5 Minutes with Dave from Mountain Goat Beer

A quick interview with Dave Bonighton, co-founder and head brewer at Mountain Goat Beer, talking about WA Beer Week

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

This edition of 5 minutes with features Dave Bonighton, co-founder and head brewer at Victoria’s Mountain Goat Beer.

WA Beer Week is less than two weeks away so your excitement levels should be fast approaching the status of ‘pants-wetting’. With this in mind I’m hoping you’ll forgive the extension of the normal 5 questions!

WA Beer Week Logo

WA Beer Week banner

We are lucky to have so many exceptional brewers right in our own backyard and WA Beer Week will also bring brewers from across the country and even across the water including Jos from New Zealand’s Garage Project and Jayne from Two Birds Brewing.

Dave from Mountain Goat will also making the trip out west and he was kind enough to do this little interview.

Mountain Goat, for those unfamiliar, are one of the older Australian craft breweries. Their first beer, the Hightail Amber Ale, was released back in 1997 and they’ve been driving the industry and satisfying palates across the countries ever since. Whether it’s their original Hightail, their Rare Breeds (limited releases) or Cross Breeds (collaboration beers) or beer in a can, I’ve always found Mountain Goat beers to be consistently great.

Mountain Goat, Richmond

If you’ve not had the pleasure of meeting Dave I would strongly suggest to make plans to change this. If there was a ‘nicest brewer in Australia’ award I reckon he’d place in the top five for sure. Until then …

What do you enjoy most when visiting WA?

This is an easy one. The beer! There are so many great beers that we just don’t get to try over east, it’s great to get amongst it in its natural habitat.

Where did the idea to collaborate with The Monk Brewery & Kitchen come from?

Follow Craig on Twitter

Craig, the Head Brewer at The Monk used to brew with us at Goat, so it seemed a pretty logical thing to do. It worked well in Melbourne – it should work pretty well in Freo!

What can you reveal about the beer itself?

It’s a lager. They’re often a forgotten style in the craft world, so we wanted to have a crack. It’s a full, 6.2% golden hued ‘new world’ lager with Australian Summer and Galaxy Hops. 25BU, 6 EBC. Built for special occasions, like WA Beer Week!

Will any of the beer make it back to Melbourne with you?

I hope so!

Any clues on what Goat beer will be at Bob’s Fest?

[Bob’s Fest – a WA Beer Week event happeing 30 October to 2 November at Bob’s Bar (upstairs at The Print Hall) featuring over 60 beers from over 30 breweries – only 1 keg of each beer and chance to meet the brewers! ]

It should be The Delmont West Coast IPA, our current ‘In-Breed’. It’s a 7% IPA brewed with Amarillo, Cascade, Citra, Centennial and Simcoe hops. Named after and conceived by our first On-Road-Goat, Tom Delmont.

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

I’m only in town for a 2 days, so its going to be tricky to get to everything I’d like to. Bob’s Fest should be fun, and I might head over to the Sail & Anchor after our event at The Monk for their barrel event [Night of the Barrels].

What can we expect to see from Goat this summer?

More of the same I reckon! Summer Ale in a can has been so much fun for us, we’ve got no intention of stopping that one. Something else should appear in a can early next year, as well as our next Cross Breed, which is shaping up nicely, but I can’t say too much more!

Catch Dave at at Bob’s Fest on Thursday 30 October at Bob’s Bar at Brookfield Place, Perth CBD and at The Monk and The Goat Collaboration BBQ on Friday 31 October at The Monk Brewery & Kitchen in Fremantle. 

Hottest 100 + Beer

I have to confess. I’ve never voted in this before, mainly because I’m pretty lazy and it all just seemed too hard. How on earth do you select a top 5? I’m sure it doesn’t need saying but there are some really amazing, delicious, tasty, dangerous, sexy, heart-pounding exciting beers being made all over the country … how the hell do you pick a top 5?

It’s Hottest 100 time again – beer style, of course. That’s right  – the Taphouse Hottest 100 is back and if you’ve not got your votes in yet I suggest you hurry up! Pick your favourite Australian beers from 2012 and vote now peoples!

Taphouse Hottest 100

It all sounds so easy, right?

I have to confess. I’ve never voted in this before, mainly because I’m pretty lazy and it all just seemed too hard. How on earth do you select a top 5? I’m sure it doesn’t need saying but there are some really amazing, delicious, tasty, dangerous, sexy, heart-pounding exciting beers being made all over the country … how the hell do you pick a top 5?

I reckon James Davidson from Beer Bar Band blog had a great system for selecting a top 5 – check it out here. If only I could steal it but sadly the percentage of beers I drink that actually end up on Untappd are rather small. I’m not sure whether to put this down to laziness or denial, either way it’s not an accurate tool for me to judge the beers I’ve most enjoyed in 2012.

In reality I could have spent hours painstakingly putting together a top 5, based on any number of criteria from most consumed, most written about, most interesting, most whatever. In the end I looked at my list of beers on my blog and voted for the five beers that jumped out at me and triggered great beery memories.

Feral Ales at Five (1)

I remember the first time I tried this, it blew me away! Feral Hop Hog is hands down one of my favourite beers and spotting a barrel fermented version made me excited like a small child fueled by red cordial. Generally only found at Feral Brewing, Swan Valley, but sometimes it appears at my old stomping ground, Five Bar in Mt Lawley.

The Monk - The Chief

The joyful sounds coming from the table at the Perth Royal Beer Show awards when the team at The Monk picked up their award was awesome. Tasting the beer at the Exhibitor Tasting was even better.

On a side note, be sure to like /follow Two Brewers Abroad – Steve (formerly of The Monk) and Steph (formerly of Gage Roads) as they hit the USA for lots of beery adventures!

Goat Bottles (1)

Gotta love a collaborative limited release brew! The first bottle I tried of this was a gift from some friends and it was love at first sight. An amazingly tasty beer and I was lucky enough to drink it with Goat Brewer, Dave, at The Night of the Goat at Five Bar, Mt Lawley … well, we all drank this until it ran out but luckily there was plenty of Surefoot Stout and Hightail Ale to ensure we were replenished!

Black Market IPA Words

When I am at Bootleg Brewery and this seasonal beer is on tap I just have to have it. It’s that simple. If you’re lucky you may be able to find a 6 pack in your local bottle-o, I do love the packaging on this one too – ye olde newspaper style.

Temple Midnight IPA (1)

Tried this around the time of my 30th birthday, made pizzas and chilli prawns and it was sensational. I remember sitting on the couch, sipping away and wishing my glass would do that magical refill thing from the Tim Tams ad.

Beer + Awards

Hitching a seat at the Perth Royal Beer Show Awards Ceremony with the team at Feral Brewing, tweeting with Jayne Lewis from Two Birds and finishing the night at Five Bar … yup, that’s a Friday night

Beautiful Three Course Dinner

Before I start I want to send a big THANK YOU to Feral Brewing

who so kindly offered me their spare seat at this years

Perth Royal Beer Show Awards Ceremony held at The Parmelia Hilton.

I arrived in the city a little early and found myself yawning so went on a mission to find a convenience store to purchase an energy drink. On my travels I ran into Mal, Head Brewer from Colonial Brewing, and brewers from Gage Roads who were on route to The Print Hall for a beer. They invited me along and beer certainly sounded a lot tastier than some horrible fluorescent energy drink.

After a pint of Colonial Alt Beer I headed to the Hilton for the big night. [Click here for a full list of the evenings winners].

The evening started with Swan Draught and Cowaramup Pilsener before we took our seats for dinner. I sat beside Jayne Lewis from Two Birds Brewing who’d been in town for the judging and having met on Twitter it was nice to make the leap into the real world. On that note don’t forget to follow Jayne on Twitter. Jayne tweets more frequently and with far more interesting stuff than I do. I got to witness her amazing high speed smart phone typing skills as trophies flew out in quick succession.

Sitting with the team from Feral, I got the chance to catch up with Brendan Varis who laughed at my story of selling Hop Hog to a customer at Clancy’s Fish Pub Dunsborough.

Customer: “What can you tell me about this?” [points to Feral Hop Hog decal]

Me: “It’s fucking awesome”

Customer: “I’ll have a pint”

Entrees arrived and I’d been looking forward to a spicy Tandoori Chicken match with Feral Hop Hog but they went rather lighter on the spices than I had hoped. Perhaps it’s just my palate-slaughtering use of chillies at home that ruined my expectations. All in all it was still a tasty dish and for those wondering, because I had to look it up too, “timbale” is kinda fancy speak for “round” and “paratha” is Indian flat bread. Fancy!

One of the highlights of the night had to be the cheers, woops and clapping from The Monk Brewery & Kitchen table as they were awarded the trophy for Best Ale Draught for their The Chief – Amarillo Edition and pulled in a few 2nd places in big categories too.

The other highlight was being witness to a healthy dose of man-love from the guys at Billabong Brewery for each of the 4 trophies they picked up – Best WA Beer of the Show, Best Commercial Beer of the Show, Best Wheat Beer Packaged and Best Wheat Beer Draught.

Mains were delicious, I think the only comment from our table was the feeling of being fooled in thinking the parsnip was another prawn spring roll!

After cleaning my plate of entree and main, and our table had requested yet another carafe of Feral Hop Hog, I was struggling to find room to fit dessert. A choice had to be made so I merely sampled the Beeramisu, lovely creamy and soft, and instead enjoyed a full glass of The Monk Porter. After all, there has to be room for beer! It poured beautifully, a nice thick head, with soft chocolate and caramel flavours that was perfect for finishing the night on … (or least finishing dinner on before catching up with Five Bar’s chef, beer dude and all round top guy, Mitch for a beer or two at Five!)