GBW 2014: Meeting new people – Paul from The Rainbow Hotel

Today I met Paul who is a bartender at The Rainbow Hotel and it only reaffirmed my strong belief that beer people are the best people.

Today I met Paul who is a bartender at The Rainbow Hotel and it only reaffirmed my strong belief that beer people are the best people.

Wandering round Fitzroy I was looking for a Pint of Origin venue, a designated venue doing tap takeovers all week showcasing beers from each state in Australia, and found The Rainbow Hotel on St Davids Street. All Good Beer Week long they have handed their beer taps to New South Wales, meaning that beers from the likes of EKIM, Doctors Orders, Thirsty Crow and Young Henry’s are all here for your beer drinking pleasure.

On arrival I asked Paul for a recommendation, given it was my first beer of the day he suggested Young Henry’s Newtowner, a beer that apparently doesn’t usually make it outside of Sydney’s Newtown. I grabbed a pint, ordered some food and sat down in the beer garden in the unseasonal sunshine.

This was my very first Young Henry’s beer. The Newtowner is an English Summer Ale with lovely apricot and mango aromas. Beautiful stone fruit, medium bitterness and citrus, it was a great beer to start the afternoon!

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My very first Young Henry's beer - Newtowner
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The Hod Rod Burger ... The burger was ace - messy enough to enjoy but not so much that you were concerned for your clothes!

As time passed and I took photos of my beers, caught up on some emails and stalked people on Twitter, you know, the usual, I overheard Paul talking customers about Pint of Origin and what beers were available. He happily gave tasters to help people pick their next beer and plugged upcoming events at The Rainbow for the rest of the week. He spoke highly of the previous nights food and beer matching event where he says the stand outs were the Thirsty Crow Vanilla Milk Stout with a caramel driven dessert and the Murray’s Angry Many Brown Ale with a heavily spiced kangaroo dish.

Paul’s pick of the bunch is the Riverside Seventy Seven IPA, a big American style IPA using four different hops and clocking in at 7.7% ABV. Like many of us Paul is a self confessed hop head so if you’re the same I suggest you drop in for a pint!
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Pint of Origin SA – The Tramway Hotel

My partner and I had been enjoying walking around Melbourne during our Good Beer Week, it felt like a trade off for all the amazing food and beer we were consuming. So when we left The Gertrude to visit another Pint of Origin venue, The Tramway, we opted for walking instead of taking a tram.

Pint of Origin

My partner and I had been enjoying walking around Melbourne during our Good Beer Week, it felt like a trade off for all the amazing food and beer we were consuming. So on Friday when we left The Gertrude to visit another Pint of Origin venue, The Tramway, we opted for walking instead of taking a tram.

A growing sense of urgency to for the ladies room and 2.6km later we were at The Tramway only to find it wasn’t open. Not only that but it wouldn’t be open for another two hours. We walked back up Brunswick St to stumble upon Brother Burger and the Marvelous Brew where we had lunch … oh and more beers. Before you knew it, 2 hours had past and The Tramway was opening it’s doors and we could hit up yet another Pint of Origin venue.

Quick PoO recap (words I didn’t ever think I would type on the interwebs) – Pint of Origin started during last years Good Beer Week where five pubs with ample taps acted as homes for WA, SA, NSW, TAS and QLD. The term itself came from Adelaide’s Wheatsheaf Hotel. It meant that throughout Good Beer Week punters could cover off an Australia wide beer tour without straying far from the remaining Good Beer Week shenanigans. Happy days!

I chose Birbeck Brewing’s The Captain; the tasting notes sounded nice and it was only 2.9% abv. There were not many beers lower than 5% amongst the Good Beer Week agenda so I was keen to discover a great tasting low abv beer.

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The Captain was light bodied but by no means watery. Light spices and biscuity malt, it had definite drinkability about it. Whilst it didn’t blow me out of the water it was certainly something I’d happily become repeat offender if it was available in WA.

Both my partner and I have consumed our fair share of Knappstein Reserve Lager in our time, loving the the big floral flavours so when we saw they had a barrel aged version we gave it a shot.

If you like vanilla, I mean if you really like vanilla you would have liked this barrel aged beer but sadly it seemed to smack down any of the Knappstein-ness we fell in love with in it’s original form.

Now with three pubs under our belt it was time to head towards Richmond for an event at Slowbeer with Italian brewery Birra Del Borgo, but that’s another post.

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Pint of Origin TAS – The Gertrude Hotel

I don’t know a lot about Tasmanian beer except for Cascade and Boag’s and the “pure Tasmanian water”, I know I’ve heard that phrase a lot. So I was definitely looking forward to introducing myself to some new beery Tasmanian friends at The Gertrude Hotel, home to the TAS Pint of Origin.

Pint of Origin

I don’t know a lot about Tasmanian beer except for Cascade and Boag’s and the “pure Tasmanian water”, I know I’ve heard that phrase a lot. Oh and that great Boag’s TV commercial – if only they were true.

On the crafty side I’ve had a few Moo Brew beers, particularly enjoying their Pale Ale, but that’s where my Tassie knowledge ends.

So I was definitely looking forward to introducing myself to some new beery Tasmanian friends at The Gertrude Hotel, home to the TAS Pint of Origin.

To quickly recap, Pint of Origin started during last years Good Beer Week where five pubs with ample taps acted as homes for WA, SA, NSW, TAS and QLD. The term itself came from Adelaide’s Wheatsheaf Hotel. It meant that throughout Good Beer Week punters could cover off an Australia wide beer tour without straying far from the remaining Good Beer Week shenanigans. Happy days!

Where: The Gertrude Hotel – 148 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
When: Friday 24th May, about lunchtime

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Beer
I decided to ease myself into our 7th day of Good Beer Week with a Hefeweizen from Iron House Brewery. The aromas were lovely and reminded me of a banana and honey milkshake. There was lots of coriander flavour and spice with the banana seeming more like a backdrop for the other flavours rather than playing the biggest role. Even my partner who usually doesn’t enjoy wheat beers agreed it was tasty.

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Whilst I eased myself into the day with a lighter style of beer my partner went in the opposite direction and selected a stout. It was gorgeous, rich with great chocolate bitterness but as I neglected to write any notes on this beer (writer fail) I sadly cannot remember what it was. I do however remember having a mild case of beer envy.

The next beer I tried was the Houn Dark Apple Ale from Two Metre Tall Brewery, it sounded intriguing. Made with unfiltered apple juice, it definitely had the smell of fermented fruit. I posted a photo of my beer to Instagram with a single word – weird. I was getting the appleness, some perhaps biscuity malts too but it just wasn’t coming together for me.

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With a few new beers under our belts it was time to make a move … Next up, Brother Burger for a dose of NZ and The Tramway for PoO SA.