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.



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