Weekend Reading #63

For those lazy weekend mornings when you just want to stay in bed and catch up on a little reading – Weekend Reading is a weekly (ahem, usually) post with the articles I’ve enjoyed in the past seven days.

For those lazy weekend mornings when you just want to stay in bed and catch up on a little reading – Weekend Reading is a weekly (ahem, usually) post with the articles I’ve enjoyed in the past seven days.


Fortune | How an Obscure 500-Year-Old Law Still Controls the Global Beer Industry

It’s kinda interesting to think about what impact the Reinheitsgebot – the German beer purity law of 1516 – has had on the evolution of beer.

“It neutered and diminished creativity”

Sam Calagione, Dogfish Head Brewery

Draft Magazine | Pairing beer with Thai food

I recently read a local “article” that had the click bait title of ‘Perth Night Noodle Markets: Ultimate Guide to Beer and Spice Pairings’. Now given it was focused on the Perth Night Noodle Markets I should have known there was a beer sponsor involved and therefore this article would feature them but that’s not even the bit that bothered me about the piece. It was so very lazy, that’s what bothered me.

Anyway, not long after I saw this article from Draft Magazine, a much improved read and some great pairings I’m keen to try myself!

Draft Magazine | Lithuania and its peculiar, little known farmhouse ales

Staying with Draft Magazine, I have said it once and I’ll say it again, I’m always fascinated by the beer culture outside Australia, the US and the UK. This was an intriguing history of beer in Lithuania and insight into old beers I’ve never heard of.

Sydney Morning Herald | Headaches as Victoria Bitter, Carlton Draught droop after $12b Buy

Mainstream beer is in decline and has been for a while so this isn’t a surprise but it’s always interesting to get the snippets and a little insight into where the ‘big boys’ are investing and placing their beer bets – Lion Nathan with their ‘Beer: The Beautiful Truth Campaign’ and CUB with Great Northern and Fat Yak. The article talks about Great Northern tapping into its Queensland origins and so I can’t help but think, yet again, that it’s such a shame that the Matilda Bay brand has been seemingly left to die given it is soaked in authenticity, history and significance in the world of Australian craft beer.

Related Reading: Ale of a Time | Matilda Bay – a branding mess

All About Beer | Anheuser-Busch to Acquire Italy’s Birra del Borgo

A press release on the sale of Birra del Borgo to AB InBev as another craft brewery sells to the brewing giant.

Monk Hop Harvest Dinner

The Monk’s first Hop Harvest Dinner in celebration of their first wet hop beer, featuring wet hops from Albany and paired with food made with and inspired by the same hops

Last month I visited Karridale Cottages and Hop Farm, and I was like a kid in a candy store, and I wrote about it for The Crafty Pint.

Crafty Pint: Where there’s hope, there’s hops

Karridale Hop Farm

Karridale Hop Farm

But Karridale is not the only place you’ll find hops in the south west, the Hops West farm can be found in Albany near the Kalgan River. Certainly not new hop kids on the block, their farm has developed in WA over the last ten years where they grow over 20 varieties.

Last month Matt and Mitch, operations manager and head chef respectively at the Monk Craft Brewery Kitchen, took an epic day trip to Albany to harvest fresh hops and return with their bounty to use in the brewery.

Monk at Hop West Albany

Photo taken from The Monk Craft Brewery Kitchen Facebook page

Matt and Mitch picked hops for three hours and returned to the brewery with more than eight kilos of hop goodness. The hops were to feature in five beers for the Monk’s first Hop Harvest Dinner, held last week, and also in all the food paired to each beer.

Monk Craft Brewery and Kitchen

Event: Hop Harvest Dinner

Where: The Monk Craft Brewery Kitchen

Date: Thursday 24th March

Hop Harvest Dinner at Monk

Matt Marinich at Hop Harvest Dinner

Operations Manager Matt Marinich

ONE

Beer …

Monk Common Ale featuring Kracanup wet hops. Kracanup is a hybrid style of Cascade and Chinook.

Paired with …

Chicken Crackle, Pancetta, Lardo with House Pickle, Hop Smoked Deviled Egg and Nasu Dengaku.

This was a heck of a way to kick off the dinner, an absolutely gorgeous pairing of big passionfruit and lime driven flavours in the Common Ale and it matched in wonderfully different ways with each element of the dish.

“There’s more fat than meat so, you know, the perfect amount,”

Head Chef Mitch on the pancetta

Monk Common Ale

TWO

Beer …

Monk Seasonal – Autumn Red Ale featuring Red Earth wet hops.

Paired with …

WA Carrots and Hop Leaf Emulsion.

You’ve never had carrots so damn good, pickle, roasted and if you were to turn vegetarian based on this dish no one would blame you.

Monk Autumn Red Ale

WA Carrots and Hop Leaf Emulsion at Hop Harvest Dinner at Monk

THREE

Beer …

Monk Wet Hop Ale – an American Pale Ale base using whole hops throughout the brew and absolutely no hop pellets. Brewers Mal and Rhys used three varieties, Kracanup, Challenger and Flinders at various stages over two days of brewing but they were largely unsure of what effect the hops would have on the final product having no specifications or measurements on the hops.

“It was a beautiful blank canvas,”

Head Brewer Mal on the hop varities

The result was a beer with a hop profile that is “very elegant” says Mal.

Paired with …

Poached Jindong Pork Lion and Zucchini

Poached Pork Loin at Hop Harvest Dinner

FOUR

Beer …

Monk Extra IPA featuring Challenger and Kracanup wet hops and served through a firkin at the table.

Described enthusiastically by brewer Rhys as being the “dankest offering”, the beer had the longest contact time with the hops with hops literally shoved into the firkin so that the beer was hopped from tank to glass.

Monk Extra IPA

Food …

21 day aged Macabee Dorper Mutton and Cauliflower

Macabee Dorper Lamb can be found on Baillee Farm in the Avon Valley. They use sustainable farming practices and head chef Mitch was more than a little excited to be working Macabee Dorper Lamb. The dish featured belly and rack with Mitch saying, “this is something I am very proud to serve.” Anthea  Brown from Macabee Dorper Lamb was also at the dinner and was equally appreciative, “it’s great to work with people like Mitch and Sam who appreciate meat with some fat on it.”

Hop Harvest Dinner at The Monk

FIVE

Beer …

Monk Speciality – Belgian Speciality Ale, a blend of sour brown ale and Belgian Quad that spent six months in red wine barrels with brettanomyces.

Paired with …

Custom made wheel of ‘Hopped Up’ Vintage Ale Cheddar Cheese. Anyone who has had Mitch’s cheese before will know it’s absolutely killer. This version used the Monk’s own Vintage Ale with hop leaf thrown in too.

Cheese and Belgian Speciality Ale


Big thanks to Matt, Mitch, Sam and the whole team at The Monk for inviting me along to a great night! Already looking forward to next  years! Extra special shout out to Mitch, this dinner marked this last night at The Monk, and wish him all the best for the next food adventure! 

Ryezilla + Wings

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.

Ryezilla and a meal to match!

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.