Weekend Reading #57

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 (ahem, usually) post with the articles I’ve enjoyed in the past seven days.

Australian Brews News | Queensland gets craft beer permit

Of course beer events and festivals can be really good fun, they can be great ways to discover new beers and visit multiple breweries in just one visit. They can also be really difficult for breweries because they take a lot of time and more often than not breweries don’t come close to recouping their investment. The ability to sell alcohol like a bar and (not or) take away sales like a bottle shop make festivals more financially appealing.

The West Australian | Looking at a pint through different glasses

Have you even that episode of Frasier where he’s trying to order a coffee but finds the sizing he knows from his regular coffee shop doesn’t match up with any other cafes? It’s a bit extreme but it’s kind of how it is with ordering a beer sometimes, a gamble of what size beer you’ll get for the dollars spent.

Crafty Pint | The Story Of: Watermelon Warhead

An in-depth look at story behind Feral’s Watermelon Warhead, one of my absolute favourite brews. It’s a great story and even if you are time poor, just click on the link for wonderful photos of brewer Will Irving.

Pacific Business News | U.S. opts for more liquor, but Hawaii still keen on craft beer

An interesting quick look at craft breweries and distillers seemingly battling it out for market share.

and now for  a video – Craft Beer – A Hoptumentary

Weekend Reading #50

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.

Stone & Wood website | In Beer We Trust

With the sale of Victoria’s Mountain Goat Brewing to beverage giant Asahi, people started to/continued to speculate on “who will go next?” as if the craft beer industry was one giant game of Survivor (or whatever the hell those reality TV shows are).

Perhaps I am naïve but I am not one of those who have been speculating but I can see why people would think Stone & Wood Brewing might be on that list – hugely popular, massive potential for growth. But the vision behind the brewery and the fact they bought back their shares from Little Creatures following the Lion Nathan sale should rule them out entirely. If that didn’t well founders Jamie, Brad and Ross have this to say – read on!

Ale of a Time | Podcast ‘sode 44 Branding with Damien Kelly and Emma Bemrose

I have always been interested in branding and marketing and when it comes to booze marketing my interest doubles. This episode was a great insight into a big brand like James Squire, the approach to managing their brand and what messages they wanted to convey with their rebrand. Several craft breweries also cop a mention and comment, if this sort of thing tickles your fancy you’re in for a more entertaining drive.

The Guardian | Beck’s beer settlement includes payouts for up to 1.7m US households

I found this article after doing some catching up on one of my favourite beer blogs – Beer is Your Friend.

It’s a really situation here as even though, if the article is accurate, Beck’s did nothing illegal they certainly seemed happy to mislead their customers about the origins of the beer. It reads like a case of a company ticking boxes rather than caring or respecting their customers.

Beer & Brewer | Feral to Bottle Watermelon Warhead

Feral have added yet another trophy to the pool room, this time at the recent Craft Beer Awards for Champion Craft Beer for Watermelon Warhead. Founder Brendan Varis reveals plans to bottle Warhead sometime in 2016. To recycle my Facebook comment – HOLY HELL BATMAN! Be still my beery heart, Warhead in bottles! Looking forward to that day!

Beer is Your Friend | The Pure Blonde Ad I Hate

You know the one, the one with the guy ordering beer and it puts a dent in the bar implying it’s heavy with carbs or whatever. Just like Glen over at his Beer is Your Friend blog, I hate the ad. I hate it because I don’t get the relevance. If you’re trying to be healthier then maybe don’t drink alcohol or just cut down or switch to lower alcohol options. I realise I am not the target market but I still find it awful advertising. Aside from this, it’s mislead and Glen delightfully points out how.

My Everest Beer

Watermelon Warhead became what I like to call my “Everest beer”, a beer that sounded so grand but had remained out of my reach …

Feral’s Watermelon Warhead, a German style sour wheat beer infused with local watermelon, was released for the 2012 Great Australasian Beer Spectapular. It took fourth place in The Critics Choice Top 100 that same year with editor Pete Mitcham describing it as:

Possibly the most insanely marvellous beer to hit the scene since the discovery of yeast, this is all that a good beer should be – and less. Full of flavour, complexity and thirst-quenching satisfaction, but with little more alcohol than a Seventh Day Adventist Church picnic. The beer to have when you’d like just one more.

The Critics Choice Australia’s Best Beers 2012

I did not get to try this beer in 2012. In March 2013 I was at The Sail & Anchor during their Feral tap takeover only to find Watermelon Warhead wasn’t being tapped until the following day. Later in the year I ordered Watermelon Warhead when visiting the brewery but the kegs were dry. 2013 passed by Watermelon Warhead-free.

Many of my friends have tried it and loved it, raved about it and flaunted their drinking of it on various social media platforms. Each check in on Untappd just added more salt to my sour beer wound.

This is how Watermelon Warhead became what I like to call my “Everest beer”, a beer that sounded so grand but had remained out of my reach*

*of course living 200km from Perth didn’t really help either

Image from Feral Brewing website
Image from Feral Brewing website

Then, one day, one very unexpected day, I found it.

Last weekend I walked into Clancy’s Fish Pub City Beach where we were having lunch with my partner’s family and saw this –

Clancy's City Beach - so good to see a list of beers more prominent than food specials :P

I ordered a pint with much delight. It arrived on the table and I almost went for a swim as I nose-dived into the glass for a big ol’ whiff.

It does what is says on the box/decal. Most certainly takes me back to primary school days and getting Warheads from the corner shop before netball practice, which incidentally isn’t the best way to prepare for any form of sport.

It’s the sourness that is tangy and fruity, not sharp and cold, that I really enjoyed. The watermelon flavour is hard to ignore and why would you? It’s soft and fresh and is well balanced against the sourness, throw in that crisp apple flavour and I’m sold!

It was a beer I had been waiting so long to try, had built up in my head (and palate) so much, and it made me a very happy girl. I loved the clean and refreshing flavours, the perfect balance of sour versus fruit, the low 2.9% ABV and I can’t wait to have it again.

Fried mice … a Clancy’s must have, Crispy fried squid tentacles, Tiger prawns and mango salad, Three beef sliders, Piri piri spiced baby octopus and Fish of the day
View from our table at Clancy's City Beach
View from our table at Clancy’s City Beach