Category Archives: Good Beer Week

Freaks and Geeks

We really should have Good Beer Week in Melbourne more often. I think at least once a month, well maybe once every two months. The liver may be evil but the poor guy needs a break every once in a while.

Why you ask? all the events? GABS? a chance to hang out with degenerates? well yes, all of the above but it also yielded a bunch of great one-off beers. Brewers from around the world showed up, grabbed a local brewer and made a beer. It was kind of like doing bush dancing at primary school. Kind of confusing, music and people going everywhere, sort of dancing, sort of in time with the music “grab your partner by the hand”… well you get the idea, actually I’m not sure I do any more.

I just digressed in a big way.

So Good Beer Week produced a bunch of good time and a bunch of good beers. The good times were there and then, but the good beers are a little longer lived. Right now I’m drinking one of them – Freaks and Geeks by Moon Dog and Beer Here.

We know a bit about Moon Dog, they make mental but great beers right here in Melbourne next door to a knock shop. Beer Here, hmm who the fuck are they? I think I’ve had one of their beers before but really can’t remember, and they are from Denmark. Good on them. I’m looking at finding them on the web right now but all that I can find is Danish sites, not really much use. I have also found a site in the UK that has beer for sale. I don’t think its related to the brewer.

The beer is a farmhouse ale. Now that’s not really a style, I think its kind of a wink to a saison of sorts with some influence from sour beers. It’s also got a caramel and smoke character that could almost be a hint of a single malt, but mostly its a sweet, kind of sour or tangy dark beer in the mould of a saison. It has been fermented with I think a yeast that I’ve used a few times to pretty good  result, the Wyeast Farmhouse, kind of a dummies version of a saison yeast. Its a farily smooth beer too, big on the malt, british malt, oats, peat malt, rye malt, dark wheat, munich and flaked oats. Thats almost a stout malt bill, just missing the roast/black barley.

Its also 7.6% ABY, but you wouldnt know it. Considering I’ve had a coopers red (and may have another after this) I wi

Hang on Jason is here to pick up his boots.

OK so about an hour later I’m back after having a beer and a yarn with Jason, and I’ve completley forgotten what line of thought I was on RE the rather wonderful colaboration beer from Moondog and Beer Here. Therefore I think I’ll call it quits and leave this post here. Really should try and remember where I was headed with this? Ah well if you know any more about Beer Here other than they are from Denmark and made a beer with Moondog let me know.

Cheer D

PS – go to the Moon Dog website for more info on the beer, they know more about it than I do




Zen tomorrow times 2, now a colab beer

I’m excited.

While I happen to be having quite a nice local/international collaboration beer that’s a bit of a hangover from Good Beer Week that’s not why I’m excited.

Right now my car is all loaded up with brand spanking brewing gear and ingredients. The shearing of my folks sheep is finally done and my brewhouse is no longer needed as the smoko room for the shearers. So that’s right, I’m brewing tomorrow, two batches. Two batches so hopefully that’ll be double the zen. This is my last-ditch effort to have a crack at a fresh entry for VicBrew, and perhaps a low ABV beer for the ANHC “How low can you go” comp. This will hopefully result in a nice US IPA and a 3 and a bit % ABV Saison of sorts.

Some Zen would be really nice to round out my week of unemployment. So would another week or two off but that will have to wait, the new job awaits. Still I can fit in some Zen.

I also need to bottle the bret infused farmhouse ale (that’s what I’m calling it, in VicBrew it’ll probably be listed under “beer – other”). I have no idea what this beer will be like, but fingers crossed it’ll be OK as its been ageing for around seven months. No idea what it’ll taste like, but again fingers crossed.

So to the beer that is easing me into my day of Zen tomorrow? A joint effort by Red Duck and Kissmyers Beers, a double IPA called Hop Bach.  Apparently it has 25 hops in it. No idea what hops were used, just a lot. I think that’s part of the flavor of this beer, no particular hop flavor, just all of them. Its kind of resiny and a bit piney with a lingering bitterness. All this balanced with a fairly full and sweet malt backbone. As its 9.8 % ABV a bunch of that sweetness is probably the booze. Again nice beer, not an everyday beer, but a really nice sipper. It’s a little low on the carbonation, but the bottle lid popped open with a really nice pop, and some bits of wax hit me in the face. The booze hits you in the face to, nice and warming.

Finding info on this beer is a little difficult, Anders Kissmeyer, the man behind Kissmeyer beer is everywhere on the web related to beer, but I can’t find a website for him (Click here for the best I could find). Red Duck has this beer listed as a to be released beer on their website, and as there were only 650 of the distinctive wax dipped swing top bottles good luck finding one. I can confirm that at most there are 649 left. Oh and for a better description of the beer without my bullshit go to the Craft Pint.

OK so brewing tomorrow, all good, lots of Zen, fingers Crossed. And hopefully back in time to go for beers in the city.

Cheers D

PS – I’ll post the recipes when (or if) I get around to it and no I don’t know if this beer being symphony #1 means that there will be a symphony #2

PPS – oh and I like this youtube clip – remember its potatoes not pasta! follow the link you fool!


Raconteur Reloaded by Prickly Moses

Well they were some damn good beers, even though it was the same beer, just reloaded a number of times. I think the Matrix did that? They didn’t use hops though. Tonight all of the taps at the Royal Standard Hotel (its near the Vic Market) were turned over to Prickly Moses Raconteur, where one beer was reloaded 5 times with single hop iterations. All good, well nearly. No actually they were all good, I just didn’t love them all.

Original, Rewaka, Bramling Cross, Citra, Galaxy and Simcoe.

I liked them all. The Rewaka was fruitty and spicy, the Bramling Cross was herbal, blackberry, aniseedy and a dirty bitter (OK I didn’t live this one), Citra had a massive orange juice citrus hit, Galaxy was just good and drinkable with a bit of passion fruit, and the Simcoe, really good and drinkable.

Really rare that a 100% Simcoe beer would be the drinkable one.

Well done to Hendo and the Prickly Moses crew, nice beers, nice event. I liked it but I’m tired so that’ll do me for tonight. Still a little tired from GABS.

Cheers D


Raconteur Reloaded…

In my next Good Beer Week session its the Raconteur Reloaded at the Standard Hotel, thats where I’m off to now. More info to come

Cheers and Beers



GABS, a hungover report

The Great Australasian Beer Spectapular was excellent, don’t let any talk of long waits for beers or other negative comments put any other thoughts in your head. This was an awesome event. The beers, the food, the layout, the venue, the fact that it was about beer tasking and enjoyment rather than some sort of trade display. Also personally I love the idea of a shipping container with 60 taps sticking out of it. I want one.

After GABS I kicked on a bit, few more beers, more discussion about beer, and I think I ended up agreeing to do a half marathon. Thats not good, however a mate has to do the same distance with a dwarf on his back. Not sure that’ll happen. Anyway I am a bit hungover today so I’ll go straight to it and list my tastings with the comments I wrote down. The way I attached the beers was a paddle of fruity and belgo, a paddle of IPA, a black paddle, a sour paddle and a greatest hits what havent I had paddle. I also had a burito 🙂

  1. Croucher ANZUS – 2 ticks, a nice Kiwi IPA
  2. Epic Zythos – Very Good, resiny and citrusy with a nice balanced bitterness
  3. Liberty S!mcoe – OK but dank, bitter but not awesome, very simcoe but not the fresh simcoe flavor
  4. 8 Wired C4 – Soren Ericksen I love you, great coffee sweet espresso taste
  5. Garage Project Double Day of the Dead – Could get lost in this beer, chocloaty yummy complex hot chocolate
  6. Invercargill Red Hot Chocolate – 2 ticks, late hit chilli warming
  7. The Mussel Inn Smoking Swine – Smoky and Meaty, box of matches and some bacon
  8. Yeasty Boys B – Gunnamatta – Very Good, subtle and good bitterness
  9. 4 Pines Beetroot Belgian Ale – Not Purple!, spicy but not any beetroot.
  10. Doctors Orders Plasma – Nice, sweet and fruity, not really my thing
  11. Hop Dog Children of Darkness – Very complex beer, not really like other IBA’s
  12. Illawarra Saison Rouge – 2 ticks, Belgian yeast, good and fruity
  13. Lord Nelson Last Consignment
  14. Murray’s Bobs Farmhouse Ale – not a saison, could get shitfaced on this
  15. The Mash Collective Amasia – interesting but not very rummy
  16. Wig and Pen This Beers not really craft – 3 ticks, bit thin but complex, thankyou very much, nice
  17. Bright Resistance Red Ale – 3 ticks, really really good balance, not extreme but excellent
  18. Hargreaves Hill La Grisette – OK, light body, jammy
  19. Holgate Gruit Expectations – OK, not bad, cinnamon
  20. Kooinda Karaka Bier – cordiall and fruity
  21. Moon dog Mr Mistoffelees – Thats what I want, Sour and tart, 3 ticks, yes thankyou (had 2 of these)
  22. True South Coconut Telegraph Porter – 2 ticks, best beer I’ve had from true south, I am happy, tastes of 2 fruits
  23. Seven Sheds Black Elephant – Spicy/aniseed
  24. Ferral watermelon Warhead – Very nice beer, light fizzy, melony and tart
  25. Nail Brewing SledgehammerIPA – bitter but not awesome, well attenuated and growing on me.

So there it is, there were a few other beers later on but that’s enough of a list for now. My favorites were the beers by Moondog, 8wired, Illawarra, Yeastie Boys and the Garage Project, but I also didnt have any I didnt like.

Might be time to think about another coffee. Well done GABS, that was a great day, looking forward to seeing you again next year, might even do two sessions.



MELON GIBSON and more how do I plan for GABS……..

Always a good start when you break a glass. And I think there might be a tiny bit of glass in my finger.

NO! There will be no signs of softness! The Great Australasian Beer Spectapular is this Saturday, must be hard and ready for GABS, a broken beer glass will not slow me.

Yesterday I pondered over how I should plan for GABS, its only days away. This also leads us to how should I plan for Good Beer Week, but that’s not really a concern for me right now, I’ve got a couple of events booked in, nothing special, and I have to go to Sydney for work and go to a Game of footy so my events will be limited. Really not impressed by the work bit, bastards.

Anyway to help me think further about GABS I’m having a beer that I think will espouse what GABS is about, Melon Gibson from Moon Dog. I’ve had McGuava from the same series, which I quite liked, this ones not to bad either. A simple beer, pillsner, raw wheat and wheat malt. Sounds like the malt bill from something I’d make at home. There’s water melon in the beer, can’t get much of that and some lacto. Thats the bit in this beer that’s familiar to me, and I’ve only just clicked at what it reminds me of. This beer has the faintest hint of a lambic or geuz. I think its meant to be of the berlinervise style (yea I spelt that wrong I think) but I dont really know the style so cant comment if they’ve hit it on the head or not. From what I’ve read about the style this isnt sour enough. It is however very drinkable. Simple and drinkable but with enough to keep the beer geek interested. It’s probably closer to a saison in my mind, but the mouth feel is different. All I could say is I’d perhaps like it bigger.

Love the beers these guys make, it’s just home-brew in bigger batches. Hats off to them I say. Looking forward to their beers on Saturday.

Now back to the plan, bugger it I don’t have one. If you are looking for one I suggest looking at Beer Bar Band: Good Beer Week Survival Guide it’s a little too planned and safe for my mind. Taking water, planning transport, take a pen and paper. This is drinking not a school excursion James! na actually he’s right and when I’m nursing a hangover on Sunday I’ll wish I’d paid more attention to his guide.

Ah I’m a fool.

Going to finish my Moon Dog Melon Gibson now (nice beer, did I mention that?) and find something to eat.

Cheers D


Tagged , ,

an assorted post about stuff

I think its been well over a month since I had a full week in the office. Public holidays. Work events. I think there may have been a sickie in there too. This has resulted in general business for me that has meant some of the things I prefer to do  (brewing and blogging) and things I should be doing (going to the gym more) going by the wayside.

This evening I’m blogging and a little earlier I went to the gym, but no brewing this evening, or scheduled in the near future. I’m a bit bummed about it. I need my zen time. Perhaps there will be a day off next week for brewing? sooner rather than later I think otherwise the well of zen may run out.

I will however rant on a list of things that are not really connected, here I go;

  1. Well done channel 7 for getting rid of Better Homes and Gardens, unfortunately they have moved it to Thursday and all the other channels seem to have put on shit viewing to battle it in the ratings wars. Poor form TV.
  2. There is a short fat asian lady that catches the train from Yarraville at about 9am most mornings. She wears headphones and sings in what I think may be Chinese at the top of her lungs. It sounds like something from a bad kung fu movie off SBS combined with someone hurting a cat. Short fat asian lady please stop it.
  3. I booked myself in for some Good Beer Week events today, The Great Australasian Beer Spectacular on Saturday May 12 for the arvo session, and The Raconteur IPA Reloaded. Good Beer Week was great last week, too many events to go to and not enough time. unfortunately for me I’ll be in Sydney for one of the evenings and have a game of footy to go to as well (ok that’s not to tough). Might need to book in some more events. Go to the Good Beer Week website for more info (oh no I can’t be arsed posting a link, I’m lazy)
  4. I grabbed some interesting beer tonight, a collaboration between Mountain Goat and Mickeller. Will get to that at some stage in the future. I think it has pepperberries in it.
  5. Rain gives me the shits as a commuter for two key reasons, it slows the trains down and it makes people get out their umbrellas. I hate umbrellas especially with slow walkers, they take up the footpath, get in my way and I am pretty sure they may be trying to poke out my eye with the spokes of those bloody umbrellas. Bastards
  6. Heston Blumenthal is really cool. I would like some of his potato donuts
  7. ah that’ll do

I need to brew something but until then……..

Cheers D


Good Beer Week wrap, entry 4 I think, or is it 5??

Hello there trendsetters,

I’m back from the wild west. OK the cold west where I have been attending to matters of great importance otherwise known as my job. There seems to be an increasing trend of me having to spend more time in rural Victoria. Not a bad thing in its self but so far it has failed to include any good beer destinations, plenty of pub parma’s but little good beer. That’s probably my own fault but after good beer week I think I needed a relaxing non good beer week.

So now I need to round off my good beer week experience write up which will be confined to last Fridays beer tasting at Purvis Beer. I didn’t make it to the Australian international Beer Awards tasting on Saturday as my tickets arrived on Monday (bugger) and there was a few beers with Dave but that doesn’t really count so now for my review of the Purvis Beer tasting session.

Purvis Beer is on Bridge Rd in Richmond, so getting there from work wasn’t a big deal. However I had never been there and had no idea that they had an odd numbering system where the numbers didn’t match on both sides of the road. Interesting. So for the beer tasting, this is what they said about it;

While the awards for 2011 are being handed out at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, how about tucking into some of last year’s top drops – plus a few that are fancied to do well this time around? Purvis Beer Richmond is offering beer lovers the chance to do just that. They’ve arranged a fancy lineup that includes some of the gold medal winners from 2010 plus a few of the potential challengers for the gongs in 2011.
This is the list of beer they had listed but I think there may have been a few different ones there, bit hard to remember but I’ll write some comments on the beers they listed anyway. I do need to stress that I don’t really think that the tasting session is the best way to fully get an idea of a beer. For that you need a pint. All we got was a taste in a wine tasting glass, giving enough to get an idea of the beer and if you think its worth further investigation or not. Now I should also note that buy no means were they stingy with the beer, to the contrary actually i had more than a few refills on more than one beer.
Bridge Road Saison – I always enjoy this beer even though I think it varies a bit. I enjoy it most when its drier.

Feral Hop Hog – nice beer, good hoppy IPA, I hadn’t had this one before but I’m looking forward to having a pint.

Mountain Goat Surefoot Stout – yup go get some.

Nogne O Imperial Stout – yup go get some times 2.

Weltenburger Asam Bock – I don’t remember this one.

Weihenstephaner Vitus – this one was not so outstanding as i recall, a bit disappointing as i usually like their beers.

Schneider Weisse Tap 6 Aventinus – did I have this one??

Lined up in the Challengers corner are:
8 Wired Hop Wired – have had it before, a nice beer but I still have a not sure policy when it comes to NZ hops in IPA’s???

Estella Damm Inedit – this beer is one for the ladies, not for me. It was apparently designed to go with

Orkney Dark Island Reserve – I really liked this beer, boozy, okay, perhaps a bit short on body but I’d definitley like a pint of it.

Amager Hr. Frederiksen – I really cant remember this one

Gouden Carolus Cuvee Kaiser – I think this one was a golden strong and a good example of the style at that.

Holgate Beelzebub’s Jewels – quite enjoyed this one, nice backbone from the time it spends in oak. I think I need to find a pint of it to really get to know it but that may be difficult as its a rare drop.

Cantillon Rosé de Gambrinus – an absolutely gorgeous beer. Its a sour beer but had a number of people who had ever had a sour beer (and the name sour turns them off it) really getting into what is perhaps the holly grail of beer geek beers. Have a bottle not a pint.

All in all a good session by the guys at Purvis Beer, especially to Damian, as he’s the only person at Purvis I know, and he sent me the invite on Facebook.

Looking forward to good beer week for next year. There is a strong chance however that my liver isn’t.

Cheers D

PS its Dazzapalooza this weekend!!

Good beer Week 3 or is that 4???

MICROMONDO IV SERIE#1Image by zagor64 via Flickr
I am not going to write anything of substance now, its about 10.40pm, I’ve just got home from Biero and have made myself a very dodgy burger. OK make that a toast and meat sandwich. It is good beer week though.

I was drinking good beer at Biero with assorted good people (and some scumbags). My good friends Nik and Dan were there, but more of note was Hendo. I drank some awesome Boon sour beers with Hendo, talked some shit and hugged more than once. The beer was good I must say, and included more than just the sours, I had great IPA’s, stouts. harvest beers etc. That’s what Biero is about. What was new was Hendo giving me an earful about being the best I could be. He was talking about me manning up and brewing for real instead of just dreaming (and writing about it). Perhaps he’s right. maybe not. I’m not certain yet, but I do want to make beer, just not at any cost. time will tell, Dazzapalooza first, next the world.

Cheers D

Oh and Biero was weird, there were hot chicks there? surly they weren’t there for the beer nerds? Perhaps its just for good beer week??

Good Beer Week stuff No. 2 & the Hop Zombie

While tonight was the 3rd night of Good Beer Week it was only the second night I ventured out and did good beer week stuff. The nearest I went to doing Good Beer Week stuff last night was singing the Good News Week Song as “It’s Good Beer Week….. insert random beer stuff here” but that doesn’t really count.

Tonight the plan was to go to Young and Jackson, catch Hendo for a beer or two and then head to Cookie for some Hop Zombie. Unfortunatley I don’t plan things well so when I got to Young and Jackson it looked to be a closed or ticketed event so I headed up to Cookie instead of trying to get around the door bitch. I later found out all you had to do was agree to go on a mailing list and you got free entry and beer. I could have done that but I do have to admit I don’t read or like Beer and Brewer Magazine so no big loss to me.

So to Cookie. I like this bar, they specialise in getting drunk people drunker as an old boss once told me. I can agree with that from personal experience. Back in about 2004 or 05 I needed some catch up drinks to get me on a level playing field with some friends who had been drinking all arvo. The set me onto some polish vodka that then saw me not only catch up but go straight past them. I think the stuff was called Spiritos?

Anyway, Cookie. They were not at all set to deal with a bunch of beer nerds rocking in to get some Hop Zombie, the IPA from Epic. I got there a bit early and the place was full of the regular city dwellers eating dinner, having coctails etc. And then the beer nerds started rocking in.

Hop Zombie was turned on at 7pm so I had a Bridge Rd Black Breakfast larger to start off. A great beer, roasty and chocolaty with a real nice weight to it. Kind of a big swartz beer. It was served a little too cold but I would happily have many more of these beers. I’m not sure what was in this beer but believe it included things like toast, muesli, coffee and other breakfast stuff. That would have been a fun brew day.

But back to the Hop Zombie. All of a sudden, just before 7pm a bunch of people in Hop Zombie and Epic t-shirts arrived. Then some sort of cue started, there appeared to be vouchers and t-shirts. As I said the place wasn’t set for beer, there was bugger all room and beer nerds kept flowing in. Anyway I got in the t-shirt and token line or huddle as it was for my t-shirt and pint package. A good deal in all, making either the shirt or the pint cheap. I don’t know, maths and ecceconomics are not my thing.

Now to the beer. Firstly you could smell the hops, a mix of what I’m guessing was centenial, amaraillo, cascade and maybe simcoe floating across the bar. That’s a big thing in Cookie, its a big place with Asian food, cocktails and a shitload of people. Now what did it taste like? no first the appearance. A light golden and very bright beer, not the big crystal bomb that would have made me sad. To the taste. I like it, its all hops and not to much of the bitterness. I don’t doubt that this would be a solid IBU level beer (70 or better?) but it didn’t have a massive bitterness. It did have a huge nose and hop and flavour. I’m going to put it in the same ball park as my Union Jack IPA Clone (its a better beer than mine) so am thinking its got a lot of late and dry hops.

I have no idea how long this beer will be around or where you will get it other than Cookie tonight. So get up and go there now!

That will do for now.

Oh forgot to mention I had a beer with J-Lo, it was a Kilkenny at the Bridey O’Rileys on Little Collins St. I suppose that counts as part of Good Beer Week too. Also I think I need to note that I’ve seen a few people at multiple Good Beer Week events, it seems its going well and serving a bunch of good beers to good people. I like it, shame I’m not more organised and its not on more often. Still its not over yet. Neither is “Sons of Anarchy”, dam this show is good. Watch it (drinking a good beer of course). 
Cheers D
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