So many beers, so little time. A couple of nights ago myself and my trusty sidekick Jordan jumped the tram from rainbow house to federation square for the showcase of Victorian micro brewing. We arrived just after 6.15pm. The function ended at 8.00pm (on the dot, no exceptions). We had 20 tasting tickets (each) to spend in 105 minutes, A beer every 5 minutes and 15 seconds. And we had to include a break for a hot dog in there as well.
We needed a strategy. We couldn’t go see everyone. We ignored our favourite brewers, 2 Brothers, claiming we needed to try new things. We struck off Bridge road (having been there on Sunday). Gave up on Mountain Goat, Southern Bay and White Rabbit as they had nothing new to offer me. We rejected 3 Ravens for a reason I can’t remember, and never really got back to Bellarine Brewing, Three Troupers, or Holgate (who thinking back may have been replaced in the show by Grand Ridge)
Now I can’t possibly review all of the beers fully, so here it is my twitter like feed of beers in order of tasting, how very web 7.3 of me:
True South Red Truck: Not Fantastic, but it did grow on me as I worked through it.
Boatrocker Alpha Queen: Very Nice, much better than their Hopp Bier, will try again.
Grand Ridge Mirboo North Dark Ale: Like brunt treacle, great beer, close to my pick of the night.
Mildura Brewery Choc Hops Limited Edition: Amazing, as described by the person behind me in the line to her friend ‘You have to try this. It tastes like Easter!’
Kooinda Brewing Belgian Witbier: Firstly kudos for filling the glass to the top rather than the tasting line. Quite fruity and light, smells of agricultural (wild?) yeast. It was like I was standing in a barn with Pip and some straw.
Hawthorn Pilsener: I thought I tasted cascade hops, but we were racing through these so I could have been wrong. It was a very nice beer, clean and refreshing.
Coldstream Naked Ale: No Hop bitterness, crisp and refreshing but not hugely interesting.
Coldstream Porter: (Bonus beer which allowed me to stay one up on Jord all night). Surprisingly thin, with very few hops, refreshing and quite nice but a little wimpy for a porter.
Cavalier Brown: Best facial hair of the showcase from the tap jockey, the beer wasn’t great though, lacked any real breakthrough flavours.
Buckley’s Dark Bock: Smelt like green olives which I thought was strange, not sure if I liked it, but interesting enough to make me seek out more of their beers.
Bright Brewery Razor Witbier: Similar to, but not as good as the Kooinda. Tasted agricultural again, with the bitterness in the midpoint.
Break for Hot Dog. Not a beer and actual hot dog, although how good would hot dog flavoured beer be?
Prickly Moses Organic Blueberry Hefeweizen: Blueberry Wheat beer. Wow, tastes like a muffin in a glass, gimmicky and fun. .
Arctic Fox English Pale Ale: Very gassy in the mouth, a little disappointing, but I think that’s the style rather than the brewer.
Sweetwater Weissber: Quite good, distinctive yeast flavour with a very slight hint of banana.
Tooboorac Stonemasons Pale Ale: Nice, very subtle and dare I say it, friendly.
Mornington Peninsula Saison: Very yeasty, refreshing light and generally quite good.
Matilda Bay Alpha Pale Ale: Smells quite fruity. Very nice beer, like a more refined, concentrated version of Fat Yak.
O’Brien Brewing Pale Ale: A good beer to finish on, subtle bitterness, refreshing. Good Stuff.
So there we are we ran out of time, and only got through 18 brews. And before you get all, how can you stand up, remember they are tasting sizes (somewhere around 60ml I would think). We learnt important lessons for next time like: A) get there earlier B) understand that the breweries are in alphabetical order, thus cutting down on ‘Where do you think Blah Blah are? c) Get there earlier.
There were some real stand-outs Mildura Choc Hops, my new Easter beer. Prickly Mosses Blueberry Hefeweizen because it tastes unlike any beer I’ve ever tasted. Plus the show did what it’s meant to, I will now go seek out beers from a number of breweries that I wouldn’t have sought out before.