WA Beer News #3

News and stuff about what’s happening in WA craft beer

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!


Colonial Brewing

In case anyone hadn’t already figured out, 2016 is the year that WA gets a LOT of cans. Mash, Feral and Nail are all set to release cans before the year is done, meanwhile Colonial Brewing have got their new canning machine in Port Melbourne up and running (I know, I know, Port Melbourne isn’t in WA but I still think of Colonial as being just as much WA as it is VIC). They’ve added two beers, a pale ale and IPA, and a cider, Bertie’s, to their line up. Whilst their pale ale has been part of the draught range for a long time, the Australian IPA started life as a limited release to showcase an all Aussie malt and hop profile which includes Ella, Topaz, Super Pride, Vic Secret and Galaxy.

Colonial Brewing cans
Colonial cans at Mane Liquor Carpark Party 2016

Cheeky Monkey Brewery

For WA Beer Week – 11-20 November – Cheeky Monkey teamed up with local bottleshops Cape Cellars and Dunsborough Cellars and local bar The Fire Station for a collaboration brew called Caped Crusader, named after the south west’s cape to cape region. It’s a 5.5 percent ABV super pale ale that should please those who like their hoppy American style pale ales and will be available on tap and in 500ml cans.

The official beer launch is happening on Thursday 17 September at The Fire Station, event information here.

Photo courtesy of Cheeky Monkey, looks like brew day was good fun!
Photo courtesy of Cheeky Monkey, looks like brew day was good fun!

Also keep an eye out for Cheeky Monkey’s previous limited release, the Hop Flinger IPA which has been earmarked to go into the full time portfolio in draught and 375ml cans. With any luck it will be some time soon!

More Collaborations

WA Beer Week will see a number of collaboration brews in addition to Cheeky Monkey’s Caped Crusader.

and don’t forget …

Plenty of beer events coming up –

  • 11 November – Feral Fest 4
  • 11 – 13 November – Fremantle BeerFest
  • 12 November – Pirate Life Invasion
  • 11 – 20 November – WA Beer Week
  • 16 November – La Sirene at Baby Mammoth

Find more information on these events here

 

WA Beer News #2

News and stuff about what’s happening in WA craft beer

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!


Little Creatures gets hoppy

It’s been a little wait but Little Creatures ‘Single Batch’ beers back! Now in 640ml tall bottles – a change up from their previous Little Creatures pint size bottle – the series returns with a double IPA called “Very Hoppy Ale” aka VHA.

VHA uses seven different hop varieties and the recipe took inspiration from their 2011 Single Batch release – The Big Dipper.

A very limited number of bottles are available from their Fremantle brewery where it’s also on tap, limited number of kegs too of course! A little birdy tells me the beer will make an appearance at this weekend’s BeauVine Festival in Highgate but there’ll only be ONE KEG so get in quickly.

Image from Little Creatures Facebook page
Image from Little Creatures Facebook page

WA Beer Week is COMING

This year is the 15th annual WA Beer Week which I am pretty sure makes us the oldest beer week in the country! There’s over 40 events across the “week” which is, as always, actually ten days and starts on Friday 11 November, running until 20 November.

Fremantle BeerFest is on the first weekend of the week spanning three days – it’s not just beer either, plenty of cider, live music, master classes and comedy shows too. Local legends Cellarbrations Superstore will be the retail sponsors of the festival and not only will they be hosting a master class but also pouring a collab beer they’ve been working on with a few local breweries!

2014 Fremantle BeerFest
2014 Fremantle BeerFest

An event guide will be coming out with an upcoming edition of The Sunday Times but if you can’t wait and want to plan out your sick days / holidays / late mornings now, you can check out the website for full details and also buy tickets here.

Aging on The Beer Farm

A short and sweet post on Facebook this week showed The Beer Farm have had some Saison aging away in barrel, it’s been in for three months and they’re unleashing it this weekend. It’s available only at the brewery so if you’re down south this weekend, stop in and please let me know how it is!

The Beer Farm

Spotted on tap this week …

Otherside Brewing Co. Festival Ale at Old Faithful, Northbridge

Gage Roads Little Dove at Clarence’s, Mt Lawley

Cheeky Monkey Hop Flinger IPA at Indian Ocean Brewery, Mindarie

Boston Brewery Marzen at The Flying Scotsman, Mt Lawley

 

WA Beer Week 2015

WA Beer Week | 7 – 15 November | Events galore for all tastes and pockets!

WA Beer Week is getting really close, so close I am both terrified and excited.

Terrified because due to my working within the industry it’s a super busy time with some days where I have about an hour to get from one place to the next assuming all goes well. Excited because, well, HOT DAMN it’s WA Beer Week, baby!

It all kicks off on 7th November and runs until the 15th. Yes, keen date enthusiasts will note that it’s not actually one week, it’s nine days.

Nine days of glorious beer celebrations that will see stacks of great events held all over Perth and even a few in the south west.

If you’re in a festival mood …

WA Beer Week starts and ends with a festival so even if you can’t make it to events on a school night, you can still get a tasty of the beery action –

Friday 6 – Sunday 8 November

Bar Pop Beer Fest, Beers Ciders and Sliders | Perth Urban Orchard

Saturday 7 November

Mane Liquor Beer Spectacular Carpark Festival | Mane Liquor

Thursday 12 – Monday 16 November

Bob’s Fest | Bob’s Bar

Saturday 14 & Sunday 15 November

Fremantle Craft Beer Festival | Fremantle Esplanade

Fremantle Beer Fest 2014

If you’re just as much a foodie as you are a beer geek …

Sunday 7 November

Monk Iron Chef: Knife Fight | Monk Craft Brewery Kitchen

Share | Monk Craft Brewery Kitchen (upstairs)

Belgian / French Beer Degustation | STIX Bar

Monday 9 November

Sweet & Sour | Monk Craft Brewery Kitchen (upstairs)

Wednesday 11 November

Feast with Moon Dog | Budburst Small Bar

Cantina 663 Artisan Brewing Beer Dinner | Cantina 663

Asian Sensations Dumpling Degustation | Canton Bar

Where the Wild Things Roam | The Dutch Trading Co.

Thursday 12 November

Long Table Brazillion BBQ | The Old Brewery

Brewer vs Butcher | The Boulevard Hotel

Friday 13 November

Glazed & Brewed with Boatrocker | The Pourhouse Bar & Kitchen

 

Sunday 15 November

Palate Cleanser Perth | Petition Beer Corner

Barefoot Bowls and Beers | North Fremantle Bowling Club

If you’re into sours and funky things …

Monday 9 November

Sweet & Sour | Monk Craft Brewery Kitchen (upstairs)

Tuesday 10 November

Sour Power | Mane Liquor

Wednesday 11 November

Where the Wild Things Roam | The Dutch Trading Co.

Palate Cleanser Perth | Petition Beer Corner

Matt - Boatrocker

Matt at 2014 Melbourne Good Beer Week Palate Cleanser event

If you like tap takeovers …

All Week

Little Creatures Family Tap Takeover | Little Creatures Brewery

Mrs Brown’s Birds | Mrs Browns Bar

Tuesday 10 November

Birds of a Feather Tap Takeover | Swings Tap House & Kitchen

Nail Brewing Tap Takeover | Petition Beer Corner

If you like a bit of education with your beer …

Saturday 7 November

Open House | Eagle Bay Brewing Co.

Sunday 8 November

Little Creatures Beer School | Little Creatures Brewery

Wednesday 11 November

NBC Rockin Quiz Night | Northbridge Brewing Co.

Mane Liquor Beer Quiz Night | The Precinct

L-R: Elliot (Mane), Josh (Precinct), Josh (Mane) and Roxy (Bridge Road Brewery)

Last Years Beer Quiz at The Precinct

Thursday 12 November

Women in Craft Beer 101 Presented by The Classroom & Mash Brewery | The Classroom

If you want to meet a brewer or two …

Saturday 7 November

Open House | Eagle Bay Brewing Co.

 

Tuesday 10 November

Sour Power | Mane Liquor

Wednesday 11 November

Feast with Moon Dog | Budburst Small Bar

Where the Wild Things Roam | The Dutch Trading Co.

Cantina 663 Artisan Brewing Beer Dinner | Cantina 663

Thursday 12 November

Meat the Brewers | Porky’s Northbridge Bar & BBQ

Meet the Brewmaster Matthew Houghton | Petition Beer Corner

Women in Craft Beer 101 Presented by The Classroom & Mash Brewery | The Classroom

Beer Skool: Fight Club 2 | Monk Craft Brewery Kitchen

East Versus West Fight Club | The Firestation Beer and Wine Bar

Friday 13 November

Beer Through the Ages | The Dutch Trading Co.

Little Creatures Family Reunion | Little Creatures Brewing Co.

Little Creatures at Gourmet Escape 2012

Sunday 15 November

Palate Cleanser Perth | Petition Beer Corner

If you also have a love for whiskey …

Thursday 12 November

Boiling Point | Petition Beer Corner

Friday 13 November

Beer & Whisk(e)y Night | Monk Craft Brewery Kitchen

If you have a sweet tooth …

Monday 9 November

Sweet & Sour | Monk Craft Brewery Kitchen (upstairs)

Friday 13 November

Glazed & Brewed with Boatrocker | The Pourhouse Bar & Kitchen

If you wanted to try a new beer …

Monday 9 – Thursday 12 November

Nail Clout Stout Tours Clancys | Across all Clancy’s Fish Pubs

Wednesday 11 November

The Jester & The Minstrel Beer Launch | Monk Craft Brewery Kitchen (basement)

Friday 13 November

Beer Through the Ages | The Dutch Trading Co.

 

 

WA Beer Week: Ladies Beer Tasting

This years WA Beer Week hosted its first ever Pink Boots event alongside Mash Brewing at Pirate Bar

For the first time in WA Beer Week’s history there was a Pink Boots event on the calendar.

Pink Boots Mission: The Pink Boots Society was created to empower women beer professionals to advance their careers in the Beer Industry through Education.

Pink Boots started, as I believe, in the US and now has chapters all over the world. Here in Australia our Pink Boots Society have funded grants and collaborated to brew.

Pink Boots Society Australia on Facebook

Pink Boots Society (international) on Twitter

In WA we have been having regular Pink Boots meetings which sound formal but don’t be fooled! Meetings are open to any women interested in beer, you don’t have to be working in the industry, you just have to enjoy a beer. Pink Boots Australia’s Facebook page will have all meeting information if you’re keen to come along!

Kris Latham (CBIA) and Roxy Boubis (Five Bar) are the wonderful women looking after the WA Pink Boots chapter and together they organised the first Pink Boots event during a WA Beer Week – a Ladies Beer Tasting Masterclass with Swan Valley’s Mash Brewing.

Roxy & Kris introducing the Pink Boots event
Roxy & Kris introducing the Pink Boots event

Held at Pirate Bar in Mt Hawthorn, ladies were greeted to a red carpet entrance with optional pirate themed photo.

Rocking the Red Carpet Pink Boots
Rocking the Red Carpet Pink Boots Style

Welcome drinks were the Mash Grasscutter, their answer to “summer in a bottle”.

Roxy from Pink Boots & Five Bar with her best "crush it!" expression
Roxy from Pink Boots & Five Bar with her best “crush it!” expression

Alongside Kris and Roxy, the head brewer from Mash Charlie Hodgson hosted the evening with a casual and fun tasting session split into two beer flights.

First up it was the Mash Pale Ale and 3 Ravens ’55’ American Pale Ale followed by Mash Copy Cat American IPA and Mash Challenger English IPA. Charlie chatted a bit about tasting the beers before working the room, chatting with tables about the beers and getting feedback from guests. It was a great casual tasting and I really enjoyed Charlie’s approach, it’s very relaxed with virtually zero trace of confusing jargon.

“Beer is the new wine, don’t be afraid to swirl it”

“You haven’t smelt beer until you’ve inhaled beer foam”

Charlie, Mash Brewing

The evening finished up with a tasting of Mash’s latest limited release, brewed by Charlie and assistant brewer Eddie, ‘Bon Scotch’ which, as you may have guessed, is a scotch ale. This was my favourite beer of the night, a great balance of vanilla and peat that gently linger over a soft sultana sweetness that is just begging to age a little. Charlie does plan to hold some back for a year, brew it again and then compare the two at special event. I’ll be keeping an eye out for that in 12 months!

Brad, Sales for Mash, pouring fresh Bon Scotch - Scotch Ale
Brad, Sales for Mash, pouring fresh Bon Scotch – Scotch Ale
L-R: Sam & Chloe (Young Henry's Brewing), Kris (Pink Boots/CBIA), Charlie (Mash), Agi (Beer Creative), Me and Roxy (Pink Boots/Five Bar)
L-R: Sam & Chloe (Young Henry’s Brewing), Kris (Pink Boots/CBIA), Charlie (Mash), Agi (Beer Creative), Me and Roxy (Pink Boots/Five Bar)

WA Beer Week: Co-Op Beer Lunch

Four chefs, five local beers and lots of happy people – that was the scene at East Perth’s Co-Op Dining where they held their first, and hopefully not their last, beer lunch for WA Beer Week.

Four chefs, five local beers and lots of happy people – that was the scene at East Perth’s Co-Op Dining on Saturday where they held their first, and hopefully not their last, beer lunch for WA Beer Week.

The aim of the afternoon was simply beautiful food and great local beer, a goal that I can safely say was achieved.

Guests were treated to food by Sam Ward from Mt Lawley modern Mexican favourite, el Publico, Kiren from Co-Op Dining, Mitch from Beersine and Sue Lewis, Artisan Chocolatier. Each chef selected the beer to match their dish, bringing the best of WA local brewing and local produce came together.

The afternoon was interrupted/MC’d by yours truly and I was nothing short of thrilled and honoured to have been asked to be part of one of the most delicious events on the WA Beer Week calendar.

finger food by everyone

beer by cheeky monkey – double ipa

All four chefs contributed to the first course of food, a series of small bites presented with Cheeky Monkey Double IPA.

You know you’re in for a great afternoon when the first beer you are presented with is a double IPA – BAM! Personally I love this beer, it is everything you want from a double IPA, big fresh hops balanced by chewy caramel malt in a delicious marriage of flavour.

It’s hard to pick a favourite from the array of finger food. The pork crackle with horseradish, blood crumb and white chocolate was one of the most interesting combinations and the crickets, a signature Sam Ward/el Publico favourite, were crunchy salty and very moreish.

Crickets by Sam Ward
Crickets by Sam Ward
Corn, smoked pork fat, sesame & seaweed
Corn, smoked pork fat, sesame & seaweed

Cuttlefish escabeche by sam ward of el publico

last drop saison by jan bruckner

The acidity from the fresh lime juice and coriander in this dish were perfectly matched to the complex and delicate Last Drop Saison. It was a great example of when the beer and the food are better together, when you try them and you realise that one shouldn’t be enjoyed without the other.

Cuttlefish Escabeche by Sam Ward of El Publico
Cuttlefish Escabeche with salsa borracha, nopales by Sam Ward of El Publico

Smoked leek by kiren of co-op dining

feral watermelon warhead by brendan varis / will irving

Brilliant. You just had to be there. I would have never imagined at match like this but it was harmony. Contrast never tasted so good. Smokey soft leek with some crunch for texture and delicate prawns and that super refreshing acidity of Warhead – brilliant.

Smoked Leek with Coral Prawns, Garum Hollandaise and Leek Ash
Smoked Leek with Coral Prawns, Garum Hollandaise and Leek Ash by Kiren of Co-Op Dining

blackwood valley beef sirloin, brisket & tongue by Mitch of beersine

Nail hughe dunn imperial brown ale by john stallwood / jake brandish

Hello meat, Hello malt. Imagine the best date you’ve ever been on and that’s what happened between the rich malts in the Nail Hughe Dunn Imperial and trio of meaty goodness served up by Mitch.

I loved the compliment of the malty beer and rich meat of the dish plus the added contrast of sharp kimchee and chilli in the food with the sweet/roast imperial brown ale.

Blackwood Valley Beef Sirloin, Brisket & Tongue with Fermented Spring Garlic, Daikon Radish Kimchee by Mitch of Beersine
Blackwood Valley Beef Sirloin, Brisket & Tongue with Fermented Spring Garlic, Daikon Radish Kimchee by Mitch of Beersine

chocolate tart by sue lewis of sue lewis artisan chocolatier

eagle bay cacao stout by nick d’Espeissis

A divine chocolate dessert and a smooth-like-Barry-White stout, there was never going to be a better way to end lunch.

Sue’s decadent chocolate tart was like the best friend that Eagle Bay’s Cacao Stout always wanted. The dessert featured Bahen & Co chocolate ice cream and, at the base of the tart, thick wort caramel.

Chocolate Tart with Wort Caramel and Bahen & Co Chocolate PNG Ice-Cream by Sue Lewis of Sue Lewis Artisan Chocolatier
Chocolate Tart with Wort Caramel and Bahen & Co Chocolate PNG Ice-Cream by Sue Lewis of Sue Lewis Artisan Chocolatier

Thank you to Kiren and Kelli for hosting the event at Co-Op Dining, thanks to all the chefs involved who donated their time and efforts to spoil us and thanks to everyone who came along. Thank you especially to Mitch, from Beersine, who asked me to be a part of this event and saved me a seat at the table.

Good Beer Here: The Classroom

‘Good Beer Here’ looks at the great bars, restaurants and pubs who might not be a craft beer venue exclusively but do have some kick ass brews …

‘Good Beer Here’ is a celebration of pubs, bars and restaurants with great beer. They might not be a “craft beer venue” but they can still have a kick-ass beer list. It puts a big smile on my face to see venues paying equal attention to their beer list as they do their food, wine and cocktails. Those who don’t, those who have settled on a beer list that features Cascade Light, Crown Lager and Stella, are well and truly behind the eight ball. It’s kinda like getting all dressed up for an elegant night out, putting all that thought into your hair, dress, make up and jewelry and then wearing your muddy sneakers. Crown Lager is a muddy sneaker.
Venue: The Clasroom | 1/356 Charles Street, North Perth

They might not have any events in the WA Beer Week calendar but The Classroom in North Perth have been quietly satisfying beer geeks since they opened in 2012.

Wonderfully themed, The Classroom brings back fond childhood memories of primary school days with blackboards and hopscotch markings, metal lunch boxes and hooks for impossibly big bags.

Whilst they are not specifically a craft beer bar they do boast an excellent selection across their four taps and 20 bottles.

The beer lists changes frequently, working with the seasons and whilst they might not have the biggest selection they do hope it’s one of the best.

During WA Beer Week there will be some extra special beers on their taps including Coopers Vintage 2014, a “particular favourite” of Andrew Bennett’s, one of the owners of The Classroom (pictured below). Boatrocker’s Hop Bomb IPA, Nomad Jet Lag IPA and Feral’s Boris, a Russian Imperial Stout, will also make appearances.

Photo from The Classroom's Facebook page
Photo from The Classroom’s Facebook page

If you visit The Classroom during WA Beer Week Andrew recommends having the Boat Rocker Hop Bomb IPA with their Roast Duck Dumplings – the umami flavours should go nicely with the beers bitter hop character.

In other news The Classroom team are working hard on getting their second venue up and running – Lucky Chan’s Laundry & Noodle Bar which is set to become Perth’s first permanent crowd-funded bar. Located on William Street in Northbridge, Lucky Chan’s plans on serving up traditional Japanese ramen noodles, hand-made no less, and dumplings.

Construction has started but there is a long way to go with doors not looking to open until the new year. You can see the progress, or even contribute to the campaign, here.

For beers at Lucky Chan’s Andrew says they will be “reminding people it’s not just Bintang, Sapporo and Asahi”. Beers will be matched to the food, the same synergy between beer and food that you might find at a hawker’s market.

“We’re not going to stick beers on just because they are Asian”

Just like The Classroom it sounds to me like the beer list at Lucky Chan’s will be carefully selected to be interesting and suitable to the food being served. Hear hear for great beer!

Lucky Chan Sneak Peek in early October
Lucky Chan Sneak Peek in early October

 

 

 

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.

Canapes

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

Main

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

Dessert

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: Beer & Food Masterclass

On Monday night, as part of WA Beer Week, I co-hosted an event with my friend Mitch of Beersine. It was something he asked me to be a part of a while ago and I said ‘yes’ because it’s Mitch. His food is amazing and I love the way he approaches food – nothing pretentious, all delicious and with attention to detail.

I talk kinda fast and a little loud at the best of times so god help anyone that comes along to an event where I’m co-hosting. I attribute my loud/too fast talking to a) excitement b) nerves and c) I’ve probably had a beer or two before you’ve even seen me.

Beersine: Mitch uses beer and all the ingredients you’d find in a brewery to create delicious beer inspired food

On Monday night, as part of WA Beer Week, I co-hosted an event with my friend Mitch of Beersine. It was something he asked me to be a part of a while ago and I said ‘yes’ because it’s Mitch. His food is amazing and I love the way he approaches it – nothing pretentious, all delicious and with close attention to detail.

Our event was the ‘Beer and Food Masterclass’ where we presented three dishes with two beers per dish to try and show that there are no rules when it comes to beer and food matching. One beer can go just as well with a dish as another, each will bring something different to the party and, quite frankly, that’s where all the fun comes into it.

Welcome

We served up Eagle Bay Kolsch on arrival alongside Beersine Pale Ale Cheddar and homemade soft pretzels.

Delicate, flavoursome and highly drinkable, Eagle Bay Kolsch is a sensational beer to start a night with. Zesty citrus, light bready malts and a super dry finish. The beer cut effortlessly through the soft and tangy cheese that is made using Feral Hop Hog. The soft warm pretzels were magic. I would have taken a photo but I was too busy stuffing my face.

1ST COURSE

Menu

“Saison is not just versatile – it’s downright promiscuous”

Garrett Oliver, The Brewmaster’s Table

With their delicate nature and baffling complexity, Saison’s might be the perfect food beer. They are farmhouse ales originating from a French speaking region of Belgium where, before the miracle of refrigeration, it made the most sense to brew beer in winter. This gave farm workers something to do since there’s nothing to harvest in winter whilst providing a nutritious and refreshing beer to enjoy whilst working the fields in summer. Of course today you wouldn’t really go and recommend a 6-point-something ABV beer whilst operating farming equipment but hey, things were different back then.

Chevalier Saison: 6% ABV | Beechworth, Victoria | #7 in The Critics’ Choice Australia’s Best Beers 2014

The saison we served was from Victorian brewers Bridge Road. Tart and dry with citrus and a little sweetness, it was a great match to the salad. The sweetness of the beer was heightened by the mango in the salad whilst the beer’s bubbles cut through the chunks of macadamia nut. The fresh mint in the salad provided a clean and refreshing zest that went well with the beer’s bright citrus characters too.

Chevalier Saision with Prawn. Mango and Macadamia Salad

The second beer served with the salad came from Perth’s newest brewery, Homestead in the Swan Valley. This Hefeweizen, a German style wheat beer, is just so damn beautiful. A graceful beer that is full of fresh banana, spice and clove. As with the saison pairing, the beer’s banana notes were a great complement to the mango in the salad. The spice in the beer gets a good omphf from fresh prawns.

Homestead Hefeweizen

 

2ND COURSE

Menu

We served up the Colonial Altbier and we were lucky enough to have Paul Wyman, brewer at Colonial, at the table to talk about this beer. It’s a softer approach to pale ales compared to the big ballsy pale ales that are now so prevalent. A traditional German ale that’s nutty, biscuity and peppery and was a good match to the rich meat and spice of the curry.

Paul talking about Colonial Altbier
Paul talking about Colonial Altbier

On the other end of the pale ale spectrum there’s Bootleg Speakeasy IPA that’s got so much hop character bursting from it that it could be a starburst lolly. Caramel malt backs up the citrusy, tropical fruit hops and together it was a good combination for the rendang curry. Hops tend to accentuate chilli but because heat wasn’t the focus for this style of curry it didn’t turn your palate into a fiery world of pain. Instead it seemed to freshen up the dish, adding a brightness to the dense rich meat. Meanwhile the caramel in the beer was a nice backdrop for the same rich meat flavours.

Rendang Curry

3RD COURSE

I think it’s safe to say that we finished the night with a bang. Mitch did a particularly amazing job on this one.

Menu

 

photo 3 (8)

Once again I dragged poor Paul from his seat to chat about the Colonial Porter, I love this beers smooth chocolatey notes and roasty flavours. I could drink pints of this beer all year around.

The Bridge Road B2 Bomber Mach 4.0, a beer produced annually to celebrate the breweries birthday, is stupidly good. Previously I only had a taster but I remember loving this beer. There’s a lot going on here from the Belgian yeast giving off fresh fruit notes behind the black IPA’s big roast, chocolate and booze flavours.

Mitch’s dessert of Bahen & Co chocolate mousse was divine. The sweet strawberries, smokey Laphroaig and earthy rosemary was a weirdly incredible addition but it added layers of happy flavours over each beer. The mousse not at all overwhelmed by each beers big malty chocolate and roast flavours whilst the rosemary, whisky and strawberries cut through the chocolate and added so much to each mouthful.

Dessert

THANK YOU to Sophie for letting us use Taste Budds Studio to host the event and Homestead, Eagle Bay, Colonial, Bridge Road and Bootleg for donating the beers for the night.

And thank you from me to Mitch for asking me to do this event, I loved it, I was nervous as hell but I loved it.

 

 

WA Beer Week: South West in the City II

The second annual South West brewers collab beer was released at Five Bar. It’s a spiced Belgian india red ale called ‘Too Many Cooks’

Last year several south west breweries collaborated on a brew and released it at an event at Five Bar. The beer was a big hoppy Pale Ale called ‘The Council Worker’, the name referring to how many brewers were involved and how much standing around and chatting happened as a result. You can check out last years action here and here.

This year the south west brewers collaborated again but this time with more brewers and a new style. The Belgian Spiced India Red Ale, yup it sounds like a mouthful and the beer itself is much the same, was named ‘Too Many Cooks’ and once again, released at an event at Five Bar.

Too Many Cooks IRA

‘Too Many Cooks’ is the handy work of no less than eight of the breweries in the south west including Eagle Bay, Colonial, Cowaramup, Bootleg, Cheeky Monkey, Duckstein, Bush Shack and Young Henry’s NSW brewers who are in the process of building their new brewery in the south west. Five Bar favourites Roxy and Zack were also there to lend a hand. The result is a beer with a lot of hops, some cinnamon and star anise, a solid malty backbone and the Belgian yeast used in Cheeky Monkey’s Hagenbeck Belgian IPA. For a full run down of the beer you can check out this on my blog and this article from Crafty Pint.

Roxy & Zack showing off the great local tapline up
Roxy & Zack showing off the great local tapline up

The resulting beer was surprisingly approachable at 6.7% ABV and not the ball-buster you may have expected from such a complicated brew. ‘Too Many Cooks’ has a great biscuit malt base layered with spice, melon, citrus and a fresh dry finish. There’s a lot going on here but frankly it was so damn drinkable that I soon found myself staring into an empty glass. Good thing it was on tap and another glass wasn’t far away.

Meanwhile there was great food to accompany the beers with the special tasting board on the menu for the day which featured Beersine Pale Ale Cheddar and his amazing lamb pancetta.

Justin Fox at Five Bar
Justin Fox, Colonial Brewer, enjoying a beer at Five Bar

Another great WA Beer Week event done and dusted, it just keeps getting better and better!

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!