Ryezilla – a collaboration between Bootleg Brewery and Mane Liquor bottle shop that appeals to both my taste buds and my inner dinosaur …
For a 30-something female without kids I spent a surprising amount of time making dinosaur noises. Usually these are made to the dog just to see her confused little face but secretly I think it’s kinda fun.
Knowing this you can see why a beer named Ryezilla was always going to appeal to me.
Ryezilla brings together Mane Liquor, one of Perth’s greatest beer retailers, with the oldest brewery in Margaret River, Bootleg Brewery.
Your Sherlock-like senses may have already determined the use of rye in this collaboration but it has another feature, showcasing new hop variety Enigma as its single hop.
Enigma is one of the new hop-kids on the block, introduced by Hop Products Australia in July who describe their new addition as “cheeky” and “enchanting”.
Click here for full Enigma product specs at Hop Products Australia
The result is a beer that’s assertive, fruit driven, bitter and kinda complicated. Ryezilla is an aggressive fruit salad of a beer, big tropical fruit and some citrus but it’s bitterness is punchy and the malt is kinda sweet, rounding out the fruity hops. She’s a big beer, she’s not for everyone and I reckon she was meant to be just as she is.
In my search to find a suitable dinner pairing I decided to try something salty and something spicy.
First up, some spicy oven baked chicken wings that whilst I didn’t marinate overnight still worked out pretty tasty. The spice was a bit on the mild side but had enough to stand up to the mighty Ryezilla.
For something on the salty side I went with a broccolini and halloumi salad, though I am not sure that adding lemon juice and bread crumbs to this mix really constitutes the word ” salad “. The salty cheese was a nice contrast to the tropical hops and the cripsy breadcrumbs mixed into the “salad” seemed to go nicely with the beers crisp bitterness.
Check out all the WA Beer Week action here happening 25 Oct – 2 November
If you haven’t tried the Ryezilla then I suggest you follow Mane Liquor on Twitter to see where you can catch it next, being a limited release I’m sure you’ll need to be quick! Otherwise there is also WA Beer Week coming up where Ryezilla will be making an appearance at the Best of the West – a Degustation with Mane Liquor & The Trustee Bar and Bistro on Tuesday 28 October. Ryezilla plus four other limited release WA beers will be matched to food from The Trustee kitchen. Tickets are $99 each and can be booked here.
International Beer Shop + Kjetil Jikiun, Head Brewer of Nøgne Ø + 4 great Nøgne Ø beers = a happy beer girl
Nøgne ø … the brewery from Norway that refuses to compromise, committed to taste, committed to craft beer
This is the first sentence you see on the Nøgne Ø website. I like it’s simplicity and directness. There’s no messing around here – it’s not sunshine and lollipops it’s just damn fine beer. Their beers, from the ones I have experienced so far, certainly seem to reflect these elements too. If you have time, read through the story behind Nøgne Ø. It is an interesting read because it feels like a real story from a human being instead of a marketing spiel, edited and changed to a more romantic version of events. You could almost be sitting beside Kjetil Jikiun (Founder, Head Brewer, Owner and All Round Nice Guy) enjoying a beer and listening to the history of the brewery unfold on the bar table. As a side note, he is described in the website as “the bearded giant”. Since it was pretty close to the first thing I thought when I met him, I thought that was worth mentioning.
The International Beer Shop played hosted to Kjetil Jikiun on Monday night for a Nøgne Ø Tasting and Tap Takeover, an hour of beer talk and sampling of four of their beers. With almost 20 beers in year round production and countless other special, seasonal and collaboration brews it was a delight to taste a nice cross section of their different offerings.
#500 Imperial IPA
I wanted to take photos but it proved rather tricky. I had tasting notes in one hand and beer in the other and I didn’t fancy drawing attention to myself as I tried juggling them. For those who know me, hand/eye coordination doesn’t spring to mind as one of my strong points. You’ll just have to head down to The International Beer Shop (or even shop online!) and grab them to see and try for yourselves. In the mean time, perhaps I can tempt you further with a brief run down on how beautiful these beers are.
I first had this a few months ago and recycled the bottle for flowers I was given. Trying it the second time around I was struck by how spicy it was, I didn’t remember that from the first time! It is balanced out very nicely with tropical notes from fresh Australian hops and cheekily weighs in at 7.5% ABV.
Brown Ale – one of their regulars
The carbonation was bigger than I had expected and was a pleasant surprise, giving a delightfully light and playful mouth feel. Putting my nose in the glass reminded me of opening a fresh bag of coffee beans. Spicy and malty and delicious.
#500 Imperial IPA – another of their regulars
Imperial IPA. There’s something great about this style, taking a IPA – a bigger version of Pale Ales – and then just making it bigger again which is great for my already beaten up taste buds. As the name suggests, it’s a celebratory brew, made to signify the 500th batch of ale. It’s nothing short of slap-you-in-the-face big, heaving with hops and bitterness. With the recent explosion of New Zealand hops around, other hops heads might recognise the Nelson Sauvin hop notes in there with very unsubtle fruit thanks to the dry hopping.
Nogne O Kollaborator – in collaboration with Ægir, a fellow Norwegian craft brewer.
It’s a DoppelBock, doppel = strong and bock = lager so the style becomes simple math. Rich, boozy with lots of dark fruits. It’s got great thick texture and just begs to be sipped on whilst reading a good book in winter. Or, in the case of my boyfriend and I last night, devoured in gulps with rich blue cheese and exclaiming how great the two go together!