a beer list in a make-believe bar #2

Welcome to my make-believe bar with six taps and five packaged beers; here’s what I am serving right now. Aka an excuse for me to write beer lists.

At the end of October I decided I would have a make-believe bar so that I could indulge in a little beer list writing. It was prompted by a blog post I wrote a couple of months earlier called ‘A few words on beer lists’ and it was one of my most popular posts for the year. It seems a few people agree there are plenty of beer lists out there that could do with a little TLC.

A few notes on my beer lists –

  • Availability – I will try to only list beers that are available here in Perth
  • Price – Whilst I don’t know the cost of goods on all beers, nor am I inclined to go and get them for a make-believe bar, I will try my best to have a good spread of beers across a reasonable price.
  • Limited space – capping things at just six taps and five bottled/canned beers.

You can check out the last (and first) beer list here and now it’s time for a little change.


a beer list for the crazy / festive season …

ON TAP

  1. Pirate Life Throwback IPA | Hoppy, mid strength and fabulous
  2. Feral Karma Citra | One of my favourite Black IPAs and one of my most beloved of the Feral range
  3. Eagle Bay Pale Ale | A go-to pale ale, consistently great and tasty
  4. Last Drop Pilsner | There aren’t many local pilsners and this is one of the best
  5. Two Birds Taco | Light enough for summer, interesting enough for the geeks, a freaking great beer
  6. Stone & Wood Pacific Ale | Fast becoming a classic and perfect for the onset of summer

Pirate Life Throwback IPA

IN THE FRIDGE

  1. Anderson Valley Blood Orange Gose | Have been enjoying a few of these lately and I’m totally in love!
  2. Epic Hop Zombie | Bring out the hops!
  3. Colonial Small Ale | A fantastic reduced alcohol beer with one of the most satisfying cans you’ll find
  4. Young Henry’s Newtowner | I’ve only seen the tinnies on Facebook in the last few days so I figure it’s kinda new and I know they’re tasty so why not chuck them on the list for summer?
  5. Holgate Temptress | Something a little dark but not overpowering, even when the weather is hot who wouldn’t want a chocolate porter with a luscious dessert?

Holgate Beers

a beer list in a make-believe bar

Welcome to my make-believe bar with six taps and five packaged beers; here’s what I am serving right now. Aka an excuse for me to write beer lists

(above) A set of beer taps at Lalla Rookh, Perth CBD

In August I wrote a blog post called ‘A few words on beer lists’ and it was one of my most popular posts for the year. It seems I am not the only one who feels beer lists are often the forgotten lost souls of a venue, doomed to a life of neglect and boredom.

Inspired by the interest from that blog post and just for some fun, I have decided to indulge in a little make-believe and pretend I have a bar. I’m going to pretend that this bar has six taps and not a huge amount of fridge space so just enough for five packaged beers too. As you’d expect, my beer list will change every couple of months.

A few notes things I will consider for my beer lists –

  • Availability – I will try to only list beers that are available here in Perth
  • Price – Whilst I don’t know the cost of goods on all beers, nor am I inclined to go and get them for a make-believe bar, I can have an educated guess so I will try to have a good spread of beers across a reasonable price.
  • My employer – Initially I was going to exclude anything from Nail Brewing but, as this blog will show, I have always loved the beers from Nail so I will not actively exclude the beers from my lists.

Ok, so here’s what my make-believe bar will be serving for the next couple of months and a brief reason why I picked each beer.


a beer list as we come into summer

ON TAP

  1. Colonial Small Ale | One of my absolute favourite low ABV beers
  2. Eagle Bay Kolsch | An easy drinking, approachable, well made beer
  3. Mash Copy Cat | Something for the hop heads and beer geeks, you gotta have a big pale ale on tap
  4. Nail Red Ale | Something a bit ballsy but not too over the top
  5. Last Drop Hefeweizen | Wheat beers can be one of those “love them or hate them” styles but I love them and this is one of the best Hefes going around
  6. Cowaramup Pilsner | A fantastic pilsner and not often seen on tap

Colonial Small Ale - Brews in the Beer Garden at The Blvd

IN THE FRIDGE

  1. Gage Roads Single Fin | Staying local and I like the new(ish) branding 
  2. La Sirene Saison | Love all their beers and you just have to throw a saison in there, right?!
  3. Bootleg Raging Bull | Just one dark beer for a summer list and this is a cracker
  4. Pirate Life Pale Ale | Believe the hype, this beer is just so damn good and I don’t mind having a big hoppy beer on tap as well as this given how popular American style pale ales are.
  5. 4 Pines ESB | Something malt driven and delicious

girl + The Standard

I knew that The Standard was on Roe Street, Northbridge but that didn’t stop me from driving past it and not realising it was there. The white facing is quite understated, from the street you may not realise there is a lovely bar ready to serve you some tasty drinks and great outdoor area perfect for summer afternoons.

The Standard – 28 Roe Street, Northbridge

After hearing several glowing reviews of the food at The Standard I was delighted to be able to finally try it for myself earlier this month.

As someone who prefers beer over any other alcoholic drink 98% of the time, there tends to be a little pause for concern when visiting a bar or restaurant for the first time. Questions race through my head like a bad Rocky montage – Will they have any local beers? Will they be reasonably priced? Will they have the ‘usual suspects’ of international imports – I’m looking at you Heineken, Stella, Corona, Peroni, Asahi and will they even have their beers listed on the menu?

On my visit to The Standard the answers to the above questions were yes, yes, no and yes.

Local breweries are represented by Eagle Bay Brewing with their English style Mild Ale and Feral Brewing with their flagship Hop Hog. Well known east coast brewers 4 Pines, Stone & Wood and Mountain Goat also make appearances. Representing international, in lieu of your bulk standard Heineken clones, are great beers like Camden Hells Lager (UK) and Anchor Steam Ale (US). The vast majority of beers are not priced more than $10 which is nice to see too.

The Standard - Beer Menu - Jan 2015

I had to chose carefully since I was driving so I opted for a Camden Gentlemen’s Wit (UK) to have with lunch. In the words of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, I chose wisely. We had a selection of dishes from the menu including chicken parfait, pork croquettes, lamb belly and 36 hour pork. The Gentlemen’s Wit was a great all-rounder sort of beer in this scenario, cutting through the croquettes and the lamb belly and complementing the pork. The lamb belly came with a sweet and sour eggplant, grapefruit and coriander salad that was a great mate to the wit beer, the beer cooling the chilli in the salad and making the coriander more pronounced.

The Standard - Camden Gentlemen's Wit

Then it came time for desserts and I couldn’t resist getting the Vanilla panna cotta with strawberries, dehydrated raspberries and house made lemonade. I had seen the dish on the wonderful food blog Perth Munchkin and there was no way I was leaving without trying it!

 Vanilla panna cotta at The StandardThe Chef at The Standard serves this dessert at your table with house made lemonade. Left is the horseradish crumble – not hugely spicy – and on the right is strawberry liqueur

There’s a lot happening in this with dominant sweetness from the fresh strawberries and dehydrated raspberries then a little lemon tartness from the house made lemonade – think real lemons not Sprite – and creamy but light panna cotta, a side of horseradish crumb and a strawberry liqueur. My gut reaction was to have a porter to play the chocolate and dark malts against the overall sweetness of the dessert however with no dark beers on the menu I went with a Stone & Wood Pacific Ale. I was hoping to throw the beers passionfruit and tropical fruit into the mix, maybe act as a little palate cleanser by cutting through the panna cotta which it kinda did but I think overall was a little beaten by the desserts big sweet flavours.

For those who enjoy a beer as much as I do the beer list at The Standard may not blow your mind but it will give you a handful of great Australian beers to choose from alongside a couple of recognisable internationals. It’s a beer list that shows someone actually gave a damn when they put it together. Combined with a fantastic food menu, nice fit out and excellent service, I’ll be back here soon to re-order the lamb belly and sip on a few local beers.

The Standard

 

 

Good Beer Here: Mechanics Institute Bar

‘Good Beer Here’ is a celebration of pubs, bars and restaurants with great beer. They might not be a “craft beer venue” but they can still have a kick-ass beer list. It puts a big smile on my face to see venues paying equal attention to their beer list as they do their food, wine and cocktails. Those who don’t, those who have settled on a beer list that features Cascade Light, Crown Lager and Stella, are well and truly behind the eight ball. It’s kinda like getting all dressed up for an elegant night out, putting all that thought into your hair, dress, make up and jewelry and then wearing your muddy sneakers. Crown Lager is a muddy sneaker.

The Bar …

Mechanics Institute Bar

Rear 222 William St, Northbridge | Open from midday Tuesday – Sunday

The last time I was at the Mechanics Institute Bar it was after a work dinner, we walked into the bar, ordered drinks and when Billy Joel’s Piano Man came on the speakers we all sang loudly. Thankfully a few other patrons joined in too.

My visit before that night was on my own in early October. I enjoyed a chat with the bartender, a friend of mine, and I couldn’t help but stop mid-sentence and smile because Queens of the Stone Age started to play on the sound system. This was followed by Rage Against the Machine. Gold. Having worked in some places with really horrible music, such as a French version of Hit the Road Jack, I do appreciate some good tunes in a bar.

Mechanics is a small bar located in Northbridge near the State Library. Like most small bars it’s better known for cocktails than beer but they haven’t slacked off in the beer department.

Stroll up to Mechanics and get tasty burgers delivered by their friendly Flipside burger neighbours.

The Beers …

Anything on tap?

There are two taps which change pretty regularly, changes that seem to depend on availability rather than a strict rotation schedule. In October they had Tiger and Monteith’s Crushed Apple Cider whilst on a previous visit there was one of the Mountain Goat (VIC) Rare Bread beers, their limited release label.

Bottles?

It isn’t a huge list but there’s about a dozen interesting beers in their fridges. There’s local brews like Mountain Goat Summer Ale cans and Burleigh Brewing 28 Pale Ale plus international favourites likes Sierra Nevada Kellerweiss and Saison Dupont. The list is on rotation so expect to see new and different brews on a fairly regular basis.

Mechanics Institute Bar
Photo from my visit in October 2014
Photo from Mechanics Institute Facebook page
Photo from Mechanics Institute Facebook page

girl+beer @ Frisk Small Bar

Frisk is a gin speciality bar that doesn’t shy away from good beers and in the spirit of good beers I was delighted to be asked by the crew at Frisk to collaborate on their beer menu

Frisk Small Bar is a gin bar, there are lots and lots of gins. There is also lots of pretty good beer too.

If you haven’t been to Frisk Small Bar yet it’s on Francis Street in Northbridge, not far from where the old Taipan Room nightclub used to be (for those old enough and not ashamed to remember).

Frisk is a gin speciality bar that doesn’t shy away from good beers and in the spirit of good beers I was delighted to be asked by the crew at Frisk to collaborate on their new beer menu. Every month or so, depending on how fast the beers are enjoyed, there will be three featured beers on the menu hand picked by yours truly around a particular theme.

Frisk Small Bar

November’s locally themed feature beers

For the “beer curious” there will be something that I hope will light the beery love on your palate, then for the “beer lover” maybe something of a classic, maybe something new but definitely something tasty. Then for the “beer geek” something extra special.

Frisk Small Bar

These are the latest beers on the menu, though I have been told they are selling fast, and they are all beers which have been recently released, or re-released in the case of Bootleg’s The Coconut One – a hefeweizen with toasted coconut.

Be sure to get into Frisk and see what beers are kicking around and if there’s anything you’d like to see on the menu please comment below!

Good Beer Here: The Classroom

‘Good Beer Here’ looks at the great bars, restaurants and pubs who might not be a craft beer venue exclusively but do have some kick ass brews …

‘Good Beer Here’ is a celebration of pubs, bars and restaurants with great beer. They might not be a “craft beer venue” but they can still have a kick-ass beer list. It puts a big smile on my face to see venues paying equal attention to their beer list as they do their food, wine and cocktails. Those who don’t, those who have settled on a beer list that features Cascade Light, Crown Lager and Stella, are well and truly behind the eight ball. It’s kinda like getting all dressed up for an elegant night out, putting all that thought into your hair, dress, make up and jewelry and then wearing your muddy sneakers. Crown Lager is a muddy sneaker.
Venue: The Clasroom | 1/356 Charles Street, North Perth

They might not have any events in the WA Beer Week calendar but The Classroom in North Perth have been quietly satisfying beer geeks since they opened in 2012.

Wonderfully themed, The Classroom brings back fond childhood memories of primary school days with blackboards and hopscotch markings, metal lunch boxes and hooks for impossibly big bags.

Whilst they are not specifically a craft beer bar they do boast an excellent selection across their four taps and 20 bottles.

The beer lists changes frequently, working with the seasons and whilst they might not have the biggest selection they do hope it’s one of the best.

During WA Beer Week there will be some extra special beers on their taps including Coopers Vintage 2014, a “particular favourite” of Andrew Bennett’s, one of the owners of The Classroom (pictured below). Boatrocker’s Hop Bomb IPA, Nomad Jet Lag IPA and Feral’s Boris, a Russian Imperial Stout, will also make appearances.

Photo from The Classroom's Facebook page
Photo from The Classroom’s Facebook page

If you visit The Classroom during WA Beer Week Andrew recommends having the Boat Rocker Hop Bomb IPA with their Roast Duck Dumplings – the umami flavours should go nicely with the beers bitter hop character.

In other news The Classroom team are working hard on getting their second venue up and running – Lucky Chan’s Laundry & Noodle Bar which is set to become Perth’s first permanent crowd-funded bar. Located on William Street in Northbridge, Lucky Chan’s plans on serving up traditional Japanese ramen noodles, hand-made no less, and dumplings.

Construction has started but there is a long way to go with doors not looking to open until the new year. You can see the progress, or even contribute to the campaign, here.

For beers at Lucky Chan’s Andrew says they will be “reminding people it’s not just Bintang, Sapporo and Asahi”. Beers will be matched to the food, the same synergy between beer and food that you might find at a hawker’s market.

“We’re not going to stick beers on just because they are Asian”

Just like The Classroom it sounds to me like the beer list at Lucky Chan’s will be carefully selected to be interesting and suitable to the food being served. Hear hear for great beer!

Lucky Chan Sneak Peek in early October
Lucky Chan Sneak Peek in early October

 

 

 

Great Beer Menus – Muster

Just because you’re not a “craft beer venue” doesn’t mean you can’t have a kick ass beer list – here’s my second post on where you’ll find great beers outside the usual suspects

I love craft beer and going to venues who share my passion, pubs likes The Sail & Anchor and Clancy’s Fish Pub and bottle shops like the International Beer Shop are WA institutions for great craft beer. It’s what they love, it’s what they know, it’s what they do.
But just because you’re not a “craft beer venue” doesn’t mean you can’t have a kick ass beer list. I’m delighted to find more restaurants, small bars, local bottle shops and pubs whose fridges were previously filled with European lagers have been invaded by a few local and international craft beers.
It puts a big smile on my face to see venues paying equal attention to their beer list as they do their food, wine and cocktails. Those who don’t, those who have settled on a beer list that features Cascade Light, Crown Lager and Stella, are well and truly behind the eight ball. It’s kinda like getting all dressed up for an elegant night out, putting all that thought into your hair, dress, make up and jewelry and then wearing your muddy sneakers. Crown Lager is a muddy sneaker.
It’s time to put the spotlight on these great places …

The first venue I wrote on this particular topic was The Precinct in East Victoria Park, a bar/cafe/restaurant boasting a impressive beer list of both single serve and large format, ideal for sharing, beers.

Big Beers at The Precinct

Next up, Muster Bar and Grill – the venue formerly known as Must Margaret River.

A recent name change hopes to define the well known wine bar from it’s even more well known sister venue Must Wine Bar in Perth. Must Wine Bar, located on Beaufort Street in Mt Lawley, is an institution so it caused quite the excitment when Must Margaret River opened its doors. A few years later and Must has been given an “E” and an “R” and presents a more casual and friendly proposition that fits into every day Margaret River, a venue not just for uber-special occasions.

Here’s a few words from Muster manager Mark (that’s a mouth-full!) about the venue and the beers …

Muster Bar and Grill

Tell us a bit about Muster Bar and Grill ...

Wow Muster, it’s funny how you have to change your name to get people’s attention. We have been evolving Must to Muster over the last year with small renovations and a huge push on local produce with our new head chef Sean Carter. Offering quality service, great food and wine at an affordable price and appearing a little less formal to when Must first opened its doors back in 2009.

What's your inspiration for your beer list?

Craft beer whether it is local or international, there are so many micro breweries opening around the world and all producing so many great beers. I was only speaking with someone this morning about pairing beer and cheese. Sensational! Beer has come a long way and is going to carry on doing so.

What do you hope the beer list says about Muster?

I hope it says we are out to give everyone a good time drinking a variety of beers.

How, if at all, do you think beer drinking habits
have changed since you started at Must two years ago?

They haven’t really changed and Australians don’t really drink seasonally like a they would in Europe. But everyone is open to trying new beers if you suggest it, recently I bought in some Rogue Chipotle Ale [brewed with roasted chipolte peppers]  thinking it would sit there for a while but everyone kept hearing me talking about them and I sold out in a week.

How many beers are currently on your menu and
how often will you update the beer list?

24 beers on our list, you can have a stubby, a schooner or a 1.3ltr jug, we even serve some of our beers in wine glasses as we feel they should be appreciated like a glass of wine. I update our list every month or sometimes fortnightly.

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

I have two “go-to” beers at the moment – North Coast Old No .38 Stout and it pairs so well with our 500g Rib Eye! I also love the Brooklyn East India Pale Ale as a staffie or with our Duck Breast and Risotto.

Squid and Eagle Bay at Muster

What I love about the beers at Muster …

♥ Two new beers taps! Installed just a couple of weeks ago, they’re pouring $7 schooners of Eagle Bay Pale Ale and Sapporo

♥ Bottle list is varied deliciousness – you can go for something brewed within 20km or something a little further over the ocean

♥ Unafraid to go big and bold with the likes of Rogue Chipolte Ale and Sierra Nevada Torpedo both currently on the list

Muster Margaret River

Great Beer Menus – The Precinct

But just because you’re not a “craft beer venue” doesn’t mean you can’t have a kick ass beer list. It puts a big smile on my face to see venues paying equal attention to their beer list as they do their food, wine and cocktails. It’s time to put the spotlight on these great places, starting today with The Precinct …

I love craft beer and going to venues who share my passion, pubs likes The Sail & Anchor and Clancy’s Fish Pub and bottle shops like the International Beer Shop are WA institutions for great craft beer. It’s what they love, it’s what they know, it’s what they do.

Feral Tap Takeover at The Sail

But just because you’re not a “craft beer venue” doesn’t mean you can’t have a kick ass beer list. I’m delighted to find more restaurants, small bars, local bottle shops and pubs whose fridges were previously filled with European lagers have been invaded by a few local and international craft beers.

It puts a big smile on my face to see venues paying equal attention to their beer list as they do their food, wine and cocktails. Those who don’t, those who have settled on a beer list that features Cascade Light, Crown Lager and Stella, are well and truly behind the eight ball. It’s kinda like getting all dressed up for an elegant night out, putting all that thought into your hair, dress, make up and jewelry and then wearing your muddy sneakers. Crown Lager is a muddy sneaker.

It’s time to put the spotlight on these great places, starting today with The Precinct in East Victoria Park where their classic food with a twist and epic long table dinners have put smiles on many faces (I’m looking at you Laura Moseley!).

The Precinct

Here’s front of house manager Daniel Morris talking about the beers at The Precinct –

Tell us a bit about The Precinct ...

The Precinct is a speak easy bar, cafe and restaurant where people can come in at any hour of the day and enjoy a coffee, beer, glass of wine, small eats or a full three course meal. It’s a very multipurpose type venue with an ever changing beer & wine list which makes it the perfect place to try and be recommended new products (beer or wine) that we have featured every week.

What's your inspiration for your beer list?

We want to feature small breweries, interesting styles of beers and beers that are in short supply. Beers for the “beer nerds”, but saying that we serve a couple of well known ones with a Precinct twist.

What do you hope the beer menu says about The Precinct?

That we LOVE BEER!! That we like a diverse range, that we are individual.

How many beers are currently on your menu and
how often will you update the beer list?

How many beers? I think about 40, but there are usually some treasures hiding in the fridge as we can’t fit them all on the menu! The list updates weekly, we usually buy a couple of cases of a individual beer then keep on changing it up, so it stays interesting and fresh!!

Big Beers at The Precinct

Any memorable customer moments in someone trying a
new beer at The Precinct?

One guy destroyed a magnum of Moa Stong Ale [St Joseph’s] by himself…pretty cool

What beer and food matches would you recommend for
entree, main and dessert at The Precinct?

We don’t do a lot of pairing with beer and food just yet, it’s more about giving people that freedom to try different styles or beers from boutique brewery’s. Its about the “whole experience “. Our food has lots of strong rich flavours so we tend to get into the IPA’s and ales instead of lagers and pilseners.

The Precinct

What I love about beers at The Precinct …
♥ Big format beers for sharing
♥ Weekly changing beer list
♥ Limited release and rare beers
Thank you to Sarita and Daniel at The Precinct for letting me bug them with beery questions and providing photography from the very talented Jessica Wyld – check out here site here.
If your favourite local bar, restaurant, cafe, bottleshop, anything has a great beer list, I’d love to know about them!
 

girl + Perth

A quick visit to Perth for a few Saturday night drinks and delighted to find that there was excellent beer at every corner.

Meelup Beach

It has been almost two years since my partner and I moved from Perth to the south west. Swapping a city for country lifestyle is easily one of the best decisions we have made.

We regularly return to Perth for quick overnight visits, see a few friends and family before heading home and wishing we had more time to see more people.

On this particular visit we went out for a few Saturday night drinks and was delighted to find that craft beer wasn’t at all hard to come by.

First Stop – Tan Po Po

Damn I have missed this place! Teriyaki Fish for under $7, love love love. Please if anyone knows of anywhere in the south west who’s not charging more than $12 for the same dish I’d love to know. Great food, amazing prices AND BYO. Happy days!

Liquor Barons Mt Lawley is just up the road and carries a great selection of craft beer. We decided a 6 pack of Stone & Wood Pacific Ale would do quite nicely with dinner.

IMG_20130713_183528

Second Stop – Defectors

Upstairs at The Flying Scotsman with cosy couches and a balcony for people watching, Defectors is a nice little spot.

A good range of beers on tap and in bottle, I opted for a 330ml bottle of Saison Dupont. It had been far too long since I’d had one of my favourite beers. Spicy, musty, dry and a little fruitiness, I’ve missed you.

Third Stop – The Mechanics’ Institute

There has been an explosion of new bars opening in Perth in the last 18 months. Rather than tasking ourselves with the hangover inducing adventure of tackling them all we simply picked one. We chose The Mechanics’ Institute.

From what I’ve seen on their Facebook page they are mostly known for some fabulous cocktails but it was great to see a fine selection of bottled beer too. I spied Two Birds Sunset Ale, Burleigh 28 Pale Ale, Feral Hop Hog, Rogers’ and Brewdog Punk IPA cans. Happy Days!

Fourth Stop – 399 Bar

Time for a Campari …

IMG_20130713_212129

Fifth Stop – The Brisbane Hotel

It’s not long ago that the craft beers on tap at The Brisbane were Beez Neez and Redback, both of which I have enjoyed many a pint of don’t get me wrong, but the word “craft” is debatable. Now you can find the likes of Little Creatures Single Batch on tap and a respectable bottled list with the likes of Two Birds, Brewdog, Holgate, Sierra Nevada and Mountain Goat. On this particular night we enjoyed a couple of glasses of Monteith’s Dopplebock Winter Ale. I’ve not really rated Monteith’s beers in the past but their Winter Ale is lovely – rich and with a drunken raisin sort of taste going on.

Craft beer is emerging, I guess we all knew that, but from what I saw finally more and more beer lists have had as much thought put into them as any other menu in the bar – Fantastic!