So, 2015, how good was it?

Doing the whole “reflection” thing even though I wasn’t going to but 2015 was a pretty kick ass year

Pretty damn freaking good, that’s how 2015 was.

I had no intention of doing the whole “highlights of the year” blog thing but I did find myself looking through my photos from the year and thinking, “damn it’s been a great year” so here we go, here’s a few stand outs for 2015 …  (in no particular order)

La Sirene Beer & Cheese Night

Mane Liquor hosted a handful of great events throughout the year, including a ‘King of the Hops’ Dinner at The Trustee and an intimate sour event during WA Beer Week, but one of their stand out events was the stunning beer & cheese session featuring beers from Melbourne’s La Sirene.

Mane Liquor teamed up with the Little Cheese Shop to create these magical beer and cheese matches that blew everyone away.
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WA Beer & Cheese Night

Staying with all things creamy and delicious, the Little Cheese Shop have hosted a number of beer & cheese events at their shop in Bayswater. All are a sell out due to the quality of the night and the limited places, here is hoping that Geoff and the team at Little Cheese Shop keep them coming in 2016.

You can read my post on this event here*.

*warning: graphic cheese content that will make you want to eat lots of cheese
Little Cheese Shop - Cheese & WA Beer

A New Job with Nail Brewing

On 1st June I started a new job with Nail Brewing. Nail are WA local, independent, family owned and operated and owner/director John Stallwood’s reputation for brewing is highly regarded so when this opportunity came my way I don’t see how I could have possibly said no. I love my job and I love being involved in the craft beer industry every single day.

Dutch Trading Co. & Petition Beer Corner

We were pretty lucky in 2015 to have two pretty kick ass, dedicated craft beer venues open up. Dutch Trading Co in Victoria Park and Petition Beer Corner in Perth CBD together have more than 40 taps of craft beer goodness.

You can read about DTC here in this article by Guy Southern of Good Times Craft Beverages and fellow WA contributor for Crafty Pint.

Beer at Dutch Trading Co

Day Trip to Adelaide

Coopers invited me, flights and all, to the Adelaide for the launch of this years Coopers Vintage. Though under normal circumstances a day trip from Perth to Adelaide might be madness this was beery related and positively delightful madness.

Read more about my experience at the Coopers Vintage Launch here.

Coopers Vintage tasting

Judging (with training wheels)

Being asked to be an associate judge at the Perth Royal Beer Show this year was an amazing experience both as a challenge and learning for my palate and just to get to hang out with some of the best beer people in the industry.

Read more about my experience here.

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Brewing with Women of Beer

Being a part of this years International Women’s Collaboration Brew in WA was a really special event. I day tripped it down to Margaret River and came back with a stomach sore from laughing so much and shoes covered in grape juice!

Read more about this annual event via my article at Crafty Pint.

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Countless Great Beers

I could really go nuts refining and categorising a list of great beers I had this year but don’t want to fall down that rabbit hole, it’d be February before I resurfaced! Instead here is a haphazard list of beer highlights from beers I’d had for the first time in 2015 –

    • Little Creatures Return of the Dread
    • Pirate Life IIPA
    • Cantillon Gueuze 100% Lambic Bio

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WA Beer Week 2015

WA Beer Week | 7 – 15 November | Events galore for all tastes and pockets!

WA Beer Week is getting really close, so close I am both terrified and excited.

Terrified because due to my working within the industry it’s a super busy time with some days where I have about an hour to get from one place to the next assuming all goes well. Excited because, well, HOT DAMN it’s WA Beer Week, baby!

It all kicks off on 7th November and runs until the 15th. Yes, keen date enthusiasts will note that it’s not actually one week, it’s nine days.

Nine days of glorious beer celebrations that will see stacks of great events held all over Perth and even a few in the south west.

If you’re in a festival mood …

WA Beer Week starts and ends with a festival so even if you can’t make it to events on a school night, you can still get a tasty of the beery action –

Friday 6 – Sunday 8 November

Bar Pop Beer Fest, Beers Ciders and Sliders | Perth Urban Orchard

Saturday 7 November

Mane Liquor Beer Spectacular Carpark Festival | Mane Liquor

Thursday 12 – Monday 16 November

Bob’s Fest | Bob’s Bar

Saturday 14 & Sunday 15 November

Fremantle Craft Beer Festival | Fremantle Esplanade

Fremantle Beer Fest 2014

If you’re just as much a foodie as you are a beer geek …

Sunday 7 November

Monk Iron Chef: Knife Fight | Monk Craft Brewery Kitchen

Share | Monk Craft Brewery Kitchen (upstairs)

Belgian / French Beer Degustation | STIX Bar

Monday 9 November

Sweet & Sour | Monk Craft Brewery Kitchen (upstairs)

Wednesday 11 November

Feast with Moon Dog | Budburst Small Bar

Cantina 663 Artisan Brewing Beer Dinner | Cantina 663

Asian Sensations Dumpling Degustation | Canton Bar

Where the Wild Things Roam | The Dutch Trading Co.

Thursday 12 November

Long Table Brazillion BBQ | The Old Brewery

Brewer vs Butcher | The Boulevard Hotel

Friday 13 November

Glazed & Brewed with Boatrocker | The Pourhouse Bar & Kitchen

 

Sunday 15 November

Palate Cleanser Perth | Petition Beer Corner

Barefoot Bowls and Beers | North Fremantle Bowling Club

If you’re into sours and funky things …

Monday 9 November

Sweet & Sour | Monk Craft Brewery Kitchen (upstairs)

Tuesday 10 November

Sour Power | Mane Liquor

Wednesday 11 November

Where the Wild Things Roam | The Dutch Trading Co.

Palate Cleanser Perth | Petition Beer Corner

Matt - Boatrocker

Matt at 2014 Melbourne Good Beer Week Palate Cleanser event

If you like tap takeovers …

All Week

Little Creatures Family Tap Takeover | Little Creatures Brewery

Mrs Brown’s Birds | Mrs Browns Bar

Tuesday 10 November

Birds of a Feather Tap Takeover | Swings Tap House & Kitchen

Nail Brewing Tap Takeover | Petition Beer Corner

If you like a bit of education with your beer …

Saturday 7 November

Open House | Eagle Bay Brewing Co.

Sunday 8 November

Little Creatures Beer School | Little Creatures Brewery

Wednesday 11 November

NBC Rockin Quiz Night | Northbridge Brewing Co.

Mane Liquor Beer Quiz Night | The Precinct

L-R: Elliot (Mane), Josh (Precinct), Josh (Mane) and Roxy (Bridge Road Brewery)

Last Years Beer Quiz at The Precinct

Thursday 12 November

Women in Craft Beer 101 Presented by The Classroom & Mash Brewery | The Classroom

If you want to meet a brewer or two …

Saturday 7 November

Open House | Eagle Bay Brewing Co.

 

Tuesday 10 November

Sour Power | Mane Liquor

Wednesday 11 November

Feast with Moon Dog | Budburst Small Bar

Where the Wild Things Roam | The Dutch Trading Co.

Cantina 663 Artisan Brewing Beer Dinner | Cantina 663

Thursday 12 November

Meat the Brewers | Porky’s Northbridge Bar & BBQ

Meet the Brewmaster Matthew Houghton | Petition Beer Corner

Women in Craft Beer 101 Presented by The Classroom & Mash Brewery | The Classroom

Beer Skool: Fight Club 2 | Monk Craft Brewery Kitchen

East Versus West Fight Club | The Firestation Beer and Wine Bar

Friday 13 November

Beer Through the Ages | The Dutch Trading Co.

Little Creatures Family Reunion | Little Creatures Brewing Co.

Little Creatures at Gourmet Escape 2012

Sunday 15 November

Palate Cleanser Perth | Petition Beer Corner

If you also have a love for whiskey …

Thursday 12 November

Boiling Point | Petition Beer Corner

Friday 13 November

Beer & Whisk(e)y Night | Monk Craft Brewery Kitchen

If you have a sweet tooth …

Monday 9 November

Sweet & Sour | Monk Craft Brewery Kitchen (upstairs)

Friday 13 November

Glazed & Brewed with Boatrocker | The Pourhouse Bar & Kitchen

If you wanted to try a new beer …

Monday 9 – Thursday 12 November

Nail Clout Stout Tours Clancys | Across all Clancy’s Fish Pubs

Wednesday 11 November

The Jester & The Minstrel Beer Launch | Monk Craft Brewery Kitchen (basement)

Friday 13 November

Beer Through the Ages | The Dutch Trading Co.

 

 

5 Minutes with Wendy from Me & Mabel

5 minutes with … a five minute/five question interview with great beer loving people

This edition of 5 minutes with features Wendy Marinich, founder of Me & Mabel

5 minutes with … a 5 minute/5 question interview with great beer loving people

This edition of 5 minutes with features Wendy Marinich, founder of Me & Mabel …

Me & Mabel, named after her daughter, is a picnic basket catering business with passion and food from scratch at its core. Wendy is a self confessed “obsessive foodie” who caters for corporate events, weddings and anything in between. Me & Mabel features regularly on the beer event calendar with past collaborators including Last Drop Brewing, Cellarbrations Carlisle/Grain Cru and Feral Brewing.

To meet Wendy is to meet someone with a huge amount of talent and passion with one of the most contagiously delightful smiles I’ve had the privilege to laugh with.

If you like beer and food, if you like events that are a little different and if you like supporting local business then be sure to follow Me & Mabel on Facebook and catch Wendy’s next event …

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What was your epiphany beer?

I’m going take this way back 13 years ago when I had my first Hoegaarden in the UK. This got me into Belgian beers and I haven’t looked back (though few Belgian’s get consumed now, they have been replaced by American and local craft beers).

How would you describe your relationship to beer?

It’s a love, I like to think mutual 😉 I am always amazed by beer and the flavour you can get from some relatively simple ingredients. It’s so great when your love can still surprise you.

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What has been the most memorable beer and food match you’ve served up and why did it stand out?

I’m torn on this one between a very well thought out match and a spur of the moment…

The first Beer & Baskets I hosted at Last Drop for 2013 WA Beer Week I match my plate of pork terrine, pork rillettes and orange fennel salad with Boneyard Grapefruit IPA. This match combined my favourite beer with my favourite small producers pork Spencer’s Brook Farm.

The other match is Yeastie Boys Gunnamatta Tea Leaf, this beer has a distinct earl grey flavour, and is another fave. I made my go to dish of ceviche, using the lime juice to extract flavour from loose leaf earl grey tea before curing the fish and adding some rockmelon along with the usual suspects for a little sweet surprise. I think I could eat/ drink this combo for ever.

What is coming up for me & mabel?

I’m in the process of leading Me & Mabel into a more beer focused direction. We will have some great little events and collabs in the near future. This years WA Beer Week shall be very fun!

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Finish the sentence: The WA beer scene needs more …

The WA beer scene needs more collaboration, commitment and can do. I’d love to see beer events expand on the clientèle and I think with these three things it will be definitely possible. We have such awesome industry talent in Perth, I can’t wait to watch the appreciation grow.

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All photos from Me & Mabel’s Beer & Baskets II event at Feral Brewing in February 2014

 

Good Beer Week 2014

Here’s my calendar for the “week” and I cannot wait to drink beer, over indulge in meat and cheese, soak up as much beery knowledge as I can and, most of all, hang out with some really great people!

It’ just over a week until Good Beer Week kicks off for 2014 and to say I’m excited is a small understatement. It’s like saying that having a TARDIS would be a really nifty way of travelling. No it wouldn’t, it would be freakin’ amazing, just like Good Beer Week is going to be!

Planning for this began last year. I work for a big company so they ask you to submit your requests for annual leave for the year towards the end of the previous year. This meant I booked off my holiday for Good Beer Week many months in advance. Did I know for sure I was going? No. Did I book the time off work just in case? Hell yes.

Months went by, 2014 arrived and before you knew it the Good Beer Week program was coming up! I needed to get my act together if I was going, I needed flights and a bed to crawl into.

Hello Jetstar sale! Love cheap flights, I snapped up those bad boys quick smart. I rang the hotel I stayed in last year. Got an available room? Great weekly rate that didn’t cost the earth? Yup! Done! I was just short of a packed bag and it was only March.

Then the Good Beer Week program was released … Mother. Of. God. This thing is EPIC! The program is one great event after another; my copy will be dog eared before I’ve even checked my bags.

Here’s my calendar for the “week” and I cannot wait to drink beer, over indulge in meat and cheese, soak up as much beery knowledge as I can and, most of all, hang out with some really great people!

Saturday 17 May

A free day, I haven’t bought any tickets for events at all. Perhaps a good chance to check out Pint of Origin venues, tap takeovers in selected Melbourne bars based on geography – all corners of Australia are represented along with New Zealand, Europe, USA and The Rest of the World.

There are also a tonne of free entry, week long events I’d like to check out, including Cookie’s Daily Food and Beer Matching, Rogue Beer and Burger at Beer DeLuxe and Mystery Cellar Dwellers at The Local Taphouse.

The Royston - one of the many PoO locations

Sunday 18 May
The Event: Brew vs Cru featuring Garrett Oliver [sold out]

Why I’m going: Because I’d kick myself, punch myself, slap myself, if I did not go to this event. First, its Garrett Oliver – brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery and beer author, I need to hear what this man has to say! Second, it is being held at Vue de Monde Rialto – a restaurant I have heard outstanding comments about. Third, not that I really need one, is the five courses of food, beer and wine pairing.

Excitement Level: Kid who has skulled red cordial and has a free pass to Disneyland.

Sophie’s Choice: If I wasn’t going to Brew vs Cru I’d be at Barrel and Beast at The Local Taphouse, barrel aged beers matched to slow cooked meats from the Taphouse’s American smoker.

Monday 19 May

The EventRussian Imperial Banquet

Why I’m going: I love Russian Imperial Stouts, they’re like a loving embrace – lingering, comfortable and they always leave you wanting more. How I’ll be after an entire night of them is anyone’s guess but I’ll be sure to keep you updated. I’m also fortunate enough to be representing Crafty Pint at this event, hopefully I’ll be capable of writing something coherent and mildly entertaining the following morning.

Excitement Level: When you wake up in the morning after a big night out and smell bacon cooking

Sophie’s Choice: If I wasn’t at the Russian Imperial Banquet I’d be at An Evening with Yeastie Boys at East of Everything for 6 beer and 6 courses with one of my favourite NZ brewing guys!

 

Tuesday 20 May
The EventGarage Project & Moon Dog’s Local Taphouse Tag Team Tap Takeover

Why I’m going: Aside from the accurate and astounding alliteration (geddit?!) this event showcases two of my favourite breweries

Excitement Level: Kid in candy store but instead of a kid it’s me and instead of candy it’s awesome beer!

Sophie’s Choice: If I wasn’t at Garage Project & Moon Dog’s Local Taphouse takeover I’d be at The Baird Beer Omakase.

Wednesday 21 May
The Event: Sourfest II [sold out]

Why I’m going: I need more sour beers in my life, I truly do. This event was a sell out last year and I didn’t get along. I hear it was amazing so I’m super keen to check it out in 2014.

Excitement Level: When you finally see that band you love live in concert and you sing too loud during every song

Sophie’s Choice: If I wasn’t going to Sourfest II I’d be at Brewers and Chewers at The Local Taphouse. Much like Sourfest this was a sold out night in 2013. Speed dating crossed with a meet the brewer session over a fantastic dinner with the wonderful Pete Mitcham hosting, if last year was anything to go by, this event is a highlight.

Brewers and Chewers 2013
2013 Brewers and Chewers – the venue, the menu and the line up of brewers being interviewed by MC Pete Mitcham

Thursday 22 May
The Event: The Cheese and Cask Ale Experience

Why I’m going: It’s a cheese event, enough said. Plus I went to last year’s edition, which was not cask ale, and it was great! The pairings were genuinely tasty and interesting, I can’t wait to see what they do with cask ales.

Excitement Level: Whenever I step foot into The Re-Store in Leederville … times a hundred.

Sophie’s Choice: If I wasn’t at The Cheese and Cask Ale Experience I’d be at the AIBA Awards Presentation Dinner to cheer on and mingle with the great beer people.

Beer & Cheese Experience at The Local Taphouse last year. This years edition is featuring all cask ales!
Beer & Cheese Experience at The Local Taphouse last year. This years edition is featuring all cask ales!

Friday 23 May
The Event: Game of Cones

Why I’m going: To see some of my favourite people doing their favourite things – Colonial Brewing and Beersine team up for a beer and food matching session on board a tramcar. I’m sooo on board for this one (toot toot!)

Excitement Level: When you’re six years ago and just about to go to your best friend in the whole wide worlds birthday party and you know there’s going to be a magician, fairy bread and lots of cake!

Sophie’s Choice: No choice, it was always going to Game of Cones!

Saturday 24 May
The Event: The Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular

Why I’m going: Because it would borderline on insanity not to go. This is the beer festival to end all beer festivals, like a great barley wine this event gets better with every year. Food stalls, craft beer college, the beer market place and the shining diamond on the crown – the festival beers. Over 100 beers brewed just for the festival. Where else can you try that many brand new, never before released, beers in one place?!

Excitement Level: Remember that kid from earlier who drank the red cordial and went to Disneyland? Now they’re at the gift shop being told they can take whatever they can carry.

Sophie’s Choice: If I wasn’t as the first Saturday GABS session I’d be at Woods of the North at 3 Ravens Brewery for barrel-aged brews, whiskeys, BBQ and boilermakers! Breweries like Feral, Moondog , Boatrocker and Starward will be there for your drinking pleasure.

The Event: Mega Dega II [sold out]

Why I’m going: I missed out last year, opting not to follow a multiple course lunch with a degustation dinner, I was keen to get along this year. Four chefs, six brewers and I think I’ll be rolling out the door of this one!

Excitement Level: When they finally announce the new Doctor Who series (sorry for the second Doctor Who reference of the post but I’m getting frustrated at waiting so long between seasons).

Sophie’s Choice: If I wasn’t at Mega Dega II I’d probably be at the GABS Saturday night session!

GABS-LOGO-FINAL-WHITE

Sunday 25 May
The Event: Boatrocker Palate Cleanser

Why I’m going: This was the wild card event of my GBW experience last year. It’s on the last day of the week and it is an EPIC week of palate abuse and indulgence and this event, though ever so slightly earlier than others at 11am is such a welcome treat for those who like their wild and sour beers. They welcome you like family, hell even one of the brewers friends even dropped my partner and I back to St Kilda in her own car last year, and it a really lovely few hours at the Boatrocker brewery.

Excitement Level: When you step off the plane in that city you’ve always wanted to explore.

Sophie’s Choice: Let’s face it, if I wasn’t at Boatrocker I’d be at the last GABS session. Hell, if I made haste I could even catch the last 30mins of GABS straight after Boatrocker!

From last years Palate Cleanser event, can't wait to see what's been happening in these barrels for the last 12 months!
From last years Palate Cleanser event, can’t wait to see what’s been happening in these barrels for the last 12 months!