True South – Brewery Visit

I’ve been known to spend some time in Black Rock. In fact the evil overseers of at my high school, used to make us walk from the school to the clock tower in Black Rock then turn around and walk all the way back again – that’s 14 kilometres. They tried to make it sound sexy (always a worry at an all boys Catholic school), they called it a ‘Walk-a-Thon. They claimed that we were helping missionaries or some shit.

It is probably for this reason that I’ve never been that big a fan of Black Rock. But it was my Dad’s birthday, and I was looking for somewhere down in the bayside suburbs to take him for lunch and I thought why not combine it with a brewery visit. Since 2 Brother’s don’t open weekends, and Red Hill is too far away I was left with True South.

Now saying ‘Left with’ might be underselling True South somewhat. A website visit told me it was a very impressive looking brewery. It is a converted mechanics (dad claimed he’d had his car serviced there, back in the day, but he makes shit up so I don’t believe him), It’s right on Beach Rd, just a short walk from the Clock tower in fact (note that evil overseers, a short walk, not a 14km death march).  All in all it looked very pleasant and certainly Dad birthday lunch worthy

I was a little more suspect on the beer. My only knowledge of True South was their Mint Ninja beer, which I never tasted, but those who did told me it was underwhelming, and a small sample of Red Truck at the Microbrewers showcase, which was okay but not spectacular.

But I was willing to give it a chance.

The brewery is really more of a restaurant than a bar, there seems to be very little room to stand around and drink, it more sit down, eat and drink. The whole place is done very well. It would be safe to say this isn’t a fly by the seat of your pants operation. Someone has some serious money invested in this place. The land alone must be worth multi-million, and the fit out and we are talking serious cash. Everything feels brand new and very premium.

It feels very bayside– It seemed to be catering nicely to the bayside lunch crowd, and crowd that expect high quality food, in a stylish location with a beach view, and they are willing to pay for it.

They have a tasting wheel for the beer but you have to ask for it, for some reason it’s not on the beer menu, which is a little strange. I ordered this. Meanwhile both Dad and Jord ordered the Pilsener which come in enormously oversized glasses.

Before I review the beers I have to tell you that the food was fantastic. I had a Waygu beef steak sandwich with onion rings and Jenga set of fat fries. Don’t expect hearty pub type food here, rather it’s more big white plates, seafood, ingredients you’ve never heard of and olive oil to dip your sour dough bread into.  Jord had some sort of Gnocchi soup type thing, and Dad had the fish and chips with beer batter, using their own beer of course.

But onto the wheel of beer.

I started with the Pale Ale – This was a golden yellow, with a cloudy appearance and a creamy head . It had nice citrus and fruit notes, so much so that I thought it was tangy in the mouth.  

Ranking – I’ll have a Pint

Then it was onto the Pilsener that everyone else was drinking – This was a straw yellow colour again a nice creamy pure white head . It was full of flavour and was quite crisp, with just a fleeting hoppy bitterness, before the more subtle maltiness comes through.

Ranking – I’ll have a Pint

It was back to the future with the Red Truck which I had assumed was a Red Ale, but is actually a Marzen. It had a thin head, and almost no carbonation. Not much maltiness coming through, some bitterness from the hops, but overall I thought it was too light in flavour, slightly disappointed here.  

Ranking – Let’s have a Schooner

Although it wasn’t too hot outside, it was sunny, so it was apt that the next brew was the Summer Ale this beer is not that dissimilar from the Pale Ale or the Pilsener, with a very similar look. It smelled a touch grassy and not surprisingly, summery. Again it was quite soft and full in the mouth and not too hoppy. It was a gentle brew that would be perfectly suited to a summer afternoon in a beer garden.   

Ranking – I’ll have a Pint

By this stage it was time for desert. Jord and I decided on ‘My grandma’s Spanish donuts with chocolate dipping sauce. Which were amazing. The obvious beer to match to this sweet dish? The Dark Ale which smelt malty with just hints of toffee, rather than the mocha that was claimed by the brewer. It is a dark brew (shockingly) but with tinges of red coming through. Soft in the mouth again, it feels luxurious and has a crisp finish with just a lingering powered chocolate flavour.  

Ranking – I’ll have a Pint

Overall there beer range is impressive. There is a distinctive theme across the brews, they are flavoursome but gentle and approachable. Every brew is really nice and high quality.

To me the beers feel a little bit like the Bayside suburbs themselves, all very pleasant and beautiful, but lacking a bit of character and the sense of excitement that would make you really fall in love with them.

It’s is quite hard to find True South brews as they don’t bottle anything (yet) but if you happen to be down Black Rock and you have some spare cash (you will need it, but it’s worth it) pop in for a meal a tasting wheel, or a least a giant glass of beer.  

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