Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sunday Sess

Okay Okay, it is Tuesday, but only just had a chance to put this up.

After a quiet morning Stass and I got together to play PS3 and the Wii, of course with one of our homebrew choc beers going down well on the cold rainy day.

With Joel leaving for overseas yesterday and Mick feeling the need for a great parma, we hit the Royston where I taste tested the difference between the Moo Brew Pale Ale and the Bridge Road Pale Ale. The Moo Brew was more to my personal liking with a rounded malt flavour and [I feel] better matching of the hops with the malt, whereas the Bridge Road was too hoppy for my liking (therefore, probably more of a real American Pale Ale).

Then, after dinner and the last time I was to see Joel for a few months, we cemented our style of friendship with opposite beers, a got pay back for him bring a bottle of Sol to a party of mine not too long ago. So yeah, he had the watery Sol, and I had a Sierra Nevarda Stout, which I received from my landscaping boss on Friday. The creamy choc bitterness could not be much further away from the Sol, so they were very appropriate for the situation.

I have many more beers from the boss to try out out the next 2 weeks before my birthday and then have just confirmed that there is a chrissy beer tasting happening at Slowbeer on the 15th, which I am very much looking forward to, as most have a Belgian style to them. Let's hope it is a stinking 40C degree day for these dark, fruity and spicy beers to make it a very ironic tasting.



Monday, November 22, 2010

And So It Begins...

My beer resume is done (thanks for your help Stass) and so now start sending it out to see what will happen.

Fingers crossed (but not streams).

Thanks for your support.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Latest batch in the bottle (Choc Raspberry Stout)

Stass and I have just bottled the latest brew, so have 3 weeks (exactly the time til my birthday) before it is ready. Ok, so it is an attempt at a choc raspberry, and with the lactose sugar comes out as a creamy raspberry with a very little hint of choc on the tip of the tongue, but will see how it comes up after second fermentation.

Before bottling, I was feeling like some fruity light beers, so Stass brought around a Stone and Wood Draught, that smelt just like pineapple and had a light body but not watery, but no pineapple in taste. He also brought around a Cantillon Iris, which after a settling sip was alright. Maybe the whole bottle was a bit much for just us two, but as I have found with the lambic tasting I had at Slowbeer, is fairly tame compared to others.

With my birthday approaching, I have been getting back into stuff I grew up with, and so got back onto Bargearse. No matter how crude the humour is, it still gets me on the floor, and while he isn't normally drinking great beers (hey, how much harder would it have been to find decent beer in Australia back in the 70's/80's?!), Bargearse is definitely a beer hero for me (eg, 'breakfast?...excuse me while I do my morning exercise...liquid inspiration...[and of course]...beer daquiri').

Also something to laugh at, just saw the start of the 20/20 game with VB as a sponsor and nearly brought my dinner up laughing at the ad campaign for it. Just has 'VB...Real'. The only thing real about it is that it exists and is somehow the biggest selling beer in Australia (ok, there is quite a sadness lurking behind my laughter as well). Still, am actually happy to see they are playing Phoenix's '1901' between balls in the first over of the cricket.

Anyway Jarrod and Harriet, Stass and I are not far from our choc raspberry experiment being ready for testing, where's yours?!


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Just a Quiet night in

Hi Everyone,

Decided for once I would stop being so high and mighty with the beers I put up here, and show a day-to-day event to show people I can also keep it real with beer (a bit).
So decided on a beer, pizza and Monty Python night with Shanti and a newly engaged couple, Cassie and Cary (I guess they come in three's after Jess and Stass, and My cousin Anna and her boy Pete). Like a similar thing I did with Jess a few weeks back (before she got engaged to Stass) with pilsners, Shanti and I hit a bottlo and we mixed and matched a few beers for her to try. As a self-confessed beer noob, we managed to get a Jamieson Raspberry Ale, a Coopers Stout (one at least she knew she liked), a Monteith's Winter Ale and a Grand Ridge Moonshine. Then Cassie and Cary also brought the Tap 6 and 7 from Schneider Weisse, to round things off.
I found the Tap 7 to be quite nice with a good wheat taste, citrus and some mild spicing, even had some aspect of a belgian triple to it which was interesting (almost like an aged quality that may come from the open fermentation and bottle conditioning). The 6 had a darker malt flavour to it, but overall, fairly similar to the 7.
The Jamieson is already a beer I like and with Framboise have steered me into these styles of beer quite a bit. Seeing Shanti picked me up on not having reviewed this beer before on the blog, decided I should now. Has a nice light browny-red body and good mix of sweet and sour raspberry in the smell and taste. Shanti picked up on a sort of medicinal smell from it. A really easy drinking beer, but with enough flavour to contemplate a bit over. The Coopers was a bit of a step into bitterness after the raspberry, with big roasted coffee flavour and some smokeyness. Still, a bit watery, but with the dark flavour, black as tar. I probably should have done the Winter Ale before it, but the step up in body that it has was a good transition for me, even if the caramel malt flavour was a step back in taste with this beer. None of these beers really went with the 'Gringo' pizza we got but contrasted it a bit. We didn't get onto the Moonshine, but with much more python still in my library, am sure it will be drunk soon.

So congrats to Cassie and Cary, and hopefully Shanti has dispelled some myths she may have had about beer (caramel?), and even found some areas she will want to explore further in beer.



PS: Com'on, attack me with that raspberry, be as vicious as you like...

Monday, November 15, 2010

"We're not here to f*#k spiders"...a Berliner's Beer Journey

Hi All,

If you have read the last part of my beer journey of Europe, you will know I left behind 4 beers for James, Joe and Jaimi to try out. They have finally gotten around to it and am happy to say they made videos of their journey, that I have pieced together here.

What a great experience it was to get each of these from the gang and couldn't wait to see the next along the way. Love the reactions to Coopers and the Germany Smoke Wheat beer. Was going to go the dark smoke beer for you guys, but thought that would be too intense (the intensity that you smelt in the smoke wheat is how it tastes in the dark version). Don't worry Joe, it may taste like liquified smoke ham or beef jerky, but there is no meat, it is the smoked malt which gives it that flavour. I had particular high hopes about the Rochefort 10 as it is one of my fave beers, and was glad you could pick the spirit/sipping nature of it. I think the order you guys drank them in was perfect, going from the 'clean' Coopers, 'campfire' Czech beer, 'beef jerky' Rauchweiss, and 'wintery' Rochefort.

Stass and I have enjoyed seeing this beer journey so much we just had to share it on here.

Looking forward to the sex tape Jaimi, and to seeing the rest of you back in OZ soon. Cheers to an entertaining adventure in beer, you guys made me very happy I left these beers with you.

So proud...


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Biero Bar

Why has it taken me so long to visit this place?
Post RACV gig with Jarrod, Harriet, Jessica and Joel, we hit this bar to try a few of their beers. A nice selection of varied bottled beers, and enough on tap to keep you interested. Harriet and I have just started a contest to brew a choc raspberry beer, so I went with the choc side with beer selections, where as she went the raspberry with a Danish framboise. Had some qualities of a lambic with a slight tartness, and was good to see a real beer instead of artificially sweetened fruit beer. I went with a Hitacio Nest Sweet Stout which was fine, but still yet to find one from this brewer I really enjoy. However after that had to try the Renaissance Oatmeal Choc Stout, which having been disappointed with it from the bottle found it great on tap. Thanks to Stew for telling me to hit this place to try this beer, as it was worth it. Definitely had qualities of the Holgate Choc Porter in smell but still with some bitterness at the back when tasting. But the creaminess really comes through from the oatmeal when on tap. Jarrod went an I Hardcore You IPA (combo of Brew Dog and Mikkeller) which has a good full flavour and dry finish, but the hop selection I think is quite good in it, and then a Moo Brew Dark Ale on tap. Joel had a NZ pilsner that wasn't offensive (sorry, that is the best I can say about it mate).
The bar staff were pretty enthusiastic to chat and share thoughts on beers they had on offer, and without a VB or Carlton Draught in sight, puts it in the top places for a beer in Melbourne. Dare say there will be another visit soon...hmmm, it is my birthday in a month...



Monday, November 8, 2010

Rogue's XS Russian Imperial Stout (11%)

Well, the past week has been pretty exciting with Stass and Jess getting engaged, and my cousin Anna and her boy Pete (Happy birthday mate!) also deciding to get married, and of course this blog turning 1, having friends down for the weekend and finding some more good beer. On Friday night we hit the Royston and was finding it hard to find a beer I could really enjoy. The Red Hill Golden Ale had sulphur smell, very little malt flavour and a pungent hop that at least they didn't use much of. I retreated into a German wheatbeer to take me back to my trip last month and find I enjoyed the bubblegum from it. With the bar girl expressing a 'wuss' factor in my beer selection at this stage, I asked her to supply me with a 'non-wussy' beer, which backfired on her as he only gave me a Mountain Goat Hightail Ale. Then I decided it was time to educate her on this matter and bought this Rogue's Imperial Stout. I hadn't had it before either, but knowing Rogue's, knew it would be anything but subtle, and I was right. Even as a 2008 vintage, it was still big, bold, and stayed in my mouth long into the beers after, and even the morning after. Big dark malt (there are 6 types of malt in it), intense but well transitioned hop flavours (3 hop types) and a decent level of alcohol did bring some mellowness to the evening. My brother went to get another one, but we had just finished the last bottle they had. Still, could be a late additions to the 'special' beers I have for my 30th next month. Seeing the bar girl had supplied me with so many tasters of other beers they had available, and seeing she needed to know what a non-wussy beer was, I let her have a taste of this. I think she learnt her lesson...

The other impressive beer of the weekend came with a group of us getting together, and my fellow brewer Jarrod telling me about his taste for IPA's at the moment. We went to Purvis and he grabbed a six pack of his favourite, the Red Duck Bengal IPA. Yeah, not normally a beer I would go for, but this is why it is good to have mates with differing taste so they can show you good beers in these realms. Still, couldn't help but make some similarities between it and the Holgate ESB with a good caramel malt and probably an even better transition to the hop. there was even a nice creamyness to it even from the bottle, and the hop itself was not too intense even for me. Still, at 7%, it had some alcohol that came through on the back palate, but the flavours of the beer were enough to contain this. With the big malt and hopness, and when it warmed up a bit, I was actually starting to get some imperial stoutness from it which was really interesting to find, and never thought I could get that from this style of beer. It is always good to see how much you have to learn, to keep you open minded, and have mates wanting to share their own tastes with you. I look forward to more beer outings with you J-rod!

Well, that will do for now. What a great weekend and week it has been. Thanks to everyone that came on these journey's with me.



Thursday, November 4, 2010

Happy 1st Birthday to Beerdakari

So, after many beers, brews, thoughts and journeys, we have already hit the first birthday of this blog. I guess like how many philosopher's think of their own musings, this is a bit of a brain-child for me, and thank god I don't actually have a kid, as putting this much beer into a real child would have not been good for it.

Still, it has been a great experience so far for me to be able to put down any thoughts, tastings and anything beer related I come in contact with on this blog. Being blessed with a bad memory, I need this space to help keep track of the beers I have tried, enjoyed, or just know what never to drink again.

Just the other night, Stass and I were able to think about the improvements we have made in our beer brewing tasting off some of the choc beers we have made over the past year. We are both pretty pleased with the latest one, and looking forward to keep trying at it and other beers (yep, there are a few experiments we are still looking to try our hands at). Still, nothing comes close to the Holgate Choc Porter we had at the Terminus Hotel In Clifton Hill tonight. Happy Anniversary mate!

Still, for me, it is pretty poignant that this birthday comes just after my beer journey of Europe and while I try to build some momentum to find a 'beer career' and see if this interest can become more than just a hobby. The beer resume is coming along, and Stass has kindly allowed me to use him as a reference in it...Okay, it is a weird concept, but not being mates with a brewer or anyone involved in beer, this is a way I see of just getting me out there. With me turning 30 in a month, it's all becoming a bit of a turning point in life, and it has been great to have this blog to see my interest grow in this area, and the effect having this blog has had on me.

Anyway, here is to a year of documented beer adventures with my brother in beer Stass. I am interested to see where this blog finds me in the next year. I only hope for one thing, that I am still enjoying beer with friends.

Thanks for reading,


PS: isn't this a cute couple!!!! What are you grabbing for Jess!!!!??? Come on, he has already given you a ring, what else do you want?!