Weekend Reading #42

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 post with the articles I’ve enjoyed in the past seven days and hope that you will too.


Australian Brews News | ABCo turns contract brewer as Asahi scales back

Until a few months ago my day job was working for Coca-Cola Amatil and during my time I was lucky enough to get to visit the ABCo brewery. It’s easily the biggest brewery I have ever visited and the only one with bright tanks I could stand under so given the size of the brewery I wasn’t surprised reading this article. My visit was late November last year and I did note a couple of brands that were being brewed under contract already. It would be interesting to know what percentage of production is contract and what is their brands and compare in twelve months time.

Beer Advocate | Fuck eBay

Sometimes people suck. This is one of those times when you have people buying rare beer with the sole intent to sell on eBay for a profit. The salt in the wound is their lack of respect and knowledge for what’s in the bottle. Check out this open letter from a brewer in the US on the matter.

Beer is Your Friend | A Beer Rant

Staying in “rant” mode here is a great short post from Australian blogger Beer is Your Friend on macro beer at social functions. Sure, your mates wedding or the sundowner your boss puts on might all be serving Heineken or Crown Lager but you’re not paying for the drinks so don’t be an obnoxious beer snob, you’re making all of us look bad.

Crafty Pint | Brooklyn Down Under

Having never been to the US I don’t know what super fresh Brooklyn beers taste like but I have enjoyed every bottle I have ever had. Brooklyn’s Sorachi Ace first introduced me to Sorachi hops and I have loved the lemony goodness of that hop ever since. I am looking forward to seeing what Miro, Brooklyn’s newly appointed Australian Brooklyn Ambassador, brings around the country and hope he makes it to Perth!

Draft Magazine | Desperately Seeking Clarity

An interesting read, it’s always good to consider why a beer is cloudy, whether it’s supposed to be and, as always, give it and go and see what your taste buds think!

 

GBW 2014: Brew vs Cru

Yesterday marked the first Good Beer Week event on my calendar – Brew vs Cru featuring Garrett Oliver from Brooklyn Brewery and Martin Spedding from Ten Minutes by Tractor and held at Vue de Monde

Yesterday marked the first Good Beer Week event on my calendar – Brew vs Cru featuring Garrett Oliver from Brooklyn Brewery and Martin Spedding from Ten Minutes by Tractor and held at Vue de Monde.

On Arrival …
Vue de Monde is located on level 55 of Melbourne’s Rialto tower. Guests were checked in at lobby reception before heading up via the elevator where the buttons only go up to 54. Yep, this place is a little fancy.

Walking into the venue and seeing the view of Melbourne is breathtaking though after a lot of drinks perhaps somewhat overwhelming! But that was a problem for later in the afternoon.

Staff greeted each guest with two glasses, one of Brooklyn Brewery 2009 Wild One and the other of 2010 Blanc De Blanc Sparkling.

image

Introductions …
Garrett Oliver, brewmaster at New York’s Brooklyn Brewery, was well known by most of the guests given the level of beer-geek attendance. Highly respected and a wealth of experience, we were all ears when Garrett spoke. He introduced himself and talked to the twenty years he has spent with Brooklyn Brewery, one of the most loved American craft breweries, remarking how Brooklyn have “grown more interesting over time” with new releases, dedicated barrel programmes and a dedication to making beers they want to drink.

Martin is the owner and wine maker at Ten Minutes by Tractor, the winery is located on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula where he says the conditions lend themselves perfectly to Pinot and Chardonnay. The name of the winery comes from the distance between their three vineyard sites taking ten minutes by tractor to get to. I love this little story.

1st Course
Food: Crab, Kohlrabi
Beer: Brooklyn Sorachi Ace | Wine: 2011 Tmbt Estate Chardonnay

image

Chef Michael used WA crab for this gorgeously delicate dish along with fresh dill, lemon and sesame toast. The Sorachi Ace was stunning as always with it’s lemon peel, hints of dill and fairy floss-like mouth feel. The Chardonnay used grapes from all three Tmbt sites and I loved it’s fruity, slightly buttery and rich flavours.
image

For me I felt the beer was the winning match, the dill and lemon flavours in both the dish and beer were wonderfully complementary. The wine was beautiful but felt a little too big for the delicate dish.

How the Room Voted: A draw!

Second Course
Food: Smoked Bone Marrow, Onion, Thyme
Beer: Brooklyn Cuvee La Boite | Wine: 2013 Tmbt 10x Pinot Noir

image

The dish was served with onion done three ways – roasted, pickled and fried. The beer came from Brooklyn’s Ghost Bottle range, experimental beers and very limited release, so limited in fact that these beers came from Garrett’s personal beer stash. The Cuvee La Boite is made with a variety of spices including fresh kaffir lime leaves and saffron and so named after the spice shop La Boite who inspired and assisted in developing this beer.

I stretched a canvas for him to paint on

Garrett described La Boite as the world’s leading spice blender and walking into the store is an evocative experience “like paintings, they [the spices] took you places.” The beer was beautiful with subtle spices and a delicate mouth feel and pretty appearance thanks to the saffron.

The wine was amazing, a single vineyard Pinot Noir from north of Mornington Peninsula. It was full of juicy rich red fruit and will be released at the end of June.
image

For me the beer and the smoked bone marrow dish were perfect for each other, the sort of pairing that reminds you why you seek out these experiences. It’s the sort of pairing that should never be pulled apart, when having this dish you should have this beer and visa versa. I particularly loved the way the sweetness of the onion bought out sweetness from the beer.

How the Room Voted: Beer – this was the only round to have a clear winner

Third Course
Food: BBQ Beef, Beetroot, Munthari
Beer: Brooklyn Cuvee Noire | Wine: 2009 Tmbt Estate Pinot Noir
image

The barbeque sauce in this dish took two days in the making and the beef was wagu tenderloin. For those like me who are thinking, ‘what on earth are munthari?!’ they are a native Australian berry that added a hint of sweetness to the dish. The beer boasted roast, chocolate and coconut qualities that only got better as the beer warmed up. Made with a Belgian yeast and it went into Woodford Reserve barrels in June last year for up to eight months. Garrett pointed out that the beer wasn’t in a champagne bottle, “champagne is in a beer bottle, the French just have better marketing.”

The 2008 Tmbt Pinot Noir sold out in a couple of weeks after it appeared in James Halliday with a rating of 97/100 and pictured side-by-side with a Grange of the same rating but priced hundreds of dollars more than Tmbt. This wine is made with grapes from all three Tmbt estates and is the result of what Martin describes as a generally cool year in terms of weather.

For me the Pinot Noir was a beautiful match to the beef, adding some spice and richness to the meat that complemented it very well.

How the Room Voted: Another draw!

Fourth Round
Food: Apple, Truffle
Beer: 2013 Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout | Wine: 2010 Blanc De Blanc Sparkling with 30 grams Dosage
image

This pairing was the one that generated the most conversation and debate on our table. A few of us wanted to spilt their vote in half because there were elements of the dish that were perfect for the beer and others perfect for the wine. The dish was a wonderful combination of soft layered apple, candied walnuts, truffle, grape and celery leaf. The apple and celery leaf was great with the wine’s acid, citrus and very subtle sweetness from the dosage. Incidentally only a dozen bottles of the Blanc De Blanc received the 30 grams dosage and ten of them were at this event.

It’s a shame you had to resort to doping!

Garrett Oliver joking with Martin Sledding on his dosage

The rest of the dish, the truffle, crumb, grape and walnuts were just fantastic with Brooklyn’s imperial stout. The Black Chocolate Stout was the first beer Garrett made at Brooklyn back in 1994 and they often do tastings of their older vintages to see how they aged. For matching with desserts Garrett likes to use younger, fresher vintages, as they have “more elbows”, perhaps referring to the fresh chocolate and coffee notes that dominate this luscious beer.
image

For me, given that I couldn’t chop myself in half and vote for both the wine and the beer I had to go with beer only because I’d never think to pair such a bold beer with an apple desert and this pairing really made me think and dissect what was happening. I freakin’ love that!

How the Room Voted: Another draw!

Even my wife voted against me!

Martin commenting on the Apple, Truffle pairing

Fifth Round
Food: Cheese, Bread and Jams
Beer: 2012 Brooklyn “K” is for Kriek | Wine: 2004 Mccutcheon Vineyard Chardonnay

image

Oh cheese, how I love you! Mounds of sliced Comte cheese, a French cow’s milk cheese, started landing on tables and I had to stop myself from grabbing fistfuls of the buttery fruity cheese just for myself. Served with assorted breads from a local Melbourne baker it was a great way to finish a delightful long lunch.

The Kriek clocked in at over 10% ABV and is the result of a beer from their Ghost Series. Aged on Wisconsin cherries for five months there are a couple of hundred barrels back at Brooklyn that will be released in 2015. Moreish as hell, a little funk and cherries that make you want to jump in a bathtub of them, I can only imagine what it will taste like next year.
image

Martin’s Chardonnay was equally special, coming from his own “museum stock” it’s another single vineyard number and its slightly buttery and crisp acidity were great with the cheese … As did the beer. This pairing was a seriously hard call.

For me I had to go with beer, I’ve been told Kriek and Comte cheese are great together and I well and truly understood the hype when having it here.

How the Room Voted: Almost a draw – 4 1/2 versus 3 1/2 in favour of beer
image

This man’s seriously got game!

Garrett remarked this was one of the closest matches he has participated in for a beer versus wine event. The room was buzzing throughout the afternoon with excitement at the calibre of guests and the pairings. Both Garrett and Martin clicked as presenters and clearly loved being in an environment of people who want to learn and experience what these two professionals had put together.

It’s not just passion – we fell in love

Garrett’s comment was hard not to write down, simple and genuine and what makes the brewing industry so wonderful to be involved in.

image

Sorachi Ace + Linguine

I can’t remember the first time I fell in love with Brooklyn Brewery’s Sorachi Ace, I can’t recall where I was or who gave it to me but I remember thinking “wow”

Brooklyn Sorachi Ace

Brewed in New York by Brooklyn Brewery

Farmhouse Saison

7.6% ABV

34 IBUs

Malt: German Two Row Pilsner

Hops: Sorachi Ace, grown in Washington, USA

I can’t remember the first time I fell in love with Brooklyn Brewery’s Sorachi Ace, I can’t recall where I was or who gave it to me but I remember thinking “wow”. I still think “wow” each time I have it, like at The Big Apple & The Goat event during last years Good Beer Week where it was matched to Red Square washed rind cheese.

Sorachi Ace Hops: developed in Japan in late 70s | cross between Brewer’s Gold & Saaz hops | available in the US only since 2006

My partner and I opened a bottle over dinner recently and once again it was every bit as good as we remembered. The mouth feel was soft in a way that reminded me of eating fairy floss, the way it dissolves on your tongue. The trademark Sorachi Ace lemon flavours shine through both aroma and flavour, complimented by bubblegum, spice, pears, grass, bread and even a little white pepper.

Dinner was a prawn and chilli linguine, a dish I wouldn’t have picked to go with this beer but turned out to be a surprisingly good match. The beer somehow tamed the heat of the chilli, the delicate bubbles cleansing and soothing the palate, the strong lemony contrasting the heat and also complimenting the prawns.

Brooklyn Sorachi Ace with Prawn and Chilli Linguine

Want more to read? Hell yeah! I enjoyed these:

  • Brooklyn Brewery’s website for the story behind Sorachi Ace, the nerdy beer specs and tasty food pairing suggestions. There’s even an omelette recipe for you to try!
  • Brooklyn Brewshop – Sorachi Ace “Hop of the Month”
  • The Beer Cook – an old post but a good one, it’s a small journey through a few Brooklyn beers with some delicious sounding food to match

girl + hopfweizenbock

Untappd entry - Hopfweizen

This was my Untappd check in as I got stuck into the latest Mountain Goat Cross Breed, a Hopfweizenbock made with American beer royalty Brooklyn Brewery.

Though I can’t remember the first time I tried a Brooklyn Brewery beer they are now a firm favourite in my ever growing list of favourite brewers. Not only are their beers kick ass but their brewmaster Garrett Oliver edited The Oxford Companion to Beer, the only book to have permanent residency on my bedside table.

It won’t surprise anyone who knows me, even a little, that I’m a huge fan of Melbourne brewery Mountain Goat. Each goat beer that’s touched my lips has been brilliant. Their beers have been a big part of my continuing beer journey in the last two years, from first discovering Hightail Ale to now frothing at the mouth with each Cross Breed (limited release collaboration brews) and Rare Breed (limited release) that comes my way.

Me at Mountain Goat

Mountain Goat collaborated with Brooklyn Brewery during Good Beer Week in Melbourne earlier this year, you might have read one or seventy tweets and Facebook posts from my time there. The brew day was held the morning of the amazing The Apple and The Goat degustation lunch, a lunch that was my first visit to Mountain Goat Brewery and my first Good Beer Week event, you can check it out here if you want to drool all over your screen. Fifteen eager beavers joined the Goat and Brooklyn brewers to create the Hopfweizenbock and here is the end result.

Mountain Goat Hopfweizenbock

In this collaboration Brooklyn Brewery brings the German yeast strain and grain bill used in their Brooklyner Weisse whilst Mountain Goat contributes big Australian hops in the form of Galaxy from Tasmania. Basically it’s the bastard child of a German wheat beer and an Australian pale ale resulting in an unashamedly complex 6.5% abv gem of a beer.

Hops at Mountain Goat

I served it up with salmon risotto with big squeeze of fresh lemon, button mushrooms and leek. It was a decent pairing, the lemony citrus bringing a nice freshness to the ‘weizen’ part of the beer. Next time I’ll try for something a bit bolder in flavour to go head to head with the ‘hop’ and ‘bock’ (strong) elements.

Mountain Goat Hopweizenbock and Risotto

If you’re keen on some more reading, here’s a few good articles I found on the Hopfweizenbock –

  •  The Crafty Pint – as always my first stop for beery information and again offers up a great run down of the beer, if you don’t subscribe to Crafty already you’re a damn fool!
  • The Oz Beer Baron – one of the lucky 15 to be part of the brew day
  • From the mouths of the Goats themselves

Why My Wife’s Bitter … and other Brewers & Chewers stories

A beer event that combines elements of a meet the brewer session with musical chairs and speed dating is destined to be sensational.

Brewers and Chewers Collage

A beer event that combines elements of a meet the brewer session with musical chairs and speed dating is destined to be sensational.

That’s exactly how the Brewers and Chewers event was described in the Good Beer Week programme and that’s exactly what we got – minus the potential awkwardness of speed dating and lack of seats at musical chairs of course.

Brewers and Chewers found a handful of Australian and International brewers and tempted them to The Local Taphouse in St Kilda for a dinner party with the twist.

Here’s how it worked – Eight brewers, eight tables and about twenty minutes on each table before the bell would sound and it was time for the brewer to move on.

The food was plentiful and delicious. The main of roast pork featured some heart stopping good cracking and social etiquette was the only thing stopping me from licking the plate clean from the beet cured ocean trout.

IMG_20130531_162057

The beers, as you’d expect, were all stunning. Each brewer had one of their beers represented and the taps flowed freely. Picking a favourite would be like choosing your favourite child … but since I don’t have any I guess it should be easier. I’m going to go with Bright Brewery’s Fainters Dubbel – it still stands out in my mind and after nine days of Good Beer Week, that means I really, really liked it.

IMG_20130531_162227

It was a fantastic event with great food, tasty beers and magnificent company. What made the evening a complete stand out was all this combined with excellent service from the staff at the Local Taphouse and having Pete Mitcham aka Professor Pilsner to host proceedings.

“In no particular order but starting with number one …”, Pete Mitcham

On stage Pete got the event started by introducing each brewer with a few words and a round of applause before they were sacrificed/seated at their first table.

P1060141

The story of the beer from Camden that almost didn’t make it

Jasper Cuppaidge – Camden Town Brewing (UK)

“We love lager!”, Jasper told our table so it’s not surprising he chose his Camden Town USA Hells Lager to bring along to Brewers and Chewers. The USA Hells Lager had lovely citrus, cereal and apricot notes and light stone fruit flavours and is an American hopped version of their regular Hells Lager.

But the beer nearly didn’t make the journey from UK to Melbourne and at the last minute Jasper was left with little option but to put the beer on a plane. Jasper joked, “it cost more to get the beers here than it did me!”.

Jasper also chatted about what’s coming up soon for Camden Town including plans to go to cans and a twice yearly keg swap with Stone & Wood (Byron Bay, Australia). Exciting!

The story of how Eric was destined to become a brewer          

Eric Ottaway – Brooklyn Brewery (USA)

Eric said that for him it’s all about good beer and friends, he was clearly in good company at Brewers and Chewers.

I asked Eric how he got into brewing, “do you believe in fate?” he asked in reply. Eric was in health care before he began as a brewer and has since discovered that his great, great, great, great, great uncle had links to a hop farm in Brooklyn. It seems Eric may have been destined to brew great beer for us!

P1060136

The story of why My Wife’s Bitter

Brennan Fielding – Burleigh Brewing (QLD)

Burleigh Brewing make a beer called ‘My Wife’s Bitter’. It begs the question, why? It’s an obvious question and one that Brennan seems to be asked frequently. I asked him at our table and then later the host, Pete Mitcham, asked him to tell the story for the crowd.

“How many nights did you sleep on the couch?”, Pete asked Brennan.

“You guys have it all wrong”. Here’s the story.

It was actually Peta’s, Brennan’s wife, idea to name the beer. Whilst in Hawaii Brennan made beer and named one after their daughter and another after their son. “Why don’t I have a beer named after me?” Peta asked Brennan. There was no reason, the right beer just hadn’t come up yet. Then one day, whilst hanging out the washing, Peta had a lightbulb moment. “My beer’s name is My Wife’s Bitter”, she exclaimed, as in a bitter beer for her not a statement about her. However Brennan didn’t feel the meaning would translate in Hawaii where there’s no English heritage for the traditional English style. “Hold on to that name”, he told her.

At Burleigh Brewing the beer started life as a special release beer and now is part of their regular line up, so Brennan made an English Bitter as a gift for his wife.

P1060147

The story of many, many new beers        

Jos Ruffel – Garage Project (NZ)

I had to ask about the Garage Project their 24/24 concept – 24 new beers in 24 weeks – I had to ask “why?”

“The more you brew the better you get” Jos remarked and after brewing 40 new beers in their first year of operation he would know what he’s talking about. Initially gaining brewing inspiration from chefs and restaurants in what ingredients they use and how they use it, they now have their own library of ingredients. The brewery itself has transformed into it’s own source inspiration. With this in mind, check out their GABS beer – Death from Above.

The story of beer battles in Italy        

Leo DiVincenzo – Birra Del Borgo (Italy)

I only know two things about beers in Italy,

1. Moretti

2. Birra Del Borgo’s Duchessic is one of the best beers I’ve ever had.

The Italian craft beer scene is clearly very healthy; Leo estimates there are more than 500 craft brewers – “we are all fighting against Peroni, Moretti and Heineken”.

With so many craft brewers in a country known for it’s wine I couldn’t help but find some similarities between Italy and Margaret River. Given a recent article that threw up the idea that breweries in the south west were harming the reputation of the Margaret River wine region, I asked if there was any competition between craft brewers and wineries.  The answer was simply no. A sentiment that I am confident is shared by the vast majority of the south west but I was interested to ask.

IMG_20130522_224318

The story of Scott’s first ever barley wine

Scott Brandon – Bright Brewery (VIC)

We talked about the Great Australiasian Beer SpecTAPular and his entry into the festival – the Supermucilaginisticepialidocious. Not only is it a mouth full but it’s a barley wine. They went for this style because he had never brewed one before which begged the question, “how is it?”, we asked.

“It’s awesome”, he replied.

I had the Bright Fainters Dubbel with dessert and it was an amazing match. The dessert of honeycomb ice cream, chocolate stout brownie and butterscotch sauce was chewy and decedant, nutty and sweet. The dubbel’s richness, raisins and spice was a perfect compliment.

P1060151

All brewers were fantastic company, each time the bell rang it was much too soon. Other brewers who I haven’t mentioned yet are Tim Thomas from Hop Dog (NSW) and Ashur Hall from Illawarra Brewing Company (NSW) who were also excellent company but sadly my note taking wasn’t perfect.

Thanks to Steve, Guy, Ashley, Head Chef Paul and all the staff at The Local Taphouse for going to great lengths to ensure we all had a lovely night, never wanting for anything.

Thanks to Pete Mitcham for being the host with the most, it was great to meet you and I hope to cross paths again with you soon, preferably where there’s beer of course.

And of course thank you to the Tim, Scott, Ashur, Jasper, Leo, Jos, Brennan and Eric, it was a genuine pleasure to meet all of you. So long and thank you for all the beer.

GBW Day 1 – From Goat to Cookie

It started at Mountain Goat, invaded The Royston, then Stone and Wood before ending at Cookie

It started in Richmond at Mountain Goat Brewery and it finished at Cookie …

We arrived at Mountain Goat a little early but found most people had the same idea. We were greeted with Mountain Goat Steam Ale and Brooklyn Brown Ale, I had the Steam Ale and that went down very, very well. A little to well perhaps …

The afternoon consisted of five courses of amazing food and each matched with a beer from Mountain Goat and Brooklyn Brewery. The afternoon also contained a lot of memorable quotes that are perhaps not fit for printing and since I dropped an entire wedge of cloth aged cheddar on the floor, I had best keep my mouth shut. I blame the knife.

image

Entrees were a selection of dishes to pick and choose from. Bloody Mary onion rings in Brroklyn dark ale batter, salt cod brandade croquettes and mini open Reuben sandwiches but the highlight was definitely the sticky New York ribs. It was a delicious match with the Brooklyn Silver Anniversary Lager.

image

As you can see, the ribs were very tasty, sorry if you actually wanted to see them served! They were rich and sticky but not over the top, or end of the table picked out spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.

Tom from Brooklyn Brewery chatted about their Silver Anniversary Lager, basically a special version of their flagship lager, they dry hop this one with Cascade hops and it is bottle conditioned. It was stunning, it poured this gorgeous vibrant copper colour so I found it hard not to keep holding it up to the light. This action left me very vulnerable to looking like a total beer nerd but hey, it’s going to happen to all of us at Good Beer Week.

The lager had huge flavours that held up perfectly to the smack down of sticky ribs; citrus, tropical fruit and a shot of candied sugar sweetness. Delicious.

image

A small group of us then went to have a quick look at the brewery where there was a brew already on the go and it needed a little attention, namely hop attention. When asked if someone wanted to throw 3kg of hop pellets into the tank my arm instinctively shot up. Yup, I’ll now be adding Mountain Goat to my list of beers which I will lay claim to having helped brewed. Soon I will be intolerable I’m sure.

Mains were served and it was more than a little indulgent … Not five or ten but 18 hour braised lambs neck with caramelised sweet potato mash. Pardon my awful photography but frankly it is a miracle I remembered to take a photo before devouring this dish in a very unladylike manner.

image

They served the Brooklyn East India Pale and the Mountain Goat Rye India Pale Ale with mains and it was the rye IPA that not only stood out, it jumped in the air, did a back slip and then took a bow. It was amazing.

I couldn’t help but compulsively stick my nose in the glass, the aromas of ruby red grapefruit from the Goat Rye IPA were addictive. Hoppy, spicy and a little honey, the beer was uber-fresh, less than two days old, and was an instant favourite at our end of the table.

Then dessert arrived. According to the menu there were five different cheeses heading our way after dessert so many of us had agreed that cheese was way better than dessert so we would probably just taste dessert rather than overindulge. Oh how wrong we were.

Chilli and dark chocolate fondant with freeze dried mandarin, oh yeah! Served with Brooklyn Local 1 and Mountain Goat Fx Stout, from looking at the beers it seemed obvious that the stout would win over the hazy straw colour Local 1. Wrong again.

Brooklyn Local 1 is a strong Belgian ale made with their house Belgian yeast. Its spicy coriander and almost witbier like characters were a surprisingly good match to dessert. I think it was a little contrast and a little compliment, especially the Belgian yeast qualities with the chilli and freeze dried mandarin.

image

Ok, now time for cheese and admittedly my notes have been getting a little less detailed. We were spoilt with Milawa Ceridwen Goat’s cheese, Berries Creek Blue cheese, Ashgrove matured cloth cheddar (the one I accidentally dropped on the floor), Wicked white mould brie and Red Square washed rind.

The stand out match was easily the washed rind with Brooklyn’s Sorachi Ace. Our end of the table were already Sorachi Ace fans and we happily tucked into our bottle before stealing a half bottle from an adjoining table who were heading for the door. The washed rind was a fantastic example of great creaminess and strong mushroom rind that just begs to be eaten. The Sorachi Ace just bubbled over it and it was heavenly!

image

From there we invaded, and trust me that is the correct word for it, The Royston – home to the WA Pint of Origin so it was a showcase of Feral, Bootleg, Matso’s and more. I went for a Feral Fanta Pants that, whilst delicious, was perhaps a little over ambitious considering the mass of beer we had just come from.

Soon it was time for a nap and whilst you might be giggling at me, it was a damn good nap! Unlike some I managed to keep it to a quick nap and not a three hour sleep and in no way am I referring to a certain tall brewer from Fremantle. I’m confident that my cheekiness will come back to bite me in the coming days …

Next we were off to The Gathering where Stone and Wood were pouring their first kegs of this years Stone Beer, an annual limited release. Set at Blender Studios filled with various art projects, located down an alley that was marked by the presence of a big taco truck it seems fitting to describe it as ‘oh so Melbourne’. It is a phrase that as a Perth-ite feels compulsory for me to say at least once during my Melbourne adventures.
image

The Stone Beer was lovely and light bodied with a great roastiness and toffee notes going on. I briefly got to meet the brewer, Brad Rogers, and hopefully I managed to avoid sounding like a crazy beer fan as I told him how much I enjoyed their beers.

By this stage it was definitely time for some dinner so a handful of us walked to Cookie, Melbourne’s beer hall meets Thai food and we sat down to a feast of spiced chicken, soft shell crab, drunken noodles (name of the dish and in no way reflective of how we were), pan fried squid and pork ribs. The beer list was a short novel but I didn’t have a look in fear of analysis paralysis, instead I opted for a nice little Berlinerweiss from Bridge Road Brewers that I had spied on tap earlier. At 3% abv with a little funk and a little green stone fruit flavours, it was a great way to softly finish a very big day.

Day 1 survived … Day Two, let’s see what you’ve got!

If found please return to … aka: Where I’ll be during Good Beer Week

Holy hop flowers Batman, I am SO excited. It’s just days until Melbourne’s Good Beer Week!

good beer week logo

Holy hop flowers Batman, I am SO excited. It’s just a couple of days until Melbourne’s Good Beer Week!

For those who aren’t aware Good Beer Week, as the name suggests, is a week long celebration of all things beer. There are events across Melbourne to suit everyone whether your’re a beer-nerd or just a little beer-curious.

Meet brewers, drink beer, have fun and survive – that’s my agenda for Good Beer Week but to be more specific, here is what I’m going to during Good Beer Week. Thank heavens for Google calendar …

Saturday 18th May

The Apple & The Goat – a lunch degustation with the guys from Melbourne’s Mountain Goat Brewery and New York’s Brooklyn Brewery

The Gathering – a Stone & Wood event showcasing their 2013 edition of Stone Beer is something I don’t want to miss and with these words included in the blurb it was hard to resist “Entry is free… and so are hugs from the brewer Brad Rogers”

Sunday 19th May

East versus West – Beer and Food Title Fight – Josie Bones in one corner representing Melbourne with Five Bar in the opposite corner punching for Perth. Who will win? Naturally I will be cheering on Five Bar with chef Mitch Mitchell, aka Beersine since he’s not only a great chef but all round good guy and once upon a time I was assistant manager at Five. Come on West!

Photo Courtesy of Jessica Shaver Photography
Photo Courtesy of Jessica Shaver Photography

Monday 20th May

Prickly Moses Rare and Wild – four words, “rare aged reserve beers”. Sold.

Tuesday 21st May

Cavalier Creation Degustation – small batch experimental beers matched with amazing food, this will be a cracker! Plus I get to write about it for Crafty Pint and look extra super nerdy with my Google tablet for note taking. God I’m a dork.

Wednesday 22nd May

Brewers and Chewers – it’s three events in one – meet the brewer, musical chairs and speed dating; I’m in.

Thursday 23rd May

Beer and Cheese Experience – I’ve never been to The Local Taphouse so I figured what better way to introduce myself to the venue than to combine it with two of my favourite things – beer and cheese.

Friday 24th May

Birra del Borgo Collaboration Celebration – for me the Birra del Borgo Duchessic was one of those beers that comes along, totally blows you away and stays with you for ages. That’s why I want to go to this event – to meet the brewer and shake his hand and say thank you.

Duchessic (frame)

Saturday 25th

GABS baby! Oh year – the Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular – jam packed with beers brewed especially for the festival aka “festival beers” all in the name of brewing creativity. I’m so very there!

Eagle Bay and Monk Collage
Brew Day – Eagle Bay and The Monk collaborating for the Cacao Cabana, one of the many many festival beers being debuted at GABS

Sunday 26th May

Boatrocker Palate Cleanser – finishing the week off on a sour note.

Oh and somewhere in those days I would like to fit in Pint of Origin too …

I’ve already packed a 30 pack of Berocca and extra strength Asprin, I think I’m going to need it!