WA Beer News #3

News and stuff about what’s happening in WA craft beer

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, beer dinners, free bottle shop tastings, expansion plans, constantly rotating beer taps, beer festivals … 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 beery news that our state has to offer.

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


Colonial Brewing

In case anyone hadn’t already figured out, 2016 is the year that WA gets a LOT of cans. Mash, Feral and Nail are all set to release cans before the year is done, meanwhile Colonial Brewing have got their new canning machine in Port Melbourne up and running (I know, I know, Port Melbourne isn’t in WA but I still think of Colonial as being just as much WA as it is VIC). They’ve added two beers, a pale ale and IPA, and a cider, Bertie’s, to their line up. Whilst their pale ale has been part of the draught range for a long time, the Australian IPA started life as a limited release to showcase an all Aussie malt and hop profile which includes Ella, Topaz, Super Pride, Vic Secret and Galaxy.

Colonial Brewing cans
Colonial cans at Mane Liquor Carpark Party 2016

Cheeky Monkey Brewery

For WA Beer Week – 11-20 November – Cheeky Monkey teamed up with local bottleshops Cape Cellars and Dunsborough Cellars and local bar The Fire Station for a collaboration brew called Caped Crusader, named after the south west’s cape to cape region. It’s a 5.5 percent ABV super pale ale that should please those who like their hoppy American style pale ales and will be available on tap and in 500ml cans.

The official beer launch is happening on Thursday 17 September at The Fire Station, event information here.

Photo courtesy of Cheeky Monkey, looks like brew day was good fun!
Photo courtesy of Cheeky Monkey, looks like brew day was good fun!

Also keep an eye out for Cheeky Monkey’s previous limited release, the Hop Flinger IPA which has been earmarked to go into the full time portfolio in draught and 375ml cans. With any luck it will be some time soon!

More Collaborations

WA Beer Week will see a number of collaboration brews in addition to Cheeky Monkey’s Caped Crusader.

and don’t forget …

Plenty of beer events coming up –

  • 11 November – Feral Fest 4
  • 11 – 13 November – Fremantle BeerFest
  • 12 November – Pirate Life Invasion
  • 11 – 20 November – WA Beer Week
  • 16 November – La Sirene at Baby Mammoth

Find more information on these events here

 

girl + Phoenix Beers Showroom

The words “beers showroom” are enough to turn my mouth a little dry so walking into the Phoenix Beers Showroom in Morley turned me into a very thirsty gal.

Don’t you just love finding new beery places?

The words “beers showroom” are enough to turn my mouth a little dry so walking into the Phoenix Beers Showroom in Morley turned me into a very thirsty gal.

I know the Phoenix Beers Showroom isn’t exactly new, it’s had it’s doors open for a while but this was my first visit so it was all new to me and besides, better late than never don’t they say?!

The showroom is related to the company Phoenix Beers who are importers and distributors of beloved beers from all over the globe. They bring us beer from Weihenstephan, Sierra Nevada, Yeastie Boys, Rogue, St Bernardus and many, many more. Their portfolio was pretty much my bible when I was designing the beer menu at Five Bar back when I was assistant manager. Some of my favourite meetings were with my Phoenix Beers rep.

The showroom is located near the Galleria Morley shopping centre, around the corner from what I believe is the Mrs Mac’s factory which provides a truck-stop like aroma whilst you shop, maybe that’s your bag, maybe not but at least you can follow your nose to beer heaven.

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It’s about here that I should mention the two words that make any bar manager/owner cringe: liquor licensing. The showroom operates under a wholesaler license, rather than a retailer one like your average bottle shop would have, which means purchases must be a minimum of 9lts.

That’s about 27 x 330ml bottles or 4.5 six packs or a dozen big 750ml bottles. If you don’t trust my math, which I wouldn’t blame you, the store has a helpful guideline with the breakdown of what 9lts looks like. The staff are also quick with volume math. If you are anything like me you won’t need the guide and you’ll just think …

“Thank you liquor licencing for a compulsory beery shopping spree!”

Hence my first visit to the showroom ended like this … It’s also worthy of note that we left the house to do food shopping.

Beer shopping pornMy partner and I departed the showroom with over ten litres of pure beer indulgence and big smiles on our faces. This should tide us over for a little while.

Big thanks to Brad for the beery chat, for giving us a sample of a couple of beers and for being patient as we constantly interrupted his processing of our order by adding “just one more” beer.

Phoenix Beers Showroom

8/10-12 Dewar St, Morley

Tastings: Friday 3-6pm and Saturdays 2-4pm

Check out their Facebook page for more information!

Beers + Enthusiasm

In recent weeks I have been sent up to Perth for work, staying at The Crown and with the office at Kewdale it means constantly driving past Cellarbrations Carlisle. How can a girl resist?

In recent weeks I have been sent up to Perth for work, staying at The Crown and with the office at Kewdale it means constantly driving past Cellarbrations Carlisle. How can a girl resist?

Beers 1
[Left to Right]
Nail Clout Stout
Temple Saison De Miel
Birra Del Borgo Duchessic
Gage Roads The Convict
Sierra Nevada Celebration Celebration Ale
Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA
So here’s some of my recent purchases, with the help of Joel, Josh and the other beery crew, in efforts to keep our fridge at least 25% beer (incidentally I think the remaining breakdown is 25% cheese, 25% condiments and 25% actual food).

John Stallwood’s Nail Ale Clout Stout, a limited release Russian Imperial Stout, has been on my beer wish list for quite some time. Finally, it’s all MINE! [This should be read with the tone of an evil genius, that’s if you’re not already doing so]. It’s currently waiting for the right occasion to be opened and enjoyed. It will have to be a very special occasion for a beer that John told me on Twitter was one of his best batches.

Temple Brewing from Victoria makes beers that are always sensational, it’s as simple as that, so when I saw their Saison De Miel I just had to have it. Saison with honey, yes please! This was opened not long ago and I did a nice little Barramundi and spud dish that went very nicely.

The empty bottle of Duchessic still sits on our bookshelf reminding me of what a truly amazing beer it was. It was the first beer that Joel recommended to me and it was done with such enthusiasm and energy that I realised I’d be insane not to purchase this beer.

Gage Roads limited release The Convict, an Australian Strong Ale, slaps you in the face and reminds you that though they might be owned by a supermarket giant that doesn’t mean that can’t brew a damn fine drop. Smacking you in the face with red fruits, booze and a robust body, it’s gooood. When I held up this bottle up to Joel and Josh in the shop they gave me the thumbs up before I popped it onto the counter with the others.

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale is one I’ve had a number of times before and loved. The big three citrus piney hops are there – Cascade, Centennial and Chinook and they’re, as always, delicious.

Dogfish Head, another American craft brewery, lured me in with their reputation and I then realised I had never enjoyed a Dogfish Head beer. I felt shameful and didn’t dare admit it as I added their 90 Minute IPA to my latest credit card transaction. Aside from this the name certainly lured me in – 90 Minute IPA, 90 full minutes of hopping, sign me up!

Anchor and Boneyard
[Left] Anchor Brewing Steam Ale
[Right] Boneyard Grapefruit IPA
These two beers were bought during a week long conference where there was no craft beer in sight. I had to remedy the issue and get a crafty hit – enter Cellarbrations Carlisle to rescue me! It was imperative that I purchased beers I’d never had before and that were on my beery wish list.

Anchor Steam Ale marks my first, and certainly not my last, venture into the portfolio of another great American craft brewery. Pouring beautifully into my hotel room goblet, it was either that or a tiny wine glass, it’s a complex beer with spice, apricot, toffee and earthy characteristics. Love.

Back to Australia with the Boneyard Grapefruit IPA, it’s the second beer from the same guys who bring us Josie Bones in Melbourne. A venue I am aching to get to … one day, one day. Spicy honey nose with edgy, tangy bitterness unsurprisingly like a freshly squeezed grapefruit in your face but, you know, in a good way and not in a way that makes you squint and cry.

Beers 2
[Left to Right]
Brewdog Punk IPA
Holgate Nut Brown Ale
Feral Smoked Porter
Moondog Great American Challenge
2 Brothers Taxi Pilsner
Red Duck Topaz
Bridge Road Stella IPA 
Temple Scarlet Sour
Nail Oatmeal Stout
Southern Bay Brewing Requiem
Oh and a Squealer of The Garage Project Pernicious Weed
Now we get into the latest bulk purchase, most of which I am yet to get stuck in to.

The Brewdog Punk IPA cans were the first to go – the novelty of a tinny wasn’t lost on me and neither was the lip smacking hops. Delicious!

The squealer of Garage Project Pernicious Weed went next and the only notes I had on this were “hop, hops and more freakin’ hops”. Josh was more than a little excited about this one, it had made it’s way into his top beers of all time list and that was more than I needed to take the last of it off their hands.

The last one from this batch that I’ve opened is the 2 Brothers Taxi Pilsner, malty sweet but with great balance it’s seriously tasty and I’ll be getting this one again

I’m looking forward to opening the rest, in particular the Temple Scarlet Sour and the guys had big recommendations the Bridge Road Stella IPA. The Southern Bay and Red Duck beers are breweries I’ve discovered in the past couple of months whilst Nail Ale and Feral Brewing are long, long loves.

Big big  thanks to Joel, Josh and the crew at Cellarbrations Carlisle for some sensational beer recommendations, already looking forward to my next visit.

White Rabbit + Merrywell

The Merrywell (1)

I had not visited Crown, aka the casino formerly known as The Burswood since, well … since it was no longer The Burswood. A recent visit to Perth put me at The Crown Promenade so I had the chance to check out the area.

I have to say that I was impressed, now it actually looks and feels like a destination spot rather than a there’s-nowhere-else-open-at-3am-for-a-drink spot.

My partner and I decided to check out The Merrywell for dinner after which we rolled, full bellied and smiling, back to the hotel.

The inspiration for The Merrywell is loosely based on a kind of American diner feel, mashed up with lots of wood and dark browns, and thankfully without all the gaudy diner paraphernalia.

It was the usual beer list mystery bet when opening the menu. Will there be anything crafty or will it all be generic? Whilst it’s not a craft beer lovers delight it’s certainly got a few notables to keep you away from the bland end of the scale. Great names like White Rabbit, and Mountain Goat are there and there’s even long necks of Swan Draught.

I picked White Rabbit White Ale as my beer for the night, something soft and refreshing with lovely subtle spices and banana. Most of the dishes we selected had very bold flavours so the White Rabbit found it hard to match up with the assertive foods like BBQ Pulled Pork Quesadillas and Lollipop Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese Fondue. However, it was a decent partner to the Pink Snapper Tacos, a slightly softer flavoured meal with subtle spices and White Rabbit also washed nicely over the Mini Beef Burgers.

Buffalo Wings & Tacos at Merrywell (2) Quesadillas and Mini Beef Burgers

Beer + Christmas

Christmas is just a few days away so I thought I’d quickly share a few of the yummy beers over got lined up for the festive season (in between beach visits and lots and lots of food of course!).

Christmas is just a few days away so I thought I’d quickly share a few of the yummy beers over got lined up for the festive season (in between beach visits and lots and lots of food of course!).

I’d also like to take the chance to thank you for reading my beery ramblings. The girl +beer blog has been an exciting adventure for me and I’m very grateful to you all for taking the time to read. I’m also lucky to have been supported by my amazing boyfriend, Crafty Pint, Australian Brews News and plenty of beer loving folk.

Happy Beery Christmas everyone and I’ll catch you in the new year!

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Swan + Chips

Sometimes loving beer isn’t just about the latest limited release, collaboration brew or oak aged delight but it’s simply about enjoying a drink with nice people.

Sometimes loving beer isn’t just about the latest limited release, collaboration brew or oak aged delight but it’s simply about enjoying a drink with nice people.

Occasionally my partner and I drive 8km to our “local” on a Wednesday for their cheap pints of Swan Draught. Our local is a bit run down, has horse races on several (small) screens and a few pieces of AFL and Peter Brock memorabilia, just as any good local should. The girl behind the bar is really friendly and knows most people by name, sometimes they put out baskets of hot chips for free. On one visit we were enjoying a pint by the fire and the barmaid came around to sell raffle tickets to win a meat tray. “We’re not in Mt Lawley anymore”, I thought and we swiftly bought 6 tickets. We didn’t win.

When we make a trip to our local we happily have a pint (or two) of Swan Draught and chat about nothing in particular over a packet of salt and vinegar chips. If the sun is out we’ll sit outside in the rarely used but rather nice beer garden. It appears only smokers sit outside. If it’s too cold outside we sit beside the fire.

In the words of Hilltop Hoods, IT’S A SWAN!

We always drink Swan Draught when we are there and whilst it’s not my favourite beer but it’s by no means undrinkable and when you’re at your local it feels like the drink you are supposed to have in your hand. It’s cold, a little malty sweet and easy on the bitterness.

Recently my boyfriend and I caught up with his sister in Collie, another great small town in the South West. We found a nice little pub that had a few people sitting inside and the owner was kind enough to open the beer garden gate so we could have our puppy, Barley, with us too. The line up of beers on tap was about what you’d expect from a nice small town so we got a jug of Swan Draught. The three of us chatted, had a laugh and put a buck or two in the juke box for some cheesy 80s tunes. When we got hungry we ordered a serve of chips that were perfectly cooked with plenty of chicken salt. Happy Days!

Beer, laughs with good company and friendly bar staff – sometimes it’s just that simple.

Sharing a Jug of Swan Draught
Is it concerning that my keys have two bottle openers?
A sign in the beer garden at a pub in Collie

girl + crafty pint

Does one article allow me to call myself a “writer”? I ask because my first article was published on The Crafty Pint recently and I’m keen to re-label myself as a “writer” rather than “alcoholic blogger”; it just rolls off the tongue easier.

Does one article allow me to call myself a “writer”? I ask because my first article was published on The Crafty Pint recently and I’m keen to re-label myself as a “writer” rather than “alcoholic blogger”; it just rolls off the tongue easier.

The Crafty Pint is one of the best beery sources for news and updates on what’s happening in the Australian Craft Beer scene. Basically if you love the craft beer being made around the country then you should have this bookmarked, and don’t forget to follow them on Twitter and like them on Facebook – seriously, do it now. It’s good for you. And they were good enough to ask me to write an article which makes me like them even more!

My article is about Cheeky Monkey, the newest brewery to call Margaret River home, and I was lucky enough to be able to have a chat and a beer with Jared (aka “Red”) who is their Head Brewer. I think I can get on board this being-a-writer business; I just might need to learn some bigger words.

Cheeky Monkey Brewery & Cidery

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – chatting with brewers is always delightful. I bombarded poor Red with question after question and thankfully he’s a patient man and I quickly realised I could have done a separate article purely on Red.

He came into brewing through the simple desire to do so. Once upon a time he worked as a contractor for Western Power and spend his days looking up, staring at power poles before he kinda thought something else might take his fancy. He discovered Brewdog, boundary pushing Scottish brewers, loved their beers and got on the website. It just so happened they were looking for brewers so he applied. Part of the application process involved listing some favourite beers and a few more steps later, Red found himself finishing up his job and jumping on a plane within 24 hours of each other. There isn’t much I don’t love about his story of becoming a brewer.

Fast forward 18 months and Red had gone from novice to senior brewer at Brewdog and back in his home town, Margaret River, he got word of a new brewery opening up. He seems completely at home in his first Head Brewer position, passionate and all about the beer, he is making tweaks and adjustments to his regular beer line up so that he’s 100% happy. Funnily enough the Cheeky Monkey beer I enjoyed the most. the Traveling Monk mid-strength Red Ale was, at time of our chat, the one he was most wanting to play with and throw more hops in. I won’t argue with the creator but I did love the beer so I’m looking forward to trying it later down the track.

Where the monkeys brew

He is also in the process of working on the next limited release, a chocolate stout, that they run under the label ‘Brewer’s Choice’. At the time of our chat both he and Eagle Bay Brewing had one in the development stage. Eagle Bay Brewing Co are located in Dunsborough, about 50km north of Margaret River and Cheeky Monkey, and are just another great craft brewer in the South West. Neither view the fact they are brewing a similar styled beer as a negative and in fact they may take part in a fun side by side tasting at a mutual venue; another example of the openness of the beer community that I adore. Cheeky Monkeys chocolate stout will be using cacao husks and nibs from local chocolatier ‘Gabriel Chocolate‘ and should be pouring off their taps shortly.

The next time you are at Cheeky Monkey and if Red is around be sure to say ‘hello’, he’s happy to chat and he makes great beer – I’m sure you’ll find something to talk about.

Many Cheeky Monkeys