Thursday, March 31, 2011

Gearing up for Beer Awards

G'day all,

Have been gearing up for the Beer Awards starting tomorrow, and looking forward to hearing what the critics choice is of the best beers in Oz after having been disappointed by the voting polls that came out a few months ago. Have been keeping updated as we count down the top 12 beers (and putting my 2 cents in as well), and was happy to find out yesterday that I have been one of the lucky people to win a pack of the top 12 through the Beer Lovers Guide to Australia page on facebook. Was really happy to see the Holgate Temptress get in at my lucky number 8, and the Bridge Road Saison at 9. At the time of writing this, we are still yet to hear what is number 1, but whatever it is, I will be getting a sample of it to try (if I haven't already had it before), and be at the Local Taphouse tomorrow arvo to try them out on tap.

The only problem I have is with so much beer at home already, I am running out of room to hold it all. It may mean a session of drinking is upon us to cull back the stocks to make room for this, and the bottles of the honey dark wheat beer we are to bottle tomorrow. I just bought a new camera yesterday, so the first photo I took with it was of 'Beer Alley' beside my bed to give you all idea of the beer I have sitting in my bedroom at the moment.

After buying the camera and giving blood, I thought the best thing I could do was fuel up on a parma at the Royston and have a couple of beers there and across the road at Mountain Goat. Being in wheat beer mode at the moment, had another of the Bridge Road Hefe Dunkel and then tried the Jameson Beast IPA. Luckily I had the parma while I was tasting this beer, as the hops were pretty intense for my palate, but at least the beer cleansed the palate so I could enjoy the beer, and found the acid from the tomato in the parma helped cleanse the mouth of the beer. I was surprised at the fruity hop smell from the Beast, and the nicely textured sweet malt front palate to it. The hops definitely came through on the mid palate, but have to say I enjoyed the taste profile which seem to go from sweet malt, the citrus before the hops came through. If I had not had the parma, am sure the hop flavour from each mouthful would have become too much for me, but with food it was quite bearable. Ok ok, the saying 'there are not strong beers, only weak men' may apply here, but am happy to say that when it come to hops, I am a weak man. I think my recent tasting of Brew Dog's Sink The Bismark would make that pretty clear.

After being satisfied by the Royston parma once again, I went to Mountain Goat to sample the Hightail with Cascade hops through the infuser. Was glad for a step down from the previous beer, and probably why I was able to enjoy it more than what I would normally. As I was handed the beer, I found Shane was doing a tour of the brewery so tagged along to get a better idea of how they do things here. Was pretty good to get that insight and picked up a lot from Shane's tour, and manage to get in a few questions during the tour and have a quick chat to Shane after the tour. Then one of the ladies in the crowd came up to us and asked to get a photo of me seeing I was wearing my 'I'm what Willis was talking about' shirt on (you know, Different Strokes...'What you talking about Willis?'), so I roped in Shane into the shot with me.

Anyway, tomorrow looks like bottling latest brew, hitting the Taphouse for the beer awards, then beer tastings at both Purvis and Slowbeer, where I can hopefully also fill up my growler with Brew Dog's 5am Saint, which I am interested to try from the tap. I will also sign up for Slowbeer's 'round the world' tasting happening in May. Still, for today, I get to test out my camera so I can use it for a Twoks and Tim Cannon gig at the Rainbow tonight. Finally, I get to see two of my favourite Melbourne bands in the one night.

Here is to Beer, and to craft brewers at the beer awards.


PS: Hot off the press, I hear that the Wheatsheaf Hotel in Adelaide will be having the Rogue's Chocolate Stout ON TAP(!!!) next month, so have teed up my sis over there to let me know when it is on so can do the dash to try it out again. I am sure I have put it too high on a pedestal 2 years after having tried it for the first time in Portland, Oregon, but it holds too dear a place in my heart not to go over for it (oh, and see my sis of course!).

PPS: Oh, and as for the wedding I went to on the weekend, luckily the groom asked for Fat Yak, as am sure the Carlton Draught would have stopped me getting on the dance floor and made me worse for the morning after. Cheers Tim and Sus!

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