#temptingtuesday – July

One of my recent random ideas as been #temptingtuesday – combining my love affair with Twitter, the fun of chatting with great people and my eternal affection for beer.

girl+beer logo with twitter

One of my recent random ideas has been #temptingtuesday – combining my love affair with Twitter, the fun of chatting with great people and my eternal affection for beer.

The mechanics are simple, just like its author, where on the first Tuesday of each month I ask the big wide world of the Twitterverse a beer related question. I get inspired and blog the results, hopefully next time it won’t take me the whole month!

I kicked it off last month and given that I would live off beer and cheese if I wasn’t worried my heart would stop, the first topic for #temptingtuesday made sense …

Me

You can check out the results here.

For July’s #temptingtuesday I wanted to know what beers had changed your life, the ones that totally rocked your world and made you wish the bottle or glass would instantly refill itself.

Me

It was so good to read peoples fond memories for the beers they love so much. Thank you to everyone who contributed, I now have a hell of a shopping list.

How is this for an amazing shopping list ...Damn it, just noticed a typo in my list. Rookie Mistake. Oh well, I’ve had a few beers so I’m just going to leave it, hope you find it amusing as opposed to lazy.

I had the pleasure of trying to Rodenbach Grand Cru at Boatrocker Palate Cleanser for Good Beer Week. The Grand Cru is a beautiful Flanders Red Ale, a style that incorporates barrel aging, blending and special Belgian yeast strains. I found a good article on the style here if you’re keen.

Saison Dupont, Feral Hop Hog and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale are all firm favourites in my book but with all these great beers it was time to go shopping! Not for everything of course, stupid credit card limit …

Green Flash Double Stout

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Tripel Karmeliet

So, I guess I’d better let you go, you’ve got some shopping to do!

#temptingtuesday – June

On my first #temptingtuesday – Tuesday 4th June – I asked: “What’s your favourite beer and cheese pairing in recent memory?”

The more I use Twitter, the more I love it. It’s amazing how passionate people can be in just 140 characters.

On the first Tuesday of June I decided I wanted to use Twitter to ask more questions. I always want to learn more about beer and there’s great books, magazines and websites I like to read. But the simple act of asking a question can sometimes get better results, personal insights and opinions and hell, it’s just more fun.

I’m calling it #temptingtuesday and asking the twitterverse something relating to beer on the first Tuesday of the month. Why “tempting’? … read on, you’ll see!

The first girl+beer #temptingtuesday question was …

#temptingtuesday

I answered my own question to get the ball rolling –

Me

I had this at The Goat and The Big Apple during Good Beer Week, a lunch at Mountain Goat Beer in Richmond with their beers together with Brooklyn Brewery (USA). It was simply divine.

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And here is the mouthwatering list of beer and cheese love affairs that was tweeted to me,

Tempting Tuesday 2 Temping Tuesday 3 Tempting Tuesday 1

So it was time to go shopping, I picked out two beer and cheese pairings from the list.

First up a suggestion from Steve Brockman, a Perth born brewer who is one half of Two Brewers Abroad and former Head Brewer at Fremantle’s The Monk Brewery.

Steve 3

I like simple; I have a tendency to over-complicate things so this match definitely appealed to me. Also it was also an easy shop.

Cheese – Cracker Barrel Vintage Cheddar. Just cause it comes from the supermarket doesn’t mean it’s crap. It’s a decent cheddar, fruity, tangy and nutty with a real thick mouth coating quality.

Beer – Coopers Sparkling Ale. What a classic beer! Floral, a little spicy and with massive drinkability.

Result? Hell yeah. Steve was right, keeping it simple isn’t sacrificing on taste. All the flavours complimented each other nicely and beer is just so good at cutting through a thick cheese.

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For my second choice I went for a suggestion from Victoria’s Bright Brewery,

Bright 2

Sadly I didn’t have any of their Razor Wit, a Belgian style witbier. Nor did I know where to get any Red Hill Cheese Portsea Picnic, a mild semi-hard goat cheese. So I improvised a little –

Cheese – South Cape Goat’s Cheese. Soft, fruit with a delicate tartness.

Beer – Billabong Wheat. Massive banana sweetness, light bodied and refreshing.

Result? The two were alright together but the sweetness from the beer dominated the soft goat’s cheese. A beer a little easier on the banana and weightier on the spice might have worked better.

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I’ll leave this post on the Tweet that made me laugh the most … thanks Scott, you cheeky devil!

I hope you’ll join me on Twitter for the next #temptingtuesday on the 2nd July!

Scott

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!)

Beer Drinkers Look Like A Mess

I am Asian and a girl. I like Doctor Who and Bruce Willis movies. I have a little red car that I picked partly because red goes faster. I like stinky blue cheese and I make a killer risotto. I’m rubbish at making desserts. I go a little mushy at new born babies and puppy dogs and I have done a few years of martial arts training. I have way too many dresses and tend to wear them all with my favourite black peep-toe heels. I like American IPAs and Black IPAs, Imperial Stouts and Porters, Vintage Cider and Ginger Beer and a lot more. So where do I fit within the image of an Australian beer drinker?

Guests at Five Bar enjoying another Beer Event

I have been thinking about beer + branding in the last couple of days since reading Matt Kirkegaard’s great articles on Australian Brew News. There has been recent reports of a slowing down of beer consumption in Australia and it raises some interesting points about beer marketing, the image of a beer drinker and how these things have evolved (or not) over time.

Is this what we look like?

Traditionally beer has been branded in Australia as a cold lager devoured quickly and in significant quantities. The Australian beer drinker is shown to be men who are blokey, beer-bellied and bearded looking like some version of Santa on a beach holiday. They are shown standing around a BBQ, playing cricket or just sitting around an esky. I acknowledge stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason however these images are not particularly alluring and now outdated, certainly not anything like the beer drinkers I know nor the beer drinker I am. We are beer drinkers, not a target market.

The single and flat image of the average beer consumer is such a violent contrast to the reality of beer. What captured my attention in beer in the first place was it’s rich history and endless stories surrounding individual beers, breweries and people and the incredible diversity you can find.

There have been oh-so-many occasions whilst I was working at the bar and been pleasantly surprised at a drinks order. You just can’t spot who will order a Brewdog Hardcore IPA, Saison Dupont or Stone & Wood Pacific Ale because the picture of a typical beer drinker is evolving into a hybrid of personalities and appearances. Could you imagine a police sketch artist trying to draw your average beer drinker? It conjures up a strange image in my mind of layer upon layer of different facial features, ending in a mess of pencil marks and crossing outs.

My favourite story to illustrate this occurred at Five Bar where I was taking a drinks order from a group of 6 men and 2 women. Everyone was engrossed in the beer list, searching for something new. I had assumed that the petite Asian girl who was rather soft spoken would get a glass of wine but instead asked me about Schlenkerla Marzen. I enjoy this German smoke beer and liken the flavour to that of the rich cured meat aromas that hit you when you walk into The Re-Store. That’s precisely how I described the beer to the customer and she loved it. It was wonderfully unexpected! It’s the same as being worried you’ll run out of 4 Pines Kolsch because you put a group onto it and they continued to order it for a number of following rounds.

For me, my first experiences with beer were as a kid. I remember Dad working away at something in the garage with a tinny of Emu Export. I remember the red and white cans and the can crusher he would let me use to turn his empty beer can into a small disc, tossing around on the ground. As a family we would go to the Fremantle Markets on a Saturday and drop into The Sail & Anchor where Dad would get a tall glass of Redback Wheat Beer with a slice of lemon.

From there my relationship with beer took a bit of a holiday as I did the usual foray into sickly sweet vodka pre-mix drinks as a teenager (18 years + of course) but found myself a part of the opening team at the Belgian Beer Cafe Westende. That’s where beer and I were reacquainted and we’ve not parted ways since.

I am Asian and a girl. I like Doctor Who and Bruce Willis movies. I have a little red car that I picked partly because red goes faster. I like stinky blue cheese and I make a killer risotto. I’m rubbish at making desserts. I go a little mushy at new born babies and puppy dogs and I have done a few years of martial arts training. I have way too many dresses and tend to wear them all with my favourite black peep-toe heels. I like American IPAs and Black IPAs, Imperial Stouts and Porters, Vintage Cider and Ginger Beer and a lot more. So where do I fit within the image of an Australian beer drinker?

Clearly I don’t fit in and thankfully beer lovers take up Twitter and Facebook to start conversations around beer. Brewers are accessible, friendly and happy to have a chat both online and in person. Foodies are looking at beer and discovering another element in their dining experiences. Everyone is sharing ideas and helping each other out. It might not be a Carlton Draught Big Ad but we are all paying attention when our favourite brewer announces a new limited release on Twitter or posts details of a beer & food matching event on Facebook. And maybe it’s that conversation and sense of community that matters more than a TV commercial or major advertising campaign.