Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Young's Christmas Pudding Ale (5.5%)

Well, it's been some time since I've written an entry, but I start again in the full swing of the festive season. I spotted this on special at a local bottle 'o and thought that I'd give it a try (given that I quite liked Young's Double Chocolate Stout, my expectations were high).

On the nose, there is a hint of dried fruit (such as raisons, currents and citrus rind) but their is a much stronger smell which at this point in time, I can only describe as 'sweet buttery smell'. Whether it is the smell of brown sugar and butter cooking (i.e. caramel smell) or something a little different, I can't tell at the moment. Never the less, I will proceed undeterred.

The aroma of the beer is quite a large smell, but the actual taste on the pallet is somewhat of a disappointment after such a bold aroma. Other than a smooth, buttery texture over the tongue and the overhangs of the aroma in the taste, you are left with a pretty standard taste.

I will re-visit with a fresh pallet but I was a little disappointed to be honest.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

250th Anniversary - Guinness

Seeing today is my birthday and it is the 250th Anniversary of Guinness Brewery this year, I decided that my birthday beer is the Anniversary Stout Guinness produced earlier this year. While it has a similar smell and taste to a usual Guinness Stout, I do have to say that overall it did not impress me that much and resembled more of a brown ale that a Guinness. Of course there are troubles with bringing a full creamy taste to a beer imported from Ireland to Australia, but can't help but be a little disappointed. I can also understand that through this anniversary, Guinness are also looking to broaden their market, and a brown ale style beer would go down much better with the general populous than the usual stout. Still, as a enjoyer of Guinness, it does leave me a little flat over this offering. As one of the lucky people to have travelled to Ireland to have 'real' Guinness, this far pales in comparision, but I guess in terms of what we can get in Australia, it is not too bad, and again, a beer more accessible to people who may not have tried Guinness before, or didn't like what they have tried previously. Still, this beer will go down easy over the course of the day. Horray!
Also, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Guinness on their success over the past 250 years through the lease at St James Gate, Dublin (only 8750 years left on the lease now), the water issues Arthur had when he established the brewery, and the great work made to directing efforts to perfect their stout. I can definitely say it has inspired me into an interest in beers and brewing, and the making of my alter ego Guinness Man. To celebrate all this, I have put together a little movie over the past 8 months that I would like to share with my friends and everyone that comes onto this blog. Hopefully it gives you an insight into the beer drinker in general, and of me personally.


Well, enough of this fingers tapping a keyboard business, there are much better uses for my hands, like holding my Guinness. A Very Guinnessy Christmas to you all.

 - Beef/Guinness Man

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cascade Premium Lager (5%)

Okay, I am sure by now people are thinking that I am pretty snobby about beers. They would be right in thinking that way, apart from my rule of not refusing a free drink. Ok, so I received a case of this beer free, but I have to say, if I was to buy beer for a party where I didn't know what everyone drank, I think this beer would come to mind. I am sure my friends are wondering if I have gone a bit crazy, but I think as well as drinking the interesting and novel beers there are on offer, there are some standard, easy accessible beers that are satisfying as well. Sure, I have had my time when Toohey's New, Extra Dry, etc were my staples, and have moved on in some way, but I think it helps to bring the drinker back to some of these beers, to see how their taste is developing, and with that a different appreciation for the more standard beers. This beer has great heritage coming from the oldest brewer in Australia, and Tassie does pretty well with beers, so is a good start. As it is summer, we are all looking for easy drinking beers, and this one is definitely that (in fact, I am onto my second now). The hops bring a freshness to the taste, and don't linger as badly as many other aussie lagers. the body is light but smooth and the tongue tingles with the crispness of the beer. If it is a sessional beer you are looking for, this is a good one to get into, and who isn't with the hot, long days of summer here. Basically, you could do a lot worse. Still, I think water is needed when having a big one on these to fend off dehydration and to keep the taste fresh in your mouth between beers. Wow, I must be getting so old when I start giving advice like this. Luckily I am turning 29 on Sunday, and if Guinness is an old man's beer, I have been old for a while.

- Beef

Monday, December 7, 2009

Aecth Schlenkerla Rauchbier (Smokebeer), Germany (5.1%)

Ok, so went back to The Local yesterday with my brother and saw on the menu (food menu that is) a burger cooked in this beer, and was recommended to drink this beer with it. So decided to try it out...all I can start this review with are the words 'smoked ham'. in aftertaste and smell, this beer tastes just like that. it was quite different and quite intense, and if you did a blindfold test, you could be mistaken for thinking it was liquified smoked ham. it poured with quite a head on it, but this dissipated quite quickly. mind you, i was drinking it quite slowly because of the food but also the intensity. similar in the Haywards 5000 where instead of drinking the beer to cleanse the tongue of the food, you eat the food to cleanse the tongue of the beer. I was still tasting this beer 6 hours after drinking it. The other funny thing about this beer was that the body of the beer was quite light and while the beer was on the palate it tasted like a brown ale. it was only when it was mixed with oxygen that the smokiness would jump from it. I must say one of the most interesting beers i have tried, and got me researching a bit into it. No, I don't think i will try brewing it, but guess like burning green leaves on a fire, firing green malt would bring this smoke into the beer. Not a beer i will be going for very often, but then don't think i will forget the taste in it for a long time either. One of those interesting experiments in beer that bring profound change.

- Beef

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Alhambra Negra (5.4%)

So I met up with my brother and his girlfriend at a tapas restaurant the other night, and while I did see a Chilean Stout that may have been interesting, I decided I would try this Spanish dark beer. what little head there was disappeared soon after it was poured. This immediately reminded me of Tooheys Old, and must say from here alot of the taste and feel of the beer also took me back to this beer. there was the roasted malt taste and the fairly waterly mouthfeel which made it easy to drink. there was also a slight hoppy aftertaste which discerned it from an Old, which I guess was there to freshen the palate after drinking, but didn't do much for me. It did go well with the black sausage we were eating, and can also say the slices of apple with the black sausage was a good combination.
Seeing it was similar but not better than a Tooheys Old it hasn't made that much of an impression on me. but is good to see that Spain can make decent dark beer. But then I guess a Spanish would say the same of Australia after having a Tooheys Old.

- Beef

PS: Happy Month Birthday of Beerdakari!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Red Hill Wheat Beer (5%)

So, just at the Royston with my brother, and as well as trying a 2 Brothers Taxi Pilsner (pretty standard) we saw Red Hill had a few beers at the pub. It seems with summer here (yay), there are a few aussie brewers giving the wheat beer a go, and many of them going for the European style. This is the case with this bottle conditioned beer, which found a decent balance between easy drinking and giving it enough taste to create some interest while drinking. To be honest it may just be on the side of tasty, which suits me quite well. There was no massive hit of hops but a lingering tingle over the tongue which could also be from the over-carbonation expressed on the bottle. the 'bubblegum' taste of many of this style of beer was not overbearing which helped in its drinkability. as my brother said, would be a good beer to have round the barbie. I have not tried all of Red Hill's range of beers, but hops does seem to be an aspect they wish to emphasize. while the writing on the bottle may make some of us presume there is a lot of hoppy flavour in the beer, this group seem to have done the work in blending it appropriately, even if i did feel it took away a little from their scotch ale. in these beers they have not been overbearing, or a shocking sting that some beers can be faulted on. it is neither intense or sharp, but blendingly lingered. Sorry, that was the only way i could express it, and don't think i can add anymore from it.

- Beef

Monday, November 30, 2009

Visit to The Local

I went for a few beers at the Local with a mate last night. This is a pub with a decent selection of beers on tap, so is nice to visit every now and then to see what is on tap. I ended up trying 5 beers, of which small reviews are below

1. Stone Beer, Stone and Wood Brewery (NSW) (5.3%) - very nice to start off with. had the basic taste of like a tooheys old, but with a rich toffee taste which i really enjoyed. I could sense the hops there but were blended well so as not to affect the firm body of the beer.

2. Meantime IPA, Meantime (London) (7.5%) - Ok, i am not an IPA sort of bloke, but after having a taster of this, was up for a full glass of the stuff, good body for an IPA with a malt start in taste but with a hop finish that cleansed the tongue so you are ready for more. Also good that the high alcohol wasn't noticeable in taste, which is strange for a beer of this content. I was interested to find this brewer also had a choc porter but that the pub did not have this in stock. I will definitely be going back to try that one.

3. Last Drop Krystal Wheat, Last Drop (WA) (4.8%) - As at the time i was looking to step up into porters, etc this was a cleanser beer, which it did quite well. not much hops which was good for me, but there was a slight metallic aftertaste. apart from that a stable wheat beer with Belgium tones.

4. Baltic Porter, Mash Brewery (WA) (7.5%) - having tried a baltic porter at a recent beer tasting show at Fed Square, i was really interested to try this one out. had a great balance of body and taste so that neither overpowered the other. good roasted malt and dark chocolate taste and smell, but of course with it comes the smoky aftertaste, but at least in this beer only slight which was pleasing. It was also not too heavy in body so it didn't hit to heavy in the stomach and again, like the Meantime IPA, alcohol taste not noticed. very well rounded dark beer, good to see in Australia.

5. Imperial Brown Ale, Nogne (Norway) (7.5%) - so my tastebuds may not have been working quite well by this end, but that is why we step up the taste in beers for a beer journey. This beer poured with a brown head which created some interest for me, and was indeed taken in by a sweet smell of malt. while this big malt could have brought more coffee taste than it did, i found caramel was more substantial which only made me like it more. This and a massive creamy texture really gave me all i want (personally) from a beer. there was a hop finish, but that was so slight it didn't take away from what i enjoyed in the beer.

Overall, a really happy beer journey for me, apart from not being able to try the Meantime choc porter. still, this may have pushed things over the edge so i may not have been able to appreciate it as much. therefore it just gives me another excuse to head back to try it. Thanks to the friendly staff at the Local (especially the blond behind the bar who gave us some good advice from her tastings from the beer menu, even though she was tired), to Stroudy for joining me in this beer journey, and the trivia team i infiltrated and bored them with my ramblings on beer between trivia questions.

Also, apologies for not wearing a shirt and showing off my plumber's crack while doing the bright ale brew on Friday. 

- Beef 

Friday, November 27, 2009

New Brew is done - Little Creatures Bright Ale

We thought we would make a little video of all the processes that goes on to making a brew.  In this video, we are making Little Creatures Bright Ale.
We apologies as it got a little silly during the recording process but we hope you are both entertained and informed by the end of it.

- Beef and Stass

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Surprise Beer - Haywards 5000 (7%)

So something a little different. Went to an Indian restaurant last night and saw a beer I hadn't seen before, so of course went for it. We were pleasantly told it was the highest alcohol contented beer in India. First impressions were of a clear, amber lager with little head retention that I thought may be just from the higher alcohol. A slight sour sort of smell was all I could get from it, but then on tasting it got a shock when a winey taste came across my tongue and a sharp, dry alcohol aftertaste went through my whole mouth. It didn't just cut through the curries, in fact it was the other way around. I am not sure what malt or hops they used in this beer, but even though I sensed they were quite well balanced, the taste from it did not go down so well. There was the dryness of a white wine, but then also hints of red. I am still confused, but that in itself made it a noteworthy beer, one worth sharing, even though I don't wish anyone to think beer should taste like that. Still, it is said there are no strong beers only weak men, but my knees trembled a bit with the wine and alcohol taste in this beer. Good luck to those that follow me in trying this beer.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Previous Brew: Scotch Ale

Ok, this was the brew we did before the beer choc milkshake but thought it was worth mentioning. Like the choc brew we tasted it against other beers; Marston's Single Malt, Grand Ridge's Moonshine, and Red Hill's Scotch Ale. We were actually quite happy with how ours came out with a good texture and enough depth of character. This meant it well and truly beat the Single Malt, which was very watery and did not have any sense of Whiskey about it (not that I know much about whiskey). However, ours could not compare in depth to the two Victorian brewed scotch ales. While I didn't appreciated a hoppy edge to the Red Hill Scotch Ale, it was still better than our attempt. However, it was clear that the Moonshine was well above the rest, and not just because it is 8.5% alcohol (though it does help). I have heard some people criticise this beer for tasting a bit like soy, but for myself I don't get that, just a full bodied maltiness that was good across the palate with only a slight alcohol sting at the end. Still, this sting is alot less than the Supershine which Grand Ridge also do at 11%. I must say for a first attempt I am quite pleased with our scotch ale, and appreciative of Coopers to letting its club members into this recipe. Seeing I am just running off memory, I can't give much more detail. I do remember that when we first tried ours we had it quite cold and it initially tasted of banana, but then as it warmed up a cinnamon taste came it which went well with it. It was amazing to see the impact brown sugar had on the beer. definitely best drunk closer to room temperature than chilled.

 - Beef

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Beef's Ode to Malt

Seeing  I have today off work I thought, what better than write up on our blog about Malt as a first focus study.

Anyone looking to the sidebar of this blog can see that malt is definitely a 'like' I have with beer, as it should be with it being a main ingredient that makes beer beer. As I also state, darker malts are of particular interest to me, which is what led me to Tooheys Old and Guinness being popular beers for me, and has also led me to want to brew the Beer Chocolate Milkshake we have just done.

For me, malt can really give beer a body to create the chewy texture I like so much, and bring a sweet sense to it as well. I have become interested in Malt Beers, and tasted a few noteworthy one like Japan's Yebisu, and even a local brewer in Kew (Vic) called Brewer's Pure Malt Beer (which I am happy to see has now started commercial distribution through Duncan's bottlos). I have even found that some lagers can close in on the fine line between malt and hops like Barossa Brewing Company's Miller's Lager. However, I have also found those that don't, like a new lager called 'Effen', that touts itself as triple malted, but then overpowers any malt by using hops that don't seem to compliment. For me it comes back to one thing, just because beer can be complex, doesn't mean it has to be. Brewing beer is such a simple thing, and beer is such a humble drink. This contradiction of simplicity and complexity brings with it great potential which should be explored, but then also creates a fine balance that is to be found. Of course there is individual taste that comes into it (I know my taste in beer probably don't reflect that of the general aussie population if the most popular beers here are XXXX, VB, etc), but commercially producing overly-complicated beers just because you can and to make a beer stand out from others I don't think is a positive end-point we should be looking for.

Anyway, I'll stop before I get any deeper in this. I like beer, I like malt taste in beer. Maybe as it is a staple of beer, I therefore like stable beers.


Beer and Food

I am not going to turn this blog into some sort of social commentary. But I do wish to make some comments on the following article I read this morning. 


Personally, I have not really gone beyond the stage of Beef and Guinness Pie of combining food and beer, though our venture into chocolate stout/porter has allowed cakes/muffins/etc in. Of course my experience with Rogue's Choc Stout and Chocolate truffle has also brought this into mind more. After reading this article I wish I had made more effort to make it to the RACV/Holgate presentation I could have gone to. Also, it intrigues me more to go to the Holgate Brewery, and also the Grand Ridge Brewery which have restaurants attached to them. Both brewers are also providing not only a good range of beers to Australia (from Australia) but producing each style quite well.

Beyond myself, this article helps gives people more of an appreciation of beer that the industry will need if it is to keep up its profile, and keep people experimenting and finding more potential in beer.

- Beef

Sunday, November 15, 2009

James Squire Sundown Lager (4.4%)

I first spotted this beer while browsing through the beers at the local bottle 'O and thought that I had to give it a try.  It looked to be something right up my alley with a combination of malts and hops with a hint of citrus, and I was right.
On the label it said that had a 'fresh grassy aroma', and so I thought that perhaps it was going to be something along the lines of a Fat Yak, but it had a much milder use of hops.
The combination of the malts added a very subtle sweetness to the beer which was nicely complimented by the hops and the citrusy flavours.  I kept trying to think of where I would place this beer among other favourites of mine and I think I ended up settling on: in between a Boag's St. George and a Little Creatures Bright Ale.
The Citrus overtones makes the Sundown quite a light beer to drink, but the combination of malts and fruity flavours also lends itself to a more refined air of complexity.

- Stass

As a side note to Stass's offering, I would like to say this beer tasted very watery after the Choc Stouts/Porters that we had been drinking before it. The label stated a 'cut grass' aspect to the beer which, like Stass, made me think it may have something similar to Matilda Bay Fat Yak, but I was unable to taste this. The one thing that did stand out in my mind was the typical James Squires body in this beer. This is something I appreciate greatly throughout their range and am happy to see them capable of producing this in this lager. I will have to go back and try this beer again when I haven't just had 4 Chocolate Stouts. Still, I wasn't going to ruin my tastebuds by trying this before having the stouts!
Additional Additional: have just been in the park playing frisbee and had one of these beers. not a sessional beer as the citrus is strong in aroma but taste settles as it gets warmer. the body is good, but found a slight acidic aftertaste which did not sit well with me.

- Beef

Rogue's Chocolate Stout (6%) - Additional Thoughts

In addition to what has already been said about this beer; in comparison to other chocolate stouts/porters, the biggest distinguishing feature is the use of Williamette hops.  Previously Beef felt that this wasn't a distinctive flavour in the beer as it seemed to be a bitterness coming from the chocolate (cocoa) itself.  However, when comparing tasting notes from other chocolate stouts/porters which do not use the Williamette hops, it's clear that the hops adds depth to the chocolate taste.  Like the Holgate we felt that the Rogue's had a more complete chocolate replication which we believe makes a true chocolate stout/porter.  The difference between the Holgate and the Rogue's is how they achieve their chocolate tastes.  The Holgate relies on vanilla and roasted malt where as the Rogue's relies on the cocoa and Williamette hops.
It's the finish of these two beers which has the greatest difference; the use of hops in the Rogue's intensifies the chocolate taste while in the mouth, but cleanses the palette once swallowed.  The Holgate's flavour seems to be more consistent between tastes.
The other difference between these two beers is their body, or mouth feel.  We felt that the Rogue's had a lighter texture which slightly detracted from a full chocolate experience.  The Holgate's body was fuller or smoother across the tongue and was one thing that we were able to replicate in our own brew

- Stass & Beef

Holgate Brewhouse Temptress Chocolate Porter (6%)

This beer takes a more complex approach compared to the Young's Double Chocolate Stout with a more roasted malt notes.  This roasted malt translated into a darker colour and also brought in hints of coffee flavours into the beer.
The vanilla could be smelt in the aroma but on taste, we found it on the edge of the beer which seemed to reflect our attempt.  The coffee taste could also have been masking the taste of the vanilla.
We tried the Holgate in combination with the chocolate muffin but found that the combination did not compliment each other as the smokiness from the roasted malt conflicted with the sugary chocolate taste of the muffin.
Overall, the complexity of the beer helped to give a fuller sense of a chocolate flavour.  Like a good dark Belgium chocolate, you have a richness in flavour which is balanced by the bitterness of the cocoa. This made the Holgate a fine beer to drink in general and seemed to achieve the balance and complexity of flavours that we would strive for in our own brews of this type.

- Beef & Stass

Young's Double Chocolate Stout (5.2%)

Young's Double Chocolate Stout had a strong cocoa taste and aroma but in the taste it seems to appear in the mid-palette before a dusty after-taste overpowers the cocoa.  The flavour of the beer is quite simplistic but achieves what it set out to do.
We feel that this beer was a stout first, which took on a slight chocolate tangent to create something a little bit different from the norm.

- Beef & Stass  

Chocolate Porter - First Attempt

Yesterday was the grand opening of the latest Chocolate Porter creation.  We had a little BBQ to celebrate the occasion and made a little movie of the brewing process from start to finish.

To make some comparative notes, we chose 3 other choc porter/stouts to see where ours fits in and how we might better our recipe in future batches.  The 3 choc porter/stouts we chose were: Young's Double Chocolate Stout, Holgate Chocolate Porter and the Rogue's Chocolate Stout.  To see tasting notes on these three beers, please click the hyperlink above to be taken to each beer.

Our Chocolate Porter (Beer Chocolate Milkshake)

Our basic recipe consisted of:
  • Cascade Chocolate/Mohogany Porter Kit
  • 2 Vanilla Beans (whole)
  • 600g of Koko Black Cocoa powder
  • Milk Stout Brewing Sugar (lactose)
  • Brewed to 35L
This beer was always going to be at the extreme end of the taste spectrum with that much cocoa.  This we found, created a very cloudy beer and possibly ruined head retention due to the density of the beer.  Carbonation still seemed to be in the beer although it looked to be flat to the eye.  There was still plenty of fizz on the tongue.  We found the vanilla taste to be right on the edge of the beer and remained separate from the body.  
The texture of the beer was very smooth over the tongue which we put down to the lactose brewing sugar.  There was also a very subtle alkali taste in the finish of the taste which could possibly be the cocoa.
When consumed by itself, the cocoa flavour was quite bitter and strong, but when had with a chocolate muffin, we found that the beer was sweetened and actually enhanced the chocolate flavour.

Improvements For Future Batches
  • Lessen the amount of cocoa
  • Open and scrape vanilla beans to better infuse the taste throughout the beer
  • Use a head enhancer which may help carbonation to go through the beer
  • Starting with a darker malt rather than starting with a choc poter and trying to enhance
  • Look into filtration to stop sediment and improve colour
One thing that we haven't yet experimented with is drinking temperatures.  We tasted this beer at a cool temperature but we want to try it again chilled and also room temperature to see if we can notice changes in the taste balances.

- Stass & Beef

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Boag's St George (4.8%)

Ok, so I am going to swing the pendulum again from the previous post, but also while I was in adelaide in thanks for helping my sis move, she got me a six pack of this and a bag of lolly bananas. by itself it is a very easy drinking beer (the first one was gone in about 30seconds. didn't even get a chance to have it with a banana) with just enough citrus taste to keep you interested if you want to enjoy it a bit slower. great sessional beer. however, one bbq a year or two back a mate and i happened to stumble across a combination of beer and banana, and with further testing only found the lolly banana compatible with this beer. the light tasting of the beer allows the banana to take over alot of the taste of the beer, but i believe the sweet citrus combines well with the sweetness of the banana, so there isn't a competition between sweet and bitter. the question for each individual is how much banana for each swig of beer. as the beer seems to naturally dissolve the banana in your mouth, you can guide yourself as to how much. it can be tricky getting it exactly right, but when you do, its just good. for me a single lolly banana lasts about 3 swigs of beer, and even if you get over it, you can just use the beer by itself to cleanse your tongue so you can try again. so this beer is fine by itself for a big session, or easily converted into a 'chewy' sensation with a lolly banana. the best of both beer worlds, and one i will go back for this summer. Enjoy.


Rogue's Chocolate Stout (6%)

Any beer that has a blog dedicated to it is either easy accessible or should be easily accessible. This one is definitely of the latter (with a great blog in how to use it in cooking!), but was lucky enough while in Adelaide on the weekend to see the Wheatsheaf Hotel has this back in stock, and so made a timely purchase of said beer. While it was heatwave conditions over there, this is one beer I cannot hold back from. I even had my sister post another bottle of it back to melbourne for me so I might taste it against the one we have tried to brew that will be ready for drinking this weekend. Speaking to the well informed staff at length about beer, and this particular beer, I heard they will be getting it on tap, and have already got tickets to go back to adelaide in Feb in hopes it may be on then. like any stout (and beer in general) this is best on tap to help with a creamy texture to go with the chocolate taste. one of the best example of chocolate in beer, with the only bitterness I can taste seemingly from the chocolate itself (even though they do use Willamette Hops in it). having this on a 36 degree day in Adelaide took me back to a 6 degree day in Portland, experiencing this beer for the first time with a warm Chocolate Truffle and ice cream. it just matched so well I was in Beefy Heaven. the smell is almost enough, but when you get it in your mouth...awesome! In some way i look forward to seeing how bad our beer is in comparison to this one. Ok, so you may think I am going a bit overboard about this beer, and that is fine, don't taste it. I don't mind. just means more of it is available to me.
I also hope to get my hands on a Holgate Choc Porter in which to taste test our beer choc milkshake against. also a great beer, and good to see if being made in australia. on tap is it very much on par with Rogue's, and this weekend will also give me a chance to taste the Holgate and Rogue's beers together in comparison. anticipation rising...

Friday, November 6, 2009

Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout (5%)

Seeing Stass ruined our first beer tasting note with a lager, I decided to swing the pendulum back towards ales. I have an interest in this brewer coming from my US trip, where I drank one of their other beers at the bottom of Grand Canyon, and really stood out compared to the other beers accessible to us in the states overall. 
From a 550ml rustic looking bottle (which correlates well with a rustic taste), this traditional english style beer poured very dark with a nice white collar. It had a fairly regular stout taste with roasted notes, but the oatmeal really give the body a creamy texture that doesn't make the malt taste too smoky in aftertaste. This is also due to what I believe to be a slight chemical/metallic finishing taste, probably from the water used that in a way cleanses the tongue as it falls to your stomach with a not too heavy thud (well, for me anyway). This was sippingly enjoyed over an hour while enjoying a few games of Wii Mario Kart with Stass.

Coincidently, I had a Matilda Bay Dogbolter and Tooheys Old comparision tasting before this beer. If I was to try and be unbiased, I would say that the Dogbolter had much more body and taste than the Old, but I can see now why people tend to go back to a beer they know. There is that sense of nostalgia and reliability that even beer can have attached to it. Still, Old is a sessional beer for mine, whereas the Dogbolter was not so much.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tastings - Broo, Lager

Broo Lager (Victoria) - This beer has a slightly different take on the 'standard' lager format.  With subtle hints of honey and an after-taste of wheat, it would be a very pleasant drink to have on a warm afternoon.  I probably wouldn't recommend this beer as a 'session' beer as the dense wheaty after-taste may leave your tongue a little parched, but make no mistake, with its light, creamy head and interesting flavour, it is a well crafted beer.

- Stass

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Beer Blog Beginnings

Brew tidings to you,

I am the other part of this team. This is my first time combining beer with tech, but with all the pixels out there, why not use them to record my journey with beer? Like Stass, I grew up in the Hunter Valley in NSW. After running the gauntlet of easily attainable beers (damn you highly distributed bad beers), found a standard in Tooheys Old which seemed to meet my style. I could have forever stayed on this beer and never explored any further, but then St Patrick's Day in 1999, I tried my first Guinness, and after the mainly watery aussies beer, this beer opened my eyes (and tastebuds) to the potential of Beer, and my desire to try out as many as I could in the time I have left on this earth. My alter ego Guinness Man was therefore born on this day, and led me to travel to Ireland in 2008 to 'sample' Guinness all over it. In between and since, i have enjoyed finding and trying many different beers, of course with a focus on ales, and darker ales in particular. However, as may friends and family will attest, I'll try any beer once. As Michel De Montaigne wrote back in the 1580's "to be a good drinker you must not have too tender a palate...we ought to refuse no opportunity for a drink; we ought always to have the desire for one in our heads". This I have translated into my rule of 'if it is free and has alcohol in it, I will not refuse it'.
In 2006, I found myself among a group of men with the equipment to brew beer, and after trying to brew a fair spectrum of beers from the can, we are now at a stage of experimenting with cans to bring other flavours, or boost more of the flavors we like. Yes, we have the potential to go much further by brewing from scratch, but so far we have found this meets out desires, with the amount of effort and space we have to use towards it.
More recently, I travelled to the USA at the start of 2009, stopping at Portland (no doubt) and my mind was opened again by a brewery called Rogue's and their beer called 'Chocolate Stout'. This was drunk with a Chocolate Truffle. I am unable to explain my reaction, except to say it was much in the positive, and has led us now to try brew an equivalent. We have a week and a half from today til it is ready to taste and am in deep anticipation, even though I will not be too concerned if it doesn't come off as I want, as we can always learn and try again. It is basically a Chocolate Porter can in which we have added lactose brewing sugar, 600 grams of cocoa powder and vanilla beans. Yes, it is basically a beer chocolate milkshake (Lister from 'Red Dwarf' would be proud).
Therefore, my tastes lie in malt and darker malts that create a quite 'chewy' ale. We now feel it is time that we started putting down our thoughts on beer and brewing for ourselves, and anyone else interested. If you have read this far, you may well be.
I look forward to recording my continued experiences with beer here, as I hope you may be interested in going with this beer journey with us.


Welcome to Beer Dakari

Hi All,

In this blog, we hope to document our trials and tribulations of a small home brew operation we have. John and I have been brewing our own beer for around 2 years now and are starting to experiment a little.
We also want to put up some tasting notes on different beers as we try them.

We hope to update this blog reasonably regularly.

- Cheers