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.

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