Weekend Reading #32

I love lounging in bed on weekends and catching up on all my favourite beery reading. From blogs to articles from the American craft beer scene and the best local beer news, there’s excellent reading material out there so every Friday I’m posting a list of the articles and blogs that have excited me.

Draft Magazine | Yeast & Bacteria 101 – Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, Pediococcus

Oh yeah, talk a little yeast and bacteria to me and I’m a happy girl! Mostly because I am still wrapping my head around these magical things. This is a great article to break down “brett”, “lacto” and “pedio” in a way that even me, lacking a lot in the science department, can understand.

Pirate Life Brewing | Why Cans?

I recently interviewed Red, brewer and co-founder of Adelaide’s new Pirate Life Brewing, so I had a good look around their website. This graphic is a fantastic summary of why cans are great. Whilst you’re there though, take a look around the site, I love the way it’s written. It feels like your best friend wrote it, the tone is casual and fun and honest.

Draft Magazine | Let’s ban “hoppy” and “malty” from beer descriptions

A valid argument here. “Hoppy” and “malty” not only don’t tell a beer lover about the beer but they also exclude any one who isn’t familiar with hops and malts. It doesn’t need to be Shakespeare or war and peace but make it relatable and interesting.

Australian Brews News | Try It Thursday

I have been really enjoying this series by Pete Mitcham that each week puts a spotlight on an Australian craft beer. Reading them makes me thirsty!

Weekend Reading #30

This week features articles on Little Creatures Pale Ale and asking has it really changed or not, a beer geek science article on yeast and bacteria and a short case for wine glasses

I love lounging in bed on weekends and catching up on all my favourite beery reading. From blogs to articles from the American craft beer scene and the best local beer news, there’s excellent reading material out there so every Friday I’m posting a list of the articles and blogs that have excited me.

It’s been a rather crazy busy week in my day job plus it’s been muggy and hot all week, this has resulted in me being in a constant state of sweat, craving sleep and my partner and I getting our ‘indoor camping’ on by sleeping in the lounge room to be under the air conditioning. This has also meant a heck of a lot less writing which I think makes me a very bad blogger for this week. Fortunately I have still been reading so here’s Weekend Reading #30 for your beery reading pleasure …

Australian Brews News | Little Creatures – Change for the Better

As far as Little Creatures is concerned I am happy to admit to some bias. I worked for the company for a couple of years as a sales rep and I genuinely enjoyed my job. I loved the beers, the people and its history and the weird little facts like that the site was previous a crocodile park, something I remember as a terrified child, and that the Pale Ale was actually called ‘Live’ when it was first released, so named in tribute to the yeast. Anyway, you get it, I like Little Creatures so when they were bought by Lion Nathan and I read the backlash on Facebook I couldn’t help but take a little offense.

I liked this article because it’s exactly how I remember the brewery and Russ, the head brewer. When I worked there, when it was independently owned, the brewers did their weekly tastings, they adjusted the brews when their new shipment of hop flowers arrived (that was a cool day at the brewery!).

Have a read of this article for yourself, even take in the comments if you wish.

I think there is a lot to be said for someone’s palate changing more than a beer and for the increased exposure of things. When you first had an olive it may have tasted like the biggest flavour you ever had, now you might eat them by the bowl full. At the same time, you’re really liking olives now so you’re trying different types of olives, marinated in different flavours and stuffed with feta or pickled. There’s so much flavour now, they’re all different, it doesn’t mean the plain black olive changed.

Larsblog | What is it that ferments lambic?

Unleash your inner beer geek with this article that I have bookmarked because I need to read it another forty times to really take it in. It tells of a study looking at the yeast and bacteria in play at Cantillon in one of their lambics. We’re talking graphs, science and two new types of bacteria. Oh yeah baby, this is one sexy article.

In all seriousness, it’s a fantastic read and I can’t wait to read it again.

“It’s no surprise that lambic is complex in flavour given the ragbag army of microorganisms that go on the rampage in the fermenting wort

Draft Magazine | The case for drinking big beers out of wine glasses

I have yet to convert to complete beer geekery with a full range of proper beer glasses at home, it’s more out of laziness than non-believing. I am pretty happy with our wine, tall & straight and tulip glass options for our home beer drinking needs. Besides, we don’t drink much wine at home anyway!

 

 

Weekend Reading #1

I love lounging in bed on weekends and catching up on all my favourite beery reading. From blogs to articles from the American craft beer scene and the best local beer news, there is excellent reading material out there so every Friday I’m posting a list of the articles and blogs that have excited me.

I love lounging in bed on weekends and catching up on all my favourite beery reading. From blogs to articles from the American craft beer scene and the best local beer news, there’s excellent reading material out there so every Friday I’m posting a list of the articles and blogs that have excited me.

The Beeroness | Stout Meatballs with Beer Barbeque Sauce Glaze
Jackie Dodd – author of The Craft Beer Cook Book & her website ‘The Beeroness – Have your beer and eat it too’

Recipes regularly drop into my email inbox from The Beeroness which keep me both hungry and entertained in equal amounts. This recipe is screaming out at me, begging to be made – gooey caramelised flavours, tender meat and beer sauce – it’s too good to simply leave to words. I’ll be making these bad boys very soon. If you beat me to it I’d love to know how they turned out!

Topped with some melted butter and ready to bake! It might not look all that pretty but the result is yummy
I’ve tried many great recipes from Jackie’s book – here’s the start of her tasty beer bread

The Splendid Table | The 7 Flavour Categories of Beer: What they are, How to pair them
American radio show food focused since 1994

When sometimes an IPA isn’t your run-of-the-mill IPA it is really great to read an article, or even a beer menu, that is categories by flavour rather than by style. This article uses seven different flavoured descriptions to breakdown beer styles and pinpoint the foods that can work best with them.

Draft Magazine | Brewery to Watch: Big Alice
American online beer magazine

A short article on New York’s newest nano-brewery Big Alice Brewery that takes a “farm to kettle” approach to brewing. Imagine visiting the farmers market, taking back hand fulls of the freshest, in season produce and then making your beer from there. Well, that’s what these guys do …

Love Beer, Love Food | Stone’s New Saison & A Summery Seafood Treat
Lindsay is a Certified Cicerone, home brewer and serious home cook

Bringing together Stone’s latest Saison with her own zesty, fresh vinaigrette dressing for oysters. Read her story and get the recipe here.

Oysters by Jerry Fraser
I love oysters and no one does oysters like the King of Oysters Mr Jerry Fraser

The Herald Sun | Alehouse Rock: Melbourne Brewers are Getting Crafty
Latest Melbourne and Victorian news

In the days leading up to Good Beer Week this article was published in The Herald Sun. At it’s core it is an article about the growing craft beer scene in Melbourne but broken down from the points of view of brewers, retailers, bar owners and a chef.

Meatballs + Amber

Whilst looking for recipes on the Draft Magazine website I came across Classic Beer Meatballs; three different kinds of meat and amber ale – now that’s my kinda recipe!

Twitter recently introduced me to Draft Magazine (US) and when I jumped onto the website the first thing I noticed was a banner advertisement. Though this is not usually a positive thing I caught sight of the words “a hop burp never tasted so good” … so I was immediately compelled to explore the website some more.

As their feature articles flicked across the screen I was unable to resist the one entitled ‘4 Ways to Pair: Hotdogs’. I couldn’t help but wonder about my weekend trips to Bunnings to get a sausage in a bun … oh and some gardening or housey stuff too of course. It’s not like I go to Bunnings just for the hotdogs … that’d be weird … ahem. I reached the conclusion that it would be socially unacceptable to take a beer to a Bunnings sausage sizzle, particularly if it’s a fundraiser for a year six camping trip or for the local seniors bowling club.

Anyway, enough rambling, on with the post …

Whilst looking for recipes on the Draft Magazine website I came across Classic Beer Meatballs; three different kinds of meat and amber ale – now that’s my kinda recipe!

Since the recipe is from a United States website, thus it gives the bird to the metric system, here are the measures I used to make 8 golf ball sized meatballs:

Classic Beer Meatballs Recipe

The result was delicious, using lamb and pork mince seemed to make it lighter than if it had just been beef. It’s a great base recipe from which you can play around and add your own finishing touches. Served with potato mash with spring onions and sliced garlic, it was a tasty Saturday night dinner.

For the beer in the meatballs I used Little Creatures latest Single Batch – Shepherd’s Delight in the hope that a Red IPA instead of an Amber Ale may add a little more floral and fruitness. Without anything to compare them to it’s hard to say whether I succeeded or not. The dish was delicious, I know that much!

Classic Beer Meatballs

As for the beer, it’s a very good drop. Admittedly now that Little Creatures is owned by Lion Nathan it’s hard to stop the brain was wondering if / how this affects the beer. To date my answer is “not at all”.

Like most of their single batch releases Creatures have hopped and hopped generously, apparently their “most lavish hopping regime to date”. The brewers have opted from hops from Australia, New Zealand, United States and UK, using as follows:

  • US Hops – Chinook. This is not surprising as I’m pretty sure it’s the main hop used in Little Creatures Pale Ale (at least it was when I was working for them).
  • UK Hops – East Kent Goldings which are frequently used in English Pale Ales.
  • Aussie Hops – Stella from Tasmania which are known for contributing big floral aromas and Victoria Secret, similar to Galaxy, “imparts strong tropical fruit (pineapple) character, nicely balanced with resiny pine notes”, from Hop Products Australia
  • New Zealand Hops – Southern Cross, which is a mix of a few different hops that imparts citrus and spice and Dr Rudi, or Super Alpha, known for its resinous, grassy notes.

Hop talk aside, for me the Shepherd’s Delight had aromas of tropical fruit, floral notes and a little toast. The mouth feel was medium with a decent length on the palate. There were lots of flavours happening with some resiny, floral IPA characteristics mixed together with biscuits and nuts (perhaps almonds?) and as the beer got warmer more malt came through. Very drinkable and very nice.

Oddly enough as a beer and food match is was a little off with the Classic Beer Meatballs turning out a lot softer in flavour than I had anticipated. Perhaps something like a Kolsch or even a nice malty brown ale would have been better suited.

Little Creatures Shepherd’s Delight is certainly worth seeking out. The usual suspects like Mane Liquor, Cellarbrations Carlisle and International Beer Shop have it, otherwise check it their handy little stockists function at their website.

LC Shepherd's Delight