It was a momentous day on Wednesday. It was a very special birthday. That’s right it was the birthday of the dude that sells the copies of the Big Issue at Parliament station. Or at least this is what he claimed as he yelled “It’s my Birthday, help me out” at us as we purposely walked past our heads bowed into the misty rain.
Oh yeah and it was Frewy’s birthday. And that was why myself, Frewy and Pip were walking along Spring Street. We were on our way to Mrs Parmas to join MB, Jord and Imma for a few celebratory beers and a beer or two.
We were running late so when we arrived there were already a collection of empty glasses on the table in front of the CBD based half of our crew. I was looking forward to this. Mrs Parmas produce some seriously good crumbled chicken and more importantly they have a great range of brews. In fact I’d even heard a rumour that they had the 2Brother’s Terminator on tap.
Now the full time range of beers at Mrs Parmas is great (Jord claimed that it had more depth than Beer deluxe which is a controversial statement) but the real interest for me is in the two rotating taps. This is where the truly exciting limited release beers are showcased. I promptly presented myself at the bar and asked ‘What’s on the rotating taps?”
I was a little disappointed when I was told the Terminator actually wasn’t on yet.
I ordered the Saison Noir from Bridge Road. Which led to the bartender going off to play with kegs out the back, eventually she returned and presented with the two beers and told me there is only two beers left in the keg then they would change it over to Terminator. The excitement in my eyes was probably more appropriate for being told that you’ve won a million dollars rather than you have the opportunity to purchase some beer.
The Bridge Road Saison Noir was a fantastic place to start the night. Described as their B2 Bomber (the malt bill) crossed with Chevalier Saison (the yeast) this is, as the name suggests in a Frenchy sort of way a Black Saison (because black is so hot right now). It is an outstanding beer, it has a big malty body, hugely complex with hints of everything you expect from toasted malts like coffee, nuttiness but then it’s all overlayed with the spicy flavours of their Saison. It ends crisp, but then half a second later this interesting tanginess comes through. It’s all quite strange, but in a really exciting interesting way – Jug.
By now we had caught up to the rest of the crew and it was time to head back to the bar. We enquired but they had not sold anymore Saison Noirs, and we were now being told there was only 3 or 4 beers left in the keg, it appeared this was some sort of magical fishes and loaves type beer keg.
We went to our fallback plan. The Cavalier Weizen. Now first things first. Cavalier should not be confused with the Chevalier range from Bridge road. Whilst Bridge Road are one of the mainstays of the Victorian Craft Beer scene and have been around for six years Cavalier are young upstarts that no one had heard about before the microbrewer’s showcase earlier this year, but are very quickly becoming the darlings of the Melbourne beer mafia crew and this beer may explain why.
Now as fallback plans go this was one of the better ones. It’s is a good beer, It is exactly what I expect a Hefeweizen to be. It pours a deep yellow colour, slightly hazy with nice thick pure white head. It has these great agricultural bready smells to it, like wet sour dough bread, which smells better than it sounds. The body is full and silky and the flavours stay with you all the way through the sip. A seriously good example of a traditional European Wheat beer. Definitely Pint worthy
Now two exciting things happened whilst we were drinking the Cavalier Weizen. Firstly a well dressed gentleman from the table next to us walked back to his table holding four goblets of what I surmised was the Bridge Road Saison. I raised my eyebrows and announced. You know what that means don’t you? It’s Terminator time.
Then something truly amazing happened. In a moment akin to the inaugural robots vs wrestling outing we saw MB’s Doppelganger, which surprisingly wasn’t Fernando Alonoso or the dude from the Lynx ad, but rather a scruffy looking fella which we dubbed Nick Gradley.
There was only one way we celebrate a sighting of a doppelganger and that is with a doppelbock, which leads us nicely into the 2Brother’s Terminator which was a Doppelbock that was darker than I expected. It was almost black with just some red tinged sections at the bottom of the glass. It poured with a wispy little head, but a fair amount of lacing down the glass as we drunk it. The overwhelming thought on this was that it tasted like liquid you would get if you took a whole heap of prunes and marinated them in some dark rum and then added brown sugar. It was sweet, slightly sticky, big alcohol monster. Myself and Frewy loved it, we both instantly agreed it was Pint worthy. Jord and MB on the other hand found it a little too much, which just proves you have to be an old, seasonal beer drinker like myself and Frewy and not a pansy girl like MB and Jord to really appreciate a complex beer like this one.
After the bigness of the Terminator, which Frewy did describe as ‘Still big after a Mexican Schnitzel.’ Which made Pip exclaim ‘Oh Man!’ it was time to get a little more gentle. MB headed to the bar and returned with four bottles of Hargreaves Hill Hefeweizen. This was similar to the Cavalier, just a good solid wheat beer, exactly on style and hugely enjoyable. It claimed banana tones which I wasn’t really picking up, but still a great beer all the same – Pint
So all in all a great evening. The most consistently impressive beer related food outing since my birthday back in April. Four great new beers and four winners, topped off by the always impressive Holgate Temptress which MB described as ‘The Best Beer I’ve ever had’ so many he does understand beer afterall
So thankyou Mrs Parmas (even if Frewy and Pip continued to call it Madame Schnitzel’s) for a great night, and Happy 153rd birthday to Frewy.
Long Bow YouTube Clip: Doppelgangers, how good are they?