Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Wintery Week That Was...

So, this time last week I was recovering from a friends 30th birthday at Revolt in Kensington. Heading in earlier in the day to help set up, I saw two things that made me look forward to the party. 1) an old wheelchair that could take my weight so I could pull out onto the dancefloor, and 2) seeing the bar had 2 Brothers Growler brown ale and Weihenstephaner Hefe-Weissbier. Both went down well to start the night going while my tastebuds were ok. Unfortunately, I saw a Big Head beer also in the fridge, and not being sure what it was, decided to try this 'no carb' beer. Yeah, might take the approach of 'if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all' with this. Ending the night on some Coopers Pales, between them the the Hefe it is safe to say my guts continued fermenting the next day...Happy Birthday Mel! Add to that a nice beef and Guinness pie before the party at my first visit to the Quiet Man irish pub while in Kensington, which I am sure helped me keep going til 5:30am, and it made of a long but enjoyable day.

Needing a couple of days to recover, still managed to get back on a couple of beers on Tuesday for the Beer and Cupcake tasting.

Then on Wednesday was given the exciting news I would be doing my first brew at Mountain Goat the day after, and unfortunately used the excitment to sit and drink with a few people at the Goat bar a bit longer than I should of. Still, finding the Red Saison is tasting better than previously found, was great to taste a little of the ginger and chilli I had found interesting when I had kegged it some months ago. That with the Stout, Hip Hip Horray IPA and Coffee IPA through Randy on tap, I was too easy seduced to hang around, not to mention to company of some of the Goaters and staff from Beer Deluxe.

So was with little sleep that I started at 6am Thursday (incidentally, my grandpa's 91st birthday) to do my very first commercial brew in the Goat brewhouse. Was a great experience, and to do a Black IPA as my first ever brew, just made it more special for me. Thanks to Craig for basically holding my hand through it all, and happy to say the very small influence I may have had in the process did not create any problems with the brew. Looks like I may get another chance this coming week, again with another specialty brew, which will be awesome...I hope.

After that day at work I headed back to Beer Deluxe after having tried a couple of big beers there the week before, to meet up with Stass and a few mates of his. Joel also turned up and turned into a bit of a beer journey we are use to doing each time we visit. Unfortunately the Brew Dog Tokyo keg had blown, so started with a Holgate Temptress, which was not tasting great, but seeing that keg blew not long after I ordered mine, that could have something to do with it. There was also a 2011 and 2012 Moo Brew Stout to taste off against each other (the 2011 was not as smooth in flavour profile of course and bitterness being a little high for my taste in the style. The 2012 was definitely the resounding winner of the two with some dark fruit and licorice coming from the mellowing of the beer and a sense of more alcohol in it). Having taken on the challenge to convert another red wine/alcopop drinker into beer, got her onto a bottle of the Lindermanns Framboise, which was nearly sickly sweet (even for my palate), before trying to progress her palate with the Unifikator on tap (wow, the yeast flavour profile on this weizenbock beer really shows off the tradition of Weihenstephaner and the precision of Temple), but was a bit too 'beery' for her I think.
On the boys side of the journey, while falling asleep at the table, they still managed to get me to try the Heretic Shallow Grave (has a similar roasted malt quality to the Bridge Road Robust Porter), and then end on a Brooklyn Brewery Black Chocolate Stout (have already written about this beer way too much on this blog) to progress the palate of the newer members of beer appreciators at the table.

Struggling through the next day at work (helped though by the excitement of The Naz brew being done...really really looking forward to seeing how this one goes) was not helped when my brother was delayed on his flight from Sydney to have dinner (Still, meant I had a chance to visit Josie Bones while on my way to try the Nogne O Imperial Stout on tap ([so even and smooth in its profile from chocolate to alcohol which does not burn too much]). After that it was all wine, with my brother engaging my recent interest in Chianti over Ladro pizza and at the Enoteca, to make for another late night with some alcohol involved.

Being knackered I thought yesterday I would hardly stay awake long enough to make my cousin's housewarming/birthday party, but after gifting them a home brew set up so they can make gluten free beer, then actually putting a brew on with them, tasting the latest Bridge Road/Nogne O India Saison (again, good match of fruit with hop bitterness and saison yeast/wheat really softening the bitterness nicely), Unifikator from the bottle (profile not as good as what I had on tap, but still worth tasting for the quality yeast in it), and the new Kooinda Milk Porter (starts off really nice with a chocolate milkshake taste, but flattens out as it crosses the palate...I guess appropriate for  a sweet porter), I somehow still found myself dancing in their living room at 3am this morning (uh oh!). When will I learn? This morning was spent spooning the fermenter from the floor of their living room to warm up the wort to make sure the yeast had activated and the fermenter seals were working, building up the strength to get home, and now doing some blog posts to keep me awake to make sure I sleep well tonight. Phew!

Seeing I have made it to 6pm, I dare say it will not be long til I hit the sack to see how I fare for the week to come.



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