But what do a beer named after a neon sign and a beer that sounds like it’s named after a Japanese magna character have to do with each other?
Nothing except me, and where I drank them.
Now as a self proclaimed beer wanker it is truly shameful that I hadn’t been to ‘The Local Taphouse’ before. Doubly shameful as I’m not immune to spending some time in Balaclava. Okay not anymore, but I did spend time in Balaclava, when it was still called Balclava, before it became a brand extension of St Kilda, and adopted the moniker of St Kilda East.
It was Balaclava when a couple of my friends lived there, and it was Balaclava when we used to wander up to the Inkerman to watch the footy and it was Balaclava to all the random junkies, drunks and ragsmuffins who made Carisle street home.
But now that it’s East St Kilda but it is still the obvious place to go to catch up with the former Balaclava residents. And if you are going to a pub in Balaclava the bar described as ‘The best beer bar in the land’ is a good place to start.
The Local Taphouse is a bar with nineteen beers and a cider on Tap. This is not one of your standard pubs that will have four or five taps of commercial lagers on tap and then sneak in a Mountain Goat or James Squire to seem cutting edge.
Nope this is a bar where the most mainstream beer is James Squire, offered as a safe haven for the overawed. The other 18 taps range from the European masters, favourite brews from craft breweries, all the way through to the special releases, which of course is where Skipping Girl and Sorachi come in.
Skipping Girl is a summer ale, it’s quite floral and hoppy but with little aftertaste. Jordan was convinced it tasted like passiona, although I think it might have been the passionfruit notes that were tricking her. The beer had small little playful bubbles and a slight head. The taste was amazingly familiar to me, it tasted like something, but I couldn’t put my finger on it, I could even picture the bottle that it came in (it had a oval shaped white and green label) but I never did work it out.
Meanwhile Sorachi Krolsch is a beer is worth drinking simply because it allows you to display your awesome beer wankerness, you get to bang on about the Sorachi Ace Hop, which was developed by Saporro and that this is the first beer in Australia to use it.
After you have amazed your ‘friends’ with this knowledge you will find that you are drinking quite a strange concoction (and probably alone), it’s almost a greeny yellow colour, with a bright white head. It’s not particularly bitter or highly carbonated, but it certainly is unusual, It reminded me of the Baron’s Lemon Myrtle.
So two very interesting beers, and a sign of the how vibrant the Victorian micro brewing scene is at the moment. But I have to say neither of them really knocked my socks off. I found both a little too complex to be a refreshing light summer drink. I’ve mentioned before my leanings towards wheaty and malty beers, and these two both strode a little too close to the fruity side of the spectrum for my personal taste.
Mountain Goat Skipping Girl: Let’s have a Schooner
Mornington Sorachi Kolsch: Let’s have a Schooner