5 minutes with Jacq and Mark from Eat The Street

Happening on 17 March as part of Eat Drink Perth, The Ultimate Craft Beer Tour is hosted by Eat the Street Perth Walking Tours

[ less than a six minute read ]

All photos and images provided by Eat The Street

Eat the Street is a Perth walking tour company owned and operated by Jacqueline Baril and Mark Padgett who, if you’ve ever met them, you’ll know are excellent guides and lovely people. They’re passionate and knowledgeable about what’s going on in Perth and both are particularly in love with craft beer. Late last year Mark became a Certified Cicerone and, along with yours truly, joined a small number of West Australians currently holding such a certification. So who better to show people around Perth to find all the really good beer?!

What is a Cicerone? The word Cicerone (sis-uh-rohn) designates hospitality professionals with proven experience in selecting, acquiring and serving today’s wide range of beers. From Cicerone website. It’s basically like a sommelier but for beer!

On Saturdays, they run a dedicated Craft Beer Tour that kicks off at 3pm, because it isn’t socially acceptable to drink in the morning, and for Eat Drink Perth 2018, they are hosting a one-off special edition. Happening on 17 March, Jacq says The Ultimate Craft Beer Tour will be like their regular Craft Beer tour “but cranked up to 11!”

Eat Drink Perth: 1 – 31 March 2018

“We will have a special guest join us at each stop ranging from brewers to craft beer educators,”

The tour is extra special for Mark as it will be his first event as a Certified Cicerone.

The group will be a little bigger than normal with 15 guests and up to three guides depending on the stop and the special guest* assigned to each stop. The details are still being worked out but you can be sure a stop at craft beer favourites Dominion League and Baby Mammoth will be on the schedule and some pretty special beers and food pairings will be on offer.

*Note: I will be putting the ‘special’ into special guest by appearing on the tour too!

So you can get to know your hosts-with -the-most, I asked Jacq and Mark to answer five questions for this latest edition of ‘5 minutes with …’

Eat the Street’s Jacqueline Baril and Mark Padgett \\ Photo courtesy of Eat the Street

Which Australian breweries should people be watching?

Jacq: Wildflower, Mark and I got to meet Topher while we were in Sydney for Christmas. What he is doing there is pretty spectacular.

Mark: Batch Brewing in Sydney, Aether in Brisbane, 3 Ravens in Melbourne, Artisan are always doing something interesting over this way and great to see some city-based brewpubs!

What’s the most exciting thing about WA craft beer right now?

J: The sheer number of breweries that have opened or are opening. Crafties are taking over. It means better beers on tap at the corner pubs and more adventurous styles are being brewed.

M: I think the quality. There has been a lot of growth in the last five years, but with that the bar has been raised for quality. Our local beer is amazing and certainly holds up to beers I’ve had anywhere in the world.

What was your epiphany beer?

J: Lindemans Pecheresse – there was this small bottle shop in Frank BC Canada that stocked craft beer. When Mark found it he bought the full range of Lindemans that they had available plus a few more choice internationals. Pecheresse and framboise were my favourites. This was the first time I had ever tried craft beer or lambics.

M: I can’t just list one so here’s a few! Weihenstephan Hefe Weiss beer, Jever Pils, Emerson’s Pilsner, Duvel, Cantillon Gueuze, Worthington’s White Shield IPA, Great Divide Hercules Double IPA

What is the most surprising thing one of your guests has said on your Craft Beer Tour?

I don’t drink craft beer! …. Saaaay waaaaht?

What is your favourite beer and food pairing?

J: Baby Mammoth did a Golden Gay Time pannacotta paired with the Golden Stout Time from Big Shed, it was awesome. For an at home pairing you can’t go past a good stout with lamb roast. It’s such a great way to warm up in the winter, and I am lucky that Mark is a great cook. My go-to local is the Nail Oatmeal Stout.

M: As Jacq indicated above, pretty much anything paired at Baby Mammoth ! Those guys are next level! But at home I love cheese and beer! All the cheeses and all the beers. Try a Schlenkerla Urbock with a smoked Gouda and a spicy salami or a Boon Gueuze with a double brie.


17 March 2018, 3pm : The Ultimate Craft Beer Tour – a special one-off tour for Eat Drink Perth 2018

Snapshot: Baby Mammoth & Rocky Ridge Collaboration Dinner

Snapshot – a post of (mostly) photos –
for a quick look at the recent Baby Mammoth and Rocky Ridge Brewing collaboration dinner featuring their Inglorious Chutney beer


Rocky Ridge & Baby Mammoth Collab Beer Launch

22 February 2018


Rocky Ridge Brewing head brewer and co-owner Hamish Coates
Hamish (left) and Baby Mammoth owners Tania and Ryan Lambson, Ryan is also the head chef as you might have already figured out from his clothes! You can read more about the Baby Mammoth and their dedication to beer and food by clicking on the photo to read the article on Crafty Pint by Guy Southern, aka Good Times Craft Beer
Chicken Sosatie, Green Peppers and Onions paired with Rocky Ridge Ace Pale Ale
Lacto Risotto, Fermented Coffee and Pecorino paired with Rocky Ridge Sour Buffalo
Hemp Seed Taco, Smoked Pickled Mushrooms paired with Rocky Ridge collaboration with Vasse Valley Hemp Farm, Dr Weedy’s Hemp Ale
Bobotie, Banana Leaf Rice and Sambal paired with Rocky Ridge collaboration with Baby Mammoth, Inglorious Chutney. This beer was surprisingly delicate and made using ginger, turmeric, coriander and inspired by chutney. This was a special sneak peek at the beer as it’s currently in four different wine barrels to referment and age for release in champagne bottles in a couple of months.
Grilled Banana Pound Cake, Chocolate BBQ Compote and Honeycomb Icecream paired with Rocky Ridge collaboration with Burnt End Smoking Co, Crimson

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 …

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.

Australian Craft Brewers Conference: Dr Charlie Bamforth

Dr. Charlie Bamforth was the keynote speaker for this years Australian Craft Brewers Conference and gave a wonderfully engaging and interesting talk.

In introducing Dr. Charlie Bamforth as the keynote speaker for this year’s Australian Craft Brewers Conference in Adelaide, Pete Mitcham wisely opted to forego the long introduction, allowing for more time for us to hear from the man himself, the Distinguished Professor of Malting and Brewing Sciences at UC Davis and basically THE expert when it comes to beer.

“Brewers should pull in the same direction,”

Whether you’re a brewer in a large or small brewery much of the concerns are the same, Charlie said, those concerns around the ingredients and the quality of your beer.

The quality of your beer, Charlie emphasised, isn’t dependent on brewers alone but every single person in the brewery. “Everybody is important,” he said and that it was “critical” for a brewery to look after their people and to ensure they are trained, happy and proud to be part of the brewery family.

“Intensely flavoured or not, balance is the key,”

Another key to the quality of your beer, Charlie said, is consistency and balance and that quality isn’t necessarily about the complexity of flavour.

When asked, “what is a good beer?” Charlie says he responds with “I have no idea.” Perhaps you’d expect a far more complicated answer from someone with the words “distinguished Professor” in their title but he simply says, “what’s good for you may not be good for me.” Beer is subjective and no-one should be criticised for their choice of beer, whether it’s craft or not.

“Beer is to be celebrated. Beer drinkers should be celebrated, they do not need to be insulted,”

The current trend of hazy IPAs, otherwise known as New England IPAs, is not Charlie’s preferred choice but it doesn’t change the fact it sells and people like it so, Charlie said, “who is to say they are wrong? They’re not wrong as long as there’s a market for it.”

“I think it should be a fair playing field,”

Whilst saying clearly he did not think there was anything wrong with a small brewery being purchased by a large one, Charlie felt it should be “transparent” so consumers know where the ownership lies.

“The craft industry keeps seeking to go to extremes,”

Maybe the beer industry could learn something from the wine guys when it comes to celebrating their raw ingredients. Crazy ingredients like oysters or chilli and other pushing-the-boundaries additions are great but, Charlie commented, “we have so much to celebrate in the basic raw materials” and whilst wine has been doing a great job in making grapes the hero of their industry perhaps we in the beer world should be making more noise about ours too.

Charlie’s comments popped back into my head when Dr. Ina Verstl, the editor of Brauwelt International who spoke after Charlie, quoted a statistic that said 88 percent of people in Australia didn’t know what ingredients are in beer.

“Do you want a glass?”

Charlie recalled ordering a beer at a restaurant recently and the waitperson asked if he wanted a glass. “Why do you ask?” Charlie replied. “Cause we don’t have very many glasses and we don’t want to run out,” she said.

Now imagine he had ordered a wine.

That conversation wouldn’t have happened.

This short interaction highlighted the huge differences between the perception of beer and wine in restaurant experiences in general. Whilst wine has a sense of theatre around it, most of the time beer doesn’t even get a glass.

“Beer should be put into a glass, admired and looked at and celebrated.”

The Australian Craft Brewers Conference continues today and then Craft Beer Awards are held tonight at Adelaide Oval, stay tuned to the girlplusbeer Twitter feed for the results (mostly) live.

Creativity and Clear Desserts at Baby Mammoth

Baby Mammoth are clarifying orange juice, teaming up with their favourite booze makers and creating weird and wonderful dishes and they’re having a great time doing it …

Recently the crew at Baby Mammoth in Northbridge spent over a week trying to clarify orange juice. Why? Because they found themselves with a lot of oranges and, quite frankly, just to see if they could do. Negronis are one of their most popular cocktails and it uses orange peel as a garnish, resulting in lots of peeled oranges with no purpose. Rather than go to waste, the idea came up to juice them, clarify the juice and then make completely clear Harvey Wallbangers. They named this new cocktail the Clarified Banger. Baby Mammoth’s co-owner Ryan Lambson and bar manager Zack Garcia toldd me the story with big smiles and a lot of laughter. Just telling me this story leads the guys to another idea; to create a clear rocky road ice-cream topped with a clear chocolate sauce. It may or may not happen but it’s not really the point.

L-R: Ryan Lambson, co-owner and Zack Garcia, bar manager

Ryan and his wife Tania along with Zack and rest of the Baby Mammoth staff have a group chat on Facebook. Often the messages are a relentless stream of “really constructive ideas,” Ryan says and adds,“it’s lots and lots of fun, I don’t get bored.” Tania, in particular, Ryan and Zack say is an “ideas muse”. The constant collaboration between the whole team is impressive.

“I’m loving coming to work and having the freedom to do and create,”

Zack Garcia, Baby Mammoth bar manager

The creation of their cocktail Gran Pappy’s Love Tonic, featuring rum, tequila, watermelon and La Sirene Urban Pale liqueur, they say was a particularly hard cocktail to develop and just one example of their very collaborative process. “That cocktail was the bane of my life,” Zack laughs.

Photo from Baby Mammoth’s Facebook – Gran Pappy’s Love Tonic
Baby Mammoth’s Tania Lambson – Photo from Baby Mammoth’s Facebook

Zack says that putting up a call on Facebook looking for work is what lead to him to Baby Mammoth. “I was desperate,” Zack laughs, “I put the white flag up and Ryan replied.”

“Within three weeks he gave me the keys and the alarm code,” Zack says.

Ryan in the kitchen plating up – Photo from Baby Mammoth’s Facebook

For Ryan, feeling confident that the front of house is in good hands with Zack, has allowed him to enjoy getting back to the food side of the business, creating new dishes and pairings. For instance, when they tapped a keg of Cantillon Gueuze 100% Lambic, one of the most highly regarded beers in the world, Ryan created a food pairing of pineapple and thyme compote with creamy blue cheese.

Photo from Baby Mammoth’s Facebook

“With the way business is at the moment it’s really important to get creative,” Ryan says of the somewhat flat economy.

Creativity in the kitchen has always been focus at Baby Mammoth where monthly ‘chef lab’ events challenge each of their chefs to create a new dish based around a theme. Customers votes determine the winner.

August Chef Lab theme is Carnivale! Bookings Essential $20pp // Tuesday 1st August // Event Information Here

Photo from Baby Mammoth’s Facebook – June ChefLab Voting

“We can’t play it safe, we need to take some risks”

Ryan Lambson, Baby Mammoth co-owner

Really great beers not only inspire and influence Ryan’s food ideas but also their house-made liqueurs and vermouths and with Zack on board they are developing these further; showcasing them separately as well as within their cocktails. This means you’ll be able to order from a list just like you would a wine or a beer and as someone who has sampled many of their liqueurs and vermouths, this is very good news.

“The longer we do this, the more interesting people we met,” Ryan says and these people inspire him further. People like the crew at Boatrocker Brewery and Starward Distillery who they are collaborating with for an upcoming event called Glorious Food, Beer and Whisky on 31 July.

Photo from Baby Mammoth’s Facebook

“We wanted to put the two [Boatrocker and Starward] together and then of course do something really weird with the boys in the kitchen so Baby Mammoth also puts its mark on the dinner,” Zack says excitedly.

The stars aligned for the event with Paul Slater, Starward’s brand ambassador and Ben Lancaster from Boatrocker coincidentally in Perth at the same time making scheduling the event with two east coast companies surprisingly easy.

“Me and Zack were so excited that we went an email at the same time,” Ryan says of organising the Boatrocker beers for the event and it promises to be an impressive list with some barrel-aged beers and beers that have not been available in WA before.

The team hope the Starward and Boatrocker night can be an annual event and they’re also hoping that last year’s La Sirene dinner with co-founder and brewer Costa Nikias will happen this year too (nudge, nudge, hint, hint, if you’re reading this Costa!)

L-F: Costa from La Sirene and Ryan from Baby Mammoth at last year’s dinner
Malt syrup tart with white chocolate and preserved fruit paired with La Sirene Sour Red at last year’s La Sirene dinner at Baby Mammoth

Ultimately Ryan and Zack agree that it is all about having fun whilst giving their customers an experience.

“Our job is to be informative, help our customers, guide them, feed them lots of interesting stuff and hopefully they leave happy every time and come back,” Ryan says and nicely sums up why I keep going back to Baby Mammoth.

Lentil Curry, pickled cauliflower, cashews and house-made brioche

Introducing LiquidBred

Alè Alberti and Mal Secourable have teamed up to bring LiquidBred to life, a beer education experience aimed at the drinker and bringing beer to life.

“It’s probably a stupid answer but we want everyone to come,” says Alè Alberti of LiquidBred, a new consumer orientated beer education offer he has co-founded with brewer Mal Secourable. LiquidBred launches in Perth in September and will bring beer education to some of the most important people – those who are buying and drinking it.

‘Liquid bread’ is an age old colloquial term for a fermented beverage made from malted cereal and flavoured with hops (commonly) or spices, roots or fruit (historically). Its application reflects the belief that the two staples, bread and beer, emerged simultaneously in the Cradle of Civilisation – Mesopotamia

Aside from the recent run of ‘Beer School’ events at the Belgian Beer Cafe hosted by Scott Earley from Mash Brewing, Alè was surprised to find it almost impossible to locate any beer appreciation lessons for consumers to learn more about beer. Given the growth of craft beer and wine appreciation courses being fairly commonplace, it seemed to Alè and Mal that beer wasn’t getting the attention it deserves.

A beer education program for consumers was an idea Mal says was first raised at a meeting of the Western Australian Brewers Association (WABA) many years ago. The idea continued to resurface in conversations and meetings from time to time it never seemed to get off the ground. Perhaps it was just a matter of the right people coming together, people like Mal and Alè.

“The good thing about that is that Mal is one step at a time and I’m a million at a time so we just bring each other in so it’s a really good balance,”

Alè Alberti

Previously from an education and a wine background, Mal appreciates the impact that engaging information can have on people and often wondered why it seemed the wine industry was so far ahead of beer when it came to educating their drinkers.

Having collaborated on beer projects in the past, like the brew they did with Artisan Brewing called Tripel Treating: A Belgian in Mango Land, Mal and Alè got to chatting about the idea of beer appreciation sessions and these chats eventually lead to action.

“It just came up as a topic of conversation and Alè being a really proactive individual basically just said “f**k it,” Mal says with a laugh.

Alè began by gathering expressions of interest to see if their idea had legs, posting a notice at Cellarbrations Superstore where he works, and also across a couple of beer and local Fremantle community Facebook groups. Alè says the response was “overwhelming”.

“The beer community are supportive, the non-beer community are supportive, I think there’s a need for it,” Alè says.

LiquidBred has two options – an ‘Introductory Half Day Masterclass’ and a ‘6 Week Beer Odyssey’. Each title was picked carefully, steering clear of words like “program” and “course” because they are not about achieving learning outcomes or walking away with a laminated certificate.

“What we are trying to do is actually feed people’s imagination, to give them a little bit of a background to where the beer has come from because they all have a history,” Mal says and then they will link this history with their influence and journey on the craft brews we enjoy today.

“It’s more about going through the history of it all as opposed to saying ‘this how you pour a beer’, ‘this is the ingredients’,” Alè says.

“We aren’t taking ourselves too seriously,” Mal assures, “but there’s going to be a lot of information in there, and the information is in the tasting.”

All sessions will feature tastings and they will be conducted blind so people can decide if they like the beer based on how it looks, the flavour and aroma, free from marketing and brand influence.

“People drink with their eyes and we kind of want to rob people of that a little bit so they’re actually tasting free of prejudice, to help them actually understand beers a little better and maybe drink labels or brands they wouldn’t have thought of before”

Mal Secourable

It’s not about telling people that one beer is better than another but about engaging people to talk about beer and find out what they like, or don’t like, and get an understanding of the stories and reasons behind those flavours.

“Everybody experiences taste individually so the strong message will be there is no right or wrong but sharing and working with people around you.”

Mal Secourable

The first Introductory Half Day Masterclasses will be held at Collabor8, the mezzanine space of The Mantle in Fremantle with two dates already set in September. Perfect for those who “have had their curiosity aroused and want to learn more” about craft beer, the four hour session includes 12 tastings, a LiquidBred beer glass and nibbles by Don Tapa.

Dates for the first 6 Week Beer Odyssey are still to be determined, stay tuned to LiquidBred social media for the announcement. Each week is designed to explore a different beer style in a beery adventure from birth to contemporary craft brewing, tasting beers along the way of course!

So where do Alè and Mal see LiquidBred’s evolution? “I get to retire on a tropical island,” Mal says laughing. “For me I see this expanding north of the river and then the south west and then over east and then we hire people, that’s my vision” Alè answers. “My vision is to get bookings for the first two masterclasses and then the odyssey,” Mal counters with another laugh. “See? Me, a million steps and Mal, step-by-step,” Alè says and it seemed as good a place as any to end the our interview, with a laugh and enthusiasm.

Big shout to Alè and Mal for taking the time to sit down and chat with me! Looking forward to seeing LiquidBred in action!

GBW Day 6 : Boatrocker + GABS (again)

Good Beer Week, Day 6

Saturday 20 May


After another slightly dusty start to the day, easily made better by the Donut Shop on Gertrude Street, I ventured out to Braeside to check out the Boatrocker Barrel Room with my friend, and brewer for the upcoming Nowhereman Brewing, Paul Wyman.

The bar greets you in the middle of the room when you walk in and it’s eye catching bar front is covered in delightfully fun pink flamingos.

The food on offer is simple – a charcuterie and a cheese board and a few pizzas but it’s hard to go past the boards when you are drinking sours beers and such.

Paul Wyman looking pretty happy at the Boatrocker Barrel Room, charcuterie board (left) and cheese board (right)

The tasting trays are the way to go if you’re like me and want to try as many beers as possible. There’s no set trio of beers, you just pick whatever three beers you’d like to try and the staff will line them up on your tray in the order they recommend you enjoy them in.

The beers were all fantastic. From the hoppy beers on offer, the stand outs for me were California Dreamin’, a US style pale ale, that was bursting with tropical fruit flavour but in a very light body so it was super easy drinking. Stepping up next to the Jabber Jaw Double IPA, that had been freshly tapped that day, was another great beer.

Boatrocker California Dreamin’

The Wilde Cherry beer, that is a blend of 12 and 18 month French oak barrique aged Flanders style red ale, and aged on whole, fresh Morello cherries, was stupidly beautiful. Miss Pinky, their raspberry berliner weisse, was on point as always and the Roger Ramjet (2014) was, as you’d imagine, sensational.

You can re-visit one of my previous blog posts about Boatrocker’s 2013 Ramjet which includes an interview with founder and head brewer Matt Houghton.

It’s pretty cool to be drinking beers amongst the barrels some of them have likely come from. The barrels vary from what appears to be clean and unused to others that have clearly been there for a while, darkened and even damp from what was probably a tasting to check how its contents were evolving.

Admittedly Boatrockers Barrel Room is a bit of a distance out of the city but much like recommending someone visiting Perth should go to Fremantle, it is well worth the trip. Paul and I split an Uber to and from Melbourne CBD and it cost just shy of $50 each way.

(Another) GABS session

What better way to follow up tasting a dozen or so great Boatrocker beers than by trying more beers at the Saturday night session of the GABS Festival. During this session, I made a point of checking out some festival beers.

Sierra Nevada Bombastic Monastic

The Sierra Nevada (USA) Bombastic Montastic, a Belgian Brown Ale aged in Brandy barrels with additions of cocoa and mandarin, was beautiful! Lovely and right with dark fruit notes and surprisingly easy drinking even though it’s 10.2 percent ABV.

Another great beer was the Behemoth (NZ) Chocolate Fish Milk Stout that hasn’t got anything to do with actual fish in the ocean. Apparently there is a chocolate lolly in New Zealand called ‘chocolate fish’ that is a pink marshmallow, shaped like a fish, and covered in chocolate. The beer wasn’t at all sickly sweet like you may expect from a lolly inspired beer. It had a lovely raspberry fruit character complete with the raspberry tartness you get in real raspberries, of course, balanced into soft chocolatey stout.


GBW Day 5 : GABS

Discovering great new beers all day at the Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular (aka GABS)

Good Beer Week Day 5

Friday 19 May


GABS aka The Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular kicked off on Friday its three day run in Melbourne before the festival hits Sydney on Saturday 27 May and Auckland Friday 16 and Saturday 17 June.

More information about GABS at their website

Feeling mildly hungover from the night before, I devoured a Bahn Mi on my way to GABS which sorted me out nicely. Thanks to Kyle from Gage Roads for recommending N Lee Bakery on Smith Street for really great Bahn Mi (incidentally The Urban List Melbourne also agrees!)

Rather than trying to get around to trying all the GABS festival beers, the unique and one-off brews made especially for the festival, I instead focused on just making sure each beer I had was something I had never tried before and most likely couldn’t get in Perth.

Stomping Ground Hook Turn Pilsner

My first beer at GABS was the Stomping Ground (VIC) Hook Turn Pilsner, something tasty but something that would also be a nice way to ease myself into the festival. It’s quite gutsy for a pilsner with a larger and rounder mouth feel than I was expecting and went down really, really well.

Rodenbach Vintage

I followed this up with Rodenbach (BEL) Vintage, bracing and wonderfully balanced sourness. Then some Fixation (VIC) Squish and Fury & Son (VIC) Grapefruit Session Ale, both were excellent beers!

Fury & Son’s head brewer Craig pouring some Grapefruit Session Ale

On recommendation from several people, I went to the La Siréne (VIC) stand to try their GABS Festival beer – an espresso sour, a dark farmhouse sour ale brewed with espresso and fermented in French oak, soured using their house souring bacteria. Getting this beer from the La Sirene stand meant it was served on nitro so it had a soft creaminess to it. The overall result was deliciously interesting. The aroma reminded me of opening a fresh bag of coffee beans and there was no indication of the sourness inside. The flavour was a clean and good balance of black coffee and sour.

Another recommendation I followed up was the Pirate Life (SA) Vanilla Malt Thickshake, an IPA that tasted a lot like it had been blended with white chocolate. This was delightfully confusing and really quite sessionable.

Pirate Life Vanilla Malt Thickshake

Given my love of beer and cheese I was delighted to see cheese at the Stomping Ground stand. Presented by Milawa Cheese Company, they were serving up great little cheese boards and they even had a couple of beer cheese – King River Gold, a wash rind cheese, that had been brined in wort and washed in Stomping Ground Rauchbier and a blue cheese infused with the Stomping Ground Bricktower Barley Wine.

Thanks to the team at GABS for providing me with media pass for all sessions and including $25 value on my card.

GBW Day 4 : Colonial, Starward + beer awards

Good Beer Week, Day 4

Thursday 18 May

Friends of mine who work in the booze industry had organised to tour through Colonial Brewing and Starward Distillery, both in Port Melbourne and a stones throw, if you have a really, really good arm, from each other. Luckily they didn’t seem to mind if I tagged along and so my fourth day at Good Beer Week started pretty damn well!

Checking out Colonial Brewing

Colonial Brewing, Port Melbourne // Artwork by Ian Mutch // White space is used for their projector screen

Colonial’s Port Melbourne site, previously occupied by Matilda Bay, is home to a 25 hectolitre brew kit and though that’s the same size as the one at their Margaret River brewery, they have triple the number of tanks. The brewery is currently running with six brewers doing triple brews every day resulting in more than a million of litres of beer per year.

The canning line is equally busy, pushing through 100 cans per minute and there’s room to grow, in fact the machine could accommodate up to three times the work load it’s currently doing.

The canning line isn’t just fast, it’s also fantastic for quality control, for instance it weighs each can and if it’s not the correct weight, the machine removes it from the line.


Thanks heaps to Stiv, Georgia, Joel and Margaret for the tour, the t-shirt and a couple of cheeky tastings too!

Checking out Starward Distillery

Starward moved into this location from Essendon in December. Production runs seven days a week doing three distillations every day plus opening the bar from Friday to Sunday.

A 1,000 tonne grist in the mash yields 5,000 litres after which fermentation then distillation happens and then the waiting game, aging.

Thanks to Paul, Starward Brand Ambassador, for the tour and tasting!

L-R : Steve from 100 Proof, Starward’s brand ambassador Paul and Adam from 100 Proof

The 25th annual Australian International Beer Awards (AIBA)

AIBA hosts Pete Mitcham and Kirrily Waldron

This is THE night for the Australian craft beer industry and between this and Good Beer Week it makes Melbourne an irresistible time for hundreds across the country.

Will (Feral Brewing), Caitlin (Nail Brewing) and I

Returning from last year, the evening was hosted by Kirrily “The Beer Diva” Waldron and Pete “Prof Pilsner” Mitcham. The food was by Adam D’Sylva from two Melbourne restaurants, Coda and Tonka.

Hot smoked yellowtail kingfish, green papaya, cucumber, tamarind and roasted rice dressing paired with Gage Roads Little Dove
Roasted yellow duck curry with jasmine rice paired with Fixation IPA
Classic apple tarte tatin, caramel popcorn ice cream and black salt paired with the AIBA 2017 Collaboration beer Citrus East Coast IPA

As is always the trend, the awards received a record number of entries. WA breweries were awarded 88 medals in total with 15 of those being gold. Colonial Brewing took home a trophy for the can design on their Pale Ale and The Beer Farm got a trophy for Best International Lager for their India Pale Lager.

Full results can be found here.

Me and the boss aka John (Nail Brewing)
Stiv (Colonial Brewing) and Ben (Beer Farm)
L-R : Ross (The Sip), Blainey (100 Proof), me, Ash and Eddie (Little Creatures)

Queensland breweries Green Beacon and Balter Brewing were awarded trophies for Champion Small Australian Brewery and Champion Medium Australian Brewery respectively. In addition, Balter were also awarded Best New Exhibitor.

Steve (Feral) and Kyle (Gage Roads)
Brent and Brendan (Cheeky Monkey) and I
Blainey (100 Proof), Dan (Dainton Family Brewing), me (weirdly sticking my arms out for some reason), Dave (Mountain Goat) and Reece (Nowhereman Brewing)
Blainey (100 Proof) and I

Over in the media section I was stoked to see my name in the top three, for the second year running, alongside Australian Brews News editor James Atkinson and Crafty Pint‘s Kerry McBride. James Atkinson was awarded the media trophy for his excellent work.

Blainey (100 Proof), Reece (Nowhereman Brewing), Kyle (Gage Roads) and Caitlin (Nail Brewing)
Margaret (Colonial), myself and Caitlin (Nail Brewing)