So Good Beer Week is over for another year and I’m now currently in my detox phase which I imagine might last a good while. Many have called this the ‘coming of age’ of the Australian beer scene and you won’t hear any disagreement from me. I can only imagine how big next year’s event is likely to be.
I understand you haven’t heard from me for a while, the last daily report was last Wednesday. But fear not I didn’t end up in a gutter somewhere, the truth was Thursday was a very quiet day, as I was not feeling the best I did a couple of beers at the Rainbow and that was about it. I can tell you however that the Thirsty Crow Vanilla Stout that I had was absolutely stunning. It poured jet black with little head, smelled of vanilla and tasted of the same. It was the perfect dessert beer, in fact it made me instantly want to go out and find some churros and chocolate dipping sauce to drink it with. Well actually, realizing I wasn’t going to top it I just went home, but still a Jug worthy beer.
If Thursday was quiet Friday was anything but and was the best day of GBW for me. I won’t tell you much except to say I did the two most underrated GBW events out there, the first was the Hair of the Dog breakfast which was great not so much for the beers, but rather for the atmosphere and the ability to meet so many great brewers at the same time. Our table had 4 Hearts, Bacchus, Murrays and Moylans on it, not a bad line-up in anyone’s book.
Next up was the AIBA tasting. Now from what I understand this is all the leftover beer from the tastings for the Australian International Beer Awards. All up 500 beers, everything from XXXX Gold to Dogfish Head, from Bogota Brewing Company to Samuel Adams’ Utopias, which is a $150 a bottle, 27% monster and I can tell you is absolutely outstanding. I know as I went back for a second and third tasting just to make sure. This event is the best beer education you could ever get.
Saturday was a day of collaboration brews for me. It started at The Great Northern with a beer they are calling the Fat Brother, which was the AIBA collaboration brew by two of my most admired brewers 2 Brothers and Feral. It was a nice beer, not ground breaking, but nice. It’s a brown ale and probably best described as a hopped up version of 2Brother’s Growler. And if the Growler is an 80 out of 100 then the Fat Brother is about an 83, a good beer but I expected better. Pint.
I was lucky enough to end the week at a wedding reception that was being held at Mountain Goat on Saturday night and on tap was the Abbotsford Collaboration between Mountain Goat, Moondog and Matilda Bay/CUB, which is a very good imperial stout, dark, hearty, creamy and which a big alcohol rummy kick to it. Pint
All in all I had a great week, I tried a huge amount of beers, most of which have not been seen in Victoria before. GABS was a great way to kick off the week, but also probably the hardest event of the week, with big crowds and long queues, the rest of the time was relaxed and easy, like a week-long drinking session with friends and amazing beers.
And the biggest surprise for me, I started to move away from IPAs which is the usual choice of this beer wanker, and more towards either sweet stouts and porters, or (and I wouldn’t have picked this at the start of the week) sour beers like Wig and Pen’s Sour Blonde, Feral’s Watermelon Warhead and Moondogs Mullet series. It is truly exciting times for craft beer in Australia.