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).