Eagle Bay Tap Takeover & New Stuff

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.

Eagle Bay Brewing

Eagle Bay Tap Takeover at Five
Smoked Pork Belly with Chorizo Foam
Eagle Bay Tap Takeover at Five Bar
Citrus and Vodka Cured Salmon

new stuff?!

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 ……………

Hello, ESB!

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.

Eagle Bay Cacao Stout 2014
Eagle Bay know how to throw a launch – this was the Cacao Stout launch with Me & Mabel back in August



WA Beer Week: South West in the City II

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 IRA

‘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.

Roxy & Zack showing off the great local tapline up
Roxy & Zack showing off the great local tapline up

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.

Justin Fox at Five Bar
Justin Fox, Colonial Brewer, enjoying a beer at Five Bar

Another great WA Beer Week event done and dusted, it just keeps getting better and better!

WA Beer Week Preview: South West in the City II

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.

SW collaboration brew 2013 L-R: Justin Fox, Sorcha Gillen, Jeremy Good, Alex Poulsen, Jared Proudfoot, Nick d'Espeissis and Shannon Grigg Photo Courtesy of Jessica Shaver
Last year’s SW collaboration brew at Eagle Bay Brewing
Photo Courtesy of Jessica Shaver
When is it?

Sunday 26th October, kicking off at 12noon

Where is it?

Five Bar – 560 Beaufort Street, Mt Lawley

Five Bar

How much for tickets and where can I get my grubby mits on them?

$50 per person, purchased through here

Tell me more!

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.

WA Beer Week Logo

WA Beer Week banner

Weekend Reading #15

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 …

Serious Eats | The 6 Beers You Should Always Have in Your Fridge for Killer Pairings

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.

Worth a Thousand Beers | Off Flavour Fun

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.

Crafty Pint | Stockings and Spice

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.

SW collaboration brew 2013 L-R: Justin Fox, Sorcha Gillen, Jeremy Good, Alex Poulsen, Jared Proudfoot, Nick d'Espeissis and Shannon Grigg Photo Courtesy of Jessica Shaver
SW collaboration brew 2013
L-R: Justin Fox, Sorcha Gillen, Jeremy Good, Alex Poulsen, Jared Proudfoot, Nick d’Espeissis and Shannon Grigg
Photo Courtesy of Jessica Shaver

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.

Beer is Your Friend | The reality of the beer writer

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.

girl+beer meets Steve Grossman

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!

Sierra Nevada Bigfoot 2013

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.

Steve Grossman kindly taking a photo with me

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 –

  • Snow Wit – a white IPA
  • Nooner – a session IPA
  • Harvest – an IPA showcasing either a hop variety, region or hopping method

Taps at Five Bar

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.

Croquettes at Five Bar

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.

Steak Tartare at Five Bar

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!

GABS + Five Bar

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!

Sorry for the very average photo - apparently being hungry does not make me a good photographer!
Sorry for the very average photo – apparently being hungry does not make me a good photographer!

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!

Gary Le Bron

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

Five Bar's Andy Mac is a little excited about the beers
Five Bar’s Andy Mac is a little excited about the beers

girl + tusk

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!

Tasting Tusk at Five Bar on Friday Night
Tasting Tusk at Five Bar on Friday Night

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!

One of the tasty boards at Five Bar - cheese, meat, bread, olives and other tasty items to keep this girl happy
One of the tasty boards at Five Bar – cheese, meat, bread, olives and other tasty items to keep this girl happy