I was forced by my girlfriend to go shopping for homewares with her last week. Or at least that’s the story I’m telling, more truthfully I may have suggested that we needed to go shopping as I have far more of a shopping gene than she does.
The wonder that is Google maps tells me that the aforementioned homewares store was 230 metres from my couch. It was obvious that this was far, far to go without a pitstop at the pub. I suggested The Courthouse which is 110m from my couch, or nicely placed at the halfway point betwixt my house and the pub.
Now you would think that this distance would make The Courthouse my local, but surprisingly it isn’t. This is North Melbourne so there is a pub every three steps. Now I estimate that it’s about 150 steps from my couch to The Courthouse, which is double the distance that it is from my couch to the bar at The Leveson (although if you went out the back to the beer garden at the Leveson with the t-shirt wearing northern suburbs boys and their blonde girlfriends named Shaz then you would almost double that)
But here’s the rub although The Courthouse is further away it is far superior drinking establishment. So I guess sometimes you just have to suck it up, and take the additional 60 odd steps and go to the better pub.
So this is how I found myself in The Courthouse and couple of Saturday afternoons ago.
Now the good thing about The Courthouse is that when you sidle up to the bar and order a drink chances are you are going to get something good. You are then going to need to hand over a least one arm and one leg to pay for it, but that it beside the point.
Schooners in hand myself and Jord hopped over to the nearest table and settled into our beers. But what was in those glasses.
Well I had chosen the Cooper’s 2008 Vintage. How we have never spoken about Cooper’s before is anyone’s guess, an absolute mainstay of the Australian beer industry, a brewery that has done more to maintain flavour in beer than any only mainstream brewery. The Cooper’s Vintage is the pinnacle of the Cooper’s range, and to find it on Tap is just a touch rare, so to say I was a little bit excited is a little bit of an understatement.
This is a dark brown coloured brew with a white head that verges of creamy. Quite hoppy all the way through from the mid sip to the aftertaste, but balanced with flavours of toffee and caramel. It is very drinkable, as I worked my way through the schooner it just seemed to get better and better. One of the best beers I’ve tried in a long long time, and definitely Jug worthy.
Jordan had gone for a much newer brew (and was happy to share, nice girl that she is). It’s the time of year for Harvest brews, where everyone releases a beer with their brand new, just picked extra special Hops. I’ve already told you about Bright Brewery’s version, and there is a bottle of Red Hill’s sitting in my fridge, so it was time to see how the one from Beechworth stacked up.
That’s right it’s Bridge Road’s Harvest Ale and it’s a very nice beer, not as mind bogglingly good as the Cooper’s Vintage 2008, but hey not much is. It’s still very nice all the same. It is a medium yellow colour with a white, slightly wispy head. It smells of passionfruit, and not surprisingly also tastes of passionfruit. It has a great mouthfeel with a nice creamy texture, like a less gassy and more subtle version of Stone and Woods Pacific ale. Pint
So if you are down North Melbourne way drop into The Courthouse, drop a hefty sum of money on the bar and be rewarded with some amazing brews, or stick around for the food, which is also outstanding.