In the past I’ve been known to claim that all stories were better if they had a monkey in them. Well I’m happy to say this one must be a corker, because it’s all about Cheeky Monkey Brewery located about half way between Dunsborough and Margaret River (the town not the region).
It’s a young brewery, just seven or so months old and I can tell you they ain’t doing things by halves (it’s not the WA way). The brewery is big, even by WA proportions, and to this Melbourne boy who is more used to bars that are made up of seven milk crates and three of nana’s old vinyl kitchen chairs in a converted space above an accountants office it seemed positively daunting.
But I’m happy to say that although the size (I’m going to take a guess and say you could fit about 300-400 people easily) was daunting, the bar staff’s friendliness made us feel right at home. He was happy to chat to us at length about the brewery and beers on offer and in turn we discussed the Melbourne beer scene.
But enough of my prattling on, time to discuss some brews. There were just four beers on offer, so between us, myself and Jord managed to taste them all before continuing our journey.
Oh and I should mention that the brewer, Jared ‘haughty ankles’ Proudfoot (I doubt that’s his nickname, but it should be) learnt in brewing trade at Brewdog in Scotland, so he should know what he’s doing. Also how’s the upgrade from bleak Scotland to sunny Margaret River?
Travelling Monk – A mid strength red ale (it reminded me a lot of the Retro Rocket by Murrays) and is a very nice brew, hopped to within an inch of its life which leaves a nice lingering aftertaste, in fact I’m told it’s dry hopped, which is probably a good strategy for adding interest to a mid-strength brew. Having said that the body is surprisingly full and smooth – Pint
Old Reliable Pale Ale; Well named as it is a reliable beer, not stand out brilliant but
about as good as it gets for a pale ale – hops are a little resiny/piney more in keeping with the American style, which is unusual in Australia as we keen to stray more towards the citrus pales, but very enjoyable none the less – Pint
Southern Wailer Chocolate Stout – if it didn’t have it in the title I wouldn’t know it was a chocolate stout, I think they need to dial up the chocolate as it tastes like a run of the mill stout to me. Toasted malt scents fill the nose, the mouthfeel is smooth, but dies away quickly – good but not great– Schooner
If you are looking for a complex beer wanker beer I would go with their Belgian IPA, which combined all the Belgiany yeast flavours with a nice hop kick. I’ve actually tasted it before at the Great Northern but I have to say this is a beer that is either better fresh, or alternatively they have got a lot better at making it, because at the brewery six months after having it at the Great Northern it was significantly better. That just goes to show beers and/or palates change and you shouldn’t dismiss things after just one taste.
Long Bow YouTube Clip: I’d like to think they sing this every morning in the brewery