There are some great moments in history, Gorbachev & Reagan meeting in Reykavik. Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin coming together at the Oslo accord. The Captain and Tennille at the Marine Memorial Theatre in San Francisco (Seriously this is where Daryl ‘Captain’ dragon meet Toni Tennile when she was performing in a hippy musical called mother earth) and then there was last night.
The venue was Beer Deluxe at federation square, the two historical figures were myself, and bladdamasta (he has a real name but I’ll never reveal it) one of the authors of Back of the Ferry – which is my favourite Manly ferry based beer tasting blog.
When two beer writers/terrible drunkards get together there is a lot of shit spoken, but more importantly there is also a lot of beer drunk.
When I arrived bladdamasta was already there and settled nicely into a Murray’s Dark Knight, clearing being true to his NSW roots. I went to the bar and examined the taps, I noted a couple of Murray’s taps down the end and ordered myself a Retro Rocket.
It was an orangey looking beer, with little head and not a huge amount of carbonation. It was full in the mouth with some maltiness in there, but the defining characteristic of the beer is the bitter hoppiness in the aftertaste which leaves you with quite a tang.
Much like Moonlight from Grand Ridge this beer is proof that you don’t need alcohol to create taste. A seriously good beer – I’ll have a Pint.
Now that I had caught up it was time to start the shouts. Of course when two beer lovers get together and the venue has one of the most extensive beer lists you can imagine there is going to be a little bit of one-upmanship going on.
Bladdamasta returned with two glasses of a beer that looked a look like the Retro Rocket. Turned out it was actually True South’s Red Truck, I’ve tasted before at the microbrewer’s showcase Now the beauty of drinking with a fellow beer wanker is that each beer comes with a story – He explained that the head brewer of True South used to brew in the pub in Sydney, and I explained that I’d been to the True South brewery a couple of weeks ago. The story of the brewery trip, which I shall post next week is where you are going to find my thoughts on the Red Truck. Safe to say though that drinking this back to back with the Retro Rocket was a nice compare and contrast exercise, which the NSW brew coming out on top.
It was my turn to head to the bar. I was determined to continue the Victorian Microbrewery education session for my North of the border beer brother. I returned with the Mornington Peninsula Saison another brew I had at the Showcase.
This was another great beer, it was a cloudy yellow colour, a slight agricultural taste, but overall very soft and luxurious. All the flavour was in the front of the sip. – I’ll have a Pint.
Then the night took a turn. It was bladdamasta’s turn to head to the bar. He returned with two small glasses (somewhere around 285ml I would think) of a pitch black liquid. He placed them in front of me and said ‘Guess what that is?’
I gave it a big sniff. It smelled like vinegar. Hmmm, high alcohol. It came in a small glass. bladdamasta’s wallet looked significantly thinner – It was clear he had gone crazy and bought Brewdog’s Tokyo 18.2.
Why 18.2? because it is 18.2% alcohol. There is a rumour that there is but four kegs of this beer in Melbourne, so this was a special, not soon to be repeated drinking experience.
It’s safe to say this is a beer unlike anything else you will drink. The first impression is the powerful punch of alcohol, it’s more like drinking a liqueur than a beer, something like whisky or port. I’ve never been that big a fan of Brewdog, I find their brews a tad harsh, but this thing is surprisingly smooth and so well balanced. It’s sweet and rich and there are all sorts of flavours in there from rum soaked fruit and raisins to bitter chocolates and everything in between. It was an amazing beer, certainly worthy of a ‘A Jug Please’ ranking.
It was going to be hard to top the Tokyo, but it was my shout, and I had to go Victorian again so I selected the 2Brother’s Grizz. Now I can tell you the Grizz was a great beer, but I can’t review it because after the Tokyo I’d seemed incapable of taking coherent notes. Looks like I’ll have to pop down to Moorabbin and pick up another bottle of this before you’ll get a review.
Thanks to bladdamasta for an awesome night – you definitely won this round, but I’ll get you next time. Oh and check out his blog at Back of the Ferry