Friday night turned into quite a big one, and while I don't generally like to drink too excessively, it was just one of those nights. It was a great night, to have friends and family around me (and beer), and while I actually don't remember that much of it, I still feel good vibes over it. So thank you to everyone for coming out with me, I feel very loved from the night, but maybe not from the bar staff at Mountain Goat Brewery or the Royston.
So, with the big night out of the way, last night was able to be more of a quieter...sophisticated...hmmm, at the very least more of a 'remembered' night,but with the calibre of beers on offer, I hope I would be able to remember it.
It was basically an opportunity for me to enjoy and share the versatility of beer as I see it, and to enjoy some of my favourite beers from around the world. So here is the beer journey from it.
1) Little Creatures Bright Ale: My favourite summer beer with some good citrus notes but still a bit of malt body. I actually had some orange cake while drinking this beer yesterday, and have to say it matched pretty well. An Aussie 'slammer', but with character.
2) Lindemans Faro: Very light style Belgium Lambic beer with amazing sherberty sugar with very slight sourness to balance it out. So delicate in flavour.
3) Cantillon Lou Pepe Kreik 2008: My favourite from a recent Slowbeer tasting that while has quite a sourness is still fairly well rounded for a Lambic. the older blends and hops really deliver a milder tartness than most.
4) Aecht Schlenterla Rauchbier Weizen: This German wheat smoke beer is another one with intriguing flavours, but at least a little bit diluted in this wheat version. Both this beer and the Cantillon were had while eating to help us get through them. Liquified smoked ham in this one.
5) Achel Extra Brune: A bit of a cleanser in this beer journey and the first hit of higher alcohol Trappist beer with some nice caramel notes that I remember enjoying in Belgium.
6) Holgate Temptress: Choc porter with a great chocolate smell and some slight bitterness on the back palate. Best Aussie attempt at this style of beer.
7) Rouge's Chocolate Stout: Amazing to actually get this American beer as I could not find it here in Melbourne. My sister actually brought it over from Adelaide (The Wheatsheaf no doubt), so was a last minute addition to the journey. One of my favourite beer memories is with this particular one. Just has a great overall roundness with good chocolate flavour.
8) Guinness Foreign Extra Stout: A great take on a classic beer. I think the best Guinness you can get outside of Ireland with higher alcohol and and hops but with that great Guinness taste. This one had many of the other tasters stumped, especially when I said it is one of the most well know beers in the world.
9)Moo Brew Vintage Imperial Stout (2010): The latest batch of this favourite beer or mine, however was a major disappointment on the night, with what seemed to be over-carbonation making the beer froth up upon opening, and it overshadowing the taste.
10) Moo Brew Vintage Imperial Stout (2009): Lucky I kept this beer aside from the previous year's batch. This is more like it! The taste buds are starting to die at this point, but I still get that 'experience' with this beer. Instant mellowness.
11) Brew Dog Tokyo: Another oak age stout, but from this Scottish brewer. Very intense flavours with very high alcohol, with big malt hit.
12) Mikkeller Black (Islay Edition): Again an aged stout but with a better roundness of flavour. The base beer with the whiskey barrel aging and alcohol make for a very impressive beer.
13) Rochefort 10: My favourite Belgium beer. Amazing caramel smell which translates to taste. Has a bit of a scotch flavour with the caramel and high alcohol. The start of the come down on this beer journey.
14) Grand Ridge Supershine: A scotch ale which I believe has the highest alcohol content for commercially made beer in Australia. Again has a great mellowness to it with the caramel flavours.
So that was it. A big beer journey for my 30th. Thanks to everyone that came along with me on it. Was a great wrap up of the beers I have had over the last 10 years. I wonder what the line up will look like for my 40th (If I make it that far)?
PS: On a personal note, can I just say how fortunate I feel right now to have great friends and family to share the last 30 years with, and for those that have come and celebrated with me over the past couple of nights.