Orders a Pure Blonde. This is a strange choice, not simply because a Pure Blonde is a beer no right thinking man should drink, but the man in question has wandered into The Courthouse in North Melbourne, a pub that specialises in good quality beer.
The bartender is surprisingly patient (I have it on good authority that a patron who requested Corona the week before was offers a cordial instead) he explains they don’t have Pure Blonde, and tells said patron that the list of available beers are on the board above his head. Patron stares are board confused. Bartender suggest a Wheat beer might be in order. This would have gone well except the bartender he mentioned it was called Haandbryggeriet which seemed to confuse the patron. Patron replies that he would like something stronger than that. The bartender (now I assume taking the piss as this request made no sense) suggests the Mornington Porter. Patron agrees and is poured a Porter.
Patron sits at the bar and starts talking to a random old guy. He sips his beer. He loves it. He asks if it’s like a Guinness, the Bartender starts an ill-advised explanation of stouts versus porters. Patron is not listening, he is starring at his beer. He looks up an asks ‘And this is made in Mornington?’ in a tone that suggests that nothing good has ever come out of Mornington. The bartender nods and wanders away, the patron settles into his beer. That’s until he spots me sitting in the corner, he yells ‘Are you drinking what I’m drinking?” I respond in the affirmative “Do you like it?” he yells back again I reply in the affirmative. He smiles and tell “Yeah it is good isn’t it?”
And that my friends is the power of a great pub, somehow this guy has gone from wanting a Pure Blonde to discovering quality beer like Mornington Porter in less than five minutes. And this is why quality micro brewery beer is going to keep growing and growing, and Pure blonde will become the beer equivalent of white bread or twinkees.
But back to me. I’m in the corner reading a book and quietly having a few beers (I’d started with Bridge Road’s Bier de Garde which you can read about here if you are that way inclined). The beer I’m drinking, as you may have guessed is the Mornington Peninsula Porter which is, as discovered by our friend at the bar a very nice beer. It pours dark, almost opaque with a dense creamy tan coloured head. It has faint coffee smells, there are coffee tastes in there as well particularly in the mid palate, and a nice hoppy aftertaste that lingers on. It’s a tad thin in the body for my liking, and it could be a little more robust. But still a very nice beer – Pint.
It was then onto the last beer of the afternoon which was the Hargreaves Hill Topaz and Amarillo IPA. Now anyone following the narrative of my drinking can see I’m going about this all arse backwards, I’ve started with the sweeter darker beers and now I’ve moved onto the lighter traditionally more refreshing IPA, but I’m living outside the box man, outside the box, just go with it.
The nose on this beer is filled with hoppy fruity flavours, in particular I’d suggest big sweet melon flavours. The taste is very well balanced. It isn’t overly sweet, nor is it too hoppy. Rather it is refreshing and satisfying. It has a fantastic fruity flavour just as you start to swallow, and then the soft but lingering bitterness just flows through again with a faint fruitiness.
This is a seriously nice beer, it’d be perfect for summer. Refreshing yet interesting and complex all at the same time. I’m going to get all crazy again and say – Jug
And a interesting fact. That photo over there à under Drinking Mates is taken at the Courthouse Hotel way back in 1927.