Curry + Chocolate Stout

Wednesday Night at The Pourhouse
Curry + Beer = $20

On a late Wednesday afternoon my stomach was rumbling and I wanted a beer. I will be the first to admit that this is not a particularly unusual state for a day in my life. A quick look on Facebook reminded me that The Pourhouse does Curry+Beer for $20 every Wednesday. Since it was my night to cook dinner the offer was all the more enticing.

My boyfriend and I went straight after work and as it turns out we were not the only ones who decided that getting there early would be a good idea with pockets of the venue were already filling up. The temptation of The Pourhouse was doubled with the week long event – ‘Chocolate Stout Challenge’ – a friendly competition between South West breweries, Cheeky Monkey Brewery & Cidery and Eagle Bay Brewing Company who are each pouring their limited release chocolate stout.

Eagle Bay Chocolate Stout and Cheeky Monkey Cacao Stout

We went directly to the bar, eager to participate in the friendly stout versus stout competition. Cheeky Monkey’s Chocolate Stout is brewed in cahoots with Gabriel Chocolate whilst Eagle Bay collaborated with Bahen & Co Chocolate Makers to brew a Cacao Stout. Whilst chocolate stout may not go with curry it was almost an alliterative match and that was good enough for us.

Our visits to The Pourhouse are frequently defined by boardgames and beer (hello again alliteration!). In the spirit of tradition we picked up a game of monopoly and settled in for a couple of hours. I have never really played Monopoly with any real sense of strategy  which is perhaps why I was left broke on several occasions. Constantly paying super tax and ending up in prison a lot certainly didn’t help matters either. We played throughout dinner and enjoyed another couple of beers, this time a Moody Cow Porter and Colonial IPA.

The Pourhouse | 26 Dunn Bay Road, Dunsborough
Wednesdays Curry Night – $20 Curry + Beer

The curries were tasty and naan bread is a must and at just $2 its hard to resist. The Pourhouse gives you the choice between three curries – lamb, chicken and eggplant. The promotional material suggests only James Squire beers are available with the curry but don’t fret – you’ll have a choice of whatever is on tap – happy days!

Eggplant, Lentil, Sweet Potato and Coconut Curry with Papadums

As the night went on we suddenly realised we were sitting in a venue that was now standing room only. Not too bad for a Wednesday night during winter in Dunsborough.

Between several games of Monopoly where I was forced to mortgage most of my properties, four beers and two delicious curries we ended up walking out the door very happy and completely forgetting to cast our votes in the Chocolate Stout Challenge. Never mind, another great night at The Pourhouse enjoying a variety of great local beers … no wonder we moved to the South West!

girl + crafty pint

Does one article allow me to call myself a “writer”? I ask because my first article was published on The Crafty Pint recently and I’m keen to re-label myself as a “writer” rather than “alcoholic blogger”; it just rolls off the tongue easier.

Does one article allow me to call myself a “writer”? I ask because my first article was published on The Crafty Pint recently and I’m keen to re-label myself as a “writer” rather than “alcoholic blogger”; it just rolls off the tongue easier.

The Crafty Pint is one of the best beery sources for news and updates on what’s happening in the Australian Craft Beer scene. Basically if you love the craft beer being made around the country then you should have this bookmarked, and don’t forget to follow them on Twitter and like them on Facebook – seriously, do it now. It’s good for you. And they were good enough to ask me to write an article which makes me like them even more!

My article is about Cheeky Monkey, the newest brewery to call Margaret River home, and I was lucky enough to be able to have a chat and a beer with Jared (aka “Red”) who is their Head Brewer. I think I can get on board this being-a-writer business; I just might need to learn some bigger words.

Cheeky Monkey Brewery & Cidery

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – chatting with brewers is always delightful. I bombarded poor Red with question after question and thankfully he’s a patient man and I quickly realised I could have done a separate article purely on Red.

He came into brewing through the simple desire to do so. Once upon a time he worked as a contractor for Western Power and spend his days looking up, staring at power poles before he kinda thought something else might take his fancy. He discovered Brewdog, boundary pushing Scottish brewers, loved their beers and got on the website. It just so happened they were looking for brewers so he applied. Part of the application process involved listing some favourite beers and a few more steps later, Red found himself finishing up his job and jumping on a plane within 24 hours of each other. There isn’t much I don’t love about his story of becoming a brewer.

Fast forward 18 months and Red had gone from novice to senior brewer at Brewdog and back in his home town, Margaret River, he got word of a new brewery opening up. He seems completely at home in his first Head Brewer position, passionate and all about the beer, he is making tweaks and adjustments to his regular beer line up so that he’s 100% happy. Funnily enough the Cheeky Monkey beer I enjoyed the most. the Traveling Monk mid-strength Red Ale was, at time of our chat, the one he was most wanting to play with and throw more hops in. I won’t argue with the creator but I did love the beer so I’m looking forward to trying it later down the track.

Where the monkeys brew

He is also in the process of working on the next limited release, a chocolate stout, that they run under the label ‘Brewer’s Choice’. At the time of our chat both he and Eagle Bay Brewing had one in the development stage. Eagle Bay Brewing Co are located in Dunsborough, about 50km north of Margaret River and Cheeky Monkey, and are just another great craft brewer in the South West. Neither view the fact they are brewing a similar styled beer as a negative and in fact they may take part in a fun side by side tasting at a mutual venue; another example of the openness of the beer community that I adore. Cheeky Monkeys chocolate stout will be using cacao husks and nibs from local chocolatier ‘Gabriel Chocolate‘ and should be pouring off their taps shortly.

The next time you are at Cheeky Monkey and if Red is around be sure to say ‘hello’, he’s happy to chat and he makes great beer – I’m sure you’ll find something to talk about.

Many Cheeky Monkeys

girl + the big 3-oh

It’s my 30th birthday and I’ll drink beer if I want to … that was my motto last weekend and here are the main attractions …

It’s my 30th birthday and I’ll drink beer if I want to … that was my motto last weekend and here are the main attractions:

Friday 

Coopers Pale Ale

An Australian classic, consistently good, very tasty and a great starting point for delving into craft beers and very beery weekends!

Coopers Pale Ale
4.5% abv | 375ml bottles
Australian Pale Ale
Coopers Brewing | South Australia

Temple Midnight IPA

Soft, dark and down right lovely; a black IPA with great fresh hop characteristics and rich bitter roasty notes. It’s made from roasted “midnight” (hence the name) American wheat and Columbus, Centennial and Simcoe hops.

I picked it from the fridge to go with dinner which was Deep Fried Chilli Prawns with Hoi Sin Sauce & Garlic Prawn & Chorizo Pizza. I must admit I picked it without registering it was Black IPA so it wasn’t a food match win but it was still damn enjoyable!

It is the first Temple beer I have ever had, having heard nothing but rave reviews so when it came back into stock at The International Beer Shop I just had to have some.

Temple Midnight IPA
7% abv | 500ml
Black IPA
Temple Brewing Company | Melbourne, Australia
Friday Dinner
Deep Fried Chilli Prawns with Hoi Sin Sauce
Garlic Prawn and Chorizo Pizza

Saturday 

White Rabbit Dark Ale

As I was working at Little Creatures during the time White Rabbit was coming to life I was lucky enough to get a glimpse into the brewery before opening day and watch both the White Rabbit Dark Ale and White Ale hit the shelves. Like it’s sister brewery, Little Creatures, it’s making craft beer accessible in both price and taste.

The sun was out on Saturday but it has still been a chilly few days lately so I was looking for something dark but not heavy and White Rabbit Dark Ale fitted nicely. A good amount of hops in some subtle dark malts and not too much bitterness. It went very nicely with a couple of games of giant dominoes too!

Giant Dominoes + Beer

Colonial Keutebier – Limited Edition

An angry 5.6 % abv wheat beer; but angry in a really good way … feisty banana tones, spicy and and refreshing. A cloudy rich honeyed colour, it just begs to be consumed! I can’t wait to check out the next limited edition, a Baltic Porter, that is due for release in the coming weeks – luckily for me I got to  see the first batch being brewed!

Colonial Keutebier
5.6% abv | on tap at Clancy’s Fish Pub Dunsborough
Keutebier (wheat ale)

Sunday

Feral / 2 Brothers Collaborator – Special Release

I’ve not had that much experience with brown ales but there’s plenty of time for me to fix that however the Feral / 2 Brothers Collaborator may have set my standards rather high. Beautifully hoppy with rich caramel sweetness, hints of stone fruit and spice and since it was made to celebrate 20 years of AIBA (Australian International Beer Awards) it seemed a fitting beer to celebrate my own little milestone – a mention of girl+beer in The Sunday Times STM!

The Collaborator takes its hat off to the AIBAs and the Australian brewing industry as a whole by using nothing but all Australian ingredients. Galaxy, Stella and Summer hops are used along with Pale, Crystal and Australian Oats. Read more about the Collaborator at Australian Brew News. Only 16 hectolitres were brewed for the AIBA awards and Melbourne’s self proclaimed beer-obsessed venue, Beer Deluxe, so getting my hands on two bottles from The International Beer Shop was quite the feat! I wonder how long until we open the second bottle!?

Feral / 2 Brothers Collaborator
5.5% abv | 330ml bottle
Feral Brewing (WA) + 2 Brothers Brewery (VIC)
Australian Brown Ale

Two Birds Sunset Ale

The two birds themselves, Jayne and Danielle, brew their beer at Southern Bay in Victoria and grew up right here in Perth. Sunset Ale is their second beer, following the summery fruity Golden Ale, and I thought it was going to be best enjoyed on the beach. We opened two bottles and sat down in the sun, on the sand and enjoyed the beach that was almost completely absent of people. It was an oh-so-lovely way to end a weekend!

Great rich stone fruit and biscuit characteristics, the Sunset Ale is brewed with US Citra and Australian Cascade hops with Pale, Wheat and crystal malts. This was another find from The International Beer Shop though you can find the Two Birds Golden Ale on tap at The Queens, Mt Lawley.

Two Birds Sunset Ale | Best Enjoyed on the Beach
4.6% abv | 330ml bottle
American Style Red Ale
Two Birds Brewing (VIC)
Loving Life with Two Birds Sunset Ales

So that was my great beery 30th birthday weekend – what more could a beer-loving girl ask for than her amazing boyfriend, beautiful craft beers, a nice pub and way too much food?! Brilliant!

Saturday Night + The Pourhouse

The perfect place for a bunch of beer lovers go for dinner in Dunsborough to debate beer in cans versus beer in bottles, eat great food, check out something interesting off the beer taps and above all else, have a chat and a laugh and good catch up.

Anyone who’s worked hospo will tell you that the best thing about the job isn’t necessarily free and/or cheap booze (depending on your current level of alcohol intake/tolerance/consumption/addiction) but it’s the people you meet. Customers, work mates, booze reps and every person in between, there are some fantastic people around and if you’re really lucky, like me, after you’ve left the bar, you keep in touch and get together for wee shandy or two. Saturday night was one of those nights.

It was our first evening visit to ‘the-bar-formerly-known-as-The-Malt-Market’. Normally our trips to The Pourhouse are in the afternoon and involve playing a few board games, usually inventing slightly altered versions such as Speed Chess. This involves going through the game at breakneck speed and though it sounds relatively simple but it’s not, especially when you’re opponent is waving his arms about and screaming “hurry up!” but at least it’s entertaining.

For those who have not been to The Pourhouse, be sure to add it to your South West to-do-list. It’s a fabulous beer bar with a regularly rotating list of tap beers, dominated by local breweries, plus an expansive list of bottled beers. They’ve got great food served in good time by smiling staff members so combine this with interesting beer and it’s no wonder I like this place. Recently they have teamed up with Eagle Bay Brewery to encourage beer culture in Dunsborough, creating Growlers that can be purchased and refilled at either venue. Happy Days! Growlers appear to have exploded in the last couple of months and bring it the F on, I say! [Click here for more details on The Pourhouse and other great Dunsborough spots]

So we were in a great beer venue and now add in great company (apart from each other, of course!), dining and chatting a lot about beer with Scott & Jess, fellow beer lovers and all round super nice people. They also bought me a wonderful present of Mountain Goat Cross Breed Pepperberry IPA. It’s not often I walk out of a bar with a full unopened beer bottle stuffed into my handbag, I’m sure that wasn’t one of the envisioned items Mimco considered when designing their range of bags.

Burger at The Pourhouse
Tasty and Big!

I started my night with the Renaissance Voyager IPA off tap, an English style IPA brewed in New Zealand. Since I’ve been hammering my palate with American IPA for quite sometime it was nice to change it up a little. Floral and a little spicy, my boyfriend noted some upfront toasty qualities in there too. A lovely little IPA as an opening act. They also offered up their Elemental Porter on their taps if you were looking for velvety dark chocolate tones. Since there was driving to be done later I switched happily to Rogers’ from Little Creatures, Fremantle. Perhaps not the ideal match with my dinner of Mussels Cooked in Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier, Garlic and Shallots but neither detracted from the other. The mussels were big and plump and tasted sensational, I’m normally a fan of chilli mussels but this was light and delicate (much like me, *ahem*) and still full of flavour. The Burger was also very tasty and big, no small portions here folks! But there was just enough room to finish the evening by sharing a bottle of Pot Kettle Black, another great New Zealand production, from the Yeastie Boys. Black and hoppy and always a favourite, it’s always far too long between visits because you fall in love with it every single time. Try it and tell me it’s not true!

We had been debating the idea of beer in a can, debating whether it could take off in Australia rather than actually being fans of the idea (which we all were incidentally) and as though it was planned (though it was only coincidence) Brewdog Punk IPA in it’s two lives appeared – can and stubbie. Only 3 months separated the batches.  The bottle was a little hazy with more pronounced bitterness whilst the can was brighter with more floral and grapefruit elements dominating. It was an interesting exercise, thank you Jess! [check out her photography at www.jessicashaver.com] And one I am sure I’ll repeat down the track.

It was great to look around the bar and see growlers hanging from the ceiling, guys and girls with Brewdog Punk IPA, Weihenstephaner glasses, Gauloise Blonde and a variety of glassware for each – beer lovers get down to The Pourhouse, play some games, drink some beer and be sure to get a serve of the Chilli Squid and Chorizo to snack on.

Chilli Squid and Chorizo
The Pourhouse