Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011 - the Beer Bar Band Top 10s

2011 has been a very good year, a very full year…probably the best year of my life. The personal milestones were massive: celebrating our first year of marriage, buying our first home and running our first half-marathon.

Twenty Eleven was also a very beery year. Foremost was the excellent shock and awe of the first Good Beer Week, as well as many other beer events like The Local Taphouse’s Great Australian Beer SpecTAPular (GABS), plus countless new brewers and beers advancing the cause of the craft and enjoyment of good beer.

Here is a quick wrap of my Top 10s from 2011, Beer Bar Band style...


I have enjoyed far too many beers from across the world this year, hence the task of quickly compiling a top 10 from all beers would require much more brain power than I'm willing to offer whilst on holidays. Therefore, I have limited this list to beers from the Australasia region that were unique to or new in 2011:

  1. “Empress” Imperial Mocha Porter by Holgate Brewhouse – brewed for GABS, bottled in 750ml bottles and sold for $65 and poured on tap at Holgate, Beer Deluxe and into growlers from Slowbeer…we had it all because it was just so good! A huge beer, full thick and silky coffee chocolate…it was everything you wanted it to be.
  2. “Tall Poppy” India Red Ale by 8 Wired – I have loved everything produced by 8Wired and it is hard to leave out the Batch 18, iStout and Sultan from this list, but the Tall Poppy was the most original beers I had all year.
  3. “Rex Attitude” by Yeastie Boys – the most crowd dividing beer from this year and I loved it. This golden ale brewed with 100% peated malt offended many with it’s extreme smokey-to-burnt-rubber-bands aroma. I revelled in the aroma that you can smell from 100 feet away and found this beer to be a very enjoyable and even sessional golden ale.
  4. “Thorny Goat” Cross Breed Black IPA by Mountain Goat and Thornbridge (collaboration) – Australia’s first international craft brewing collaboration. It needed a few weeks after release to really develop its fullness and when it did Thorny Goat was a beautiful bold India Black Ale, trumping many of the style that were brewed in Australia this year.
  5. “Karma Citra” Black IPA by Feral Brewing – another new beer produced for GABS and another India Black Ale that sat with the best of the best in the style this year, scoring bonus points by showcasing the Citra hop in excellent fashion.
  6. “India Saison” by Nogne O and Bridge Road Brewery (collaboration) – another international collaboration and another showcase of hops, featuring new Australian hops in Danish brewing. This beer also makes the list because it was an excellent beer, but more importantly a unique brew with big character.
  7. Cask-conditioned Imperial Stout on handpump by Red Hill Brewery – one of my favourite local betters got even better this year, thanks to the Red Hill Brewery’s decision to install a traditional English handpump beer engine at their café bar and cask condition their popular winter seasonal especially for the handpump, including dry hopping
  8. “Hop Zombie” by Epic – an absolutely massive yet still very drinkable hop bomb of an ale
  9. “Ninaksi's Angel” Belgian Tripel by the Women of Beer – Abby ales are not easy to brew, so this characterful spice-filled Tripel  clearly showcased the talents of our local female brewers.
  10. Everything by Moon Dog Craft Brewery – crazy, inventive, fun, honest, big ass craft brewing. Make up your own mind about their beers, but each one will no doubt be a truly new and unique drinking experience.

An honourable mention also goes to Mountain Goat Brewery for bringing back their “Bigfoot” stout this year! The beefed up Surefoot Stout, which has been missing from the market for several years, was just awesome this winter.


Once the name of rapidly publishing this post...this list is limited to new bars that have opened this year of bars that I visited for the first time this year.

  1. Oscar’s Alehouse, Belgrave – my new local, where good people, really good beer and great conversation really collide with the bonus of live music wrapped up in a very relaxed vibe.
  2. The Wheaty, Thebarton Adelaide (first visit) – as I blogged last week…I think The Wheaty is Australia’s best pub. 
  3. Penny Blue, Melbourne city (first visit) – a hidden gem chock full of character and good beer. 
  4. Temple Bar and Brasserie, East Brunswick (new) – the next big little thing, modern beer and food focused bar where social interaction is the centrepiece. 
  5. The Courthouse, North Melbourne (first visit) – brilliant food and brilliant beer, bringing modern gastro-pub fine dining in line with the flavour profiles of craft beer. 
  6. Atticus Finch, East Brunswick (first visit) - awesome beer garden (complete with hop vines!), very East Brunswick, good prices, great staff...but best of all...their beer events (such as Beer School) and themed meals and beer flights.
  7. 8. 9. & 10. Scratch Bar, Milton & Bitter Suite, New Farm & Kerbside Lounge, Fortitude Valley in Brisbane (all new) – I have no been to either of these bars yet, but will very soon. They are on this list because I love what these bars are doing for craft beer in Brisbane. Every report back from visitors to this bar and every status update these bars make on social media get a big LIKE from me in agreeance. 
Oscar's Ale House (...full blog post coming soon!)


Albums release in 2011

  1. Vacation by Big Scary
  2. Rewiggled: A Tribute to the Wiggles by Various
  3. United in Isolation by Papa vs Pretty
  4. This Modern Glitch by The Wombats
  5. Little Hell by City & Color
  6. Prisoner by The Jezabels
  7. Only Sparrows by Josh Pyke
  8. The King is Dead by The Decemberists
  9. Kosciusko by Jebediah
  10. Maricahi el Bronx II by The Bronx
Very honourable mentions to Busby Marou (self titled) and So Forever by Husky.

Gigs of 2011

It was a quiet year on the gigging front for us this year, because so much else we happening (read: saving for and buying a house). We only made it to 10ish gigs, so here are the main 10 in order...

  1. The Drones at The Corner Hotel – a WOW gig for any Drones fan. Amazing setlist, amazing sound, powerful & energetic, but most of all…the Drones at the fucking Corner!
  2. Gareth Liddiard and Dan Kelly at the East Brunswick Club – brilliant & intense...a night to remember, a night of drunken yet sobering comedy and amazing songman ship combined with impressive musicanship.
  3. Papa vs Pretty at Northcote Social Club – had been meaning to see this young band for a long time and they did not disappoint. Fun and energetic, but most of all...shredding to the max that works so well in modern rock!
  4. Paul Dempsey at The Corner – seasoned performer Dempsey always puts on a solid show for an appreciative crowd, highlighted by his use of covers and the playing of several new Something For Kate tunes.
  5. Big Scary at East Brunswick Club – the mellow “Four Seasons” gig was pretty. The first proper headline tour for Big Scary, provided the highlights through the new tracks of Mix Tape, Purple and Gladiator that would end up on the Vacation album
  6. Josh Pyke and Jackson McLaren at The Grace Darling – returning to his roots with a stripped back, intimate solo acoustic gig yet Josh was still able to impress again by showing off a new edge with the use of a loop pedal.
  7. Busby Marou at Northcote Social Club – could any other band bring Rockhampton pub country rock to Northcote? I think not! A special mention for their live cover of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun which they carried over from their TripleJ Like a Version performance.
  8. The Jezabels at The Corner – New found popularity brought in a heavily hipster and young crowd of new fans, but the Jezabels showed that they could still adapt their big sound to a small band room after a year playing to big crowds on the festival circuit.
  9. Josh Pyke at The Corner – whilst I believe Josh at his best solo acoustic, he was definitely in his element with the full band at The Corner. Bringing his new album to the live crowd, the band jelled well through the well selected set-list.
  10. Expatriate at East Brunswick – look out for a blog on this gig soon…it was something of a dud gig, but still worth having on my list to make up the 10.

And that's it from me this year. Time to see out the year with a mini keg of 4 Degrees Pale Ale from Four Hearts Brewing.

See you in 2012! Cheers!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Beers - Beery Cheesemas to All (Christmas 2011)

Christmas is a time commonly used to indulge in the delicious, sweet excesses of food and drink...and it's no different at the Beer Bar Band home.

Last year we had fun with A Very Beery Christmas, in which each food element of our Christmas lunch was made with beer, around the centre-piece of a barbecue beer-can chicken. This year we indulged our new found love for fine cheese matched with excellent beer.

We gathered 12 awesome craft beers (12 beers of Christmas style) as well as 6 fine cheese from around Melbourne.

Celebrating our first Christmas in our first home, which we bought a few months back, the wife and I had a quiet little fun day with just the two of us. We made the most of our spacious deck with views across the green canopy of the Dandenong hills. It was a warm and sunny morning, then the afternoon turned into a stormy affair. Heavy rain, thunder and lightning flooded and damaged parts of Melbourne, but from our vantage point it simply resulted in a pleasant light and sound show.

During the calm before the storm, we set up a big Christmas lunch spread centred around the beers and cheeses.

 The Christmas menu on our kitchen pantry door.

Merely part 1 of our Christmas table spread.

With the beers naturally ordered from light-to-dark-to-heavy, we tried countless combinations of beer plus cheese plus various morsels of delicacy.

The wonderful cheeses were:
  • Quickes Traditional Oak Smoked Cheddar
  • Mauri Taleggio Cow's Washed Rind
  • Jindi Old Telegraph Road Fire Engine Red Washed Rind
  • Rouzaire Coulommier Double-Cream Brie
  • Cropwell Bishop Stilton
  • Tarago River Cheese Company Strzelecki Goat Blue

Our midday palates were first wet with the 2011 Posse Summer Ale for members of the Bridge Road Brewers Posse club. It has been an excellent beer for this mild summer and it's a fine starter for any beery session. An easy drinking, nicely spiced and well balanced witbier that matched very well with the soft cheeses.

Then we went sour and popped the cork on a benchmark lambic that is guaranteed to find favour with many forms of good cheese - the Guezue 100% Lambic Bio from Cantillon. This sessionable wild ale has just the right amout of sour tartness following the big aroma of a classic lambic.

Next we poured two red ales...always appropriate on any Christmas Day. First we had the Rogue Ales Santa's Private Reserve, a big malty American Amber Ale with a solid bitter hop hit. This beer had been sitting in my not-quite-a-cellar beer cellar for a year following a trip home from it may have suffered from a lack of freshness. Thankfully, it still stood up and worked well on a stormy yet warm Australian Christmas day.

Pouring the Rogue Santa's Private Reserve.

The second red ale was one of my top 3 beer highlights from this Christmas feast...the new Red Rackham by the adventurous Yeastie Boys. This accidental beer started out as a batch of the Yeastie's Hud-a-wa' Strong but they pitched the wrong yeast, a Belgian ale one. The result is a very tasty Belgian Red Ale with a full mouthfeel and excellent balance between malt, spice and bitterness. This complex brew ultimately tastes like a silky red ale, but has much more going on in it. Beautiful beer.

The hops came out in full force with the very Mikkeller in taste, Mikkeller Happy Lovin' Christmas Double IPA. Another quality and very easy drinking big beer from Mikkeller.

And then an extra special moment of Christmas Ale drinking was lined up next.

We had three vintages of the Red Hill Brewery Christmas Ale for a vertical tasting, plus a 3 year old Holgate Brewhouse Christmas Ale (which is sadly no longer brewed by Holgate).

The Red Hill Christmas Ales featured:
  • 2011: bottle - this year's release from a 6 pack that we bought whilst at the brewery a few weeks back
  • 2010: draught - last year's vintage in a growler, filled from the keg at Blackhearts & Sparrows in North Fitzroy
  • 2008: bottle - a special little Christmas gift from Red Hill Brewery owners, Dave & Karen Golding.

I love this Australian intrepretation of a Belgian Christmas ale. The current release was especially good when we drank it fresh at the Red Hill brewery on the first weekend of December. In this vertical, the 2008 vintage was by far the stand-out. The carbonation was still excellent and the rich, deep fruity flavour surrounded by spices had developed beautifully into a well-rounded semi-dark Belgian.

The vertical tasting definitely showcased the way this beer develops with age. The same beer was really quite different across the three vintages. My recommendation: sit on this beer for 3 years for maximum effect!

The three Red Hill Christmas Ales were enjoyed slowly with blue cheese and a game of Trivial Pursuit.

As the storms rolled over the hills past us, we lazed on our deck, watching the rain and lightning. We excitedly cracked the bottle of Holgate Christmas Ale, it was the most anticipated beer of the day. It had been gifted to us by the Holgate brewery crew when we stayed at their Keatings Hotel for our first wedding anniversary back in August.

In contrast to the 2008 Red Hill Christmas Ale, the carbonation was very minimal in the Holgate Christmas Ale but that did not detract from the spectacular flavour of a dark fruity Christmas cake. One could quite easily mistake it for a fortified wine! The warming alcohol was fairly evident, making it an excellent sipper, enjoyed with more blue cheese and dark chocolate, plus splashes of storm. Brilliant. I didn't want to finish it because it was so good...and then it would be completely all gone, with no return.

My #1 beer of Christmas 2011...the 2008 Holgate Brewhouse Christmas Ale!

Whilst this beer has been replaced in the Holgate brewing schedule by my favourite Holgate beer, Beelzebub's Jewels (Paul Holgate has noted that their Christmas Ale was essentially a trial brew as they worked up to producing this barrel aged belgian quadrupel), I truly wish this Christmas Ale was still around every December because it is a damn fine beer to follow Christmas dessert.

Later in the day, when we somehow found some space in our super full stomachs for "dinner", we brought out the Quickes Smoked Cheddar, some smoked almonds, smoked turkey and opened the God Jul from Nøgne Ø. The uber smokey God Jul islay edition is one of my all-time favourite beers and until recently I had never tried this regular God Jul. That changed two weeks back when Josie Bones tweeted that they had the beer on tap (I have never come across this beer in draught form in Australia before!). By some awesome freak chance the wife and I were planning on being in the area that night for dinner, so we first stopped into Josie Bones for a glass each of the divine God Jul in draught form. The regular version of this strong dark Winter ale still displays a hint of the peaty smoke and provided a great start to our late light dinner on Christmas Day.

I love barely wines and I love smokey beers, so a barrel aged barely wine brewed with Islay peated malts was always going to be a winner in my mouth. It came in the form of the 11.5% BrewDog Three Floyds collaboration brew Bitch Please...

And yes, I enjoyed this beer immensely (...some things were a little hazy by this time of the day though). A very well crafted smokey barely wine with the right level of carbonation and mouthfeel that I expect from such a beer. I do indeed recall that it was a perfect match for the smoked cheddar

The final beer was the semi-palate cleansing sour of the delightful and slightly twisted Moon Dog Brewing Perverse Sexual Amalgam...need I say anymore, other than...more smoked cheddar!!

And so ends another excellent Christmas of beer (plus cheese!).

Every beer we drank across Christmas was simply excellent. The stand-outs for me, those WOW beers, were the Yeastie Boys Red Rackham, the 2008 Holgate Christmas Ale and the 2008 Red Hill Christmas Ale. How special...since 2008 was when I effectively started this craft beer journey of mine!

Maybe if I was a little sober to properly recall the 11th beer of the day, I'd probably be trying to find a way to make 3 out of 4 to include the BrewDog Three Floyds Bitch Please.

Nevertheless, each beer worked well in their own way, including as a Christmas brew and an accompaniment to fine cheese, smoked (cold) meats and various nibbles. All the beers offered a unique experience of craft beer and I am keen to drink more of them all again whenever I can.

We now excitedly look towards the new year as this journey continues through the incredible science and art of taste and texture...

...2011 was massive, but 2012 is already shaping up to be even beery bigger!

LOOK OUT mass-produced bland lagers...the people-driven train of good beer at the dining table and in our hands gathering steam and powering towards you to take beer drinkers in a new direction in 2012!

Find these. Drink them. Experience them. Cheers!

Wishing a merry Christmas and a safe, happy, deliciously experiential New Year to all!  CHEERS!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Beer - Victoria Pale Lager (more hyperbole but this time in the negative)

Warning: Don’t read on if you’re not interested in or do not appreciate some macro beer bashing.

Victoria Pale Lager...what the hell is the point of that?

I see no purpose for this beer other than marketing and therefore big-business money-making (which is never good for your average person trying to get the best out of life). Can anyone please prove otherwise?

As a beverage, you are better off drinking water becausea this pale lager is as bland as water and water is better for you.

As far as I can tell, Victoria Pale Lager is just the failed VB Raw repackaged. Raw was the previous “low-carb” attempt by Fosters to endear their Victoria Bitter (VB) brand to the ill-informed Pure Blonde/Hahn Super Dry/Boag's Classic Blonde drinking generation.

Packaging is what the new VB Pale Lager is ALL about. The media, marketing and "hype" around the release of this new beer seems to have only been focused on the fancy label-embossed bottle, manufactured by O-I.

Does this indicate that Carlton United Brewers (CUB) slash Fosters Group believes the shape and novelty embossing technology of this bottle alone is enough to sell it and convert regular VB drinkers? Has humanity lost all ability to pass judgement using any sense other than sight? (Also, arn't they just stealing their own market away from themselves by converting VB drinkers?!?).

According to business analysts, Australian beer sales are in heavy decline, expect in the craft beer sector...which is mostly likely due to the rapid increase in microbreweries and craft beer output over the last few years. There is more craft beer on the market then ever before, hence there are more sales of such products.
Nonetheless, CUB have attempted to counteract the decline in mass produced lagers by...creating another mass produced lager to compete with the declining rest.

Here's a snippet from an article that appeared in the Fairfax newspapers this week ('Wine soars as beer goes flat' by Rachel Browne 11/12/11):

"Carlton and United Brewery's head of insights, Tim Ovadia, said there were some strong growth areas. Sales of craft beers produced by microbreweries have grown 30 per cent year on year, while cider sales have increased 20 per cent year on year."

Firstly, I struggle to believe that "head of insights" (or even General Manager Consumer Insights at Fosters Group according to LinkedIn) is a real job. Secondly, they clearly have zero consumer insight if they are producing another in-decline low-carb lager when it is the craft beer sector that is on the rise. Why, Fosters, did you not channel the resources and effort that has been wasted on Vic Pale Lager into Matilda Bay?

Yes, Matilda Bay Brewing Company has also just been pumped up with the opening of their new brewery and bar in Port Melbourne, which will lead to Matilda Bay branded brewpubs opening across the country. However, their underrated and underresourced Bohemian Pilsner, Big Helga Munich Lager and Redback Wheat beers all make the need for Vic Pale Lager completely obsolete. They may not be the best craft beers around, but they are beers with flavour and character. More importantly, they are readily accessible to almost everyone through the nationwide distribution of Carlton United Brewers.

Maybe Fosters could throw at me some impressive (yet awfully cherry-picked) sales figures to show the infant success of Victoria Pale Lager. However, nothing can deny that such a poor taste and enjoyment experience from this beer can signify anything other than a soulless money-making product.

I give Vic Pale Lager another 6 months before it is discontinued for some typical corporate reasoning such as "we've decided to refocus on our core range that our customers are passionate about and blah blah blah..."

More so, I suspect this is inevitable due to the recent SABMiller takeover of Fosters. Vic Pale Lager will become a "victim" of the company's reshaping as an international faceless brand with flagship output of VB, Carlton Draught and Crown Lager. Fail.

Ok, these days I don't comment or pass judgement on a beer I have not tried.

Yes, my curiosity over the existence of this beer lead me to buy one on a recent weekend. We were staying at a beach-side holiday home and it was a sunny Saturday. Dinner was fish and chips on a deck with beer.

Surely any lager can be redeemed when consumed with fish'n'chips by the beach on a Summer's evening? But no, the Victoria Pale Lager was hardly worth finishing. Thankfully, we had a supply of the delicious Red Hill Brewery Bohemian Pilsner to wash away the bad beer. Now that vibrant Boh Pils is an excellent lager accompaniment for fish'n'chips!

The Victoria Pale Lager was flavourless and lacked any body or finish. It was simply...bland, boring and even something unbalanced. It was not crisp or refreshing. I cannot think of any reason for drinking it.

Vic Pale Lager now joins my list of worst "new" beers I have tasted since starting my beer journey, sitting alongside XXXX Summer Bright, Great Northern Lager, Dry Dock Premium Lager, Wahoo and Pacifico.

If these are your type of beer and your beer choice is generally limited to big chain outlets, then please at least consider drinking something Australian owned or from the craft beer industry, like Stone & Wood Lager, Coopers Clear or maybe even the Grand Ridge Brewery Draught.

As for me, I'll be heading back to our local Duncan’s for more Red Hill Bohemian Pilsner and some Epic Lager. Mmmm good soulful lagers!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bar - The Wheatsheaf Hotel, Thebarton S.A.

Tucked away in the suburb of Thebarton, a short & free tram ride from Adelaide's city centre, is The Wheatsheaf Hotel. Affectionately know as "The Wheaty", it is one of the best pubs in my book!

During a short visit to Adelaide back in June, Jenn & I spent one long (but far too short) Monday evening at The Wheaty and it was instant love. We wanted to pack the place up and take it back with us to Melbourne in our carry-on luggage! Great beer, awesome people, excellent vibes...this pub has it all.

Melbourne may be the bubbling craft-beer-culture capital of Oz by shear weight of beery venues, events and retail outlets, but this city has nothing like the The Wheaty. The much smaller Royston Hotel in Richmond could come close but is missing the live music, engaging staff and bohemian diversity fully embraced by The Wheatsheaf Hotel.

The Wheaty flies to the top of my favourite pub list for excelling in pretty much all the criteria on which I rate such a venue...

Firstly, the building is a classic Australian two-story pubic-house hotel structure that dates back to something like the 1860s. The current facade has clearly been around for decades, seemingly relatively untouched, and it gushes character. I love a pub that looks like a pub yet clearly has personality and isn't covered in macro beer advertising.

Secondly, the irreverent respect for good beer at The Wheaty warms my soul. The owners may be serious hop heads, but they are adventurous and open to all beer palates. It's true the The Wheaty is a recognised craft beer destination in a city that is still predominately void of beer choice other than mass produced products. Fortunately, the locals seem to be well on-board with The Wheaty's good beer offerings.

Their taps are dedicated to flavoursome South Australian and wider Australian craft beers, alongside highly regarded international brews, including a special place for anything from the Oregon based Rogue Ales. Their irreverence shines through with their use of a beer engine handpump. English real ale purists may be appalled with the types of beers they pour through this tap (like huge Imperial IPAs and Russian Imperial Stouts) but The Wheaty staff have also worked with Aussie microbreweries such as Moo Brew and Lobethal Bierhaus to provide cask conditioned ales specific for the handpump. Beside it sits the Glasshopper, a Randall Handle hop infuser that gets packed with anything the bar staff want to through at it, regardless of the type of beer.

During their "Font of Darkness Festival" in August they poured Moo Brew's Stout through The Glasshopper filled with Indonesian Kopi Luwak Weasel Coffee and called it "Poo Moo". winning!

On the night we were there, our drinks included:
  • Mike's India Pale Ale on handpump
  • Mountain Goat Hightail through the Glasshopper filled with Galaxy hops
  • Tuatara APA (first time I had tasted this beer, loved it so I had 2)
  • Synapse by Doctors Orders Brewing
  • Yeastie Boys Pot Kettle Black (first time I had tried this brew on tap and was oh OH SO GOOD!)
  • Chocolate Oatmeal Stout by Lobethal Bierhaus (mmm dessert)

Too often I see the Wheaty's twitter updates of their current tap line-ups and start looking online for cheap flights to Adelaide as they jealousy rises. They are they only venue in Australia to have tapped a keg of Mikkeller's Beer Geek Brunch...and I wasn't there! Sad, but massive respective to The Wheaty for tapping the beers they do.

Thirdly, the various rooms/spaces throughout The Wheaty allow for, even encourage, a plethora of social abandon. Whether you just want to sit at the bar and drink beer; laze on a couch and read a book; play a few rounds of pool with mates or strangers; hold a meeting; form a club; get animated with colleagues; shoot the breeze in the beer garden; hold and event; play a gig or just stand and stare at the ceiling...The Wheaty has the space for all of it with uncluttered and characterful rooms.

The semi-covered rear courtyard provides a versatile bandroom, allowing live music and performances of all genres. Everyone in the courtyard can have an excellent view of the small corner stage from any position and the sound fills the space wonderfully. The atmosphere of the bandroom is cultured and relaxed with a splash of industrial...and seems just right for a party.

A wide range of groups and organisations gather at The Wheaty. Community and arts groups, knitting clubs, sporting groups including Roller Derby teams, beer-focus gatherings. The Wheaty is a truly welcoming pub.

Naturally, the owners and staff don't tolerate dickheads, but I suspect there are few occasions when dickheads dare to be a dickhead in The Wheaty.

The owners - Jade, Emily and Liz - are passionate publicans. On that Monday night back in June we spent a couple of hours chatting to the wonderfully upfront and accessible Jade Flavell about running The Wheaty. It was clear that the owners have found their true calling and made it happen.

Jade told us all about their history of taking over the pub, crafting it to their liking and the barriers and battles of making a great pub even better. It was sad but familiar to hear that at times they also battle the universal confusion of obtuse local and State laws, similar to the stories of friendly publicans from Melbourne.

There is no food at The Wheaty, other than delicious cheeses that are perfect for matching with the beers available. There is the intention to one day build a kitchen and serve some food. The planned kitchen is an eternal work-in-progress but will "definitely happen", according to Jade back in June. For now it's BYOFood, the staff are more than happy for you to order in. A pile of local take-out menus sit at the bar and those businesses are happy to and familiar with delivering to The Wheaty. We ordered pizza's, asked for delivery to "The Wheaty in the Blue room" and it was efficiently delivered to our hands 40mins later.

The Wheatshef Hotel's bar will satisfy any beer lover, yet what is more rewarding is that The Wheaty is a diverse venue that is far from just another craft beer bar... is a great pub that also has awesome beer!

To read more love for The Wheaty, check out the following online articles: