So, at 11am 10 of us started Pete's bucks with a tasting of beers at Slowbeer. While we waited for a few stragglers, we had a taste of the Weiphanstephaner Festbier, which was a nice light and crisp beer to get out palates ready for the tasting. The first beer was The Timothy Taylor Strong Pale Ale. There is definitely some upfront sweet malt but it dulls off on the midpalate and ends with a dryness that was a bit too much for the beer. Fuller's Golden Pride was next, and had some really good malt sweetness body, and a beer that converted many of the mainstream beer drinkers in the group. It probably doesn't stack up against the modern barleywines now available, but at 8.5% it was still enough for us as a morning beer. Moving from the UK to Germany, and a Bamberg Helles really hit the vegetarians in the group with a bit of ham flavour in the beer. It is probably even lighter in flavour than the weizen version of this smoke beer, so was a great choice to show of this style of the group.
Stepping up to 12%, the Aventinus Weizen Eisbock put a shock through the system of most of the drinkers, and the freezing technique used in it really does build up the body of the beer to make it coat your tongue. Moving onto Belgium, 2 classics came out to be drunk, the Tripel Karmeliet and the Rochefort 10 (okay, I won't go on about these). Getting into some modern beers, the Shmaltz Coney Island Pilsner seemed to me to go too far against the style to be overtly coying on the tongue. The hops seemed to be quite good for the flavour of the beer, but the texture just did not site well and found I probably wouldn't be able to have a session on it because this (even if the boys did like the label). Lastly, the Yeastie Boys with Pot Kettle Black I found to be a good Black IPA with a decent blend of malts and hops, even if the hops do feel a little overbearing. Still, was a good beer to end on the freshen the palate.
Over lunch, we had a Heineken which really brought me back to earth (in a bad way). I hope this then showed the boys the difference between mainstream and craft beers. Things improved slighty with a Squire's Golden Ale, but this was just the step down I needed for what was to come.
I like lawn bowls, and it is a great way to spent the arvo. The beers may be a bit cheaper too, but the quality is quite low, and apart from Little Creatures Pale, I just could not handle the beers on offer. Of course by this stage, the boys were not worried about flavour, and just wanting the alcohol hit from the beer (the best man ended up doing a streak along the bowling green at this stage, even including a handstand in the venture). Even moving onto a couple of pubs from there, the majority of boys were sticking to mainstream beers (what was mainly available at the premises), but happy to see after the beer tasting in the morning, some boys were trying out some beers they hadn't had before that they could find in the fridge behind the bar. Then just as I was leaving the boys to dinner at Gasometer, I managed to find 2 Brothers James Brown Belgian Ale, which I enjoyed a bit of belgian yeast with some darker malt flavours. I have not heard from the boys since, but hopefully they came through the night ok.
I quickly ducked home to get changed and arrived at Beer Delux just was we were being allowed into the atrium to start the dinner and trivia. There was a Stone and Wood Pacific Ale on arrival to our table, so reset my tastebuds on that while looking on what to have. I was finding it pretty hard to get a beer during the event (unfortunately the Bridge Road Saison wasn't pouring well), and ended up only managing a Mountain Goat Steam Ale from the atrium bar. Luckily I was able to go into Beer Delux to grab a Red Hill Imperial Stout and a Moo Brew Barrel Aged Vintage Imperial Stout and let them warm up over the evening. I literally tasted water when the mystery beer came out (Corona from a can), which only made my tastebuds ready for the Holgate Beezlebub Quad Belgian Ale, which I actually found to be quite subtle for the style and what my palate expected. Mind you, the alcohol was quite high at 12%. The Moon Dog boys on our table also gave us a taste of their latest beer, which had quite a bit of a lambic flavour with cherry and belgian yeast flavours in it which intrigued me quite a bit. I did manage to get the Feral King Brown as well, but by then the tastebuds were dying fast, or maybe my focus was more on the trivia, as we ended up winning it!
We ended up hanging around at Beer Delux til about 3am before I headed out to Moon Dog (just around the corner from my place) for a couple more beers and a brewery tour in the wee hours of the morn.
I was surprised to wake up 4 hours later and feel somewhat ok...mind you, it has taken me a while to get around to writing up on it.
Still, no rest for the drinker. Today is the microbrewery showcase at Fed Square so will get there this arvo to taste some more beers and see what is new in brew.