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Friday
Dec072012

recent beer reviews

Thursday
Sep062012

CAN YOU ORGANISE A PISS UP IN A BREWERY

Our roguish man-about-town and co-founder Scott Ellis isn't known for his organisational abilities, but, really, how hard could it be?

It's a joke. One of those things people say to show how hopeless someone is. But when it comes down to brass tacks, it really isn't that easy to organise a piss up in a brewery.

My birthday's coming up and I thought it would be funny to prove everyone wrong, show that I can get my act together and organise (you guessed it) a piss up in a brewery.

 

And so the problems begin.
For a start, I've moved cities, so my first choice (Young Henry's in Newtown, Sydney) was out, I had to find something in Melbourne.
With time running out, we drew up a short list of likely suspects, eliminating those too far away for the majority of people I'd invite and then we started sampling.
In three days of "research" we hit three very different breweries and I found that what I like from a brewer doesn't necessarily mean it'd make for a good party venue.
Take 2Brothers in Moorabin for example. Their beers are awesome.
I started out with a Taxi, their pilsner, and it's a sharp, bitter and malty homage to the genre, utterly drinkable.
Next I moved to the Growler, an American-style brown ale with a lot of flavour (check it out) before settling on my personal favourite, the Voodoo porter. This is a complex, licoricy, malty sweet bitter brew that I could happily drink all through winter, quite simply one of the best Aussie porters I've ever had.
But the venue is in Moorabin, and that's at least an hour away for more than half those coming and roughly an hour and a half from the airport. I can't really expect them to fork out more than $100 on a cab and still have enough money for a present, can I?
And to be honest, the staff looked a little overwhelmed by the small numbers there. They knew their stuff and were professional, but were getting swamped.
Next.
Mountain Goat brewery in Richmond. Much closer to the city, plenty of access via trains and the beers as we all know, are great.
This time I started out with the ever reliable Hightail, a lovely amber ale in the English style. It's a bit sweet, but a great beer nonetheless... until I found their IPA. It's not a belt-in-the-face hop extravaganza like others, but a very good example of the beer. They used to do this as part of the "rare breeds" small batch brews and everyone loved it enough to take it to the regular range.
I'm one of those who love it, so was very happy to have a couple. And on the night we were there it was being poured through a Randall infuser with extra hops too so was particularly awesome.
I finished up, however (after a brief enjoyable moment where some hipster bumped into me on the way back from the bar and I spilled an entire glass of red wine all over his light-brown suede loafers... his look? priceless!
He was still glaring and dabbing at them with a napkin about an hour later) on the stout. It's great stuff, roasted malt galore, sweet and bitter, perfect for this time of year in the southern hemisphere.
Even the food was an unexpected find - they're got a Vietnamese food truck parked inside serving (to me at least) Vietnamese tacos that were brilliant.
But the place was FREEZING. I kid you not: the crowd was huddled around those little outdoor heater things wearing every item of clothing they could find and still shuddering away.
Next.
Matilda Bay Brewery. I know, they're verging on macro, but this is one of the first craft brewers Australia had, the beers are consistently good and for the "double IPA infused with cherries brewed in a bucket under a full moon" brigade there's always specials to try.
The Fat Yak got me out the starter's gate, then in was on to another favourite, the IGP (if you haven't had this, get some. It's an Australian ale, a bit cloudy, but with great malt flavours and a load of hoppy goodness).
Then, as usual, I went for a dark beer to finish things off, a small batch twist on their regular Dog Bolter and it went down a treat. Six different malts (apparently) have resulted in a classic Munich dark lager style beer. It's good in stubbies, fantastic on tap.
There were a few interesting small batch offering available, but no time to try them so they'll have to wait.
The brewery's right in Port Melbourne, there's parking galore, the venue is large enough to handle a group (a couple of different areas nestled among the vats and piping), with staff who weren't freaked out by crowds... you can see where this is heading.
So. what to do. The micro-brewery with the beers I liked the most? The one with the cool food and funky atmosphere. Or the one that has some great beers, a restaurant with loads of variety, enough (warm) space to handle the night with the least fuss for everyone concerned.
I'll definitely be going back to 2Brothers (the porter really was that good) and Mountain Goat (maybe in summer), butto celebrate my 50th birthday, I'll be propping up a table at Matilda Bay, pouring the small batch releases down with gusto.

 

Thursday
Apr192012

WHAT IS BEERIOSITY?

BEERIOSITY began as the Yeer in Beer page on Facebook. It was an endurance test to try a different beer every day in 2012, but it quickly evolved into something much more. 

Ordinary drinkers never leave their comfort zones but our project forced us to try beers of all types, from all countries. Some of them have been brilliant and some have been truly awful, and BEERIOSITY can now help you to safely drink away from the mainstream.

See, our drinkers are fearless about unknown beer taps or bottles. They just search for them on BEERIOSITY, try the good ones, avoid the bad ones and then even sign up as a BEERIO to share their own thoughts and ratings.

A BEERIO will be the go-to beer guy in his or her crowd, constantly surprising friends with brilliant, previously unknown beers and steering them safely away from the horrid and the mundane.

And you will almost certainly find a new favourite beer. You will almost certainly find quite a lot of new favourite beers. 

And that's what BEERIOSITY is all about.