Thursday, March 18, 2010

St Patrick's Day 2010

Well, it is post St Patrick's, but seeing i was busy on the day, and maybe not is the correct state to be writing in this blog then, now may allow a much more coherent celebration recollection.
I won't say what time i had my first Guinness of the day, but safe to say i had one before i went to work. I am sure some of you reading this can work out from that when abouts i had the first. even though i did work, i was able to keep up my tradition of not working after lunch, which in turn allowed me to keep having guinness with lunch (or was it lunch?). the afternoon brought with it a visit to Fed Square, where the microbreweries showcase was on. Stass and my brother were able to attend with me this time, which in turn meant we were able to try many beers sharing samples, etc. I was very interested in Holgate's 'Ladyboy' (cross of nut brown and choc porter), Matilda Bay has a great selection of beers, Red Duck's belgium was interesting to see aussies trying to replicate this style, even though it was 10.5%. The Sweetwater Golden Bitter was okay too along with the True South Red Truck Lager (yes, i do enjoy lagers...sometimes). However, Tooborac had a good body in their beer, Coldstream had a porter that tasted very similar to Guinness (maybe it was just because of the day), and the Hawthorn Pale had good texture and taste too. However, much excitement was found when i saw a case of Grand Ridge Supershine sitting at their table, and that they had moonshine available to try. this is what we ended out tastings with, getting the last serving of it for the day, and we were able to stand in the quiet and the crowd dissipated and enjoy this last morsel of beer. 
However, more was to come, as we had seen that Beer Delux had a keg of the Moo Brew Aged Imperial stout, and for $23 each, we sampled a pot of this amazing beer and felt the world mellow in the presence of this beer. quite spectacular body and from the keg the head created a new, lighter layer of taste just to complexify the beer even more than before, the balance of sweet and bitter as the beer descended down our throats brought with it such a sense of content it felt like a bargain to have got it for $23, and made us feel sorry for those that had not tried it. Apart from a Guinness (which i had earlier anyway), this was the best beer to celebrate a day known for stout drinking. I can't even remember how long it took for us to drink that pot, but it is the slowest i have ever drunk so little an amount of beer, and it easily lasted an hour as Stass and I got lost in it's tasting.

well, it was a delightful St Pat's Day, which a much more sophisticated Guinness Man enjoyed. and there is going to be more enjoyment to come from it, as we made an investment in our happiness by ordering a case of the supershine which hopefully will be in our possession by the end of the week, where much wintery contented drinking will come from, and not just for this coming winter either.

Happy Post St Patrick's Day everyone,

Guinness Man (Beefy)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Full Malty, Wales (4.8%)

Welcome to Autumn!
And what a way to bring it in with this beer. As a lover of malt, when i found this beer, I just had to try it. I have to say this is the maltiest beer i have ever tasted, and didn't Stass see that when he saw how excited I was after the first taste. Trust the welsh to make a ball-busting malt beer. Velvety in texture, it was able to tick many boxes of what i enjoy in beer. While Stass tried to convince me that it needed something to offset the sweetness of the beer, I recalled what I had heard at the Cooper's brewery tour the week before where i was told that hops were not a necessary part of beer, and savoured the full malt sweetness of this beer.

I have definitely been inspired now to try and make my own malt beer, and maybe even add some honey for more sweetness. Hey, when have Stass and I ever brewed by halves? Which came into question not long after trying this beer, when we tried our half sediment/half liquid choc stout. Let's just say it was quite an experience, and if you have any of the photos of us trying it stass, put them up here, as a warning to others that may try it. Still, I managed to finish my half of

Cheers to beers,


Last Weekend of Summer

Hi anyone,

Seeing last summer i spent half of it in the winter of Canada and the US, as you can see this summer have made the most to enjoy it around australia. I decided for the last weekend of summer to go back to basics, so made a trip to Foster for their annual country show and hang out with fellow brewers Gary and Kim who actually had beers entered in the show for judging.

From the entries you can see in the photo, Gary came second in the Lager section, and Kim came first in the Ale, second in Cider. Of course there was much comparing of beers later that day to make our own judgements, and many outlandish statements made over whose brews were better. I wasn't able to put in any of our own homebrews into the show, but was able to take our bright ale replica and choc stout for some other homebrewers to try out.

The next day we enjoyed a walk on the beach and I took my last swim for the summer at Waratah Bay (near Wilson's Prom), before taking my leave and heading north to a brewery I had been meaning to visit since i tried their scotch ale a few years ago. 

Grand Ridge Brewery is nestled in the rolling hills of Mirboo North. I tried a stout and of course a Moonshine on tap, along with one of their great steaks (the left over grains from brewing are given to their cattle to provide the steaks). Here is a photo of the premise with the bar with the vats in the background. It was good to chat with country folk here and over the whole weekend. The one disappointment was that they are not bottling their next batch of Supershine til tomorrow, so I missed out on getting some of that while i was there. It is so hard to find it i thought for sure i could get some here, but alas missed out.

Then once I got back to Melbourne, was able to enjoy an evening hanging out with friends (of course with a few beers). All in all, a great end to summer. Hope you all had a good summer too. Now I get to look forward to enjoying fuller bodied and tastier beers with Autumn to cool things down.


Phoenix Lager, Mauritius (5%)

As one of my last international beer of the aussie summer, and as to celebrate my favourite band starting their tour of Oz today (they will be in melbourne on Friday), I thought it appropriate I have this beer. I have been looking for this beer for many years after hearing the joke that Phoenix (the French band) named themselves after this beer. It is one of the interesting things with the band that they have these quirky tales about themselves, and I reckon some of that is even in this beer. It is an easy drinking beer, but also has a maltiness and a quirky sense of apple (?) to sweeten it. While being lager it also seems to be smooth, so the similarities with the band continue. Also, because of it's style, the beer is very much a summer beer, as Phoenix produce summery sort of tunes. Much like aspect of the band and their music, the Phoenix beer has aspect that intrigue and don't fully understand, but only add to my liking of it. A smooth, sweet lager is not very common in my experience, especially with the yeasty and hoppy beers that seem prominent in Australia. It almost seems like fate that I finally find this beer just weeks before the band come here, however, I think I will be enjoying this friday's gig more than this beer. Still, I am quite happy to find that I enjoy both. A fitting farewell to summer!