Tag Archives: new beers

Victoria Pale Lager – beer that does not taste like beer, a kind of Christmas tale

Tis the night before Christmas eve and all was quiet (OK not really). Ok tis the night before Christmas eve and Darren was wrapping presents. Bugger, two presents to go and duct tape just isn’t a festive adhesive tape. To the shops its was then, in a festive kind of manner.

As it was also around dinner time I decided I needed something festive to eat. As it turns out there is no such thing as festive or Christmas takeaway food in Yarraville. Bugger. Anyway fish and chips would have to do, chips ordered now for the sticky tape.

So with the tape done about a minute and a half later I decided to get a cool refreshing beverage to accompany the fish and chips. To the beverage section! (I got the sticky tape from the supermarket) Then the story of this post hit me. I spotted a stubby of Victoria Pale Lager. Thanks to a post by James at Beer, Bar and Band I am aware of this beer and its various qualities. Sorry that is lack there of. However I had committed to trying this beer myself, and as I am a scientist I needed to try it in the same environment as James. He had it with fish and chips. I’m having fish and chips.

So that was it, I purchased one of those odd little green embossed bottles (and some Feral Hop Hog 🙂 to wash the taste out of my mouth). So my comments on the beer – it does not taste like beer. I want to say its a little light struck but I also doubt it has any actual hops in it. James tried to use this beer to wash down fish and chips (as I have) that is where he made his first mistake. This beer is for washing windscreen’s. Go read Jame’s post he covers the beer better than I can be buggered, its rubbish.

The fish and chips were great though, if you live in the western suburbs of Melbourne give the guys at Under the Sea on Anderson St a go. Always good service and great fish and chips.

That’s it for me now, I’m going to get a real beer and finish wrapping presents.

Merry Christmas!!!

Cheers D


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something new in newport – The Junction Beer Hall and Wine Room

I was well overdue for a beer with my good friend Mr Dirk. He lives in Newport, I live just down the train track from Newport, and a new beer hall has just arrived in that part of the world. As I have been drinking there for the past few hours I wont try to get the name right. However if you want to know if you are there just make sure that you are close to Newport station, in a bar and paying above tote odds for beers. I still liked the beers though.

So WHAT DID WE DRINK , woa the caps lock just got stuck on

ok so beers – in order of consumption;

  • Cavalier Wizen – not bad, more of a clovy than fruity example of the style. Touch of a sour twang, nice beer but not a world beater
  • Two Birds Golden  – yea, as a mate said something I may have been into 5 years ago. Nothing I really want to try again, it had a funny burnt taste
  • Mountain Goat steam ale – a good stand bye, nuff said.
  • Bridge rd Nognone india saison – I liked it more than Dirk. Nice beer, but maybe a touch heavy.
  • Bling IPA  – will always still have one and enjoy it but I’ve had my say on this beer. Cant have more than one.
  • Kooinda Pale ale – Excellent is all I can say
  • Siera Nevada Pale Ale – Excellent also, perhaps a touch more excellent than the previous beer, not by much though.

So thats it, a bad slightly drunken review as I have a beer.

Go to bed the lot of you

Cheers D

PS – OK its morning now, the pub is the Junction in Newport (its big and white, right next to the Newport station) I think its called the Junction beer hall and wine room. I liked everything about the place, good but perhaps a touch expensive beer list and the pizza hit the spot but was not the best I’ve had in the west, could have been bigger too. Here is a link to see more about the Junction – they have done a better job of talking about the place than me – Junction Hotel

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Tailpipe, a beer by Prickly Moses, and bad TV

Its Sunday evening, as per usual there is bugger all on TV. I just struggled through some of the rebirthed “Its a knockout”. Not real good. There was some show with that Irish guy who won Australian Idol earlier, it was a cooking show so he wasnt singing, but it was crap (at least partly to his involvement) so that was bad. Now I’m watching a little of Terra Nova, a largely crap show that puts time travel, dinosaurs, dying earth and a conspiracy theory together. As I said it’s largely crap.

So what do I do?? well I do need to iron some shirts, that is need not want so I’ll procrastinate a little by having a beer. A new (well at least to me) beer and a local beer, Tailpipe a BIG ASS BROWN ALE from Prickly Moses. This puts a style that I like, the US version of the brown ale (kind of dark IPAish beer) in the hands of probably the closest brewery to where I grew up, Prickly Moses.

On my first tasting I get caramel, malt and hops. Its a fullish beer with a nice firm bitterness. I think they are probably US hops, like Centennial or Cascade, it is after all an American style beer. I like it. I’m not exactly sure when this beer was made (it’s a one-off I think) but I’m guessing that the hops may have faded a bit since then, it’s still nice but I think the hops would have had a much stronger presence in this beer when it was fresher. However I think the malt is the star in this beer. Its has a real balance, the sweetness just makes the hops seem right. Its kind of a hoppy porter.

Nice beer, maybe it was fermented a little hot though?

I’ve had US hoppy brown ales before and as a rule like the style, not that I’m sure that I like calling it a style. Its a hopped up version of a brown ale, or a browned up version of an IPA, not a huge IPA mind you. I’ve brewed versions of this, the first was thanks to Mike “Tasty” McDole of Brewing Network fame (among other things). This was his Jannets Brown Ale, a great beer, and a recipe openly shared and enjoyed by many. One of the reasons I love this beer, other than it skips outside all the style guidelines, is that its popularity was no doubt assisted by a homebrewer sharing a recipe, something not all homebrewers do (or pro brewers for that matter). To prove how far flung this recipe has been shared just web search it, you’ll find plenty of hits.

Now to the name of this beer, its out of character to the other beers made by Prickly Moses. I’m guessing from the name and picture on the car that the brewer has a thing for cars. This is a bit of an out of character hobby for a brewer, generally brewers have backgrounds in science or IT (yea I don’t get the link either what do computers have to do with beer?). I guess its ok for a brewer to immortalise something that he really likes on a beer bottle.

Buggered if I know where you’ll find this beer, I think I grabbed the last few bottles from Cloud Wines on Clarendon St South Melbourne. If you see one, grab it though, and think about cars when you drink your Tailpipe.

Got to iron those fucking shirts now.

Cheers D

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Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch Weasel (fridge aged)

I’m home from work. The dishes are done. I think I know what I’ll have for dinner (chops and salad). There is bugger all on TV. What should I do? (other than blogging, which I am doing, but thats not all that I’m doing. I digress)

This was decided some time earlier thanks to an amazing series of coincidences.

  1. I like coffee. Lots. Most people who know me would agree with this. My standard mid morning coffee is a large long mac. I think it has about 5 shots of espresso in it.
  2. A few months ago I purchased a bottle of Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch Weasel, a beer with coffee in it.
  3. Today on the train the Brewing Network guys were talking to Jeff Bagby from Pizza Port Brewery and tasting his Coffee Monster – a beer with coffee.
  4. Last night I drank one of the beers (sorry cider) that had been sitting in my fridge for months.

So now I’m drinking Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch Weasel, a big stout with rare coffee. So what does the somewhat excentric Mikkeller say about this beer –

This imperial Oatmeal stout is brewed with one of the world’s most expensive coffees, made from droppings of weasel-like civet cats. The fussy Southeast Asian animals only eat the best and ripest coffee berries. Enzymes in their digestive system help to break down the bean. Workers collect the bean-containing droppings for Civet or Weasel Coffee. The exceedingly rare Civet Coffee has a strong taste and an even stronger aroma.

Thats right, a Vietnamese cat has eaten and shat out the coffee in my beer, and I do not have a problem with this at all. This is one of the most expensive coffee’s in the world. I’m not sure if the same process works if you can get your moggy to eat some coffee beans, and since coffee probably wont grow in Melbourne I doubt I’ll get to find out myself. It’s also known as Kopi Luwak.

So what is the beer like? Big, Thick, Rich. It kind of poured like a milkshake, really had a vicious look to it. It also leaves an iodine coloured cling on the glass. And its black, really black with a thick chocolate head. It has a strong yeast and roast character, and I can’t really pick the coffee out as a single flavor, I’m guessing its melded in with the roast and black malts, that often have similar flavor characteristics to coffee thanks to the roasting process. The coffee may add a little bit of an acidic backbone to the beer. There is a strong boozy nose on the beer too, its 10.9% ABV so no surprise there. Actually as the beer warms up a little the coffee flavor is coming through a little more strongly.

I have heard that beer geeks all round the world have collectively lost their shit over this beer. I’m probably not going to be one of them. Dont get me wrong I do lile this beer, but I’ve had better big stouts, like the 8 wired one for example, but it was over hyped to me and perhaps that’s what has swayed my thoughts on this beer. What I will always like about this beer, and all others that Mikkeller makes is Mikkeller. The guy is crazy, has no brewery and makes great beers. Lets call him one of my brewing heroes.

So here’s to more crazy beers from Mikkeller, not that I need to toast to that, he’s not likely to stop.

Cheers D

PS – oh I need to note that I may have committed a somewhat of a fo par as I did not drink the Beer Geek Brunch at Brunch time. I do not understand or like brunch, I like both breakfast and lunch, but not brunch. It’s a made up thing, still apologies to Mikkeller if this is a problem.


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Beer but seperated by 7 degrees – Canute the Gruit

I will not be slack, I will not be slack, I will write on my blog more often, I will not be slack… Been saying this a bit lately, havent got it sorted 100% yet but I am writing now and trying a new beer which I will get to). Still havent typed up the few pieces I penned in Thailand, or brewed anything for well over a month but I am writing now so that’s a start.

Having a beer on a Sunday evening is always a good thing. I’ve already had a few beers this weekend, beers that proclaimed themselves to be really dry, made from beer, and made the clear waters of Tasmania. Both were at engagement related events, one we knew was an engagement party. The other was a birthday picnic that turned into a surprise everybody we just got engaged party. Both good fun, full of happy people enjoying themselves.

At todays picnic/surprise engagement party I bumped into some of my old touch footy team mates from my days playing for “Motley Crew” in E grade at Albert Park on a Thursday evening. Nothing strange about that however the picnic for some of Jacqui’s friends, whom I hadn’t met. I had to do that thing of seeing someone I know in an unfamiliar environment. 

This is kind of like the beer I am drinking right now Canute the Gruit from Red Duck, familiar flavors in an unfamiliar medium. Think sour liquorice in a black beer. This beer is 7 degrees of separation away from any other beer I’ve had this weekend, and that’s not at all a bad thing.

So what is a gruit? my simple answer is a beer made without hops (there is no doubt a more in-depth explanation but this will do for now). They were all the rage back when jousting was cool but are seldom seen these days. The job of bittering the beer was given over to herbs and spices, perhaps the odd berry. The guys at Red Duck have thrown in some stinging nettles and hawthorne berry juice.

So whats this beers like? Black, roasty, sour and hits of liquorice and fruity bacground that I can’t quite put my finger on. Calling sour isn’t really right, tart may be more appropriate. I’m not sure what stinging nettles or hawthorne berries taste like, and they may be blocked out by the lactic twang in the beer. Its only 4.4% ABV and has bugger all carbonation. I have no idea what to recomend drinkig this beer with, perhaps something deserty with plums, cherries and chocolate. Its full on but drinkable.

This is my first gruit and I like it. Go get yourself one, not sure how easy that will be as I think its a limited run beer. Here’s to Red Duck making more sour beers.

Cheers D

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Red Duck White Garden

I like jam. I like beer. I like rhubarb. So when I find something that combines all three how could I refuse??

Truth be told I couldn’t. This beer is Red Duck White Garden, picked up at my visit to their shop in Camperdown earlier in the week. This fits in their Limited Release product line, good luck finding it. Anyway what does the beer taste like. It’s a white beer with a bunch of malted and unmalted wheat, I’m guessing that means Witt. It has a nice tart backbone and is really nice and refreshing. Then there is the jam. According to the bottle it has loads of raspberry and rhubarb Jam. It doesnt taste like a jam sandwich but it does have a real deserty taste to it, kind of like a baked jam desert. It’s not sweet though, the tartness covers the what could be sweet jam, and just leaves a nice level of fruit aroma and taste. The pink hue is only slight too, just enough to make you say “yea I can see some pink in there”.

Red Duck White Garden, beer with jam!

It’s the tartness in this beer that really makes it stand out. Many witts are floral sweet bombs. Not this one and I like it. On a hot day I reckon you could drink a shit load of it, but as I said its a limited release so good luck doing that. This beer speaks to what I think craft beer is all about, beer made by a pro brewer but with the heart/mind of a home brewer. I mean who would really put jam in their beer? The guys at Red Duck, that’s who, and I like it.

I’m trying to work out what to have with this beer. Cheese, meat, perhaps an apple? Salt and vinegar chips? who knows I can’t figure it out. What I can say is I like this beer, and off the back of this am looking forward to the rest of their limited edition swag that I have sitting in my fridge.

OK dinner time now.

Cheers D

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Ducks and Echidnas

Work took me to Camperdown and the surrounding district this week. Things are looking green and the cows all seemed to be generally happy. The sun was shining on Monday, although today things got a touch colder. I think there was even a bit of a frost this morning, although I wasnt up early enough to get the full experience of it.

Anyway when work takes you places you’d rather not be you need to mix in a thing or two that brightens the trip. Mix business with pleasure. Along with 4 day weeks and never going back to work after a holiday on a Monday this should be included in the welcome to the working world speech given to people at the end of uni, well perhaps not to Arts students, they probably wont get real jobs where these rules are needed.

So how did I mix business and pleasure today? and what does it have to do with ducks and echidnas?

The duck is easy. I was in Camperdown so I went to the Red Duck Providore and picked up a bunch of their limited release beers, I think I have an imperial stout, a porter with honey, a gruit beer, a Belgian porter with vanilla, and a wit with jam. I think that’s it? I’ll be trying these over the next week or two. Anyway I thought I’d get some of their beers as I was near the source but it turns out they have just moved the brewery from Camperdown (where the shop is) to Ballarat. Not sure what impact this will have on the beers, may be a bit hard to tell as I don’t think I’ve had any of these beers before. Havent been massively in love with any of their beers in the past but I’m looking forward to these ones.

The echidna? Prickly Moses. I dropped in to say g’day to Hendo who was tinkering with a couple of soon to be released beers a new (very bright and hoppy) batch of Raconteur, and a yet to be released brown ale. Looking forward to seeing both of them on tap. We talked beer but it was knock of time and we both had a few km’s to cover so I kicked on.

 Well that’s about it for tonight, I probably should be putting some beer for VicBrew in bottles but I can’t be arsed. The Oaked Stout is all good, the Choc Porter is still carbonating, Cosmic Tex is ready for the second batch of dry hopps, but James the IPA is not looking so good. just had a taste and I’m thinking there may be something wrong with it, perhaps a yeast other than the one I intended? not sure whats going on there. It tasted pretty good before I added some dry hopps? will check again tomorrow.

Right now I’m drinking a 12 month old Belgian Tripple that is a touch more carbonated than would be desired. Nice beer but a pain in the arse to pour.

I think I’m done now.


Cheers D


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