Category Archives: Excited

The Sessions No 72: How we love beer – Zen Man

session_logo_all_text_300The Session (aka Beer Blogging Friday) is an opportunity once a month for beer bloggers from around the world to get together and write from their own unique perspective on a single topic.

This month’s session is hosted by Ryan Newhouse at Montana Beer Finder, who wants to know how we love beer. Not why, but how. So we say we love good beer but how do we show that?

So how do we love beer? and when I say we I mean me. How do I love beer?

I love beer by putting myself out, in pain, by stretching my wallet, by doing things that are not comfortable or sensible. I put beer first. Oh god this will start sounding like a Hugh Grant movie script if I don’t start putting some more substance around it.

Did I mention its been a long week in the office, I may have had a beer or two more than I needed last night and I’ve had to try to fit 5 days work into 4 days thanks to the Australia Day long weekend?

Back to how I show I love good beer. I show it through my actions, many of which are related to making the damn stuff.

I’ve completed a Graduate Certificate in Brewing, meaning I had to go back and think about things like HACCP plans and amino acid pathways (oh  how I hate biochemistry). The time and expense involved in this was all for my love of beer.

All the cuts, burns, scrapes and bruises from manufacturing and cleaning brewing equipment, and lugging around kegs and bottles. Stainless steel splinters are a bitch. Full kegs and fermenters are just that weight that you can lift them but with a dodgy back like mine there is always that moment when you can feel your back just about to go twang. Dont start me on the cleaning products (read semi toxic chemicals). The pain and the scars are all for my love of beer.

The heartache and mental anguish that comes from striving for perfection in my beer. Stuck mashes, infected batches, spilt beer, marks missed, hop blend not quite right, malt balance so close argh!!!! it’ll all break your heart. The time, effort and waiting that goes in all for something that just may not happen. I lost a batch to an infection just a couple of weeks ago, my Something Sexy in French Saison, such heartache, RIP to the beer. I put myself through all this for my love of beer.

The logistics of making beer for me are a bitch. I have a 350km round trip if I am to brew beer. Then another 350km round trip to package it. I brew in  my parents wool shed on the farm. At times I am kicked out of my brew house so the sheep can be shorn, at other times well-meaning individuals move things, buggering them up. This means I can’t just brew on a whim, when I have 3or 4 hours spare. I hate planning. My girlfriend also likes to see me sometimes, but understands that I love to brew. So my brew day is 4hrs of driving, 4 hrs minimum of brewing, and I have to plan the recipe and order ingredients ahead of time. I put all this time and planning in for my love of beer.

So without even getting into all the wandering to far-flung bars and bottle shops checking out new and exciting beers, often shelling out more than a fair amount for something that just often enough hits the highs that its been talked up to. I mean who lines up to get into a bar full of blokes with beards? (OK probably hipsters). All this chasing is for my love of beer.

So all this and why do I do it? (yes I know thats not the question but bugger off, I’m on a roll here). It’s for those zen moments when the brew day is going perfectly, when the first taste off the fermenter makes you smile, when the drive home to brew has nothing but awesome tunes or Kerry O’keeffe calling the cricket on the radio, when the new release beer takes your fucking head off, when one of your beers wins the cat and dog show and takes a prize. They are my Zen moments when how I love beer pays me back.

I love my beer so damn much I’m even looking into trying to make the stuff commercially despite all the sensible thoughts in my head suggesting that I wont make a cent out of it. Still I’m in for it. Beer seems to make a fool out of me, I guess love does that too.

I call my brew time my zen time, I think I’ve hijacked the word from its original use, as some kind of religious state of goodness or happiness. I call by brewing time my zen time, and that’s how I think I love my beer, by going through all the trials and tribulations listed above and reaching my zen place.

Enough of this folly, need to order some malt now, oh and do some work.

Cheers D


VicBrew 2012

Well the beer judging went well, met some good people, had some interesting beer, spent some time focusing on bee. All good.

While I judged some beer, I also had some of my own beers entered and this morning I got the email letting me know that 4 of my 6 beers had gotten 3rd place in their category and therefore are off to the Australian Amateur Homebrew Competition. The beers are a Belgian triple, an English barley wine, a peach saison and an American IPA- tex the third. I wasn’t expecting any places from this years entries so I’m pretty happy with the result. Perhaps brewing less is good for my brewing?

Now I just need to figure out how to arrange the logistics of moving my beer whet I’m on holidays. Just a small challenge, I think it’s sorted but I’ll owe a few people a beer or two to get it sorted.

Time for another celebratory beer.

Cheers D

Tagged ,

Resurrection Double Stout – ANHC

What am I drinking right now? I’ll get to that in a minute (and if you don’t get it from the post heading then really? no I mean really??).
look at the sparkle!
Long day following a long weekend into a short week with the Vic Microbreweries Showcase (click here to get a ticket) tomorrow night and I’m kinda buggered. Don’t get me wrong I love the 4 day week but after the brother inlaw to be’s bucks party on the weekend I’m a touch buggered. The weekend was good though, saw Black Caviar, apparently the best horse in the world, had lots of beers (Corona’s unfortunately, lots of them) and got a touch sun burnt. Like I said buggered.

So what do I drink when I’m buggered? well first I try the wedding beers, both good glad to say. Not outstanding or over exceptional but they are good and will be on track for the wedding in 3 weeks. The Wit is not to big on the fruity spicy character, and the pale has a nice strong citrus twang to it. All as planned. But that was more of a quality control process rather than a beer.

So what do I drink? In the fridge I have a bottle of theANHC commemorative beer “Resurrection” Double Stout, made I think by the guys at Matilda Bay. This is a good beer, a 6.8% ABV thick rich chocolaty stout, with a really nice roasty backbone, almost a touch of bitterness kind of like a short black coffee.

You can look for this beer but I doubt you’ll find it. I only have the beer because i left it at Brent’s (the buck) office so I could go and drink at ANHC club night without loosing it. This meant that I could let it age somewhere for 6 or so months and enjoy it now. There was talk at the conference about the beer being put on the shelf. Haven’t seen or heard anything to back this up but it would be a good thing. It would lead to a whole lot of people falling over in bars, but it would be a good thing. Oh and its black. That’s a good thing for a stout.

I’m kinda tired now. Need to get some sleep so I can drink beer tomorrow night. Planning on having some beers with Dan (the unemployed), Hendo from Otway Brewing and Glen from Hargreaves Hill if he has decided to let out his inner rock star brewer and join us (ok that probably wont happen). Good beers, good people will be a good day (well evening).

One final thing if you read this please click the follow button on my blog, Mark Dapin is trying to get more followers and I’m trying to stay in front of him. It hardly seems fair he has an column in The Age Good Weekend so I need some help in getting my follower numbers up. Please join, the blog you save could be my own.

Cheers D

AIS MIcro-Tech Pipe Challengeg 2007 - The Sydn...Image by Jason Harding Boardriding via Flickr

I’m Excited!! Great Australian Beer SpecTAPular V’s the Yaraville Festival

I am pumped as today I have the option of 2 festivals of awesome. OK well not quite. I live in Yarraville and today is Yarraville festival day, otherwise known as festivus. I know this because they put a flier in my mail. I went to it last year with Sal. She made me watch the dog fashion parade and look at craft with her (I think Marku still owes me a beer for that).

We did have beers and meet giant transvestites but still I’m not sure that it will be my festival of choice as I have another option that I am genuinely excited about. I don’t mean excited as in “oh you got a new iPhone. That’s exciting”. I mean Big Kev “I’m Excited!” excited (RIP Big Kev, we miss your awesome shirts and cleaning products). I’m Excited !! about Spectapular!! (yes all those exclamation marks mean I’m shouting!!!)

As its clear which choice I’ll be making (sory festivus, I may walk through and grab some lunch though) here is the list of beers that I’ll be choosing from, and yes they do sound wierd and wonderful. No idea what I’ll start with (note one or two have dropped out due to injury or drain pours)

* Original Fassbier – Kellerbier matured on roasted oak chips (Last Drop, WA, 4.6%)

* Cucumber Sandwich – Summer Ale (Mountain Goat, VIC, 4.2%)

* kb – Kriek Berliner Weisse served through morello cherries (Wig & Pen, ACT, 4.3%)

* Organic Blueberry Hefeweizen (Otway Estate, VIC, 5%)

* Belgian Raspberry Wit (Kooinda, VIC, 5.5%)

* Fanny Gertrude’s Anzac Bickie Beer – Oats, coconut and vanilla ale (Burleigh Brewing, QLD, 5%)

* Red Relief (Stone & Wood, NSW, 4.7%)

* Cherry Bomb – Cherry and coconut porter (True South, VIC, 5%)

* Quince Ale (Lobethal and Brew Boys Collaboration, SA, 5.6%)

* Zephyr – Double White Ale (Doctors Orders Brewing, NSW, 5.6%)

* Chocolate Chilli Porter (Hunter, NSW, 5.8%)

* 2 Hills Maibock (Collaboration between Hargreaves Hill and Red Hill Breweries, VIC, 6.8%)

* Wee Heavy (4 Pines, 7.8%)

* Rye IPA (Mash, WA)

* Karma Citra – Black IPA showcasing the Citra hop (Feral, WA, 5.9%)

* Lemon Myrtle IPA (Jamieson, VIC, 7%)

* The Secret Romance of Herman van Rompuy and Cherry Poppens – Belgian style Flanders red (Moondog, VIC, 7.3%)

* The Empress – Imperial Mocha Porter (Holgate, VIC, 10%)

* Big Red Rocket – Imperial Red Ale (Bridge Road, VIC, 9%)

* Imperious – Imperial Belgian Blond Ale (Murrays, NSW, 11%)

Fore more stuff on Spectapular go to the link below for the Local TapHouse in StKilda. Good people who care about beer, and once found my phone for me.

The Local Taphouse Blog: Great Australian Beer SpecTAPular – only 1 sleep t…: “How excitement!!! Only 1 sleep to go until the much anticipated Great Australian Beer SpecTAPular is finally here. The finishing touches ar…”

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