Last week Mt Lawley’s Five Bar played host to an Eagle Bay Brewing tap takeover. The beer line up included a mix of regulars and limited releases including the current brewer’s series Steam Ale and the previous release, the Cacao Stout
Last week Mt Lawley’s Five Bar played host to an Eagle Bay Brewing tap takeover.
The beer line up included a mix of regulars and limited releases including the current brewer’s series Steam Ale and the previous release, the Cacao Stout; a beer that we had all thought was done for the year. In a wonderful surprise Eagle Bay found the very last keg tucked away at the brewery. After careful deliberation between the crew it was decided to take it to Five Bar.
The Cacao Stout, now a couple of months on, was as silky smooth as ever and seemed like the red berry flavours were creeping out a little more compared to when it was first released in winter.
Bahen & Co are the bean-to-bar chocolate makers in Margaret River who collaborate with Nick for the annually released Cacao Stout
Eagle Bay’s beers were matched to a range of dishes including food by two beer loving chefs – Mitch aka Beersine with a Bahen & Co Cacao Stout Chocolate Chilli Tart and Wendy aka Me & Mabel with some Corn Tamale, the latter was paired with the Steam Ale and proved a beautiful match.
Margi, Eagle Bay’s retail and marketing manager, was able to reveal that plans are well under way to bottle their next core range beer! Drum roll please ……………
Yup, that’s right folks. A tasty, locally brewed, year round ESB will soon be at your finger tips.
[Crafty, I’m looking at you, I know you will be excited about this!]
The exact timing is uncertain but Margi says they are aiming for the end of January/beginning February. Stay tuned for more details!
PLUS Eagle Bay’s next brewers series beer is almost ready to launch, it’s a summer ale and I think will be best paired with white sand and clear blue ocean, BBQs and water balloon fights. The launch will be happening Friday 19th December at 4pm at Mane Liquor. In fine Eagle Bay launch tradition there will be food too – this time provided by Chicho Gelato. Find out more here.
The second annual South West brewers collab beer was released at Five Bar. It’s a spiced Belgian india red ale called ‘Too Many Cooks’
Last year several south west breweries collaborated on a brew and released it at an event at Five Bar. The beer was a big hoppy Pale Ale called ‘The Council Worker’, the name referring to how many brewers were involved and how much standing around and chatting happened as a result. You can check out last years action here and here.
This year the south west brewers collaborated again but this time with more brewers and a new style. The Belgian Spiced India Red Ale, yup it sounds like a mouthful and the beer itself is much the same, was named ‘Too Many Cooks’ and once again, released at an event at Five Bar.
‘Too Many Cooks’ is the handy work of no less than eight of the breweries in the south west including Eagle Bay, Colonial, Cowaramup, Bootleg, Cheeky Monkey, Duckstein, Bush Shack and Young Henry’s NSW brewers who are in the process of building their new brewery in the south west. Five Bar favourites Roxy and Zack were also there to lend a hand. The result is a beer with a lot of hops, some cinnamon and star anise, a solid malty backbone and the Belgian yeast used in Cheeky Monkey’s Hagenbeck Belgian IPA. For a full run down of the beer you can check out this on my blog and this article from Crafty Pint.
The resulting beer was surprisingly approachable at 6.7% ABV and not the ball-buster you may have expected from such a complicated brew. ‘Too Many Cooks’ has a great biscuit malt base layered with spice, melon, citrus and a fresh dry finish. There’s a lot going on here but frankly it was so damn drinkable that I soon found myself staring into an empty glass. Good thing it was on tap and another glass wasn’t far away.
Meanwhile there was great food to accompany the beers with the special tasting board on the menu for the day which featured Beersine Pale Ale Cheddar and his amazing lamb pancetta.
Another great WA Beer Week event done and dusted, it just keeps getting better and better!
A look into the upcoming WA Beer Week (25 Oct – 2 Nov) – here is a sneak peak at the South West in the City II event, celebrating collaboration between 8 South West breweries
What is the event about?
It’s collaboration but not as you know it – it’s not just two brewers getting together, this is a collaboration brew between some of the South West’s finest brewers including Cheeky Monkey, Colonial, Eagle Bay, Bootleg, Bush Shack, Duckstein and Cowaramup plus new south west residents Young Henry’s.
Last years collaboration was “The Council Worker” Pale Ale and being that it was such a success they decided to join forces again this year.
Your first chance to try this brew will be at this event. Brewers from the day will also be on hand to chat, laugh and share a beer with you.
The still unnamed beer was brewed at Cheeky Monkey Brewery & Cidery. Brewers bought along something to contribute to the brew. The result is a wide and varied number of hop varieties including Mosaic (from Roxy, Five Bar venue manager), Topaz (Young Henrys), East Kent Golding (Bush Shack), Galaxy (Bootleg), Chinook (Duckstein) and Enigma (Colonial).
Enigma was most recently used in WA for the Bootleg & Mane Liquor collaboration – Ryezilla
Nick, head brewer at Eagle Bay Brewing, threw in a curve ball with his contribution of star anise and cinnamon.
When I asked Alex, head brewer at Cheeky Monkey, what Cowaramup Brewing had bought along to the brew day his answer was simple, “Jeremy”. The respect and love for Jeremy Good, head brewer at Cowaramup, is absolutely clear.
Besides their generous hospitality, Cheeky Monkey’s contribution was their Belgian yeast strain that is used in their Hagenbeck Belgian IPA.
Whilst last years “The Council Worker” was an Australian Pale Ale Alex said they didn’t want to do the same style again but still wanted something to satisfy both the beer-geek and casual beer drinker alike.
Paul, brewer at Colonial Brewing, is a self confessed malt-man rather than a hop-fiend so having an good malt bill was important to him. With this in mind the brew was designed to be a bit of a red ale, having a good malt structure to support all the hops. Paul is hoping that the beer will have a good burnt toffee malt character to play nicely against the bubblegum flavours from the Belgian yeast.
“It was pretty much a ‘wing it’ brew,”
Paul, Colonial Brewer
Roxy’s choice of hop, Mosiac, was added at the end of the whirlpool for a hint of spice and the relatively new hop variety Enigma was used mostly for aromatics, dry hopped alongside Galaxy.
If your OCD is going crazy and you’re wondering what style this beer is, it’s not really clear cut but Belgian spiced red ale was about as close as Alex got to labelling it. Oh and it should clock in at around the 6% ABV mark.
All in all it’s probably best to get along to South West in the City II and decide for yourself.
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.
After a couple of weeks off from Weekend Reading due to house moving antics, I am getting back into some resemblance of normality. Here is what has been in my reading list recently …
I find that most food and beer pairings I do at home are the product of way too much thinking. It depends on any random combination of the following – what is in the fridge, what mood I am in, what beer is in the fridge, what bottle shop I am going past on the way home, what article I have read recently and the list goes on and on. The result is often a plan that has been in the works for days and frankly I’m a little stressed because there’s now pressure on this match to work since I’ve invested so much effort. Sometimes I am not very bright.
Instead I think this guys boy scout / be prepared for anything approach makes a whole lot more sense because beer and food should be fun, it shouldn’t have to rely on planning and it should happen way more often that it does.
I have always wanted to learn more about off flavours in beer but have never gotten around to it. I stumbled across this blog a couple of weeks ago and as I am quite a visual person I liked the representations of what the author had learnt from participating in an off flavour course.
For the second year in a row the brewers of our wonderful south west got together to brew a collaboration beer that almost needed is I own role call for all the brewers involved. Last year’s effort was an Australian Pale Ale called The Council Worker, so named due to the amount of standing around and chatting that happened in the brewery on brew day.
You can read about last year’s brew here at Crafty Pint as well as on my blog, you know, just in case one link to my own work wasn’t self indulgent enough.
Sadly I couldn’t make it to brew day this year but I have heard good things! Hosted by Cheeky Monkey, each brewery bought along an ingredient for the brew. Once again the finished product will feature at Five Bar’s event – South West in the City happening on 26 October. Not only is it your chance to try the beer but also chat to the brewers and sample some tasty Five Bar food. You can check out last year’s event via yours truly (damn I am shameless today!) here.
I had a good giggle at this read from Glen, a fellow beer blogger but with the added bonus of being a proper journo.
For me it is the look of delight on peoples faces and they say “wow, how do I get a job like that?!” Like I would know! This isn’t my job, it is my hobby, a bit like stamp collecting or knitting just with more yeast.
On the subject of free stuff, I have been very fortunate to have attended events and enjoyed beers from lots of people in the beer industry. It’s not why I write but it is a nice gesture of support for my silly little words.
FINAL WORDS … This isn’t related to beer except that I think beer would go great with it – pull apart pepperoni and garlic knots. Good heavens, this recipe almost had my kicking my tablet screen.
Last night Steve Grossman, Sierra Nevada’s beer ambassador and brother of founder Ken Grossman, was at Five Bar in Mt Lawley. He is spending a few days in Australia visiting Perth and Melbourne, maybe even Sydney if my memory serves me right.
I don’t remember the first ever Sierra Nevada Pale Ale I had but I do remember the first time I had it off tap. It was when I was on holiday in London where I spotted it at a pub, perhaps one of the All Bar One venues.
I got excited, I’d never seen it on tap and having worked for Little Creatures I knew Sierra Nevada Pale Ale was the beer that inspired Creatures own Pale Ale. I had to have one!
That was quite a few years ago now and whilst my love of beer has only grown and I’m always looking for something new I still find myself coming back to Sierra Nevada fairly regularly, whether it’s the annual Bigfoot Barleywine style ale or the Ruthless Rye, or just picking up some Pale Ale case you know it’s going to be good. Sierra Nevada is like a comfy old chair and I mean that in a really good way!
Last night Steve Grossman, Sierra Nevada’s beer ambassador and brother of founder Ken Grossman, was at Five Bar in Mt Lawley. He is spending a few days in Australia visiting Perth and Melbourne, maybe even Sydney if my memory serves me right.
For someone who had flown in from the US that morning he was extremely upbeat and awake. I found Steve really engaging in a very sincere and polite way, not over-the-top or brash, just friendly and nice and great to have a chat with.
I awkwardly approached Steve and got to have a chat about how his trip was going, what his plans were, what he thought of the bars he’d visited so far and a little about beer camp and the new brewery in North Carolina.
“Beer Camp Across America is a multi-weekend path of beer festivals, a rolling tour that will cover 4,800 miles, celebrating the collaborative spirit of the craft brewing community with the fans that have buoyed its success. There’ll be seven stop —in cities with thriving craft beer cultures—moving geographically west to east, much like the craft movement has historically spread. The festivals will appropriately begin and end at Sierra Nevada’s two brewing locations.”
From Sierra Nevada Media Kit on their website
Incidentally there’s a great interview with Sierra Nevada Ken Grossman that was done during this beer camp rolling festival that you can check out here. It’s by Michael from Good Beer Hunting, my new favourite beer reading material.
When I asked how the logistical side of this years beer camp went, a seven stop tour across the country, he replied “a nightmare!” but I think he had a smile on his face. He also said the new brewery, though a little behind the original schedule, was just weeks away from opening their doors.
To celebrate having Steve in town, Five Bar had three Sierra Nevada beers on tap –
Harvest – an IPA showcasing either a hop variety, region or hopping method
The Snow Wit was my favourite, perfectly balanced and rather than just tasting like an IPA and looking like a wheat it was a great harmony of soft tropical fruit, a little spice and a really clean easy finish.
Five Bar matched this to some corn, jalapeño and cheese croquettes on a pineapple salsa, a really nice match with the beer easily cutting through the deep fried ball of yum (yep, that’s my other name for croquettes) and there was just enough fresh jalapeño to provide some contrast but not so much it destroyed everything else.
Next up I had the Harvest, juicy tropical hops mixed with caramel sweetness and a good match to Five’s steak tartare, served with horseradish, egg and an anchovy. The anchovy gave the dish to suitable omphf that it needed to stand up to the intensity of the Harvest. It was also nice to have a salty contrast to the beer’s fruit and malt sweetness.
Last I had, as I am sure you can guess, the Nooner and this was lovely and I wrote no notes at all. By this stage I stopped taking notes on my phone and just enjoyed the people around me and the beer in my hand. Happy Monday!
If the mountain won’t come to Muhammah, Muhammah must go to the mountain …
“If the mountain won’t come to Muhammad, Muhammad must go to the mountain”
proverb: If someone won’t do as you wish or a situation can’t be arranged to suit you, you must accept it and change your plans accordingly.
GABS: The Great Australiasian Beer SpecTAPular – part of Melbourne’s Good Beer Week featuring over 100 unique festival beers all launched during the event.
Perhaps inspired by this old proverb or perhaps just overcome with jealously of Melbourne’s GABS festival, Five Bar in Mt Lawley arranged for some of WA’s GABS beers to appear alongside a specially designed menu by Beersine aka Mitch.
Five Bar: 560 Beaufort Street, Mt Lawley
The beer list and menu looked like this:
Cheeky Monkey Rastapopolouse Belgian Stout
paired with: Bahen & Co Chocolate Mousse with Smoked Plums
Naked Monkey Old Fashoined Double IPA
paired with: Slow Cooked Beer Short Rib
Little Creatures SS Menno Sour Beer
paired with: Singapore Chicken and Rice
This was my dinner and a mighty fine dinner it was! Back in my bartending days I had many, many late night dinners at Uncle Billy’s in Northbridge and one of my favourite, must-have dishes was the vinegar chicken. Soft chicken, slightly crispy skin and that powerful acidic sauce that’s so addictive I’d practically drink it from the bowl.
This pairing of MM Menno and Singapore Chicken took me back to those meals, the beer filling the shoes of a tangy dressing, complementing the lemon grass and gingery notes of the dish. It all played out very nicely and was not a match I was expecting. I love surprises!
Eagle Bay Nigella’s Mulberry Beer
paired with: Beersine Paprika Cured Pork Loin with Pickled Fennel
Bootleg Peanut Butter Amber Ale
paired with: Sour Strawberry Jelly Sandwich
I loved this pairing. Peanut butter ale and strawberry jelly?! Talk about big kid food! The two went together really well and kept in the spirit of the original GABS beer idea of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich beer made by two different breweries – Bootleg taking the peanut butter half and NSW brewing Thirsty Crow taking care of the jelly bit with a strawberry jelly sour.
Beer is Your Friend, a great Australian beer blog, did an interview series with some GABS brewers including Thirsty Crow – you can check it out here.
Colonial Gary Le Bron Musk Saison
paired with: Goat’s Cheese and Roasted Pepper Croquettes with Aioli
These croquettes sold out before I could get my grubby little hands on them but I heard nothing but great reports. Perhaps if I ask nicely Beersine will whip these up again some day!
The Monk Dark Monk Black IPA
paired with: Five’s Beef Tartare with Brioche and Truffle Oil
Feral Funk’N Phresh 100% Brett Ale
paired with: Coconut and Lime Cured Salmon with Cucumber Salad
Feral Tusk is big … you’re not surprised are you?!
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss living in the south west, being less than a five minute walk to the beach and driving through the Tuart Forest. Ah the serenity …
However there are plenty of good things about Perth, such as going to Five Bar and drinking Feral Tusk on tap!
On Friday afternoon Fremantle’s Sail & Anchor and Mt Lawley’s Five Bar each tapped a single keg of freshly brewed Tusk – Feral Brewing’s imperial india pale ale.
Tusk is BIG though this is not really surprising
Booze. It’s big in booze. Tusk clocks in at 9.8% abv and it’s the sort of boozy that creeps up on you, gives you a warm embrace but later you realise it’s cheekily stuck a “kick me” sign on your back.
Hops. This again is not a revelation for the IPAs from Feral brewers Brendan and Will. Huge tropical fruits both on the nose and palate carried by a viscous mouth feel that ensures you remember you are drinking Tusk. But really, how could you possibly forget?
I love the huge flavours that are strangely balanced yet abrasive, great for sipping on but very moreish at the same time. If you can find any of this on tap be sure to get acquainted!
Like any good bartender I’ve got a few stories; some are printable and some are not (sorry mum) and from time to time I’ll be sharing the fun, beer related, printable stories. Here’s the first …
Not all that long ago I used to be a bartender. But I wasn’t one of those fancy ones who shook cocktails and preferred to be called a “mixologist”, nah I was a pub bartender. Beer was my thing and I got really excited when people wanted to talk about beer. Like any good bartender I’ve got a few stories; some are printable and some are not (sorry mum) and from time to time I’ll be sharing the fun, beer related, printable stories. Here’s the first …
Once upon a beer I was working at Five Bar in Mt Lawley, it was a Saturday afternoon and a group came in for lunch. There were five guys and three girls, all in their mid twenties if I had to make a guess. They were poring over the drinks list, pardon the pun, and I was delighted to find the guys engrossed in the beer list, a beer list I wrote no less. They all asked questions and each of them picked a different beer. Two of the girls ordered from the wine list, I think it was a sauvignon blanc but the third girl surprised me.
Despite knowing better I admit that I still fully expected her to order a white wine so when she flicked through the beer list I was a little surprised.
When she asked me about the Schlenkerla Rauchbier I almost fell over.
“It’s fantastic,” I replied before asking, “you know that smell of lots of different meat when you walk into The Re-Store*?”
“Yeah,” she said.
“Well it tastes like that” I said and smiled. She ordered it and love it.
So what’s the morale of the story?
Beer drinkers are fantastically unpredictable!
*The Re-Store is amazing. Cheese, meat, booze, bread and the best lunch rolls you’ve ever had! Check out their Facebook page here.
I messaged my partner who immediately looked up a recipe, finding this one on www.allrecipes.com and despite the lengthy list of ingredients it sounded pretty do-able. It also sounded like my heart would clog up and stop but hey, life is full of risks.
There were a few adaptions I made to the recipe because a) I wanted to put beer in it b) we didn’t have any whiskey in the house and c) we only have coffee pods at the house. The result was not subtle, packed with big flavours and a nice kick of heat that sits at the back of your throat; sweet plays off spice and the fatty salty bacon brings it all together.
1/2 kilo of diced bacon
1 large brown onion, cut in half and sliced very thinly
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/8 cup minced fresh garlic
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 espresso from a single coffee pod
1 cup Burleigh Brewing Black Giraffe Black Coffee Lager, or another beer with big coffee notes
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup tomato sauce
Throw bacon into large saucepan, no oil required. Keep on medium high heat and stir until starting to brown. Your bacon should now be swimming happily in about 1/4 cup of bacon fat;
Add onion and brown sugar, stir and cook for five minutes;
Add cayenne pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg and cook for five minutes;
Add coffee, beer, sherry vinegar and maple syrup. Bring to the boil then reduced heat to low and cook until mixture thickens up but not too much, you don’t want it to be dry. This should take about 30-40 minutes.
Add tomato sauce and let simmer further for five minutes;
Remove from heat and allow to cool, keep stored in fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Note: you can throw the mixture into a food processor to get a chunky but still spreadable consistency if you like otherwise I just broke up the larger pieces of bacon as it was simmering. I used very cheap bacon for this recipe with plenty of fatty bits to contribute to the final result.
Now, all you have to do is sit and ponder the possibilities – burgers, eggs on toast, crackers, cheese …
Three rounds, state versus state, beer versus beer, food versus food and all with delicious results …
At Melbourne’s Good Beer Week in May one of the stand out events was East versus West: A Beer and Food Title Fight at Josie Bones. With the background music of Eye of the Tiger the east coast of Australia, represented by Josie Bones, battled with the west, represented by Five Bar / Beersine, for the bragging rights to beer and food pairing superiority. Despite not having a home ground advantage, WA came out victorious with the title belt aka a plastic WWE replica. Oh it was glorious! You can relive the magic here.
Last weekend as part of WA Beer Week Five Bar and Beersine hosted the re-match, aka round two, aka a chance for Melbourne to level the score. The format remained the same with three rounds covering yeast driven beers, hop driven beers and malt driven beers. It was all blind tastings so you didn’t know what beer you were tasting or whether the dish was a Beersine / Five Bar or Josie Bones creation.
Here’s how the battle unfolded …
Round 1 – Yeast Driven Beers
Last Drop Saison with Wort Poached Marron, Pickled Cucumber and Beer Blanc Sauce
Holgate Little Heifer Hefeweizen with Ripened Goats Cheese Croquette with Bacon Jam and Pickled Apple
The marron was a beautiful way to start the afternoon, soft and delicate with the cucumber adding a refreshing element. The Last Drop Saison, after geting rave reviews from punters at the Fremantle BeerFest the day before, continued to be loved here. A slight banana nose, soft and well balanced and lightly spiced, it was gorgeous. The two together proved a nice matching of delicate, soft but still very expressive flavours.
Half way through eating the second dish I decided that bacon jam was the way of the future. Honestly. Think about it. Bacon jam. Just ponder that for a moment and if you’re not drooling then I think there’s something wrong with you and we might not be able to be friends. The bacon jam added salty caramelised goodness to the soft and springy goat’s cheese croquettes. Holgate’s Little Heifer is a great example of a hefeweizen with sweet banana aromas and a nice silky mouthfeel. It cut through the oil in the croquettes and was a nice sweet/salt contrast to the bacon jam. This was my second favourite beer and food match of the day.
Boneyard Golden Ale with Prawn Po’Boy with Chipolte Aioli, Vic Secret Hop Salt and Malt Vinegar Game Chips
The Monk Chief IPA with ‘Tongue in Cheek’ – Masterstock Beef Cheek & Ox Tongue Croquette and Kimchi
The menu, pre-reveal, described Boneyard Golden Ale as a “session IPA” and it’s spot on, fresh tropical hops backed up by soft lingering bitterness makes it damn drinkable. The hop salt on the chips had lots of people licking the chips to get the full flavour which was fun and perhaps a little uncouth but hey, that’s the fun of beer and food sometimes!
The Monk Chief with the aptly named ‘tongue in cheek’ dish was my favourite pairing of the day, the way the kimchi and hops played together was unique, tasty and I couldn’t get enough of it! The beef cheek and ox tongue bought out all the maltiness from the IPA, easily one of my favourite IPAs going around.
How the votes swung …
Favourite Beer, Favourite Dish and Favourite Pairing: VIC – Boneyard Golden Ale with Prawn Po’Boy.
Round 3 – Malt Driven Beers
Feral Razorback Barleywine with Peppermint Pavlova garnished with Local Berries and Local Milk Chocolate
Boatrocker Ramjet Whiskey Barrel Aged Imperial Stout with Whiskey Baba with Malted Chocolate Cream, Blood Orange Curd and Liquorice with your choice from three whiskey sauces
The barleywine and peppermint pavlova was, for me, the most intriguing match of the day. On paper I expected the barleywine to completely dominate the dessert but this wasn’t the case. The peppermint was able to stand out and cut through the big bold flavours of the barleywine making for a really interesting contrast. The berries were a nice complement to the deeper sweetness from the beer.
Like the Razorback, Boatrocker’s beer had that “oh my god” factor, with every sip you were impressed and craved more of those toffee and creme brulee flavours. It melded well with the baba which is essentially a booze soaked cake and you needed a big ballsy dessert to go head to head with the Ramjet. Due to my own eagerness to try the whiskey sauces, and by eagerness I mean I had all three doused on my dessert, I may have ended up with a dish that was more booze than dessert. Prior to this however it was a great match of similar flavours coming together.
How the votes swung …
Favourite Beer, Favourite Dish and Favourite Pairing: VIC – Boatrocker Ramjet with Whiskey Baba
So Victoria’s Josie Bones took the title belt on the plane back to the East Coast which just means we need to head back for Good Beer Week 2014 to retrieve it again. Congratulations Julia, Brendan and the Josie Bones team! Well played Mitch and Five Bar, well played.
Scores are level, the fight continues …
Thank you to Five Bar, Beersine and Josies Bones for another fantastic event! I feel privileged to be able to say I’ve been to both East versus West events this year and they have been great experiences in showcasing some fine beers and creative dishes. Bring on 2014!
Thank you also to Andy Mac at Five Bar and Mitch at Beersine for inviting me along. It’s always nice to go back to your old bar and feel like you’ve come home for a visit.