Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tasting- St. Peter's Brewing


stpeters1"St. Peter’s Brewery is based at St. Peter South Elmham, near Bungay in Suffolk. The brewery itself was built in 1996 and is housed in an attractive range of traditional former agricultural buildings adjacent to St. Peter’s Hall."

There is something classic and robust about the bottle shape, with it's too hard to handle size and odd gin bottle curve. Seems like a classic english style set up- historial and, hopefully, made with love.


A: Amber to orange color with a lightly tan head

S: Floral and orange

T: Bitter on the finish but a heap of malt sugar

M: Oily, sticky coating in the mouth

O: Not as much body as an IPA would normally have, but drinkable when chilled.

St.Peter's Brewery have a great website! Outlining who they are, where they came from and what they interested in. Videos, pictures, updates and a generally aesthetically pleasing layout, something the online reader would enjoy.

ST. PETER'S BREWERY- Stout27837 ST peter cream stout

A: Black with ruby tone when in the light

S: Strong alcohol esters, but a roasted malt sweetness and dried fruits

T: Licorice and bitter chocolate with hints at roasted nuts

M: Cream

O:  A great nutty, candy cream stout with stand out flavors and a mild after taste

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tasting- Byron Bay Brewing

images-1In the beginning of craft beer revolutions the sparks of creativity are flying around every which way and it's hard to make the dry bits of beach rubbish you've jumbled together get a'blazin. When in doubt, go simple- buy lighter fluid. Byron Bay Brewery is just at that point. They aren't excatly boy scouts but they realize that the community is cold and if they have a fire, it would be a BonFire Party!

[caption id="attachment_939" align="alignright" width="300"]Bonfires drawn in lost souls like "free beer" signs. Bonfires drawn in lost souls like "free beer" signs.[/caption]

Byron Bay Brewery is attached to the Buddha bar which is attached to The Arts Factory- the head bone 's connected to the neck etc.

"The Arts Factory Lodge was founded by a man named Dan Doepel from California, he was a surfer who loved rock music. Him and his mates tried to find a place in Byron Bay to put on a gig, at that time the RSL was the only place in Byron Bay where you could hear live music, the RSL turned them down and that’s how the very first gig happened at The Buddha Bar now Byron Bay Premium Brewery.

The Byron Bay Brewery has been a major part of Byron Bays history, it was once an art gallery. Approximately 20 artists used to create sculptures and art works there, lots of the artists stayed at the Arts Factory Lodge the others were mainly Byron Bay locals. The Art Gallery was then open to the public every Saturday to view the artists work there was also an Arts and crafts market. It has also been a sand depot and a pig slaughter house and is well known to locals as “The Piggery”."

For more Arts Factory information, lineage to the Brewery and fun facts (like the first Blues Fest was helt at the Byron Bay Brewery back in 1990, the Arts Factor holds the Guines world record for most people spinning fire and the volunteer veggie garden) check out the website.

Most importantly

Byron Bay Brewery Beer Sampling!

[caption id="attachment_942" align="alignleft" width="300"]Buddha Bar Entrace Buddha Bar Entrence[/caption]

Pilsner 5%

A: Very light, watery yellow with nearly not there head

S: lager yeast

T: Lingering soft bitter with a tangy sweet in the front.

M: All in the middle front of the tongue then stick in the back of the throat. Makes you drink more.

L: a strong bitternes holds on from an otherwise clean and dry beer. Goes good with something to eat to help wash down the beer.

Because they are still the only ones doing it, they can blow on the embers of the idea and simply name the beers the styles.

[caption id="attachment_943" align="alignright" width="470"]781317 Byron Bay Brewery[/caption]

Premium 4.6%

A: Nearly clear with fast moving bubbles and a yellowish head

S: Floral sweetness and fresh cut grass.

T: Not as much bitter as the Pilsner, more floral hops

M: Fizziness!

O: An higher priced session style beer. Goes well with whatever you are doing because it does intrude on your sense.

Blonde 4.8%

A: Blonde. Okay a mellow yellow but still nearly as clear as a blonde's brain.

S: Citrus fruits and tangy hops, a super light touch of pear

T: Not bitter at all, but softly sweet from the fruits and light malt

M: Dry

O: She might not be the smartest head in the bar but she goes down well enouge

Pale Ale 4.5%

[caption id="attachment_944" align="alignleft" width="276"]imgres Live venue and out door seating in the back/ front of The Arts Factory[/caption]

A: Mid chill haze makes it hard to see, but a dark mustard to tan with a darker tinted head.

S: We have hops here folks!

T: Exotic fruits and green hops balance on both sides of the mouth with a lightly roasted malt.

M: A slight coating that is cut by high carbonation

O: A traditional pale ale example with extra galaxy hops added

And then someone stepped in and said, "hey, why don't we throw some of these dried leaves on the bonfire?" and there was creativity in naming, randomly and short lived.

Billy Goat Dark Lager 5.2% 

A: Black like a goats back side with a white top like snow.

[caption id="attachment_945" align="alignright" width="420"]I can't find my pictures from that day, so we are stuck with net collected things. I didn't even know they had bottles I can't find my pictures from that day, so we are stuck with net collected things. I didn't even know they had bottles[/caption]

S: Lager yeast, toasted sugars

T: Candy sweet and tart with a roasted finished

M: Dry but not bone dry

O: Best display of black lagering I've seen on this side of the planet. (which really isn't saying much) but I couldn't imagine ordering another unless I was drunk.

La piece de resistance, was this little sample of an IPA that the bartender smuggled me from a small cask. Their not yet released IPA which turns out to be an APA, I don't find out until months later in a highly comical scenario I talk about in another blog session. At this tasting though, I was still under the impression I was sampling an IPA.


A: Reddish brown, mid darkness with bright highlights. A ginger.

S: Sweet red fruits, no malt presence

T: Like the nose suggested there are heaps of sweet fruit taste and a touch of hops but mostly a dried, caramelized fruit taste. Not bitter at all, more like a pale ale.

M: Smooth

O: Like a pale ale but less finishing hops, which is really confusing because the pale ale had more hops then this one. This new brewer either hasn't sampled what is out yet and trying to lay a weak version of a pale ale on the locals while calling it an imperial pale ale or the beer didn't turn out the way it was supposed to and they are running with it. No wonder it is hidden in the back still. Ugh.

Oh the bitching of Nitch! It is funny to re-read one's notes after a while and chuckle at one's own snobbery. I was so excited to be having a hop bomb that anything less then a Stone Ruination IPA was bound to disappoint in the end. See back later for the embarrassing, "uhh, whad'ya say" moment when I finally figure out that they've been saying American Pale Ale the whole time. And then whiteness my notes on the beer be humbled and then more confused, because I still don't like it.



Saturday, December 10, 2011

Tasting- Knappstein


Byron Bay's Balcony bar served me bad orysters and didn't give a shit. They get no link and no more words.

DSC_0103 4Knappstein has some classy looking bottles and hypes up the fact that they are wine makers who impart their supposed superior wine knowledge into the beer world. The winery area is called Claire Valley and, as the label also states, they are en enterprise. Not to be confused the Star Trek, here is what an enterprise is when referring to wine and beer. The winery makes just this one style of beer, lager, and seems to have no interest in deepening the venture any further  Basically it's like a, "ha ha, see! We CAN make beer too."

KNAPPSTEIN- Reserve Lager 5.6%

A: Light mustard with a bit of haze

S: Light hop florals and spices.

T: Bitter end finish but a strong lager yeast presence through out. There is a very green and grassy sense to the whole thing.

M: Clean, light body.

O: A soft and hoppy lager, smooth and very drinkable with a nice spice hiding around the edges.

I suppose they call it a reserve lager because most of the year they are forced to drink their own wine. We can all admit that summer heat and chilled lagers are best friends. Wine is for the table while lagers are for mowing the lawn. Knappstein, like the pharaohs, needed to pay their workers according to demand and weren't likely to get good reactions on spritzers and sangria all the time. They dipped their toes into the beer world and are satisfied with staying wine dry.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Tasting: Delirium Tremens in Australia

Delirium tremens "(Lain for "shaking frenzy", also referred to as The DTs, "the horrors", or "the shakes.") is an acute episode of delirium that is usually caused by withdrawal from alcohol, first described in 1813"

delirium_tremens_labelThe Petit Snail in Byron Bay claims to be "a very affordable breath of France in Byron Bay." Traditionally, French air sells for much more- but The Petite Snail will give you all the atmosphere of a Parisian bistro without the air flight ticket.

Yours truly sucked in the price tag of $12.50 AUD per bottle of Delirium Tremens (the beer not the shakes) to taste Europe because yours truly has massive lungs for beer. Yes, the complimentary chamgpane was nice and the escargo in hand made ceramic snail shell replicas was to die for but death and charm are nothing compared to a chest full of addiction. There might have been a pink elephant and purple weasel dancing in the my partner's eyes that Valentine's day dinner because we both eat, drank and made merry like AA victims back on the bottle. Delirium tremens, the disease, had sunk into our souls before this night without us having known it. Like a slow moving mental illness we had forgot what good food and great beer was like.

[caption id="attachment_1001" align="alignleft" width="487"]The French Man check out the menu in the out door lounge area The French Man check out the menu in the out door lounge area[/caption]

Rubbing our bellies and mopping up any extra drops of sauce from out plates with a magically refilling basket of bread, The French man and I were able to turn our attention to our hosts. The people running The Petite Snail are to the air of the restaurant like the alps are to Evian. 100% French in manner, style, sound and soul. Our waiter was absent mindedly on que, the host as a boisterous with thieving eyes and the cook- oh the owner and cook, master of the restaurant! He was large, round, white haired and white aproned, which a large nose and a prediliction for honesty. The sweet mad chatted with us and shared apple brandy to the point where he had to be reminded by his wife to return to the kitchen and finish with the desserts. He seemed in this own world at times but earthy and true- these far off stares could have been due to his admitted drug use. Which was nice for us, because we always carry something to smoke when attending fine dining establishments. Instant friends! Although our host had a taste for things stronger then we recreation with, we were able to show our thanks for the French air by polluting that of the smokers in the lounge. It was all very welcomed and cozy.

[caption id="attachment_923" align="alignnone" width="908"]298208_10150834504295062_1562333321_n This picture from The Petite Snail's Facebook is 100% what I imagine the chef doing while in the back[/caption]

The end of beautiful nights like this always come too soon and before I knew it we were talking away with beer bottles in hand to discover that lovers do in the dark of night in cities that they don't live in. The French man refused to let me see the bill, which was for the best because my dry cleaning tab after the dinner was large enough to make me ugh. The only amount of air yours truly must have inhaled was when there were (all together too often) moments that I missed my mouth. Bills not withstanding, it was an exhilarating event that delivered exact what it promised (minus the "very affordable" part).

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Australia is Lost!

Fosters Sells to SABMiller


The tear jerking bit is at the end. The CEO finishes with a smile saying that is job is to make sure the people are well looked after and that the company has the right kind of future. Beautifully spoken and yet there is something missing in all this...

At no point does any one of these people talk about the quality of the product. BEER! What about the BEER?! What will happen to the quality of an australia lager is reorganized for mass production? This man is not a brewer. If you pause the video and look very closely you can see the gold coins glinting in his eyes. Dollar signs fuel his smile. He is most likely a wine drinker. Kiss good bye the integrity of yet another brewery.

As if Australia doesn't already have a lack in individuality now they are selling pieces of their finite culture! What is the cost of becoming a concubine? They will have better over seas marketing and shiny new retirement plans, but they will have live with the fact that they will always be in bed with SABMiller. Fosters has become just another notch in a playboy company's bed post. No matter how they try to justify selling themselves, I will mourn the lost of Australia's vestal brewery.

"Fosters! Australian for beer!"
"Fosters! Not actually drank by Australians!"

Not only do most places in Australia not sell Fosters but most people don't buy it where it is available. Lets be honest, it is what Budweiser is now to the U.S. It has a home country and a history but now is simply a poster child for something that is not real. They are all the same lager with different labels.
Budweiser does not define U.S.A and Fosters does not do justice to Australia. But if you are in Japan and want to be cool, you can always crack open an ice cold (and make sure it is cold enough to freeze off your taste buds) Miller lite to impress the friends. So American of you! Having a bbq? Why not make it an Aussie one? Chug some Australian Lager! Which for some reason has much the same ice cold taste as its American counter parts. No worries, its the style you were going for not the quality.

Go Fosters, become SABMiller's whore, we are better off without you.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Johnny Depp Quote

I'm an old-fashioned guy... I want to be an old man with a beer belly sitting on a porch, looking at a lake or something. -Johnny Depp


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tasting- Stone & Wood


stone-and-woodOn another cruise through Byron Bay Nitch bacame eye locked by a menus item that was before over looked: Stone & Wood "Pacific" ale.

[caption id="attachment_930" align="alignright" width="300"]DSC_0027 7 Topless servers and planking on beer cans- Australia?[/caption]

First stop is the beach and what better place to visit the beach then at a pub. The beach itself being too sandy, of course, The Beach Hotel offers clean feet on green grass and pints in hand. Being an icon of the city, The Beach Hotel has a massive live performance area, walk around bar and funky murals to enlighten the tourists on local customs. The only missing in this slice of perfection is a craft beer as angelic. Enter "Pacific" ale.

DSC_0031 3


STONE & WOOD- Pacific Ale $16 AUD for two pints 4.4%


A:  Bright and tawny with a massive white head that retains well through the heat

S: Passion fruit, NZ hops and heaps of more fruity hop notes

T: Fruity hops are going down the pipe and there is nothing stopping it but froth and tonsils.

M: Light body with great tickling bubbles and a clean finish

O: Sweet and tart, very well balanced and refreshing with a great hoppy burst that melts into a highly drinkable pale ale. Sessionable.

[caption id="attachment_931" align="aligncenter" width="300"]DSC_0035 5 Beach Nitch selfishly hoarding TWO pints of beer[/caption]

From the beach to the bus as we wait to hitch a ride home, we grab some drinks at the Railway Station, kicking coins into the juke box just to annoy the patrons with constant Pink Floyding.

STONE & WOOD- Jasper ale on draught. Jasper-Ale_72

A: Brown with reddish tink, white thin head

S: Sweet breads and maybe licorice

T: Toasted sweet with light hopping for balance. Heavy on the meaty, malt but edged off with the dry hops.

M: Medium body and a light sticky mouth feel.

O: Mild smells leads to shocking bitter that melts into a malty toasted pop. The bitter lingers almost like an English brown. Same color and character as Newcastle but not as nutty and with a bigger hop character.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Tasting- Atomic Pale Ale

GAGE ROADS- Atomic Pale Ale 4.7%images

A: Sediments, bright tan/caramel

S: ocean , brine,

T: bitter, aromatic hops

M: dry, good bubble formations

O: salty, grassy, veg


Friday, October 7, 2011

Burleigh Brewery in the Head

It's Friday and a day of much joy and great confusion, as Friday's usually are, with drinking, dancing, chatting and beer in little plastic cups. My first trip to an official Australian Brewery party!

The Burleigh brewery is located about a 30 min bike ride south of us in the beautiful and cozy, family oriented but still hip and trendy, Burleigh, QLD. Skys are as clear as our heads as we make our way to the monthly Friday session at the cleverly named Burleigh Brewing for some much needed foam attention.

Massively open and concrete encased like a war base, the brewery grew slowly less desolate as the night bumped on. Children welcomed to run, cheer, play provided instruments and groove along with the live band, sipping juice next to mums who only drink wine.

A brewery gathering the serves wine, like a vegetarian restaurant that makes a beef soup, my mind couldn't wrap around it.

"What's your favorite Burleigh beer?" I start a round of questing to the people sitting next to us.

"Ah.. Ha... the 28 is my favorite," fumbles an older woman under my quizzical gaze.

"Oh! And why is that?" I burst with interest.

"Ah.. Ha... I don't really drink beer. That is what my husband likes." She grins with mirth that isn't at all distracted by embarrassment. Oh Fail and Joy.



28 Pale Ale 4.8%

A: Golden/copper,med bubbles, quick falling, off white head

S: Soft malted caramel, grassy banana sweet hops and a flint of citrus

T: Bitter strike to the palate, sweetness, then orange blossom with faded finish. Not much after taste, mild, not too sweet and no acid

M: Medium body, well balanced.

O: A bitchin' wave of impressively balanced pale ale showing a wicked grasp of American hop use, with a mind for the Aussie consumer in it's dry, mild finish. The bogus effect of the fruit scents throw me slightly, wishing that the citrus wasn't so gnarly but all together a tubular APA. Check the web site for some equating grinds.

The other Flag ship of the brewery is an interesting note: AUSTRALIA's FIRST NO CARB BEER!

All together our hands down favorite was the Hef. Balanced, fresh and an ample amount of fruity hops, breakfast of champions and great with a pretezel.The tear away adhesive mustaches might have had something to do with its visible effect on the crowd.

The staff were friendly with no hesitation to move around stock with a smile, often stopping to share a laugh with a regular or check up on the public bathrooms for quality control. They make beer and refill the TP, dedication to the craft.

The brewery itself has a shining beauty like mechanical stalagmites, lit above like the heavens, it's inner workings a mystery to all but the Master. Brennan the Brewmaster was a difficult deity to corner and avoided all questions in favor of pouring beers for dads with circling broods of children. Prior to opening his brewery on the Gold Coast in 2006, Mr.Fielding worked with such names as Gordan Biersch (USA), Shinano Brewery (Japan), Brew Moon (Hawaii) and Oxford Brewing Co. (Brisbane), adorning him with multiple brewing awards and over two decades of stupendous beer work.

His wife Peta, sweet as morning hops, blessed the upper area with her fluid management of tap handling and shirt sales.

To enchant the locals with flavour, provide refuge for the traveling thirsty or platform marketing for a contract with the Hilton Hotels, the Burleigh Brewing ship sails onward with Brennon and Peta heading the helm confidently. While the beers aren't the best, they are superior innovation by Australian standards. Even if the advertising is starchy and over bearing, they are giving craft beer a foothold. Although they serve wine, they are honoring the profession with the age old act of drunken revery.

The band played on into the stars as families, beers and grilling sausages mixed into the sensory festival.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Mt. Tamborine Brewery

"I don't need some water, I need water and fudge!"

Says the french man as we leave the beer sampling and head out to experience more rainy day delights presented by Australia's Tamborine Mountain.

So far Australia has done nothing to stimulate my beerophile senses. In fact my beer snobbery has turned me into a wine drinker. I simply cannot let beer pass my lips that possibly had more flavor when it was water.

We rent a car and head to Mt Tamborine Brewery for a much needed beer vacation.

Because it is a rainy day there is no one at the brewery or adjoining restaurant and cheese shop. We freely roamed the area like matriarchs watching over our brood of bustling servants, each avoiding eye contact with us unless we make a direct request or gesture their way. Although we wouldn't dare the patio areas due to the spontaneous waterfalls from the sky, the building still displayed is beautiful design. With an open and welcoming flow.


When things became serious I was doomed to disappointment. Not only did they not have the rich stout that was featured on their web site but they, in fact, had nothing that was cold weather worthy. After taking a moment to remember that something is better then nothing, we continued with the sampling.

7 beers were sampled between me and my mate. 4 samples for $10 and a dash of water in the middle for those to need to remember what beer was before it was magically transformed. Following are the descriptions as presented by the brewery and then our own tasting notes:

We blind tasted and read the brewery notes after we sampled everything

Rainforest Lager

Style: Lager 

Abv: 4.3%

A premium lager, with a refreshing clean finish. Made with German barley and Saaz hops in a accordance with Reinheitsgebot.

A: Very pale, darkish yellow, foggy with still, large bubbles, chill haze abundant. 

S: sweet fruit/citrus, cooked corn 

T: not bitter, citrus but for sure an over cooked grain of some kind 

M: light body, no much feel 

O: basic lager with touches of sweet and an abundance of citrus nose with a light body that seems to be lacking in a clarifier. There is also a missing presence of the Saaz hops.

Czech Mate Pils

Style: Pilsener

Abv: 4.3%

A traditional Bohemian style lager brewed with no expense spared via a decoction mash and long maturation. The aroma is herbaceous and floral and is followed in the mouth by fresh bread flavors and a carefully balanced bitterness.

A: thin bubbles, medium haze, mustard color, thick white head

S: nothing at first, possible light herb/fruit notes

T: Shy fruit, light spice/herb with malt finish

M: yeast/bread

O: delicate and smooth but lacking in distinction.


Style: Kolsch

Abv: 5.0%

A straw colored beer inspired by the Kolsch beers of Cologne, Germany. An aroma of mown grass with hints of strawberry over flavors of fresh bread with a dry finish.

A: light yellow, thin bubbles with lots of movement, nice close laced head with little retention
S: hay/grass, sweet roasted malt
T: sweet fruit flavor maybe strawberry/raspberry with a bitter finish that returns to a bread taste in the back of the mouth
M: soft dryness with yeast coating
O: A fuller bodied kolsch with more ambition then normal, delivering a drinkable summer mix that is middle range all around with sweeping sweetness.

St. Bridget

Style: Belgian Dubbel

Abv: 7.2%

This beer is in the style of those made by the trappist monks of Belgium. It is rusty red/brown color with a dense and creamy head. The aroma is of ripe plum and light caramel and is followed by a medium bodied beer with similar flavors.
A: dense rusty, thick cream head with great retention 
S: distinct belgian aroma with thick hay/grass and an underlaying caramel 
T: strong forward pop of bitterness followed by honey/caramel and dried fruit sweetness 
M: warm and bubbly with a creamy finish 
O: love the name tribute to top lady but wish the beer could do more then be a great beer to cook with. She features a range of flavors that most Australians would find overpowering and undrinkable, which makes it one of my favorites since being in the country but she isn't exactly true to her roots.
0909 Cuvee Blonde

Style: Belgian Blonde

Abv: 5.2%

This prestige batch of a pale Belgian style ale carries supple raisin and citric notes whilst the body is soft and affords more yeast and hop derived fruit notes. 
A: light leather colored pour lacking in shine with white head that falls quickly
S: floral, citrus and coriander 
T: Australian hops with some exotic fruit but very citrus, more sweet then usual pale ale but a nice spice and strong malt.  
M: medium body, high carbonation, light yeast feel with fresh dry finish 
O: not a traditional Belgian pale but good in its own right. Drinkable dryness as long as it is kept cold. Too sweet for me and doesn't match its finish with its intention.
Black Cockatoo

Style: Schwarzbier

Abv: 4.3%

A German style black lager with a ruby black color. The aroma is a balance of roasted caramel and noble hops whilst in the mouth it shows a delicate bitterness that holds in check malt flavours of caramel and chocolate.
A: thick beige head on a coffee black body with a ruby tint when held to the light
S: coffee, herb spice with a definite smoked malt
T: smoked meaty flavor holds the house together while caramel runs around outside screaming that is loves coffee. The milk chocolate popins in for a second but is hit in the face by the strong coffee bean door man the finish is wanting 
M: no bubbles, very light cream but ends dry
O: Black lagers just aren't my thing, they look so hardy and beautiful then seem to fizzle out. This lager does much the same although it's super strong coffee punch could carry it along as a breakfast beer. Light in body and abv but also off balance.

Yippy IPA

Style: IPA

Abv: unknown

Yippy is a Classic British IPA with lots of Marmalade, Kumquat & other citrus flavours supported by a big malt backbone and plenty of bitterness.
A: caramel to tan with a medium haze and mid level bubbles an nice lacing 
S: red fruit possibly strawberry and a sweet citrus 
T: a mild bitterness that rolls from front to back with its progessive flavors of toffee, spice, roasted fruit 
M: dry, light body with lots of fizz 
O: an average Ipa with odd flavors and hoppy but sweet kick. Says it is a Classic British IPA which gave me the idea to let it rest and warm a bit from the frozen tap status, this idea opened the senses to more the sugar element that had evidently been added but still didn't shake the thing back to what it once was. From reading on the net I gather that back in 2009 it was an APA. The strange change of face and total inability to show any character makes the beer a total flop. 

We took a break to cruise the location and took a few notes of the restaurant:

Cliche modern style, screaming about Ikea and hippies with money, "I'm simple and organic" feel. The dining area is too big, but that could also have been becuase we were the only people there. The menue as simple and classy but for the prices nothing stuck out to us besides the sweet potato frittes with whipped triple cream blue cheese and chive dipping sauce. My partner would have rolled in the sauce if they had put out a tub of it. 

The blend of dining, cheese shop and beer is bliss. Fine dining is nice but beer and burgers are soul mates.

We heard that they would soon be having a new head brewer in from Germany. Leaving us drooling to know what the brewery will be presenting next. Keeping in mind that Australia is by far and large, not a beer connoisseur's paradise. We were reminded of our reality when we tried to purchase a take home pack. They only had the Lager and the Kolsch available. I mean, of course, because I don't think people really drink anything else! Mike, the bar man, was sympathetic enough to find us a few St. Bridget and Ipa without labels that we were able to purchase. He also took time from his busy schedule of inventory checking to answer my chatty, beerophile questions:

-Yes, they HAD a stout but that was a many months ago. Hopefully one of the staff will get around to updating the website. 
-No, he doesn't know where the water comes from but he knows they have a filtration system. So it doesn't matter.
-He thinks there are about 4 people that do all the brewing but mostly only sees one.
-Yes, when the sun is out they are much more busy.
-And yes, the owners frequent the location but he doesn't know what their favorite beers are- if they drink it at all.


My partner rubs my cheek and calls me his beautiful pinkie. Do we need to turn down the space heater or the abv? 

Fudge- here we come!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Beer Froth and Drunk Germans

Froth and Drunk Germans

Reading Froth! The Science of Beer by Mark Denny and waiting for work wasn't enough for my day so I decided to sit back with a pre-effort beer and watch a brew related flick.

The Official German Beer Guide from the library

I wouldn't push this docu trash on another living soul. The totality of the movie comprises of some German guys with a <shitty> camera who kinda filmed some things about beer and did some light research then filmed 45mins of themselves sampling beers while getting drunk, chatting up people in the seats next to them and making comments like, "yeah, I liked this one better then the first one."

Not even any of this! ------------------------------->German-Beer-Girl-Fork-Party

The cooking section makes even less sense. I'm not sure how this even became a movie.

Spite you library for supporting it.

 kein Dank Sie

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tasting- Burleigh Brewing

First Craft Beer Contact in Australia!

I'm just finishing the morning open routine for the bar, when some jack ass comes marching in with a much younger girl at his side.

"If you think I'm serving you, then think again buddy, we open in 3 minutes"

No need to alarm yourself bartender girl, we are representatives from Burleigh Brewing.

Brad, I think his name was or Dan and the girl didn't talk much, she might have been there for show. Him and I chatted for onto 45 minutes about beer in general.

Smell the sweet air of beer geek conversation flowing like crisp blossoming spring hops! Short lived as it was, I feel energized to once again give this massive chunk of rock another chance at being awesome for beer.

Free Beer samples!

BURLEIGH BREWING- 28 Pale Ale 4.8%


A: golden, bright color, med bubbles, nice thick head

S: caramel, bananas, hoppy

T: bitter strike, soft florals, with smooth finish, not much after taste, balanced sweet/acid

Burleigh Brewing after the first contact

Later in the year I was able to reboot my Burleigh interest with a new addition to their roaster- A black lager! These seems to be some kind of baby step toward stouts, as a few other craft Australian breweries have followed their light, head linning beers with a black lager. Although I'm not a huge fan of lagers, the concept of super roasted malts and chocolate/coffee ingredients make me sunny on the inside!

BURLEIGH BREWING- Black giraffe 5% IBU 35, EBL 60

bbc_blackgiraffeA: Dark black, no visible bubbles or movement with a tan, thin head.

S: Caramel, coffee and malt sweetness

T: Salty rather then sweet with caramel/toffee and less chocolate. A deep bitter coffee finish.

M: Medium to heavy body, cream coating with a touch of metallic tang

O: Warming but not a fire place at the feet and snow at the windows drink. It delivers a punch that could compliment some gastronomical dishes like a goat cheese and fig starter to get the palate going. Not something I would drink on it's own.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tasting- Cascade Brewing Company

My first exposures to beer in Australia was Cascade Brewing Company who is an allegedly Tasmania brewery but has contracts brews all over the place, making it the down under cousin of Busweiser.

I put together my tasting notes and jumped on the website


5.8% abv

Nitch rated 2.08/5

Good call on the name, because otherwise I would think they had fermented some stale coffee and sugar.  

stoutA: Reddish black, solid dark color with cream foam head that wilts quickly into a ring of large bubbles 2.5

S: Coffee with roasted malts and light sweetness 2.5T: Metallic and flat cold coffee with some abstract sweetness that jumps out at the end like unstirred sugar on the bottom of a coffee mug. There is also a feel of burnt something, burnt malt maybe or simply a fake smoked flavor. 2.0

M: Light cream but very dry, dry, dry on a medium to heavy body. 1.5

O: An example of what an average Australian thinks a “stout” should be. Coffee, roasted malt and a milky mouth feel that completely confuses with a super dryness sucking your face off. Going in for another drink is the only way to remove the barren milk scum feel, followed swiftly by the cold coffee and burnt malt. Desperate times call for desperate measures it seems. 1.5

The webiste does a great job of being a jackass and says to simply food pair this with: beef, cheese, lamb or dessert.

Good greif.

Cascade Brewing Premium Lager

5% abv

Nitch rated 1.83/5

A: Crystal clear, lots of bubbles coming to a pure white one finger head 3.0

S: Grassy, like old wet hay or rotting vegetables. Bubbles tickle the nose and it is served so drastically cold that I really can't smell much beyond the area around me. Does glass smell? 2.0

Cascade lager
This older labeling has more character then the new
T: Carbonation masks and then coldness freezes, malts are chewy and heavy while the hops from the smell are still what they smelled like: last season compost. 1.5

M: Dry, light body 2.0

O: In a landscape where American adjunct lagers still reign on high Cascade does a great job of keeping up the pace. It is great if you are looking for a beer that was blindly consumed by the post war crowd. I would say for sure it is "clean, crisp and refreshing." But then so is water. 2.0

Food pairing, you ask? Oh yes, let me see. The website says have it with: fish, chicken, vegetarian, or lamb. Not sure what a vegetarian tastes like but I'm sure they are lovely in a meat pie with ketchup (classic Australian dish).

Sigh. At least Budweiser has a well paid marketing team.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Tasting in Brittany

61e37e60-ddec-012d-ca7c-0050569439b1In a handmade boat, 12 years in the making by The French Man's grandparents, we took a tour of Brittany!

Stopped over and had some black grain crepes which are now on my food love list above quesadillas but below nachos.

And of course, beers:

BRASSERIE LANCELOT- Duchesse Anne (a real person) 6%

A: Blond, not hazy lots of little bubbles




A: Very dark brown, thick head, light fizz

S: yeast, clean, earthy

T: nutty with dry finish, sweet

Organic, same wheat used to make dark crepes


LA MORGOT0000005823-morgat- La biere de belle ile en mer Ambree 5.5% from 56360 Belle island en mer

A: Very light brown, random medium bubbles, golden base, medium haze

S: sweet, earth, nut, toasted

T: Caramel, wheat, yeast finish, almost tart/sour on back of palate.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Last day in Brussels and we went out with a rather blurred rush of bottle purchases and puppet shows.

images-1TRAPPIST- Rockfort #10

A: No fizz, dark drown, thin head

S: Sweet, pine

T: Sweet and sour, oak-woodsy but tart. Pop in front with caramel, barley dry finish



imagesBRASSIER BOCQ- Waterloo Triple 7 Blond 7.5% 1815

Currants, hops, yeast smell. Not complex

Saturday, June 4, 2011


berBROUWERIJ DE RANKE- Noir De Dottignies- 9%

A: Dark, thin head

S: Tart yeast, spice, and pine

T: Barley, bitter, sour, coffee, herbs, toasted beginning, smoked in the middle.


CANTILLON- Gueuze 100% Lambic

A: blond, no fizz, hazy

S: Sour, yeast

T: light, bitter, sour acid, cherries, sweet and tart



S: Raw cider, sour crisp, cherry

T: Sour all over the place but comfortably so


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Clowns, Brussels and Beers


The French man and I hit up one of the more colorful locations in Brussels which happened to also be one of the harder ones to locate. There was a small sign and drunk day time locals. We drank heartily and took notes sparingly.

[caption id="attachment_890" align="alignleft" width="126"]thumb_wolf-7-belgian-ale Wolf[/caption]


A: Blond

S: Currants, yeast

[caption id="attachment_889" align="alignright" width="263"]images The brewery recently went through a label change it seems[/caption]



ELLEZELOISE- Hercule Stout 9%

A: Very dark

S: Oat

T: Chocolate, bitter

M: Light cream lingering



imgresTRAPPIST- Achel 8%

A: Blond, hazy, thin bubbles

S: Country, flower, fruit

T: Young, flower, hops, metallic

O: "Tasty a like good sex party but not as strong as a gangbang," -French Man