Weekend Reading #26

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.

Goodtimes Craft Beverages | Homestead Brewery: Ron Feruglio Interview

A great local Perth blog by Guy Southern who I frequently run into at beer events either just as I’m leaving or as he is leaving, we sadly appear destined not to share a beer together ever! That aside, I really enjoyed this interview Guy did with Homestead brewer Ron Feruglio. Homestead, if you haven’t been out there, is the newest brewery in the Swan Valley and Ron brings a heck of a lot of knowledge and experience with him to this new venture. The result, I think, is an excellent core range of beers that aren’t afraid to be a bit challenging and a genuinely exciting limited release range that I think will bring lots of beer geeks to their knees frequently as they are released throughout 2015. If that all sounds like your cup of tea, and I’m assuming since you’re reading then the odds are fairly good, I’d be reading this interview. Probably with a beer too.

Homestead grand opening

L: Homestead Brauhaus Munich Lager | R: Homestead Curvee Belgian Ale

All About Beer | Sweden Rising: Beer Culture Booms in Scandinavian Country

I really enjoy reading about how craft beer culture is developing in countries other than Australia and America as most of my reading tends to centre around these two countries. To glimpse into the craft beer world of Mexico or Sweden, as this article links to, is a nice reminder of how far reaching the love for craft beer is.

Broadsheet | What Exactly is Sour Beer?

A nice and relatively brief article introducing sour beer – what it is, what you can expect and a handful of recommendations. Sour beer has been growing in popularity here and whilst it can be a very abrasive experience for some, it can also be a game changer. I recently heard some great advice on how to try sour beers, it came from a new beer podcast I have been listening to – The Sour Hour by The Brewing Network – and they talked about a ‘three sip rule’. Why three? Because the first sip is a shock, you’ve just slapped your palate! The second sip gets you into it, you start to taste more flavours and then the third sip, you’re in, you’re getting it.

Homestead Brewery Grand Opening

Beautiful food, amazing beers and a killer setting with the red carpet rolled out … welcome to the Homestead Brewery grand opening

“It’s a brewery opening,” I thought to myself, “you don’t need to be too dressy”.

A couple of weeks ago my partner and I were invited to attend the grand opening of Mandoon Estatee & Homestead Brewery and as I stood in line I couldn’t help but notice the overwhelming number of high heels and suits.

Meanwhile I was in jeans and cursing my earlier thought process. It was late to go home and change so I instead focused my attention away from my attire and onto the task at hand – enjoying the opening of the newest brewery in Perth.

Homestead Grand Opening

Homestead Brewery on Facebook

As I walked in, dodging the photo opportunity at the entry, I was greeted by a smiling staff member holding a tray of beer. Like a magnet I was dragged in and collected a glass of the Brauhaus Lager, a Munich style lager that had been kegged about two hours before guests started to arrive. I failed to write any notes on this beer but had two of them which I think says it all –  it’s a genuinely interesting beer without being too complicated, one of those beers you can just drink and enjoy but if you wanted to get all beer-geeky it’s flavourful, balanced and perfectly served.

Homestead Grand Opening

There was no shortage of food for the night with staff circulating through the crowds with delicious platters such as sirloin wrapped beans, mini shepherd’s pies, and buffalo chicken bites with blue cheese sauce. Then there were the dedicated chefs tables – one making mini desserts, mouthfuls of lovely sweets, one located on the other side of the beer garden making a peking duck style dish which I went back for multiple times and near the main bar was a dedicated sushi and fresh oyster table. Between the duck, mini tiramisu and oysters so I could indulge in many of my favourite foods all night. If there had been a cheese station I may have slept the night there!

Homestead grand opening

Homestead grand opening

Homestead grand opening

My partner and I got to meet Derry, Homestead’s bar manager, who was really proud of the venue and how the night was going; he was also good enough to introduce us to their head brewer Ron Feruglio.

As expected the bar was very busy but what I hadn’t expected was to see Ron serving people like any other bartender. Ron had been brewing all day, kegging off the new lager and was now behind the bar. Between serving customers he also managed to find the time to provide us with samples of their first limited release beer Curvee and talk us through the beer.

Homestead grand opening

The release is a Belgian style ale and it’s far from a simple brew, it involves two different types of rye, three types of yeast and palm sugar. It’s also aged in Mandoon Estate Shiraz barrels.

The result is a deceptive 6% ABV beer that’s surprisingly light in body. It’s a beer that evolves dramatically in the glass if you have the patience to sip on it over time to experience flavours like red grape skins, figs, plums, coffee, red fruit and nuts. The finish is dry and light, I kept shaking my head at how light it was on my palate.

Berliner Weisse – a sour German wheat beer characterised by a tart and refreshing profile and low on the booze

Our chat with Ron and his assistant brewer Jackson revealed they have a lot planned for Homestead including their next two limited release beers – a pair of Berliner Weisse beers called Napoleon and Josephine, the former being made in a traditional style and the latter being made with raspberries. These should be ready early next year. Beer nerds rejoice!

The grand opening certainly put the emphasis on the “grand” but it was much more about substance and passion than pretty lights and design. Ron and Jackson have produced some of the best beers you’ll try in WA and will satisfy both new comers to beer and self proclaimed beer geeks. Personally I cannot wait to spend more time at Homestead.

Homestead grand opening

Additional Reading – Setting up Homestead on Crafty Pint and an interview with Ron at What’s Mashing WA

Big thank you to Sandra, Ron, Jackson, Denny and the rest of the team at Mandoon Estate & Homestead Brewery for the invitation to attend their grand opening!