Wildflower + Cheese

Sydney’s Wildflower Brewing & Blending teamed up with Little Cheese Shop and Mane Liquor for a fantastic beer and cheese event …

The Wildflower bottles are striking because they look a little lost, beautifully lost.

Image from http://www.wildflowerbeer.com
Image from http://www.wildflowerbeer.com

The labels are beautifully elegant and nothing about them screams ‘beer’ yet their reserved appearance makes them a stand out on the shelf, which, in a market that gets more crowded by the day is pretty damn impressive.

Wildflower Brewing and Blending opened earlier this year and though the word “brewing” is right there on the label, it is actually the word “blending” that should get your attention.


Crafty Pint’s Nick Oscilowski wrote a fantastic article about Wildflower in the lead up to their opening. It’s a long story to tell including a little astrophysics, a European trip and, of course, lots of nerdy beer stuff so grab a coffee or beer, whatever is more time-of-the-day appropriate and settle in.


Wort is basically beer before it’s beer, the liquid before fermentation happens.

You’ll find Wildflower in Marrickville in Sydney’s inner west and they don’t actually brew, instead, they take wort brewed by another local brewery and then it goes through wild fermentation with their unique house yeast that founder Topher Boehm captured and cultivated from flora in the NSW region. Then it’s about barrel ageing and blending and the end results are what they’re calling Australian Wild Ales.

BJCP: Beer Judge Certification Program – training beer judges in 80 or so different styles

Despite how simple it sounds – step one: catch yeast, step two: ferment beer, step three: profit – it is far more complicated. You’ve got beers that are constantly evolving in different barrels, barrels that are imparting their own character, and blending them with other barrels in a way that results in a beer that is better than each individual beers on its own.

Wildflower made the list of Crafty Pint’s Best New NSW Beers for 2017, you can read the full list here.

I first spotted Wildflower on the shelf at Mane Liquor and, as you would have gathered from the opening, the bottles caught my attention so I grabbed one.

I attended Topher’s talk in July at the Australian Craft Brewers Conference in Adelaide where he spoke about mixed culture fermentation. I held on for some of what he talked about and was completely lost in other parts but I loved it.

Mane Liquor, 237 Great Eastern Hwy, Ascot

Little Cheese Shop, 89C Whatley Cres, Bayswater

Just before Christmas Mane Liquor hosted Wildflower along with Little Cheese Shop in an eight beer and four cheese tasting, an event that sold out in minutes of it being announced on the Mane Liquor Facebook page.

Luke, Wildflower’s barrel manager, guided guests through each beer with two beers paired to one cheese selected by Geoff from Bayswater’s Little Cheese Shop.

Elliot (Mane Liquor), Luke (Wildflower) and Geoff (Little Cheese Shop)
All of the cheese
Wildflower Gold Blend #1 and #3

Wildflower Gold Blend #1 is a blend of two barrels and, as the name suggests, was their first beer. Luke described it as being the most savoury of their beers to date.

Wildflower Gold Blend #3 is a blend of one of the original barrels together with a four-month-old barrel. I adored the nuanced fruit characters of nectarine, pear, lime pith and kiwi fruit balanced with a sourdough-like bread flavour.

If you’re interested in more Australian Wild Ales, check out Two Metre Tall (TAS) – here is a great interview with founder Ash Huntington on the Beer Sucks Podcast

These beers were paired with La Tur, a mixed milk cheese of goats, sheep and cows milk, that is bright and creamy with zesty citrus and made a great pairing to these two beers. These were my favourite pairings from the event. The underlying acidity of the cheese complemented the subtle tartness in the beers.

Wildflower Gold Blend #4 and #5
Elliot from Mane Liquor pouring out Wildflower beers

Wildflower Gold Blend #4 was funky and earthy with lime and grapefruit citrus notes.

Wildflower Gold Blend #5 had more acidity than the previous beers but it was well balanced with apple skin, white grapes, pear and vanilla characters.

Geoff paired these beers with Langres, a wash rind French cow’s milk cheese with a wrinkly orange rind. I’ll first say that it’s a really great cheese because my tasting notes may sound a little odd – tangy, tropical fruit and ham hock.

The fruit character in the beer and cheese seemed to cancel each other out so the acidity in Gold Blend #5 felt like it was being emphasised so I thought this cheese was better with #4.

Wildflower Gold Blend #6 and #7

Wildflower Gold Blend #6 is a blend of two barrels, one from February and another from March and had a slightly salty character. Throw in some subtle floral notes, fresh lime, apple and pear flavours and this was a super refreshing and fantastic beer.

Wildflower Gold Blend #7 is a blend of seven-month-old and five-month-old barrels and according to Luke is one of their most popular beers to date. Funky, earthy with sweaty socks, but in a totally good way, with a delicate citrus finish.

Paired with Section 28 Il Lupo, a cheese from the Adelaide Hills that is cave-aged for a minimum of 40 days, is fruity and a little chalky that was a nice pairing to both beers.

Wildflower Gold Blend #8 and #9
Wildflower Gold Blend #8 and #9

Wildflower Gold Blend #8 is the last of their two barrel blends and uses seven and five-month-old barrels. Big citrus pithy notes along with fresh lime and tropical fruit; pineapple, in particular, sprung to mind.

Wildflower Gold Blend #9 is a three barrel blend across four, five and six-month barrels where Luke said they had started to gain confidence in blending some of their younger barrels. Straw, mandarin, funky citrus, subtle briny character and sourdough.

Reypenaer VSOP, aged for 24 months, is one of my absolute favourite cheeses. The first thing you notice in this Dutch cheese is its striking orange colour and subtle white blotches, protein crystals that give it an interesting texture. It’s caramelly, buttery, nutty and has strong tropical and stone fruit notes. In this pairing, the cheese overwhelmed the beers but I was still very happy to see it on the board. Served with a red IPA or gutsy pale ale, I think this cheese absolutely shines.

Follow Wildflower on social media …

WA Beer News #22

This week features beers from Eagle Bay Brewing, Innate Brewers and Rocky Ridge Brewing …

There is a lot of stuff happening in WA’s craft beer scene that it’s genuinely hard to keep up with all the new beer releases and WA really is kicking ass when it comes to craft beer and so I thought I’d try and make a regular feature out of all the new beery goodness our state has to offer.

The girl+beer Facebook page has a list of upcoming beer events that you might find worth subscribing to!


Eagle Bay Brewing

Lager + Hoppy Blonde

Eagle Bay Brewing Co has two new beers available, the first is their Lager which joins the year-round brew schedule, and second, their Hoppy Blonde which is part of the Brewers Series of limited releases.

The Eagle Bay Brewing team hosted events across the south-west and Perth called ‘The Lager Saga’ which featured four different lagers, giving people the chance to vote on their favourite.

Lager number three, a new world style hopped lager, took the majority of the votes and, as they promised, Eagle Bay will be making this beer all year round!

Eagle Bay Lager is described as flavourful yet refreshing with hints of spice and citrus, finishing clean and crisp with easy drinkability. It uses Pale, Munich, Crystal, Carapils, Rye and Wheat malt and a combination of hops including Noble hops Tettnang and Saaz and New Zealand’s Southern Cross.

Eagle Bay Hoppy Blonde is fresh from the brewery about a week ago and is the summer release of Brewers Series. It is available on tap and in 330ml bottles, keep an eye on the Eagle Bay Facebook page and Instagram for where to find it.

Photo by Mane Liquor

Innate Brewers

The Juice + Baby Juice

The Juice is a 6.2 percent NEIPA available now on tap and they’ve used a yeast strain that is new to Australia called Lallemand New England. According to the website, the strain is described as having the “specific ability to allow hop flavours and aromas to remain prominent while also providing the fruity notes” making it perfectly suited to the NEIPA style. They’ve used Citra, Galaxy, Amarillo and Mosaic hops plus Citra lupulin powder.


What is Lupulin Powder?

“Concentrated lupulin of whole-leaf hops containing resins and aromatic oils. It is designed to provide intense hop flavour and aroma, enabling brewers to dose large quantities of hops without introducing astringent flavours or vegetative cone material.”

 

hopculture.com


Baby Juice is the aptly named lower ABV interpretation of the NEIPA style, coming in at just 3.8 percent ABV. The hop profile is a little different to The Juice, this one using a trio of US hop varieties of Azacca, Simcoe and Citra.

 

Indian Ocean Brewing

Fruitulus Lupulus

Another NEIPA style beer, Fruitulus Lupulus is 5.9 percent ABV and hides it extremely well and I was lucky enough to be gifted a squealer of this beer by the team at Caboose in Mt Lawley.

There was almost zero bitterness underneath fresh mango, pineapple and mandarin flavours making this beer super easy drinking. Available on tap only, look for the cool Frosty Fruits cereal inspired tap decal.

Rocky Ridge Brewing

Fuck! It’s A Mid

I have to say, I really like this beer name and would like to think it’s exactly what the brewers want people to say when drinking this Mandarin Gose.

I love a good gose for its delicate acidity and touch of saltiness making it extremely refreshing so the term “summer bangers” seems appropriate. They’re also usually under 5 percent ABV so it means having a few doesn’t result in a big headache the next day.

This one is 3.7 percent ABV and will only be available on tap.

If you like the sound of this one, also be sure to try Anderson Valley Blood Orange Gose and Green Beacon 7 Bells Passionfruit Gose.

 

 

WA Beer News #21

Get comfy because there are a LOT of new beers in this post! There’s an IPA using an experimental hop variety, a berliner weisse, a saison, something barrel-aged and more …

There is a lot of stuff happening in WA’s craft beer scene that it’s genuinely hard to keep up with all the new beer releases and WA really is kicking ass when it comes to craft beer and so I thought I’d try and make a regular feature out of all the new beery goodness our state has to offer.

The girl+beer Facebook page has a list of upcoming beer events that you might find worth subscribing to!


new beers …

Mash Brewing Little NEIPA

  • 3.5 percent ABV
  • New England IPA

It’s always great to see another tasty craft brewed mid-strength because sometimes you have to be a responsible adult but you don’t want to drink a beer that could easily be a stand-in for soda water.

Colonial Small, Pirate Life Throwback IPA and Eagle Bay Mild have been the go-to mids for a while and will now be joined by Mash Brewing Little NEIPA with 375ml cans available all year round from today.

Super easy drinking, fresh and fruity hop character and low bitterness.

Big thanks to Scott and the Mash team who hosted a few bloggers and writers on Saturday to celebrate this beer hitting stores. 

Gage Roads Alby

  • Brewed with 100% WA barley

There are two versions of Gage Roads Alby, the Draught at 4.2 percent ABV and the Crisp Lager at 3.5 percent ABV. 330ml bottles are available in stores now and word is that these are two of the beers destined for the new Perth stadium.

Innate The Uprising

  • Limited release
  • Available on tap only
  • 7.0 percent ABV

Innate Brewers latest single batch brew is a Belgian IPA. You can find it on tap at Refuge Small Bar in Subiaco.

Colonial The Pioneer

  • Limited Release
  • 7.5 percent ABV
  • Single Hop IPA

Released yesterday in super limited quantities, The Pioneer is the latest in the Colonial Brewing Project Beer series following the super popular The Inquest.

The Pioneer uses a new hop variety from Hop Products Australia that is experimental so it doesn’t have a name yet, simply referred to as HPA-016. They used whole hop cones and a malt bill of pale, wheat, melanoiden and caramel rye with a clean American ale yeast.

List of stockists found here.

Thanks to Colonial Brewing Co and brand ambassador Margaret McCarron for providing me with free samples of The Pioneer.

Feral F-15

  • Limited Release
  • Bourbon barrel-aged brown ale
  • 9.0 percent ABV

First up I’ll say this beer is absurdly drinkable given its complexity and high alcohol content, either that or my palate has some pretty questionable taste buds.

The F-15 was brewed to celebrate 15 years of Feral Brewing and is also a salute to Will Irving, the man behind the brew kit. They made a brown ale and then filled Heaven Hill Distillery bourbon barrels and left the beer to age for six months.

The bourbon influence hits you right away but there’s a lot going on behind it with pear, light toast and nutty aromas. It all follows through on the palate alongside some caramel, subtle toast, vanilla and sweetish, well-rounded alcohol.

Nowhereman Festbier

  • 5.9 percent ABV
  • Limited Release
  • Available on tap only

Nowhereman Brewing got into the German spirit by brewing an Oktoberfest style beer. Festbier is a malt driven lager, a little grassy with just a hint of smoke for a twist on the classic style. Very approachable and full flavoured, you’ll find this beer at the brewery and also at Old Faithful and The Belgian Beer Cafe.

Eagle Bay Double IPA

  • 8.0 percent ABV
  • Available on tap only

This is the first double IPA from Eagle Bay Brewing and it’s super limited release with just 15 kegs available.

Mighty hop character coming from Simcoe, Columbus, Mosaic and Centennial hop varieties and is supported by pale, crystal, wheat and Munich malt.

Look out for this beer at The Norfolk in Fremantle, Five Bar in Mt Lawley and Bar Lafayette and Petition Beer Corner in the CBD.

coming soon …

Black Brewing Saison

  • 4.8 percent ABV
  • 330ml bottles

I had been hoping a local brewery would make a Saison available all year round so it was high fives all round when Nowhereman Brewing in Leederville made a saison, made it beautifully and made it part of their permanent line up.

Now Black Brewing are also coming to the Saison party!

Saison, meaning “season”, originates from Wallonia, Belgium and is a showcase for characterful fruity and spicy yeast flavours.

Black Brewing will release their Saison on Monday and even though it is officially their summer seasonal, national sales manager and all round good beer guy, Tim Hoskins, is hoping it makes a big impression and becomes part of the year-round lineup.

They’ve brewed this with a French yeast strain, a malt bill that includes wheat, corn and oats for added mouthfeel and some mandarin peel for a boost of citrus.

Cheeky Monkey x Mane Liquor x Chico Gelato Frosty Fruit Sour

  • Release Date: Friday 3 November
  • 4.4 percent ABV
  • Berliner Weisse

Two’s company but three is … going to be fantastic! Cheeky Monkey had the guys from Mane Liquor and Chicho Gelato over to brew a passionfruit, mandarin and lime sorbet Berliner Weisse and if you’re not drooling after reading that, I’m genuinely surprised.

This beer used 55kg of local juice and pulp and 10kg of Chicho Sorbet and they say the result is reminiscent of Frosty Fruits icy poles.

A sneak peek of this beer will be at Mane Liquor’s Carpark Party tomorrow.

The beer officially launches on Friday 3 November at The Bird.

news …

Scarborough Cellars get taps

Scarborough Cellars has joined the growing list of bottle shops installing taps so that we can take home more draught fresh beers. They also have a canning machine for 375ml cans to take home.

Rocky Ridge cans now available

Rocky Ridge Brewing from Busselton have recently started canning their beers. They have released their Pale Ale and IPA in 500ml cans plus their Citrus IPA in 375ml cans. 

WA Beer Week event calendar goes LIVE

WA Beer Week might still be a few weeks away – 17 – 26 November – but events are already starting to sell out so head over to check out what’s happening. There’s a 6km beer run, quiz nights, beer dinners, beer versus wine dinners, games and more!

WA Beer News #20

There is a lot of stuff happening in WA’s craft beer scene that it’s genuinely hard to keep up with all the new beer releases and WA really is kicking ass when it comes to craft beer and so I thought I’d try and make a regular feature out of all the new beery goodness our state has to offer.

The girl+beer Facebook page has a list of upcoming beer events that you might find worth subscribing to!

news …

Of course the big news, and I would be very surprised if you had not heard, is the 100% acquisition of Feral Brewing by Coca-Cola Amatil that was announced on Thursday. There are a number of great articles on this news so I won’t re-hash it in great detail here. Some drinkers are concerned about the quality of the beers but not me, I’m looking forward to seeing what new brews and innovations come out of Feral, just like they have been doing since 2002. I guess what I’m saying is that, let time determine this, not early assumptions.

Huge congratulations to Brendan and Gab Varis, founders of Feral Brewing, and the whole team – past and present – who’ve contributed game-changing beers and worked ridiculously hard over the last 15 years to be true leaders in the industry.

Read the full details at Crafty Pint, Australian Brews News, The West Australian, The Sip  and you can listen to an interview with Australian Brews News and Brendan Varis here.

new beers …

Eagle Bay Citrus IPA

  • 5.1 percent ABV
  • IPA
  • Limited Release
  • 330ml bottles and on tap

This beer is brewed with grapefruit, lemon and orange zest from fruit on their own farm. They’ve made this beer before but it’s been a while and it’s great to see it back! It’s exactly what you’d expect from something called “citrus IPA” with plenty of balanced citrus flavour, moderate bitterness and a dry lime-pith finish.

IMG_20171013_211127

Eagle Bay Brewing Heir of the Dog

  • 5.9 percent ABV
  • Collaboration brew with The Balmoral
  • Limited release
  • Available on tap only

The Balmoral crew went down south to hang out with Eagle Bay Brewing and made Heir of the Dog, a hoppy lager. Tasting notes describe tropical fruit character with a crisp and clean finish and caramel malts and moderate bitterness support. You can try it at The Balmoral’s launch event on Sunday where dogs are welcome with prizes for best dressed and you can also chat all things beer with Gerome and Nick from Eagle Bay Brewing whilst you’re there.

 

Bootleg Brewery The Cobbler

  • 4.2 percent ABV
  • American Brown Ale
  • Collaboration brew with award-winning home brewer Dave Baker

Bootleg Brewery hosted a home-brewing competition for the South-West Craft Beer Bogans and after tasting a “variety of high-quality beers” they found their winner in Dave Baker’s American Brown Ale.

Ryan Nilsson-Linne, Bootleg’s head brewer, describes the beer as “super balanced” and “with an earthy character blended with traditional Citra and Cascade hops for a spicy citrus mix.”

There’s a tasting with both Ryan and Dave on the lawn at Bootleg Brewery today from 12noon and on Thursday night it will be part of the Bootleg tap takeover at Busselton’s The Firestation where they will also have their new European style 5.0 percent lager pouring.

Black Brewing Kiwiake

  • 9.6 percent ABV
  • Kettle soured strong ale
  • Limited Release
  • Only 9 kegs available

Black Brewing brewed only nine kegs of this very special beer. Kiwiake is a kettle soured strong ale fermented with Sake yeast with secondary fermentation on 70kgs of kiwi fruit.

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Image from Black Brewing’s Facebook page

Cheeky Monkey Brewing Double IPA – Round Two

  • 8.2 percent ABV
  • 500ml cans and on tap
  • Limited release

This is an encore performance from Cheeky Monkey who first released this beer last month. They’ve made a couple of tweaks to the original recipe, still using Citra, Mandarina Bavaria and Lemon Drop hops but they’ve amped it up and used way more than last time. Expect orange, tangerine, mango and grapefruit character and, from a slight recipe tweak, a drier finish than the first batch offered.

Blasta Brewing Blastaweizen

  • 5.3 percent ABV
  • Weissbier aka German Hefeweizen
  • On tap only

Blasta Brewing, fresh off their planning approval to build their Burswood brewery, released their Blastaweizen yesterday. In the true tradition of the style, Steve Russell has used more than 50% wheat in this beer and describes the beer as having flavours of “banana, stone fruit, nutmeg and clove” along with a “refreshing carbonation and great mouthfeel”. Blastaweizen has been brewed with two yeast strains, from White Labs and German brewery Weihenstephan, for a more complex yeast character (think spices and fruits!) and sounds like an excellent tribute to the classic Munich style!

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So long Charlie and thanks for all the Copy Cat

It was great to sit down with Charlie, literally in between his time at Mash and the beginnings of a new venture over in Brisbane called Helios Brewing, and reflect on his time in WA and what’s coming up!

While I was chatting with Charlie Hodgson last week, on his last day as head brewer at Mash Brewing, it had clearly been a weird day for him, closing such a significant chapter of his life. We sat down over a pint, both choosing local brews by Cheeky Monkey Brewery, and I think Charlie was just happy to stop for a moment in between finishing up at Mash and the removalists coming the next day.

Over Charlie’s six years at Mash he created award-winning beers while the brewery has continued to grow. The brewing schedule has been jam-packed to meet a very thirsty audience, they’ve added a sales team, launched a range of cans and gone through a re-brand, trust me, breweries are busy places.

I’ve known Charlie, we figured out during our interview, for about a decade, starting when we were both at Gage Roads Brewing. It’s where Charlie began his brewing career, coming from the wine industry, and where I also started something new as a sales rep after years of bartending and late nights.

It was great to sit down with Charlie, literally in between his time at Mash and the beginnings of a new venture over in Brisbane and reflect on his time in WA and what’s coming up.


As I write this Charlie is driving to Brisbane, he’s moving from one side of the country to the other to be the head brewer at Helios Brewing. Though daunting to move from WA particularly given Charlie’s self-confessed aversion to change, he is feeling very positive about the move.

Helios Brewing is named after the Greek sun god, a theme that carries through in their beer names such as Poseidon, Aphrodite, Zeus and Hades, and is estimated to open at the end November.

Image from Helios Brewing Facebook

Charlie’s role will be a lot different to the one at Mash, he’ll be brewing plenty of beer, don’t worry about that but he will also be taking on some different tasks which he says will involve a little sales, some bar work and maybe even washing dishes in the kitchen! Charlie listed these tasks all with a smile on his face, he is looking forward to the variety and a less frantic production schedule.

A career in brewing wasn’t always on the cards for Charlie, in-fact he worked in wine before and it wasn’t until his late-twenties he realised beer was where he wanted to be. His brewing career started in 2006 at Gage Roads Brewing where he learnt under Aaron Heary who is still at Gage today, now their Chief Operating Officer.

When the opportunity to take on the head brewer role at Mash came up, it was a chance to showcase what he could accomplish in a leadership role and, like anyone would, at first he had to ask himself, “can I do this?”

Six years on and the answer is pretty clearly ‘hell yeah’.


I asked Jack Purser, head brewer at Indian Ocean Brewing, for a few words reflecting on his time as an assistant brewer with Charlie at Mash.

“He’s been a massive influence in my life so I’d gladly say a few words,” Jack said.

Working with Charlie was hands down the most significant learning curve I have had during my time as a brewer.

Everyone knows how brilliant of a brewer Charlie is. But this isn’t necessarily the reason behind why people in the industry respect him so much.

Charlie once said to me “I won’t ask you to do anything I wouldn’t do myself”. This wasn’t just a statement, he then followed this up during the 3 years I worked alongside him (even if I razzed him for always being upstairs shining his boots).

The most valuable slice of information I gathered from Charlie, is his simplicity in his approach. He preaches knowing your ingredients, simplicity in recipe development and a host of non-negotiables with regards to processing.

Charlie with three of his past assistant brewers (L-R) Charlie, Robin, Eddie and Jack

One of the most significant beers in Charlie’s time at Mash is Copy Cat, an American IPA which, on its very first batch, took out Champion Australian Beer at the 2014 Australian International Beer Awards.

“This was obviously huge for us,” he says with a smile.

A barrel fermented version of Copy Cat

By now it is pretty well documented that an American IPA wasn’t a style Charlie was tripping over himself to brew but Copy Cat is still the Mash beer he is most proud of, though he was reluctant to choose just one of his “children” of beers when I asked him this question.

Charlie had preferred a beer like Challenger, an English IPA, would have been the beer to make a big splash but it was the bold American hops that people wanted and boy, did he give it to them.

Charlie with the Australian International Beer Awards trophies in 2014

“The consumer drives us very hard,” Charlie says and we’re seeing it again with the current hazy IPA trend, one that Mash have jumped on relatively early with only a few local breweries having brewed the style, like Feral’s Biggie Juice. When Charlie read up on the NEIPA style he said he knew exactly what he wanted to brew,

“I thought, man, this reeks of a mid-strength; lower bitterness, enhanced mouthfeel, hop forward, hazy.”

The beer is called Little NEIPA and is available on tap now, “three tanks in and we are having trouble keeping up with it,” Charlie says and 375ml cans will launch towards the end of October.

“I’m a traditionalist with a spin,”

“I like to pay respect to a style and then turn it on its head a little,” he says. Grasscutter is one of his favourite beers and a great example of his brewing style,

“Grasscutter is probably the smartest beer I ever made, ever. It was a light clean beer, fermented on oak, clean, summery but really complex,”

Commissioning the new brewery at Helios will be new ground for Charlie and amongst other factors, appealed to him when considering the role. The brew kit is an 18 hectolitre Premier Stainless setup, the same size as West Leederville’s Nowhereman Brewing.

Helios will open with six core range beers and two speciality brews though Charlie predicts those six are likely to change in the early stages as they play around and see what people respond to.

So what were your highlights at Mash, I asked Charlie.

“Mash, in general, has been a highlight,” he replied and I have to say, it has been for us too. See you later Charlie!

 

WA Beer News #19

New beers this week from Bootleg Brewery, Beer Farm and a collab with Scarborough bar El Grotto and 4 Pines Brewing plus some news on upcoming beers from Little Creatures, Otherside Brewing and WA retail group Liquor Barons have their own limited release collab beer coming soon …

There is a lot of stuff happening in WA’s craft beer scene that it’s genuinely hard to keep up with all the new beer releases and WA really is kicking ass when it comes to craft beer and so I thought I’d try and make a regular feature out of all the new beery goodness our state has to offer.

The girl+beer Facebook page has a list of upcoming beer events that you might find worth subscribing to!


new beers …

Bootleg Brewery – Paint the Town

  • Red IPA
  • Limited release
  • Available on tap only
  • 7 percent ABV

This beer is the first commercial beer that brewer Dillon Hunter has designed and brewed from start to finish. It is a Red IPA with a tonne of specialty malts for “a deep dark berry-like flavour” and heavily hopped with Eureka and Citra. It was dry hopped on Sunday so expect to see kegs this week.

The beer officially launches tonight at The Goose in Busselton and kegs have been delivered to a handful of locations around Perth such as Aubin Grove Liquor, Mane Liquor, Caboose, Petition Beer Corner and more. Check out Bootleg Brewery Facebook page for a full listing.

Photo from Bootleg Brewery

Beer Farm Mango and Blackberry Belgian Sour

  • (super) Limited Release
  • Available on tap only
  • 5.8 percent ABV

Beer Farm warn that this beer is very, very limited so if you see it, get it! So far it has been spotted at Clarence’s in Mt Lawley and word is it’s heading to Thirsty Camel Maddington, Gangemi’s in West Perth and DTC.

4 Pines x El Grotto Honky Tonk

  • Limited Release
  • Available on tap only
  • 7.2 percent ABV

This collaboration between 4 Pines Brewing and Scarborough’s El Grotto, Honky Tonk is a Baltic Porter that uses a bean from Central America called the Tonka Bean. James from El Grotto tells me is actually banned by the FDA in the USA! Tasting notes for this beer include dried cherry, marzipan and vanilla and from the sample I had during the week I can tell you those notes are spot on. It is also super drinkable for a beer over 7 percent, it’s basically a really rich and complicated liquid version of a cherry ripe!

coming soon …

Mountain Goat x Liquor Barons Galactic Baron

  • 6.3 percent ABV
  • Very Pale Ale
  • Brewed exclusively for Liquor Barons stores
  • ETA Early October
Free beer! A gift from Liquor Barons, thanks guys!

Little Creatures Single Batch Reinhold

  • 6.5 percent ABV
  • Sticke Altbier
  • Limited Release
  • Available in 568ml pint bottles and on tap
  • ETA Early October

Brewers’ notes describe this release as Rogers’, their trusty amber ale, German cousin. The German Altbier style originates in the Rhine Valley and the name translates to “old beer”, Little Creatures notes this sticke altbier as altbier’s younger sibling.

“Full of toffee and fudge aromas, with some grassy hops peeking through, this beer is assertively bitter to start. It then gives way to a full mouthfeel of sweet malts.”

Otherside Vinyl Black Ale

  • Limited Release
  • Available on tap and in 375ml cans
  • ETA Early October
  • 5.9 percent ABV

The third in Otherside Brewing’s Pilot Series of limited releases, Vinyl is a Black Ale with artwork by local Perth artist Alex Maciver.

Brewery notes describe this beer as “an intense brew that perfectly complements late nights spent in a dive bar by the jukebox.”

 

WA Beer News #18

New beers from Nowhereman, White Lakes, Boston, Mash and Eagle Bay + more!

There is a lot of stuff happening in WA’s craft beer scene that it’s genuinely hard to keep up with all the new beer releases and WA really is kicking ass when it comes to craft beer and so I thought I’d try and make a regular feature out of all the new beery goodness our state has to offer.

The girl+beer Facebook page has a list of upcoming beer events that you might find worth subscribing to!


new beers out now …

Nowhereman Six Seasons

  • 5.5 percent ABV
  • Saison

Head brewer Paul Wyman describes Six Seasons “as a beer for those people who say they don’t like beer.” If you ask me, there is not enough Saison in the world so it is great to see not only a new Saison kicking around but one by a local brewer! Brewers notes on this one include gentle bitterness, banana, bubblegum, clove, pepper, spice, musk and lemongrass.

Boston Sinker Bay Oak Aged Stout

  • 7.5 percent ABV
  • Limited release

White Lakes Festival Amber

  • Marzen style beer
  • Limited Release
Marzen is a German amber lager known for its bready and toasty malt character and White Lakes have put their own modern twist on the style using New Zealand Nelson Sauvin hops which provide fruity and white wine notes.

Mash Brewing + Petition Boys to the Yard

  • Chocolate Milkshake Stout
  • 6.3 percent ABV
  • Launching 28 September

You gotta love a great pun and cheesy beer names and Mash’s limited releases have been killing it lately! The beers have also been fantastic and so I’m expecting this chocolate milkshake stout to be no different.

coming soon …

Rocky Ridge brewing

Busselton’s Rocky Ridge will be releasing their 500ml cans in early October!

Eagle Bay Citrus IPA

  • Brewers Series
  • Available in 330ml bottles and on tap

Brewed with grapefruit, lemon and orange zest Eagle Bay Brewing released this beer back in late 2015 and it was stunning! Expect the new batch of Citrus IPA out soon but if you’re the impatient type, they’ve got a sneak peek of it at this weekend’s Beer & Beef Festival.

news …

4 Pines Brewing

The big news in Australian beer this week was the acquisition of 4 Pines Brewing by AB InBev, bringing the New South Wales brewery into the global portfolio that also includes brands like Yak Ales, Great Northern and Goose Island.

Of course, if you prefer to drink independent craft beer then sadly you’ll have to cross 4 Pines off your list but it has to be acknowledged that the brewery has had a big impact over the years on the brewing scene and have worked very hard to brew great beer and get it all across the country. Not too shabby for a couple of boys from WA’s south-west!

Read: Crafty Pint – 4 Pines: Behind the Sale

Read: Australian Brews News – AB InBev Buys 4 Pines Beer

See You Later, Charlie

After six years at Mash Brewing, head brewer Charlie Hodgson is leaving WA to go to a new brewery opening in Brisbane called Helios Brewing. Charlie has been hugely influential to the WA scene over the years and has been responsible for introducing some great beers to local drinkers like the multi-award winning CopyCat AIPA and Sarcasm to name just two.

See ya Charlie and thanks for all the beers!

Monkeys on a Plane

When we started this year there was no relationship between Australian independent craft beer and the AFL and you certainly wouldn’t be served your favourite local craft brew on a major airline. Then, by mid-year, things started to change.

When we started this year there was no relationship between Australian independent craft beer and the AFL and you certainly wouldn’t be served your favourite local craft brew on a major airline. Then, by mid-year, things started to change. Colonial Brewing announced they had become an official partner of the Essendon Football Club and just this week Singapore Airlines launched their curated series of craft beer on their airlines starting with Cheeky Monkey here in WA and we will see a roll-out of similar local announcements made across the country soon.

Australian Brews News: Singapore Airlines adds a Green Beacon

Singapore Airlines hosted a launch event on Monday night for their one-year partnership with Cheeky Monkey. From Sunday 1 October, Cheeky Monkey Pale Ale cans will be available in business class on all flights between Perth and Singapore and the full Cheeky Monkey range will be in their SilverKris Lounge at Perth Airport.

Cheeky Monkey and Singapore Airlines Launch Event at Perth’s Bell Tower at Elizabeth Quay

“With interest continuing to increase across the globe for craft beer, we felt it was a perfect opportunity to partner with a local brewery to offer our customers a craft beer option,” said Singapore Airlines Area Manager Western Australia, David Pinche.

The airline began working with New Zealand brewer Garage Project earlier this year, ranging Hapi Daze Pacific Pale Ale on all flights to and from New Zealand. From here it seems the groundwork was laid for the introduction of Australian craft into the Singapore Airlines family.

Perth Station Manager Sunny Sandhu had visited Cheeky Monkey Brewery in Margaret River while on holiday and it clearly made an impression, leading to the brewery being top of mind when Singapore Airlines approached a few WA breweries in their search for a local partner.

“This [airlines] has always been the domain of the big guys,” said Brendan Day, Cheeky Monkey sales and beer ambassador. For the team, it was not only a welcome surprise to be asked to pitch for the partnership but it was also a little validation of all the hard work they’ve put into the brewery and beers in recent times.

“Singapore Airlines are very committed to quality,” Brendan said and as part of the process the airline sent a site inspection team to the brewery to check it from top to bottom to ensure everything was clean and the service and quality aligned with the high standards of their own brand.

The selection of the Pale Ale for the beer served in flight was a choice by the Singapore Airlines team.

“The Singapore guys just loved it,” Brendan said, “I think they really loved the branding on the can as well and there’s a plane on our can, just a little one, so I think the liked that as well!”

Let this be a lesson to anyone looking to re-brand, it couldn’t hurt to put a plane on your branding for future major transport opportunities!

Brendan and Cheeky Monkey Managing Director Brent Burton had a photoshoot on the tarmac as part of the launch and media release and Brendan said the guys were still pinching themselves with excitement to be working with the airline.

The partnership with Singapore Airlines is not only a huge achievement for Cheeky Monkey Brewery but for the local industry as a whole. Maybe this and Colonial’s achievement to break into a major sporting partnership will hopefully lead to more opportunities at places like stadiums, arenas and major music festivals where previously only the “big boys” were able to play. Fingers crossed!

Big thanks to Singapore Airlines for inviting me to the launch event on Monday night!

WA Beer News #17

This post is PACKED with new beers out now and coming soon!

There is a lot of stuff happening in WA’s craft beer scene that it’s genuinely hard to keep up with all the new beer releases and WA really is kicking ass when it comes to craft beer and so I thought I’d try and make a regular feature out of all the new beery goodness our state has to offer.

The girl+beer Facebook page has a list of upcoming beer events that you might find worth subscribing to!


new beers out now …

Northbridge Brewing – Get Schwarty

  • ABV: 4.7 percent
  • Style: Schwarzbier

Get Schwarty is the latest seasonal from Northbridge Brewing Co, released a couple of weeks ago, it is an India Black Lager, so style-wise you can expect something that is hoppy, black in appearance but with a light lager type mouthfeel. A beer to challenge that you think about dark beers, they’re not all Guinness!

Indian Ocean – Black Lager

  • 5.0% ABV
  • Style: Schwarzbier

Available only on tap, the Indian Ocean Black Lager is described as an American version so, similar to Get Schwarty, you can expect some wonderful fresh hop character balanced into what is a traditional German dark lager beer style. Brewers note say both American and Australian hops have been used and it has “rocky road-ish vibes”. There’s also been a conscious effort by the brewers to ensure the beer has no burnt chocolate or toast character.

Image from Indian Ocean Brewing Instagram

Homestead – Brown IPA

  • 5.3% ABV
  • Style: Brown IPA

Black Brewing Bao Bao Milk Stout – Variants

Black Brewing have taken their Bao Bao Milk Stout and made four versions of the beer – coffee, coconut, rum and port barrel aged and imperial*. You may recall these were released in kegs a couple of months ago but now they’ve made a very limited amount available in 330ml bottles. Hit up your nearest craft beer loving retailer to see if they still have some!

*Imperial is basically fancy beer terminology for ‘double’ so expect a BIG beer, stronger in flavour and alcohol.

Nowhereman Brewing – On The DL + Oxford Street Common

It seems that our local brewers are having a love affair with Schwarzbier, the German dark lager, and here’s another dark lager, this time by Nowhereman and it’s called On the DL. Not only is this a really tasty beer but it’s also historic, the first beer brewed on their own brew kit.

The Oxford Street Common is a steam ale style beer that Paul says is an easy, go-to beer that drinkers can come back to time and time again for something refreshing, something clean and something delicious!

new beers coming soon …

Nowhereman Brewing x Pound Coffee – By The Pound

Nowhereman brewer Paul Wyman has teamed up with Justin from Pound Coffee to make a coffee brown ale. Paul brewed the brown ale and then mixed it with over 100 litres of Pound coffee. There’ll be a launch party on Sunday 17 September which will also include a cupping hosted by Justin and Paul will also be on hand to take drinkers through the beer and the process in making it. Tickets are less than $12 and can be purchased here.

Cheeky Monkey Brewing – Double IPA

Cheeky Monkey have brewed up a Double IPA as their limited spring release and will be available from Friday. It’s 8.2 percent ABV and has been brewed using Citra, Mandarina Bavaria and Lemon Drop hops.

Image from Cheeky Monkey Brewing

Bright Tank Brewing x artisan brewing – Urban Farmer Saison

Sometimes it’s hard to describe how generous and supportive the beer industry is because, at least in my experience, it goes beyond any other industry I’ve ever worked in. Collaborations like this are a great example.

Bright Tank Brewing are not open yet, they are aiming to have their East Perth brewpub open in February or March next year but the crew at Boston Brewing in Denmark opened their doors to Bright Tank so they could brew this beer alongside Artisan Brewing.

To brew the Urban Farm Saison, Bright Tank co-founder and brewer Matthew Moore couldn’t have picked a better brewery to collaborate with, Artisan Brewing specialise in Belgian beer styles and do them ridiculously well.

The Urban Farmer Saison will be launched on Thursday 21 September at Petition where founders Matt and Gemma will be behind the bar from 5 – 7pm doing a brewers shout.


What is a Saison?

Saison, meaning “season”, originates from Wallonia in the south of Belgium and is a refreshing beer that’s typically fruity, spicy and with a very dry finish.


news …

Growler System at Cape Cellars, Busselton

It’s always good news when another bottle shop gets taps, giving their customers an opportunity to take home fresh tap beer and, often, beers that are limited release only available in kegs.

Cape Cellars in Busselton are the latest store to make tap beer available in-store, stay tuned to their Facebook page for the announcement very soon!


Remember – Rinse Growlers Straight Away!

So, you’ve finished that delicious beer you got in a growler or squealer? As soon as you empty it, rinse it with hot water straight away to stop mould or other nasty things growing inside. Personally, I rinse mine three times just to be sure, you’d hate for the next beers you put in there to get infected and undrinkable!


Whitfords Brewing Co

From the Beerland team that operates Northbridge Brewing Co comes a new location in Perth’s northern suburbs – Whitfords Brewing Co, located at the Whitfords City Shopping Centre.

The brewery will be headed up by master brewer Ken Arrowsmith and will be opening their doors on the 21st September.

Perth Craft Beer Fest 2017

Perth Craft Beer Fest is back for 2017 and happening right now! I went along to the Friday night session and there is a long list of great breweries to go and see and many of them are using the festival to showcase new beers – here are some of the new brews on offer …

Perth Craft Beer Fest is back for 2017 and happening right now! I went along to the Friday night session and there is a long list of great breweries to go and see and many of them are using the festival to showcase new beers – here is just a sample of the new brews on offer …

 

Artisan Brewing De Avond, 9.0 percent ABV

A barrel blend from Shiraz/Pinot Noir barrel, a lovely Belgian-style Oud Bruin brewed in 2016 and a special collaboration with Petition Beer Corner.

Otherside Brewing Social Classic Lager, 4.7 percent ABV

A Helles style that is about being an every man’s beer.

Otherside Brewing American Stout, 5.8 percent ABV

Definitely not sweet with big roasty flavours.

Blasta Brewing Mosaic Pale Ale, 5.4 percent ABV

Juicy, tropical fruit character and a really smooth bitter finish.

Rocky Ridge Brewing Citrus IPA, 7.2 percent ABV

Brewed using fresh oranges and grapefruits from their own farm and all 100% West Australian ingredients.

Blue Mile Brewing IPA, 7.0 percent ABV

Made with relatively new hop variety Fortnight and Simcoe hop powder.

Boston Brewing Rame Head, 7.4 percent ABV

This Red IPA also uses the Fortnight hop variety and boasts passion fruit and melon and balancing sweet malts.

Billabong Brewing Juicy Bob’s NEIPA, 6.0 percent ABV

Following the recent New England IPA style, aka hazy IPA, has been brewed as part of their limited edition range.

Innate Brewers Belgian Dubbel, 6.8 percent ABV

This is head brewer Joel’s salute to the beers that first inspired him.