Wildflower + Cheese

Sydney’s Wildflower Brewing & Blending teamed up with Little Cheese Shop and Mane Liquor for a fantastic beer and cheese event …

The Wildflower bottles are striking because they look a little lost, beautifully lost.

Image from http://www.wildflowerbeer.com
Image from http://www.wildflowerbeer.com

The labels are beautifully elegant and nothing about them screams ‘beer’ yet their reserved appearance makes them a stand out on the shelf, which, in a market that gets more crowded by the day is pretty damn impressive.

Wildflower Brewing and Blending opened earlier this year and though the word “brewing” is right there on the label, it is actually the word “blending” that should get your attention.

Crafty Pint’s Nick Oscilowski wrote a fantastic article about Wildflower in the lead up to their opening. It’s a long story to tell including a little astrophysics, a European trip and, of course, lots of nerdy beer stuff so grab a coffee or beer, whatever is more time-of-the-day appropriate and settle in.

Wort is basically beer before it’s beer, the liquid before fermentation happens.

You’ll find Wildflower in Marrickville in Sydney’s inner west and they don’t actually brew, instead, they take wort brewed by another local brewery and then it goes through wild fermentation with their unique house yeast that founder Topher Boehm captured and cultivated from flora in the NSW region. Then it’s about barrel ageing and blending and the end results are what they’re calling Australian Wild Ales.

BJCP: Beer Judge Certification Program – training beer judges in 80 or so different styles

Despite how simple it sounds – step one: catch yeast, step two: ferment beer, step three: profit – it is far more complicated. You’ve got beers that are constantly evolving in different barrels, barrels that are imparting their own character, and blending them with other barrels in a way that results in a beer that is better than each individual beers on its own.

Wildflower made the list of Crafty Pint’s Best New NSW Beers for 2017, you can read the full list here.

I first spotted Wildflower on the shelf at Mane Liquor and, as you would have gathered from the opening, the bottles caught my attention so I grabbed one.

I attended Topher’s talk in July at the Australian Craft Brewers Conference in Adelaide where he spoke about mixed culture fermentation. I held on for some of what he talked about and was completely lost in other parts but I loved it.

Mane Liquor, 237 Great Eastern Hwy, Ascot

Little Cheese Shop, 89C Whatley Cres, Bayswater

Just before Christmas Mane Liquor hosted Wildflower along with Little Cheese Shop in an eight beer and four cheese tasting, an event that sold out in minutes of it being announced on the Mane Liquor Facebook page.

Luke, Wildflower’s barrel manager, guided guests through each beer with two beers paired to one cheese selected by Geoff from Bayswater’s Little Cheese Shop.

Elliot (Mane Liquor), Luke (Wildflower) and Geoff (Little Cheese Shop)
All of the cheese
Wildflower Gold Blend #1 and #3

Wildflower Gold Blend #1 is a blend of two barrels and, as the name suggests, was their first beer. Luke described it as being the most savoury of their beers to date.

Wildflower Gold Blend #3 is a blend of one of the original barrels together with a four-month-old barrel. I adored the nuanced fruit characters of nectarine, pear, lime pith and kiwi fruit balanced with a sourdough-like bread flavour.

If you’re interested in more Australian Wild Ales, check out Two Metre Tall (TAS) – here is a great interview with founder Ash Huntington on the Beer Sucks Podcast

These beers were paired with La Tur, a mixed milk cheese of goats, sheep and cows milk, that is bright and creamy with zesty citrus and made a great pairing to these two beers. These were my favourite pairings from the event. The underlying acidity of the cheese complemented the subtle tartness in the beers.

Wildflower Gold Blend #4 and #5
Elliot from Mane Liquor pouring out Wildflower beers

Wildflower Gold Blend #4 was funky and earthy with lime and grapefruit citrus notes.

Wildflower Gold Blend #5 had more acidity than the previous beers but it was well balanced with apple skin, white grapes, pear and vanilla characters.

Geoff paired these beers with Langres, a wash rind French cow’s milk cheese with a wrinkly orange rind. I’ll first say that it’s a really great cheese because my tasting notes may sound a little odd – tangy, tropical fruit and ham hock.

The fruit character in the beer and cheese seemed to cancel each other out so the acidity in Gold Blend #5 felt like it was being emphasised so I thought this cheese was better with #4.

Wildflower Gold Blend #6 and #7

Wildflower Gold Blend #6 is a blend of two barrels, one from February and another from March and had a slightly salty character. Throw in some subtle floral notes, fresh lime, apple and pear flavours and this was a super refreshing and fantastic beer.

Wildflower Gold Blend #7 is a blend of seven-month-old and five-month-old barrels and according to Luke is one of their most popular beers to date. Funky, earthy with sweaty socks, but in a totally good way, with a delicate citrus finish.

Paired with Section 28 Il Lupo, a cheese from the Adelaide Hills that is cave-aged for a minimum of 40 days, is fruity and a little chalky that was a nice pairing to both beers.

Wildflower Gold Blend #8 and #9
Wildflower Gold Blend #8 and #9

Wildflower Gold Blend #8 is the last of their two barrel blends and uses seven and five-month-old barrels. Big citrus pithy notes along with fresh lime and tropical fruit; pineapple, in particular, sprung to mind.

Wildflower Gold Blend #9 is a three barrel blend across four, five and six-month barrels where Luke said they had started to gain confidence in blending some of their younger barrels. Straw, mandarin, funky citrus, subtle briny character and sourdough.

Reypenaer VSOP, aged for 24 months, is one of my absolute favourite cheeses. The first thing you notice in this Dutch cheese is its striking orange colour and subtle white blotches, protein crystals that give it an interesting texture. It’s caramelly, buttery, nutty and has strong tropical and stone fruit notes. In this pairing, the cheese overwhelmed the beers but I was still very happy to see it on the board. Served with a red IPA or gutsy pale ale, I think this cheese absolutely shines.

Follow Wildflower on social media …

WA Beer News #21

Get comfy because there are a LOT of new beers in this post! There’s an IPA using an experimental hop variety, a berliner weisse, a saison, something barrel-aged and more …

There is a lot of stuff happening in WA’s craft beer scene that it’s genuinely hard to keep up with all the new beer releases and WA really is kicking ass when it comes to craft beer and so I thought I’d try and make a regular feature out of all the new beery goodness our state has to offer.

The girl+beer Facebook page has a list of upcoming beer events that you might find worth subscribing to!

new beers …

Mash Brewing Little NEIPA

  • 3.5 percent ABV
  • New England IPA

It’s always great to see another tasty craft brewed mid-strength because sometimes you have to be a responsible adult but you don’t want to drink a beer that could easily be a stand-in for soda water.

Colonial Small, Pirate Life Throwback IPA and Eagle Bay Mild have been the go-to mids for a while and will now be joined by Mash Brewing Little NEIPA with 375ml cans available all year round from today.

Super easy drinking, fresh and fruity hop character and low bitterness.

Big thanks to Scott and the Mash team who hosted a few bloggers and writers on Saturday to celebrate this beer hitting stores. 

Gage Roads Alby

  • Brewed with 100% WA barley

There are two versions of Gage Roads Alby, the Draught at 4.2 percent ABV and the Crisp Lager at 3.5 percent ABV. 330ml bottles are available in stores now and word is that these are two of the beers destined for the new Perth stadium.

Innate The Uprising

  • Limited release
  • Available on tap only
  • 7.0 percent ABV

Innate Brewers latest single batch brew is a Belgian IPA. You can find it on tap at Refuge Small Bar in Subiaco.

Colonial The Pioneer

  • Limited Release
  • 7.5 percent ABV
  • Single Hop IPA

Released yesterday in super limited quantities, The Pioneer is the latest in the Colonial Brewing Project Beer series following the super popular The Inquest.

The Pioneer uses a new hop variety from Hop Products Australia that is experimental so it doesn’t have a name yet, simply referred to as HPA-016. They used whole hop cones and a malt bill of pale, wheat, melanoiden and caramel rye with a clean American ale yeast.

List of stockists found here.

Thanks to Colonial Brewing Co and brand ambassador Margaret McCarron for providing me with free samples of The Pioneer.

Feral F-15

  • Limited Release
  • Bourbon barrel-aged brown ale
  • 9.0 percent ABV

First up I’ll say this beer is absurdly drinkable given its complexity and high alcohol content, either that or my palate has some pretty questionable taste buds.

The F-15 was brewed to celebrate 15 years of Feral Brewing and is also a salute to Will Irving, the man behind the brew kit. They made a brown ale and then filled Heaven Hill Distillery bourbon barrels and left the beer to age for six months.

The bourbon influence hits you right away but there’s a lot going on behind it with pear, light toast and nutty aromas. It all follows through on the palate alongside some caramel, subtle toast, vanilla and sweetish, well-rounded alcohol.

Nowhereman Festbier

  • 5.9 percent ABV
  • Limited Release
  • Available on tap only

Nowhereman Brewing got into the German spirit by brewing an Oktoberfest style beer. Festbier is a malt driven lager, a little grassy with just a hint of smoke for a twist on the classic style. Very approachable and full flavoured, you’ll find this beer at the brewery and also at Old Faithful and The Belgian Beer Cafe.

Eagle Bay Double IPA

  • 8.0 percent ABV
  • Available on tap only

This is the first double IPA from Eagle Bay Brewing and it’s super limited release with just 15 kegs available.

Mighty hop character coming from Simcoe, Columbus, Mosaic and Centennial hop varieties and is supported by pale, crystal, wheat and Munich malt.

Look out for this beer at The Norfolk in Fremantle, Five Bar in Mt Lawley and Bar Lafayette and Petition Beer Corner in the CBD.

coming soon …

Black Brewing Saison

  • 4.8 percent ABV
  • 330ml bottles

I had been hoping a local brewery would make a Saison available all year round so it was high fives all round when Nowhereman Brewing in Leederville made a saison, made it beautifully and made it part of their permanent line up.

Now Black Brewing are also coming to the Saison party!

Saison, meaning “season”, originates from Wallonia, Belgium and is a showcase for characterful fruity and spicy yeast flavours.

Black Brewing will release their Saison on Monday and even though it is officially their summer seasonal, national sales manager and all round good beer guy, Tim Hoskins, is hoping it makes a big impression and becomes part of the year-round lineup.

They’ve brewed this with a French yeast strain, a malt bill that includes wheat, corn and oats for added mouthfeel and some mandarin peel for a boost of citrus.

Cheeky Monkey x Mane Liquor x Chico Gelato Frosty Fruit Sour

  • Release Date: Friday 3 November
  • 4.4 percent ABV
  • Berliner Weisse

Two’s company but three is … going to be fantastic! Cheeky Monkey had the guys from Mane Liquor and Chicho Gelato over to brew a passionfruit, mandarin and lime sorbet Berliner Weisse and if you’re not drooling after reading that, I’m genuinely surprised.

This beer used 55kg of local juice and pulp and 10kg of Chicho Sorbet and they say the result is reminiscent of Frosty Fruits icy poles.

A sneak peek of this beer will be at Mane Liquor’s Carpark Party tomorrow.

The beer officially launches on Friday 3 November at The Bird.

news …

Scarborough Cellars get taps

Scarborough Cellars has joined the growing list of bottle shops installing taps so that we can take home more draught fresh beers. They also have a canning machine for 375ml cans to take home.

Rocky Ridge cans now available

Rocky Ridge Brewing from Busselton have recently started canning their beers. They have released their Pale Ale and IPA in 500ml cans plus their Citrus IPA in 375ml cans. 

WA Beer Week event calendar goes LIVE

WA Beer Week might still be a few weeks away – 17 – 26 November – but events are already starting to sell out so head over to check out what’s happening. There’s a 6km beer run, quiz nights, beer dinners, beer versus wine dinners, games and more!

WA Beer News #15

Featuring new collaborations beers from Mash Brewing and Black Brewing; more awards for WA breweries; Nowhereman Brewing is now open and more …

There is a lot of stuff happening in WA’s craft beer scene that it’s genuinely hard to keep up with all the new beer releases and WA really is kicking ass when it comes to craft beer and so I thought I’d try and make a regular feature out of all the new beery goodness our state has to offer.

The girl+beer Facebook page has a list of upcoming beer events that you might find worth subscribing to!

New Beers

Mash Brewing have been busy with limited releases recently and there are another two out now, both available on tap only.

Mash Brewing // the ADventures of milo and Oat.i.s

The puntastic name The Adventures of Milo and Oat.I.S is taken from the 1986 kids movie. The beer is an 8.5 percent ABV Oatmeal Stout brewed with orange and is a collaboration with the guys at Cellarbrations Superstore.

Photo from Mash Brewing’s Facebook

Mash Brewing // RAISIN’ THE BAR

Another collaboration brew but this time with the team at the Belgian Beer Cafe. It is a 7.5 percent ABV Belgian Strong Ale and the beer name refers to the strong raisin character they say comes from a heavy dose of caraaroma malts.

Photo from Mash Brewing’s Facebook


Last month Black Brewing released four keg only variations of their Bao Bao Milk Stout – a version with coffee, another with coconut, an imperial version and one called Port Royale which was rum and port aged. Brand ambassador Tim “Gunslinger” Hoskins says limited quantities of these beers will be available in bottles from next week from selected retailers, check out their Facebook page for updates.

Name Mash’s next beer

The crew at Mash Brewing are already planning their next limited release and it’s going to be a Red Rye IPA infused with nitrogen to add a creamy mouthfeel and lower carbonation to what sounds like an already delicious beer. They’re running a competition on Facebook to find a name for the beer; the winner not only gets the bragging rights but a carton of the beer when it’s released.

WA Award Winners

At the annual Craft Beer Awards were held in Adelaide on Thursday night and two WA breweries picked up Champion Trophies.

Eagle Bay Black IPA was the Champion Dark Ale and Feral Brewing’s Watermelon Warhead took out the trophy for Champion Wheat beer.

Eagle Bay Black IPA has been added to the year round range so you can now get this champion beer all year round!

Full Results available here on Crafty Pint

L-R: Will Irving from Feral Brewing and Adrian d’Espeissis from Eagle Bay Brewing

The Royal Adelaide Beer and Cider Awards were held last night and WA’s own Nail Brewing Red Ale and Clout Stout were awarded Champion Other Ale and Champion Stout respectively. Nail Brewing also tied for Champion Medium Brewery.

Note: I work for Nail Brewing

Photo from Fassina Liquor – Empire Liquor team representing Nail Brewing in SA accepting the trophy for Champion Medium Brewery

Nowhereman Brewing NOW OPEN

The local beer community have been eagerly awaiting for Nowhereman Brewing in West Leederville to open and the day finally arrived on Thursday! There are three beers on tap right now – an American Pale Ale, Saison and Lager – and more beers will be added to the range soon, fresh from the tanks a mere few steps away from the beer taps. They’re open Wednesday to Friday from 4pm and weekends from 12 noon.

You can find them at 25 Harrogate Street, West Leederville

Nowhereman Brewing’s brewer Paul Wyman

Growler fills in Marmion

Liquor Barons in Marmion have just installed a growler system so you can now get your 1lt squealers and 2lt growlers filled with delicious craft beer.

Mane adds sixth tap + 500ml bottles

Mane Liquor have added a sixth tap to their line up that will be specifically for “heavy hitting beers”. They have also added some great looking 500ml bottles as an option to get filled alongside 1lt squealers and 2lt growlers.

Photo from Mane Liquor’s Facebook

Mane Liquor also have Black Vanilla gift boxes available in-store for just $50 which include a bottle of Black Vanilla, their collaboration brew with Eagle Bay Brewing, Whipper Snapper Distillery and artist Kyle Hughes-Odgers, and a matching t-shirt designed by Kyle.

Photo from Mane Liquor’s Facebook


Getting the Gang Back Together – Black Vanilla

Eagle Bay Brewing love collaborating and it’s time for their winter release with Mane Liquor, Whipper Snapper and artist Kyle Hughes-Odgers – Black Vanilla

“It’s fun … except when I get left in the brewery to do all the work!” Nick laughs when I ask him about collaboration brews at Eagle Bay Brewing.

Eagle Bay Brewing seem to love collaborating more than anyone in WA. From annual collabs like the Cacao Stout with Bahen & Co chocolate makers to once-off brews like their West Coast Native Ale with Fremantle venue The Mantle, Eagle Bay seem* to have an open door policy to their (brew)house. In fact they’re working on another collaboration brew right now with Clancy’s Fish Pubs and Twin Peaks coffee.

*always best to ask before you attempt to just wander into a brewery though!

“Working with like-minded producers is always such a pleasure,”

Margarita Wallace, marketing and communications, Eagle Bay Brewing

This year Eagle Bay reunited with retailer Mane Liquor, Whipper Snapper Distillery and artist Kyle Hughes-Odgers to make a beer called Black Vanilla, a whiskey barrel-aged coconut and vanilla imperial stout.

Brew day for Black Vanilla – Photo from Eagle Bay Brewing Facebook

This has become an annual collaboration to make a barrel-aged dark beer and started in 2015 when Eagle Bay teamed up with Mane Liquor and Kyle Hughes-Odgers to make Black and Tannin, a black IPA aged in former Cabernet Sauvignon barrels.

“Collaborating gives you a chance to play with new ideas,”

Nick d’Espeissis, head brewer, Eagle Bay Brewing

In 2016 the crew made Forest for the Trees, and brought in Perth craft coffee roasters Twin Peaks and swapped red wine barrels for whiskey ones with new team mates Whipper Snapper Distillery on board. The result was a whiskey barrel-aged coffee imperial porter.

To make this years Black Vanilla they brewed an imperial stout and barrel-aged it for three months in two Whipper Snapper “Upshot” whiskey barrels. “It’s quite a privilege”, Margarita says “because once those whiskey barrels are given over to us they can’t use them for whiskey again.”

After aging they added toasted coconut and vanilla beans. The result is complex and rich, dark and roasty and it’s drinking great now and will also certainly age nicely.

I was lucky enough to be amongst the first to try Black Vanilla at The Dark Side event at Eagle Bay Brewing last week which they kindly invited me to. The event was held as part of the Cabin Fever Festival in Margaret River. Photos are below from the wonderful evening of food, beers and chat.

My partner once told me about a guy he knew who loved whiskey and when an awesome one would come out he would always buy three bottles – one to drink, one to keep and one just in case. I applied this to Black Vanilla, purchasing three bottles before leaving the brewery.

If you this sounds like an event you’d love and you’re sans a time machine, you can catch the crew who made the beer at the Black Vanilla Winter Feast dinner at Lalla Rookh tomorrow night (Wednesday 25 August). Tickets are $82+bf, more information can be found here.


WA Beer News #1

There is a lot of stuff happening in WA’s craft beer scene that it’s genuinely hard to keep up with all the new beer releases, beer dinners, free bottle shop tastings, expansion plans, constantly rotating beer taps, beer festivals … WA really is kicking ass when it comes to craft beer and so I thought I’d try and make a regular feature out of all the beery news that our state has to offer.

There is a lot of stuff happening in WA’s craft beer scene that it’s genuinely hard to keep up with all the new beer releases, beer dinners, free bottle shop tastings, expansion plans, constantly rotating beer taps, beer festivals … WA really is kicking ass when it comes to craft beer and so I thought I’d try and make a regular feature out of all the beery news that our state has to offer.

The girl+beer Facebook page has a list of upcoming beer events that you might find worth subscribing to!


For those who don’t look at any social media, Feral Brewing have started to make some noise about the release of their very first cans.

Photo borrowed lovingly from Feral Brewing Facebook page
Photo borrowed lovingly from Feral Brewing Facebook page

Sly Fox, their summer ale, will be pretty well known to most, particularly if you drink at The Bird or The Flying Scotsman where the beer is often on a kick ass promotion. War Hog will tickle the fancy of all beer nerds; the Imperial IPA started life as a limited release and so the idea of this beer being around all the time will delight and cause many hangovers. I am suitably preparing myself for the War Hog saturation that will hit social media when these are released!

Perth Local, certainly deserving of its own paragraph, will also get the canning treatment as well as being available in 330ml bottles next month. It’s already on tap in a few places -spotted at The Balmoral and Young Love Mess Hall for instance. Perth Lager was released just a couple of weeks ago and is the first beer from Feral that isn’t an ale.

“We wanted to make a great lager celebrated in our own community as being proudly WA made and owned by the people of Perth,” – Feral Brewing Press Release.

I probably have to mention the article in WA Today relating to Perth Local, implying the Feral copied Horn Bros Perth Draught, another Perth lager. Personally I don’t believe this is the case and I think the more local beers we have the better for everyone, regardless of lager or ale.

You’ll be able to get into Feral cans at their annual Feral Fest event on 11 November, $20 gets you in the door with a can in one hand and, according to the event page, “a fistful of pork crackle” in the other.

Another image lovingly borrowed from Feral's Facebook page
Another image lovingly borrowed from Feral’s Facebook page


On 29 September Eagle Bay Brewing launched Forest for the Trees at Mane Liquor. The beer is an epic collaboration brew with WA friends – Mane Liquor, artist Kyle Hughes-Odgers, Whipper Snapper Distillery and Twin Peaks Coffee. The resulting beer style is a Whiskey Barrel Aged Coffee Imperial Porter.

Eagle Bay Forest for the Trees launch at Mane Liquor
L-R: That’d be me, Elliot (Mane Liquor), Margi (Eagle Bay), Aren (Hippocampus Distillery) and Will (Feral Brewing) at the Forest for the Trees launch

“We gathered the gang, the ingredients and brewed an Imperial Porter, a style of beer best suited to the additional elements to be featured. Part of the beer went straight into the whiskey barrel and the other part went into tank which the coffee was added a couple of days after. Fast-forward six weeks and both parts were blended together and “Forest for the Trees” was born.” – Eagle Bay Press Release.

The result is insanely tasty, we bought two so we could drink one and age the other. The beer is ultra smooth and smells of your favourite morning coffee. The taste continues the coffee flavours along with coconut and vanilla sweetness and a soft bitterness.

Eagle Bay Brewing Forest for the Trees

Only a limited number of bottles were produced so I’d recommend grabbing before it disappears. You can find it at Mane Liquor, Cape Cellars, Baby Mammoth and, of course, at Eagle Bay Brewing.

Photo kindly provided by Eagle Bay
Photo kindly provided by Eagle Bay


You may have noticed Mash’s new branding slowly rolling out in recent weeks and their eye catching, massive change of image is thanks to local artist Ian Mutch. Inspired by zig zag patterns from writing ‘Mash Brewing’ over and over, the end designs are bright, fun and a welcome new look for the Swan Valley brewery. Mash are also celebrating their tenth birthday this year and are having a celebration at the Belgian Beer Cafe on Saturday 15 October. Keep your eyes out for Mash cans coming soon!

Image cheekily stolen from Mash Brewing's Facebook page
Image cheekily stolen from Mash Brewing’s Facebook page


WA brewery new comers, Otherside Brewing Co, launched their Festive Ale this week, an Australian summer ale. Otherside Brewing comes to us from the same team behind Sunset Events and their head brewer is Rhys Lopez, formerly from The Monk in Fremantle. You’ll find Festival Ale at Petition Beer Corner, Who’s Your Mumma, The Local Hotel, Freo Doctor and Clancy’s Fish Pub Fremantle.

Image swiped from Otherside Brewing Facebook page
Image swiped from Otherside Brewing Facebook page


This week Bootleg Brewery launched a new limited release beer, a collaboration brew with Mane Liquor called Eureka! It’s a single hop XPA made with, you guessed it, Eureka hops. It’s a relatively new variety from the US and is a bit of a beast of a hop, it’s got huge character that practically crawls out of the glass!

The first thing that hits you is the aroma, it’s all about sticky, bold hops, tropical fruits and marmalade with a bitter finish that reminds me of super fresh lime.

Get it exclusively from Mane Liquor and at $15 per 4 packs it’s an amazingly tasty bargain!

Bootleg Eureka Single Hop XPA



So, 2015, how good was it?

Doing the whole “reflection” thing even though I wasn’t going to but 2015 was a pretty kick ass year

Pretty damn freaking good, that’s how 2015 was.

I had no intention of doing the whole “highlights of the year” blog thing but I did find myself looking through my photos from the year and thinking, “damn it’s been a great year” so here we go, here’s a few stand outs for 2015 …  (in no particular order)

La Sirene Beer & Cheese Night

Mane Liquor hosted a handful of great events throughout the year, including a ‘King of the Hops’ Dinner at The Trustee and an intimate sour event during WA Beer Week, but one of their stand out events was the stunning beer & cheese session featuring beers from Melbourne’s La Sirene.

Mane Liquor teamed up with the Little Cheese Shop to create these magical beer and cheese matches that blew everyone away.

WA Beer & Cheese Night

Staying with all things creamy and delicious, the Little Cheese Shop have hosted a number of beer & cheese events at their shop in Bayswater. All are a sell out due to the quality of the night and the limited places, here is hoping that Geoff and the team at Little Cheese Shop keep them coming in 2016.

You can read my post on this event here*.

*warning: graphic cheese content that will make you want to eat lots of cheese
Little Cheese Shop - Cheese & WA Beer

A New Job with Nail Brewing

On 1st June I started a new job with Nail Brewing. Nail are WA local, independent, family owned and operated and owner/director John Stallwood’s reputation for brewing is highly regarded so when this opportunity came my way I don’t see how I could have possibly said no. I love my job and I love being involved in the craft beer industry every single day.

Dutch Trading Co. & Petition Beer Corner

We were pretty lucky in 2015 to have two pretty kick ass, dedicated craft beer venues open up. Dutch Trading Co in Victoria Park and Petition Beer Corner in Perth CBD together have more than 40 taps of craft beer goodness.

You can read about DTC here in this article by Guy Southern of Good Times Craft Beverages and fellow WA contributor for Crafty Pint.

Beer at Dutch Trading Co

Day Trip to Adelaide

Coopers invited me, flights and all, to the Adelaide for the launch of this years Coopers Vintage. Though under normal circumstances a day trip from Perth to Adelaide might be madness this was beery related and positively delightful madness.

Read more about my experience at the Coopers Vintage Launch here.

Coopers Vintage tasting

Judging (with training wheels)

Being asked to be an associate judge at the Perth Royal Beer Show this year was an amazing experience both as a challenge and learning for my palate and just to get to hang out with some of the best beer people in the industry.

Read more about my experience here.


Brewing with Women of Beer

Being a part of this years International Women’s Collaboration Brew in WA was a really special event. I day tripped it down to Margaret River and came back with a stomach sore from laughing so much and shoes covered in grape juice!

Read more about this annual event via my article at Crafty Pint.


Countless Great Beers

I could really go nuts refining and categorising a list of great beers I had this year but don’t want to fall down that rabbit hole, it’d be February before I resurfaced! Instead here is a haphazard list of beer highlights from beers I’d had for the first time in 2015 –

    • Little Creatures Return of the Dread
    • Pirate Life IIPA
    • Cantillon Gueuze 100% Lambic Bio




GABS Edition: 5 minutes with Elliot from Mane Liquor

Q&A with Elliot Moore from Mane Liquor about their collaboration with Eagle Bay Brewing for GABS beer – Black & Tannin

The Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular, aka GABS,  is on again as part of the annual amazingness that is Good Beer Week, a nine day festival throughout Melbourne which kicked off on Friday.

Good Beer Week: 16-24th May

GABS: Imagine a really beautiful building and inside are all your favourite Australian breweries, plus a handful of international brewing superstars, with their beers ready for you to taste and brewers keen to have a chat. There’s a variety of beer seminars with people who really know their stuff, plenty of food and live music and on top of all this there’s over 100 unique beers, GABS festival beers, which have been brewed especially for the event and all are on their debut outing because that’s one qualification to be a GABS festival beer. Oh and it’s three marvellous days of this!

My blog has been pretty free of Good Beer Week activity this year and I can only put this down to an act of self preservation as I am not going to GBW this year. Every time GBW is mentioned I get a pang of beer envy but, nevertheless, I cannot ignore the thirst-inducing creative GABS beers that our fab WA brewers have put together for this years festival so I am hoping to bring you a few Q&A’s with the brewers in the lead up to GABS.

Mane Liquor on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Today we have Elliot Moore from Mane Liquor who have collaborated with Eagle Bay Brewing for a GABS beer called ‘Black and Tannin’. This is the second time the bottle shop and brewery have collaborated, the first was a Saison aged in fresh chardonnay barrels in late 2013 called Saisonnay, 18 months later here they are again doing what they love most, making beer with friends.

(top) Elliot, Mane Liquor and (bottom) Nick from Eagle Bay

(left) Elliot – Mane Liquor and (right) Nick – Eagle Bay Brewing

GABS Festival Beer: Black and Tannin | 6.5% ABV | Speciality IPA

The Official GABS Guide says: “This collaboration brew with Mane Liquor features their three favourite things: IPA, dark malts and Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon. This Black IPA has been aged in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels.”

What is so exciting about GABS?

It’s the biggest beer event in the country – 150+ beers that have never been released to market to sample in one venue – what’s not to love?!

Tell us about the Black & Tannin and what was the inspiration behind the brew?

It’s no secret we are great mates with EBBC [note: Eagle Bay Brewing Co] – hanging out in the brewery is what we do best – producing Saisonnay was so much fun we had to do another beer – we hope to do a different collab together every year. Margarita [note: retail and marketing manager for Eagle Bay Brewing] had the idea of using this years collab for the GABS event – and we are very honored to be asked. We wanted to do another barrel aged beer and to showcase the local Margaret River area and produce. We are lucky to have access to wine barrels so decided Cabernet would be the best barrels to pair with a winter themed beer.
The Black IPA from EBBC  is one of our favourite beers so I asked Nick [note: Nick d’Espeissis, head brewer at Eagle Bay] if we could pump up the ABV and malt build to create a 7.5% ABV black IPA, we then decided to age the beer for three months before returning the beer to tank and dry hopping.

What was the trickiest part of the brew?

Black & Tan: a beer cocktail of pale ale with dark beer/stout on top

Deciding on a malt build for the beer was the toughest and coming up with a name. Black & Tannin is a play on Black & Tan as a Black IPA is essentially a new world black and tan – Cabernet has a high tannin level – so from this we created Black & Tannin.

Mane have collaborated with brewers in the past, what makes this collaboration special?

Every collaboration is special, it’s such a treat to be invited into the brewery to assist on the beer itself, I also love coming up with the beer style, recipe, name and label design.
This is the first dark beer we have collaborated on, it’s also the biggest beer Nick has ever made so that was by far the most exciting aspect of the brew.
I’m also super excited to see the beer going into 640ml wax coated bottles – our label has been designed by Kyle Hughes-Odgers, an amazing local artist, so in a way it’s a three way collaboration between brewer, bottle shop and artist.

Who’s beer are you most keen to try this year, and why?

Pirate Life Brewing (SA) are doing a 10.4% ABV Black Belgian Imperial India Pale Ale – that’s exciting! The boys from Moondog (VIC) never disappoint on the GABS beers and 8 Wired (NZ) are doing a Hippy Berliner, a Berliner Weise, which sounds amazing. Also keen to try Ryan from Bootleg’s Chai Milk Stout. [Read my Q&A with Ryan about this beer here].

WA Beer Week: Dude Food Feast

Eating sticky chicken wings with my hands at the beautiful venue like The Trustee Bar & Bistro is kinda like wearing a gorgeous evening dress and a pair of thongs. It’s kinda wrong but there’s no denying that it’s really, really good.

Eating sticky chicken wings with my hands at a beautiful venue like The Trustee Bar & Bistro is kinda like wearing a gorgeous evening dress and a pair of thongs. It’s kinda wrong but there’s no denying that it’s really, really good.

On Tuesday night I was lucky enough to be invited to the ‘Dude Food Feast’ presented by The Trustee and Mane Liquor as part of WA Beer Week. Imagine the tastiest dude food you’ve ever stuck into your face paired with fresh WA beer and set in one of the city’s most beautiful venues and you have a good idea of what my Tuesday night was like.

Roxy and Josh

The beers were selected and presented by Roxy and Josh from Mane Liquor and the food was created by The Trustee Executive Chef Michelle Forbes who, to quote my good friend Jess Shaver, is “so f**king kick ass it’s not even funny”.

Jess was right, Michelle and her food was nothing short of kick ass.


Pork Slider + Colonial Small Ale

The pork had been marinated for 15 hours and its richness was a great match to the bold hops in the Small Ale and the bread was a little on the sweet side highlighting the subtle caramel malt in the beer.

First Entree

Crispy Squid + Cheeky Monkey New Zealand Pilsner

“It’s real tasty”

How Alex, head brewer Cheeky Monkey, described his beer to Josh, Mane Liquor

The squid was thick crumbed and served with chilli aioli and dill mayonnaise, it was also a serving so big that I fear there are no more squid in the oceans. The beer, brewed by Alex and Ross at Cheeky Monkey, uses three New Zealand hop varieties – Dr Rudi, Motueka and Wakatu and the resulting beer was a gorgeous mix of soft tropical fruits and citrus notes. The beer cut through the thick crumb on the squid and the hops were drawn out by the chilli aioli. My favourite part of this dish was the dill mayonnaise cutting through the fresh hops and adding another layer of flavour. Paired with the food, the beer started to take on a kind of sweet glazed ham flavour which may not sound amazing but it really was.

photo 4

Second Entree

Sticky Chicken Wings + Bootleg/Mane Liquor Ryezilla

Sticky Chicken Wings & Ryezilla
Sticky Chicken Wings & Ryezilla

The serving of chicken wings made the plate of squid look tiny. Biting into my first wing my palate got a big whack of coriander. Also made with honey, soy, chilli and lemongrass, the wings were deliciously sticky and fabulous fun to eat. Ryezilla, the collaboration beer between Mane Liquor and Bootleg Brewery, is still boasting heaps of juicy pineapple and mango Enigma hop character though it has rounded out nicely. The wings coaxed out the spice in the beer whilst the sweetness from the glaze on the wings and the caramel malt in the beer worked nicely together.

Sticky Chicken Wings
Sticky Chicken Wings


Beef Short Ribs Slow Braised with Sticky BBQ Sauce, Espresso Aubergine Puree + Eagle Bay Cacao Stout

At this stage of the event I was very full, not just regular full but Christmas-dinner-I-went-back-for-thirds kind of full. Then the ribs landed and they were impossible to resist. The meat was rich and stupidly soft, barely holding on to the bone. The sauce had a subtle sweetness and the espresso aubergine puree provided a nice contrast to the richness of the meat, it also lifted the coffee notes from the Cacao Stout.

Pouring Cacao Stout

The Eagle Bay Cacao Stout is their annual winter release and I was a little sad to realise it would probably be a year until this beer was in my hands again. Made from cacao bean husks, the by-product of the chocolate making process, from Margaret River chocolate maker Bahen & Co, the beer is ultra smooth, chocolatey, roasty and with hints of berry fruit.

Beef Short Ribs
Beef Short Ribs


Salted Caramel Beer Ice Cream + Feral Brewing Razorback Barley Wine

“I’m glad it’s not cheese”

Me reflecting on the final course with words I never thought I would say

When I had the first bite of this dessert it was clear that despite being ready to either burst or fall asleep I was going to eat every part of this amazing dish. The dessert was served with a caramel sauce made with Feral Hop Hog creating a pairing of sweet with sweet when paired with the beer. The roasty flavours of the beer cut through the vanilla wafers and delicate ice cream, this pairing was a great example of when beer and food come together to be amazing and you wouldn’t want to have one without the other.

Salted Caramel Beer Ice Cream
Salted Caramel Beer Ice Cream

Thank you Mane Liquor and The Trustee for inviting me to this fantastic event!

WA Beer Week: Mane Liquor Beer Spectacular

It’s here, it’s finally here! WA Beer Week kicked off today and the official opening event, Mane Liquor’s Beer Spectacular, delivered beer, food and good times in spades, setting the standard for the rest of the week.

It’s here, it’s finally here! WA Beer Week kicked off today and the official opening event, Mane Liquor’s Beer Spectacular, delivered beer, food and good times in spades, setting the standard for the rest of the week.

Mane Liquor transformed their car park into a mini beer festival that showcased both local and international breweries such as south west favourites Eagle Bay and Colonial Brewing alongside New Zealand’s 8 Wired and Epic. I can’t continue without saying the 8 Wired Saison Sauvin is pretty stunning.

Epic & 8 Wired at Mane

The beers that travelled the farthest were from London’s Camden Town Brewery and included their Hells Lager, Gentlemen’s Wit and Pils. Sarah from Hippocampus Drinks, the Australian distributors for Camden, said the Pils had only landed yesterday – what perfect timing for WA Beer Week! Camden Pils is an unfiltered and dry hopped version of their flagship Hells, it’s clean, lightly malty and seriously drinkable.

Camden Town Brewery

Last night Cheeky Monkey was awarded the trophy for ‘Best Reduced Alcohol Draught’ at The Perth Royal Beer Show for their Travelling Monk, a mid-strength red ale. Both Alex and Ross, head brewer and assistant brewer, were at Mane this afternoon and as expected both were pretty stoked with the win. It comes at a bit of a passing of the baton at Cheeky as Ross prepares to take over as head brewer with Alex leaving to expand his career into distilling.

Colonial’s brewers Justin and Paul were also at Mane today and pouring their Kolsch, Small Ale and current release in their IPA series – an English IPA. The next IPA will be an American style which Paul says was brewed last week so keep an eye out for that soon!

Paul at the Colonial bar at Mane Liquor

Gage Roads showcased their new beers – Narrow Neck, Breakwater and Summer Ale. The Narrow Neck was my pick of the three with a great pineapple/mango nose. The body of the beer really benefits from warming up a little with more malty characters coming through. Narrow Neck is a reduced booze beer, joining the likes of Rogers’, Cheeky Monkey Travelling Monk, Eagle Bay Mild and Colonial Small Ale and expanding the mid-strength craft category in WA, a trend that I hope continues.

Homestead Brewery threw out the conventional methods of sampling with their brewer Jackson roaming the crowd with a keg in his backpack. I had at least half a dozen conversations with people who told me to go and find the guy with the keg in a backpack for a sample of a really good beer. Said beer was Homestead’s Black Swan, their black IPA – a wonderful balance of roasty malts and big hops. I loved this approach to sampling though hope Jackson’s back isn’t too sore tomorrow!

Mane Liquor Beer Spectacular
L-R: Me (laughing), Bill (Old Faithful Bar & BBQ), Jackson (Homestead), Reece (WA Beer Week) and Alex (Cheeky Monkey)

Recommended Reading: Brazilian Truckers – blog post by Laura Moseley on Comida do Sul

Other breweries at the event included Bickley Valley and Nail Brewing, Nail picked up a trophy at last night’s Perth Royal Beer Show for ‘Best Stout Packaged’ for their Hughe Dunn Imperial Brown Ale. Little Creatures showed off their latest Single Batch release – a Saison. Mash Brewing were there fresh from their trophy haul last night where they took out ‘Best Commercial Brewery’, ‘Best West Australian Brewery’ and ‘Best Ale Draught’ for Copy Cat AIPA. Eddie Dickens was solo at the Feral Brewing tent as the rest of the team prepared for Feral Fest, held at the Perth Cultural Centre after the Mane Liquor event featuring over 16 Feral beers, pig on a spit and live music until late.

Recommended Reading: Beer Awards – Perth Royal Beer Show by Crafty Pint

There was no shortage of food alongside all this wonderful beer with Comida do Sul Brazilian Food Truck and Toastface Grillah serving up their tasty treats. The smell of delicious melting cheese wafted through half the festival but I couldn’t go past the Choripan from Comida do Sul – $9 gets you a chorizo sausage in a bun with salsa and mayo and it’s divine.

Still on the food side of things Beersine started their assault of WA Beer Week with samples of his infamous Pale Ale Cheddar, made with Feral’s Hop Hog, and their fermented chilli sauce. Mitch, the man behind Beersine, is involved in an event on every single day of the calendar. Now THAT is commitment to WA Beer Week, folks. Basically if you don’t get to have Beersine’s food at least twice during the week you’d have to conclude that you are doing WA Beer Week wrong.

The event was a fantastic way to start WA Beer Week – excited to see what the rest of the week will bring!

5 Minutes with Josh from Mane Liquor

5 minutes with … a 5 minute/5 question interview with great beer loving people …

This edition of 5 minutes with features Josh Daley, one of the directors and all-round-nice-guy at Mane Liquor.

5 minutes with … a 5 minute/5 question interview with great beer loving people …

This edition of 5 minutes with features Josh Daley, one of the directors and all-round-nice-guy at Mane Liquor.

WA Beer Week is coming up fast … it all starts on Saturday so make sure you get your tickets booked to avoid disappointment. Old Faithful goes Feral, an event with Feral Brewing at Old Faithful Bar & BBQ just sold out late last week and as we get closer, more and more events will follow suit.

Mane Liquor, one of Perth’s best beer stores, is on Great Eastern Highway and even though there are no less than four liquor stores between my house and there, I will still drive to Mane. Why? Because the range of beer is amazing and because Josh, Elliot and all their staff are great people who are happy to chat all things booze. You could teach someone a lot about customer service if you spent an hour at Mane Liquor.

With such an impeccable reputation for beer it is unsurprising that Mane are heavily involved in WA Beer Week. They will be kicking off proceedings with the Mane Liquor Beer Spectacular on Saturday 25th October with an afternoon of beer, music by Perth’s radio station RTRFM and food by Beersine, Toastface Grillah and more.

On Tuesday 28th they’ll be hosting a degustation at The Trustee and on Thursday 30th they’ll be teaming up with Baby Mammoth for the We Want Sour! event, a six course evening looking at lambic beers.

I caught up with Josh, one of the directors at Mane Liqour, to chat about WA Beer Week and what beers are currently in his fridge …

Josh, Mane Liquor

There are a record number of events for WA Beer Week this year, why do you think this is?

Mane Liquor on Twitter

Craft beer has grown exponentially in the last few years and I think this has had a massive impact on the growing community and passionate followers of craft beer that have ensued. Social media plays a huge part in it and helps put good beer and events in more and more peoples faces.

Your event with Baby Mammoth – We Want Sour – has rated pretty high on a lot of peoples wish-list of events, what do you think has got people so excited?

I think the fact nothing like this has been done before in WA, or at least on this sort of scale. Sour beers have always been popular internationally but are only just becoming highly sought after in Australia (I guess us Aussies are usually a little late to the party) and I think this is peaking a lot of interest from the long time craft beer drinkers

What otHer WA Beer Week events are you keen to check out?

I’m a bit of a foodie and I really like that section on WA Beer Weeks webpage. The lunch at Co-Op dining looks amazing and knowing how good the food is there, I think that is definitely one to add to the list. I like the looks of East vs West from a beer perspective. The Eagle Bay and 4 Pines guys really know how to put on a good show so that will definitely be worth going to as well. In all honesty, there are just too many great events to mention.

What advice would you offer to anyone going into their first WA Beer Week?

It’s only a week so try and go to as many events as possible! Nothing like this is going to come around again for another year!

What five beers are currently in your fridge at home?

  • Mikkeller George vs Brian Tequila barrel aged… this beer is just ridiculously good. I thought I died and went to heaven when I drank this so I had to replace the gap in my fridge with another one.
  • Eagle Bay Pale Ale – pretty much my go-to carton beer, always good, always fresh and well priced.
  • Bootleg Speakeasy IPA – one of my favourite IPA’s
  • Exit Milk Stout – for a 5.2% stout, this is billowing with flavour
  • Kaiju Cthulhu – love Black IPA’s and this is one of the best Aussie ones I have got my hands on. It’s always a toss up between this and their Behemoth but this having the lower ABV means I’m more likely to want to open this by myself.

Thanks Josh for your time for this interview!

Catch Josh during WA Beer Week at all three Mane Liquor events –