girl + Perth

A quick visit to Perth for a few Saturday night drinks and delighted to find that there was excellent beer at every corner.

Meelup Beach

It has been almost two years since my partner and I moved from Perth to the south west. Swapping a city for country lifestyle is easily one of the best decisions we have made.

We regularly return to Perth for quick overnight visits, see a few friends and family before heading home and wishing we had more time to see more people.

On this particular visit we went out for a few Saturday night drinks and was delighted to find that craft beer wasn’t at all hard to come by.

First Stop – Tan Po Po

Damn I have missed this place! Teriyaki Fish for under $7, love love love. Please if anyone knows of anywhere in the south west who’s not charging more than $12 for the same dish I’d love to know. Great food, amazing prices AND BYO. Happy days!

Liquor Barons Mt Lawley is just up the road and carries a great selection of craft beer. We decided a 6 pack of Stone & Wood Pacific Ale would do quite nicely with dinner.

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Second Stop – Defectors

Upstairs at The Flying Scotsman with cosy couches and a balcony for people watching, Defectors is a nice little spot.

A good range of beers on tap and in bottle, I opted for a 330ml bottle of Saison Dupont. It had been far too long since I’d had one of my favourite beers. Spicy, musty, dry and a little fruitiness, I’ve missed you.

Third Stop – The Mechanics’ Institute

There has been an explosion of new bars opening in Perth in the last 18 months. Rather than tasking ourselves with the hangover inducing adventure of tackling them all we simply picked one. We chose The Mechanics’ Institute.

From what I’ve seen on their Facebook page they are mostly known for some fabulous cocktails but it was great to see a fine selection of bottled beer too. I spied Two Birds Sunset Ale, Burleigh 28 Pale Ale, Feral Hop Hog, Rogers’ and Brewdog Punk IPA cans. Happy Days!

Fourth Stop – 399 Bar

Time for a Campari …

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Fifth Stop – The Brisbane Hotel

It’s not long ago that the craft beers on tap at The Brisbane were Beez Neez and Redback, both of which I have enjoyed many a pint of don’t get me wrong, but the word “craft” is debatable. Now you can find the likes of Little Creatures Single Batch on tap and a respectable bottled list with the likes of Two Birds, Brewdog, Holgate, Sierra Nevada and Mountain Goat. On this particular night we enjoyed a couple of glasses of Monteith’s Dopplebock Winter Ale. I’ve not really rated Monteith’s beers in the past but their Winter Ale is lovely – rich and with a drunken raisin sort of taste going on.

Craft beer is emerging, I guess we all knew that, but from what I saw finally more and more beer lists have had as much thought put into them as any other menu in the bar – Fantastic!

Nøgne Ø + International Beer Shop

International Beer Shop + Kjetil Jikiun, Head Brewer of Nøgne Ø + 4 great Nøgne Ø beers = a happy beer girl

Kjetil Jikiun from Nøgne ø + Me
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.

  • India Saison
  • Brown Ale
  • Kollaborator
  • #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.
India Saison – in collaboration with Victorian brewery Bridge Road Brewers
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!
Kjetil Jikiun at International Beer Shop
This is what happens when I visit the International Beer Shop