We had spend the long weekend doing the stereotypical things that inner city living wankers do. That is escaping the hustle and bustle of the big city and to get some peace and quiet and fill our lungs country air.
Of course what this actually means to white inner city yuppies (remember when yuppies were a thing?) is that we sat at wineries sampling wine that I could buy on Errol street and eating food that I could buy of Errol street.
We did try to ‘get a little country’ and hiked up and hill, nee mountain, but that didn’t go so well for us city slickers as the track went through a field which contained big angry looking cows, and they didn’t take to well to our presence, I don’t really want to go into it but the incident started with some ill tempered moo-ing and ending with two cows chasing us down a hill, and high pitched screaming (not from me of course).
It was all a little unnerving, murderous cows, and being forced to be a cheese eating wine poofter. To settle my nerves I managed to convince the girls (Jordan and the non beer drinking Brewer) that it was essential to stop into the pub to have some lunch and a beer to two. What I didn’t tell them is that the pub I had in mind was the Tooborac Hotel which was just a little bit (by country terms) off the highway on our way home.
Now the learned folk amongst you might know that the full name of the Tooborac Hotel is actually the Tooborac Hotel and Brewery. Those with excellent memories may even remember the their appearance at the microbrewers showcase
They are a tiny little brewery, I’ve never seen them anywhere other than the showcase. I assume they don’t bottle their beers. So if you want to taste them you’ll have to head to the small country town of Tooborac.
I’m only assuming it was a small town, because we never really saw it. The hotel is on the highway with parking out the front, so it is literally pull of highway, walk into bar. It’s a nice little country pub, obviously historical, and as such it has a number of small rooms here and there, so we settled into the small dining room in front of a open fire and ordered up a Chicken Parma (which was nice enough but nothing spectacular).
But we are not here to talk parmas we are here for the beer. My understanding of the brewery was that they had but two beers, an amber ale and a pale ale, but it would appear that someone had been playing to some dark malts for winter and I also managed to find the stout and a porter on tap as well. But are the beers any good?
I started with the Stout which was really big, black as the ace of spades with a creamy brown head. It wasn’t polished, and felt like hearty brew that had been home brewed by someone who had been brewing for thirty or forty years (and had a beard, they always have beards, I like to think of all home brewers as looking like the late great Bill Hunter) It was full of roasted malts and had a big strong almost port like flavour all through the sip and not at all hoppy. It was like a liquid Malteser, nice but you would struggle to drink more than one. Pint
Whilst I was drinking the dark beers Jord was on the friendlier light beers, she was nice enough to share them with me/look away long enough for me to steal some. The Woodcutter Amber Ale was a gentle brew, again not that hoppy, but full of malt. It smelled like apples and even had a slight apple taste to it – not quite cider like (which as I understand it is a fault if found in beer) but just a hint of sweet apples. A refreshing brew but more suited to summer – Schooner
But for me it was back to the Porter – I was wondering if they poured the right thing when this turned up as it looked just like the stout. Taste wise it was a toned down version, slightly thinner in the mouth and a little bit more tangy rather than malty, although still not hoppy. Also pretty good – Pint.
Last but not least was the Stonemasons Pale Ale. This was interesting visually (if not spectacular taste wise) this had waves of bubbles moving through it, like schools of fish, or like someone had dropped a alta selzer in the bottle and it was creating localised columns of carbonation. These columns would move as you drunk the beer – it was odd – Schooner.
So if you find yourself in the general area (Tooborac is sort of near Puckapunyal) it might be worth popping in to this pub if you are looking for something a bit more interesting that the usual Carlton Draught found in most country pubs.
Long Bow YouTube Clip: I’m think something is askew in Tooborac. Woodcutters and Stonemasons. Sounds like the evil Stonecutter might be involved. May explain why I was drinking pints….