Monday, April 12, 2010

Beer and Bars - Weekend Catchup

I am quickly learning that being a craft beer enthusiast (especially being relatively new to the scene and therefore having so much to explore) is a very expensive adventure.  With a constant flow of new stock hitting the local beer retailer, along with a number of bars currently showcasing spectacular rare brews on tap, it is time for me to step back and reclaim my credit card for a few weeks, after a relatively indulgent month or two.

Having said that, whilst I may be drinking some cheap (hopefully not macro!) beer for a while into the foreseeable future, I certainly have plenty of blogging to do during that time, with a backlog of delicious beers that I have enjoyed and reviewed (on paper) recently.

The weekend just past began with a Friday Beer-O’clock dash to Purvis Cellars, where I punished my credit card with:
  • 2 x568ml “pint” bottles of the new Little Creatures single batch IPA - another excellent local IPA, very smooth and easy drinking, definitely sessional, but not as good as the recent Mountain Goat Rare Breed IPA.
  • Flying Horse Bar & Brewery Whale Ale and Savage Seagull - very happy to see the Flying Horse beers now in bottles and on the retail shelfs. Have heard much about this well awarded Brewery down Warrnambool way, but had so far only been able to taste their Dirty Angel, which has been a tap regular at Mrs Parmas for a while now.  Both the Whale Ale and Savage Seagull were very enjoyable.
  • Hawthorn Brewing Amber Ale - missed this at the recent Microbreweries Showcase because they were all out by the time I reached their table, so I was keen to try one out. It was good but maybe a little unbalanced. To me, the Hawthorn Amber does not quite stand up against the many other excellent local Ambers that are currently available (especially after I had enjoyed a pint of the Red Duck Amber Ale eariler in the day)
  • Bridge Road Brewers Hans Klopek's Hefe Weizen – I suspect this new Hefeweizen is replacing the Bridge Road Bavarian Wheat, which I wasn’t a fan off.  However, the Hans Klopek is certainly a nice Hefeweizen, which I think could make for a excellent “breakfast beer” and can't wait to try it on tap somewhere.
Friday night we returned to the Mountain Goat Brewery (honestly, can’t get enough of the place) for drinks with friends.  We also finally took the time to have dinner there, courtesy of the Goat Bar’s scrumptious pizzas, including the “Broc’n’Roll” and “Vege Patch”. I drank:
  • Rapunzel - regular “Blonde” version (still loving every mouthful of this small batch Belgian golden ale)
  • Randy Hightail - infused with Galaxy hops through the Randall (hoppy delicious! such a taste is a great example of why Galaxy hops are so popular among Aussie brewers at the moment.)
I must say (sorry)...I was somewhat concerned about the growing number of high-heels and short-skirts (it was a cold night!!) present at the Goat Bar.  Were they just being dragged there by their boyfriends for a quality pre-clubbing drink? I hope so! The Mounain Goat Brewery clearly welcomes all for a top evening of excellent beer and relaxed conversation in a family friendly atmosphere...however...I would prefer the “fashionable young things”, who may be looking to make a loud mess somewhere, stick to the place that everyone knows is already a “problem” (…the CDB).

Sorry about that…back to it...

Mrs Parmas is another place I that I can not get enough of, thanks to their relaxed space, super food and...most of all....their superb Victorian-microbrewery-only beer taps lineup.  It was our dinner destination on Saturday night.

Whilst waiting for our friends to join us, I enjoyed a pot of the Bridge Road Brewers Beechworth Pale Ale (always good as a “first drink of the day”).  Next it was a pint of the Red Duck Amber Ale, which I have drank from a bottle before but never on tap. My previous (bottle) experience with this beer was good, but nothing overly special. Therefore, I was delighted at how much better the tap version seemed to me! The Red Duck Amber provided lovely caramel/toffee aroma and a full and deep taste.  Great pub drinking!

Over dinner I drank a pint of Flying Horse Bar & Brewery Dirty Angel, which was perfectly matched to my Kalamata olive chicken parma.

All in all, another sensational weekend (helped along by my footy team, Essendon, actually winning a game) which finished all too quickly.  Not a bad beer was had, so I encourage all to check out and enjoy:
 Another small bundle of very enjoyable beers...all of which disappeared far too quickly.

 Rapunzel @ The 'Goat...always sexy.

 Sticking with the "healthy" option...a "Broc'n'Roll" pizza.

"Vege Patch" pizza at Mountain Goat
 Just some of the choice at Mrs Parmas.

A pot of the Beechy Pale Ale to start.

Moving onto a pot of Red Duck Amber Ale.

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