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Tag Archives: Melbourne

Even More Down Underer

Even More Down Underer

Aussie Beer Part 3

For the sake of you, the readers, I have been very busy sacrificing myself, both time and effort, to try every Australian beer I can find.

Let me tell you the American dollar exchange rate is really low. The lowest it’s ever been on all my trips down here. It is right at $1.00 US equals $1.00 Australian. That may sound good to you. Let me explain why it’s bad. In the US an average 6 pack of premium beer is approximately $6.00. With an even 1 for 1 exchange it makes the calculating and money conversion easier. A typical 6 pack of local Australian beer is $18.00. That’s either US dollars or Australian dollars. An average pint of beer in a bar or restaurant is $7.00, which is closer to average and doesn’t quite have as much of a kick in the groin as buying a 6 pack at a discount bottle shop.

Whilst perusing the local bottle shop trying to recover from sticker shock. I found a local beer that was a bit cheaper ($13.00) than the others. Its unique name, Blue Tongue beer, caught my eye. This is a very light lager with a really clean crisp taste, and followed delightful soft citrus. But, it still maintains that slight import aftertaste that I seek out to diferentiate it from the tasteless white American lagers. A beer you could drink all night and easily quaffed at the coldest of temperatures.

My next beer I discovered while on a dinner trip over to St. Kilda’s. St. Kilda’s is a small beach front town about 10 miles outside of Melbourne along Phillips Bay, perfect for sitting at a beach front café and enjoying a pint of the amber life. I arrived at the Stokehouse Restaurant for a good seafood dinner. I saw a new beer I haven’t heard of; The Chief, 6.3% ABV, slightly darker amber, with a really sweet and slightly yeasty finish. Brewed by 2 Brothers brewery in Moorabbin Bayside, approximately 20 miles south east of Melbourne along the coast of Phillips Bay. This is a smooth Marzen, real good slight caramel in the middle and real sweet finish. I turned it toward a few of my mates and they all loved it as well.

~DT

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2011 in Beer, Beer Tasting, Drunken Traveler

 

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Aussie Beer – The Sequel!

Drunken Traveler here,

Still down under. I had an opportunity to visit and tour a great craft beer brewery here in Melbourne, Australia, called Mountain Goat Brewery (http://goatbeer.com.au)

My taxi pulled up outside a very non descript warehouse in the middle of a lower class neighborhood in Richmond, a few miles east of downtown Melbourne. The only way I knew I was being dropped off where I asked and not taken out to be robbed, was the spray painted figure of a giant goat head on a roll up door.

The excitement built as I neared the entrance, I could hear people inside milling about, discussing a long work day. I swung the door open and, to my surprise, a fabulously wide open space with the best beer ambiance I have ever experienced. An old warehouse, high ceilings top-lit, with industrial beams and piping still in place. I could see the seven or more fermentation tanks just inside a short fenced off area. Large tables of all heights and sizes, everyone has a pint in their hands, relaxing and enjoying this golden liquid of joy.

Mountain Goat has been around for a few years and has really made its mark in the craft brew limelight of southern Australia. Their two main brews are Hightail Ale (4.5%), a traditional english bitter and Steam Ale (4.5%), a certified organic ale using wheat and full hop flowers creating a clean, fragrant beer clocking in at 28 IBU’s.

Jeff, the on duty staff ( Cam Hines, the founder and co-owner could not make it) who led us on our short tour around the mashing tuns and fermentation tanks, did a fair job explaining the history and process of making beer. At the end the obvious question came out.; why Mountain Goat?

“Mountain Goats are big hairy beasts, they stand up against anything and take no shit from anyone”

I found my way to the bar.

I have to try “The Hoeff” 5.0% their version of a Hefeweizen. Very cold, the taps here icing over.

I immediatly smelled bananas, a very cloudy yellow beer heavily yeasted. First taste was bananas, then the clean crisp tastes with a hint of black licorice followed by light caramels and the slightest whisper of cloves. This reminds me of a light version of Hoegaarden. Several of my mates (friends) here also shared a glass and all enjoyed it as well.

My next brew of choice was to dip into their stock of I.P.A. Very disappointing. Nothing special, even a bit tasteless as compared with other traditional I.P.A.’s. I have nothing else to say about it.

I made my next selection more careful. “Last Barrel of Oaked Rapunzal.” Ok my decision was made, “I’ll have a pint of that.”

 Bar girl, “Sorry, I can only give you a pot. I am not allowed to give you a pint because alcohol content is higher.” 

I look up, it’s is listed as 8.5%. Now I have to have it. ?I’ll take whatever you can give me.”

 She poured me a 580 ml draft glass.

Highly yellow, slightly cloudy. A slight yeasty smell.

It took me half the glass to be able to describe how it tasted. I’ve never tasted a beer like this, it was good, it was real good. I passed the glass around and everyone else had a sip. Then one of my friends (Mark) said it should be a wine not a beer. That’s it! It hits you up front with a sweetness, then the middle tastes like a Chardonnay, the finish is bitter and clean. Very oaky and hard to compare to beer flavors as it doesn’t fit in a beer scale. It has a higher carbonation than normal and is a real enjoyable drink.

With that I will call it a night, I am a bit worn out from travel. I will return to try their anchor beer, Steam Ale and High Tail some other time.

The taxi ride back to my apartment I couldn’t stop thinking about the glass of Oaked Rapunzal I had.

More beers from Aus later

~DT

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2011 in Beer, Beer Tasting, Drunken Traveler

 

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Drunken Traveler Down Under

Drunken Traveler here

Now reporting from Down Under in the City of Melbourne, Australia.

Australia is known for a few thing, beautiful women, the Great Barrier Reef, and beer.

I have now visited Australia several time, each time is a joy.

Melbourne is a beautiful city, in the most southern tip in the state of Victoria. The people here are more friendly than I have experienced anywhere else.

First things first. I have never seen an oil can of Fosters here, ever.

Their national beer is Victoria Bitters, or VB. It is a full flavored but not a bitter at all. It is a lager, with full flavor served extremely cold and will quench any beer thirst you may have. Famously called, “stubbies” as the traditional 375 brown bottle it’s served in is a short, fat-looking bottle. Other servlets are “tinny” (375 mL aluminum can), the 750 mL bottle known variously as “Long Necks”, “Tall boys” or “King Browns,” and the 250 mL bottle known as “Twisties”, “Throw-downs” or “Throwies,” and “Grenades”. Of course, VB also comes on draught in almost every local pub in Australia.

VB Is the Budweiser of Australia, but Bud only wishes it has this much flavor. Brewed by the Carlton & United Beverages Breweries, which is Now Owned by the Fosters Group.

A few words on beer related items down here.

A pint is still a pint, but a pitcher is a jug. A small beer (why bother) is called a pot, and a case is a slab.

One of my favorite beers down here is Cascade. It is actually brewed in Tasmania, which is an Australia territory so yes, it is still Australian beer. It’s is very clean crisp lager, great amount of bitterness and citrus finish. Brewed in Hobart at Cascade Brewery is Australia’s oldest beer. It has changed hands several times and has experienced sales drops each time a new owner has purchased it. But, has become one of the staple beers and well deserving of a great national beer.

I have more beer to drink and hunt down a brewery or 2 on the way.

Cheers,

~DT

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2011 in Beer, Beer Tasting, Drunken Traveler

 

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