hard-pressed to find anything under 6 per cent,”

Bring on the lower alcohol beers, more berliner weisse beers and session ales because as much as I love extreme beers that smack you in the face, sometimes you would prefer a loving cuddle.


5 Minutes with Fiacre from The Boulevard Hotel

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

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

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!


Weekend Reading #17

This week features articles on the Mexican craft beer scene, the death of a beer glass and a look at beers post GABS and how they stack up

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.

Munchies | The Mexican Craft Beer Scene is Exploding

This article is the first edition in a series called Nomadic Brews, a column by gysy brewer Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø. The plan is for Jeppe to write a monthly column on where his gypsy brewing life takes him.

If you’re wondering why the antics of a brewer dressed like a palm reader is of any interest then perhaps I have failed to explain what a gyspy brewer is. Its a term that refers to a brewer who, instead of brewing from their own brewhouse, they choose to travel to other breweries to brew and collaborate. You may have had Jeppe’s beers before – Evil Twin Brewing.

“It gives me a freedom I couldn’t have if I only brewed in one location”

Jeppe, Evil Twin Brewing

Jeppe kicks off the first column with a look into the craft beer scene in Mexico. I have never thought of any sort of craft beer activity in Mexico, in fact the only time I think of Mexico and beer is Corona and then I shake my fist at the beer beast that just doesn’t seem to die.

If you’re keen: NY Times – A Fight is Brewing, an article about Jeppe and his twin brother, Mikkel who is also a gypsy brewer

This article is only a genuinely interesting look into a craft beer scene I’d never have to known was happening but also a chance to get to know Jeppe and his approach to brewing a little better too.

Drunken Speculation | How do GABS 2014 beers stack up after GABS?

I really enjoyed this post from fellow Aussie beer blogger, Liam aka Drunken Speculation. After the pants-wetting excitement of The Great Australasian Beer Spectapular has come and gone, how do the beers that you raved about on Untappd and tagged your favourite brewer in on Twitter rate in the comfort of your home?

GABS: a 3 day beer festival in Melbourne (and soon Sydney too!) featuring beer stalls, seminars and the much discussed GABS beers, those brewed and never commercially brewed before resulting in more than 100 unique beers.

Here Liam revisits four GABS beers and compares them to his notes from the festival. I won’t ruin the surprise, only to say that I did, in fact, experience some surprise.

It is hard to remember your exact thoughts on a beer when you’ve only had it once. Now compound this with only having a taster and having palate abused yourself for an entire week leading up to said tasting. It is easy to see how GABS beers could get huge expectations or totally forgotten by the time you revisit them.

My experience at GABS 2013 and 2014

The two examples of my own experience with revisiting GABS beers are both extremely positive. I loved them when I tasted them at the festival, I raved about them like the annoying beer geek that I am and I jumped for joy when they were bottled – Two Birds Taco, a taco inspired beer using coriander and lime and BrewCult Acid Freaks, a balsamic porter made with balsamic vinegar.

Find out more: Crafty Pint – BrewCult Acid Freaks

Brew Cult Acid Freaks

City Lab | So long, shaker pint: The Rise and Fall of America’s Awful Beer Glass

Beer battles with a lot of different perceptions. Beer can be a special occasion drink, something you celebrate with like you do with champagne. Beer is enjoyed by a demographic far wider than the fat-ass middle-aged man that seems to remain the dominant image. Beer kicks foods ass and has it’s place in the finest restaurants. Beer can be full of flavour, way more than you might even bargain for. Beer also needs to be served in a glass. But not just any glass – this article is a great read not only about the effect on flavour but the effect on perception too.

“As long as people drink draft from a glass never intended for any beverage, how will they ever see beer as something more than mildly intoxicating Wonder Bread?”

Laura Bliss, City Lab