So whilst everyone else was at the Victorian Microbrewers Showcase at Fed Square last Thursday I managed to busy myself with a couple of other beery treats. My night started at my go-to place to meet people before doing anything.
That place is Penny Blue, tucked behind the GPO building, or as I like to think about it near the vortex of the Bourke Street, Swanston Street and Collins Street trams, which means easy for everyone to get to. If you haven’t been to Penny Blue then do yourself a favour and get down there (although not when I’m there as I don’t like crowds) as they have a great selection of (mainly bottled) brews.
So I’ve spent the last week or so over in the West. That big old state famous for beaches, great big holes in the ground and a craft beer scene that us Melbournians thinks comes close to, but doesn’t exceed Melbourne’s. This is mainly because us Melbournians think that the world of good food and drink extends about as far west as Footscray and is made up of laneways tapas bars, coffee shops in former storage cupboards, food trucks and not much else.
Well I have returned from the Western Front with tales to tell. Beer soaked of course and over the course of the next little while (I’ve learnt that putting actual time frames on blog posts just makes me look lazy and unable to hit a deadline when I miss them) you will hear of my trips to many a brewery, from well known names like Little Creatures and Feral to those breweries people in the East have never heard of like Bush Shack and Occy’s.
But what have I learnt from my time over there? Well it’s true Western Australia does have a beer scene that would make a fight with Victoria’s beer scene pretty damn close, except of course why would beer scenes fight, beery people are friendly people. Make Beer not War and all that.
There has been a bit of noise around lately of Little Creatures take over by Kirin, however you might have missed another story kicking about around another ‘little’ brewery looking for some investors.
The Little Brewing Company (TLBC) which is based in Port Macquarie is looking for investors and they have a prospectus which is available for download here. They are best known for the Wicked Elf and Mad Abbott range of beers.
For anyone interested in the business of brewing it’s a good read. Now I’m not going to analyse it from an investment point of view, because, well if you take advice from random strangers on the internet about how to invest money you need your head read, and secondly I’m not a financial advisor, my accounting skills don’t stretch too far past Mr Jones’ year 12 accounting class. But there are a number of interesting statements in the document which are worth mentioning here.
Now I don’t want this blog to turn into the type of thing where I start each post by apologising for not posting more often. I know posts have been a little thin on the ground of late, but I haven’t been drinking many beers because I’ve been sick (tonsillitis on and off for about six or seven weeks now), also I’ve been busy with other projects. ‘Working on other projects’ is what creative people say when they mean ‘I had to do work that actually pays me money’ or ‘I couldn’t be fucked doing anything at all.’
So now that I’ve started this post by saying exactly what I said I wouldn’t do it’s time to tell you about some beers which I drank last night, when I decided I was feeling well enough to actually taste some beer again.
My brother is really quite a nice fella and I was reminded of this over the last week or so when I had a couple of brews that he played a hand in procuring for me.
The first was a beer which has a stupid amount of hype around it and I think it might be that hype which made me a little non plussed. It might have also been that I drank it at half time of the North vs West Coast final and was thus not in a happy mood.
Now I’m not saying that Epic’s Hop Zombie is not a great beer, because it bloody well is I’m just not sure it was the life changing, most amazing beer you’ll ever taste experience that everyone seemed to be telling me it was. Also if you haven’t already got a bottle in the cupboard, don’t bother trying to find one, they were all sold out in about three days. That’s what hype and limited supply does for you.
In my quieter dorkier moments I have been known to don my Gryffindor scarf and enjoy the magical world of Harry Potter and his tales from his time at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Now if you know anything about the magical little scamp you’ll know that he often escaped through a magical tunnel/caught the school bus to the nearby village of Hogsmead. Like all good teenagers when at Hogsmead he would sneak into the local drinking establishments, namely the Three Broomsticks and the Hog’s Head (the latter of course being a great name for a pub as a hogshead is cask of beer).
If you find yourself in Melbourne town in September and you find yourself in a pub or cafe in the inner city you should pick up a copy of GRAM magazine (pictured below)
Why? Becuase I have a review in it. It’s called Portland Brewery, even though it’s actually about the James Squire Brewery at the Portland Hotel rather than a brewery in far western Victoria, although I have been to Portland and it could probably benefit for the having a Brewery.
So pick up the Magazine and read the article, or of course read it here. As an added benefit if you read it on this site you get a bonus joke about Superman III, for some reason they cut it in printed version, although my killer Ghost Dad joke did make it through, which pleased me.
Anyway in summary pick up GRAM it’s awesome, and I promise I might actually write something on this site at some point.
Work drinks are a place fraught with potential disaster for the beer geek set. Thankfully I work in a vaguely enlightened workplace, certainly enlightened enough to still have work drinks. In recent weeks these drinks have been creeping earlier and earlier on Friday (now commencing sometime around 4pm) and have been accompanied by cheese and crackers, which I find very civilised, if not a little wasted on the 22 year olds and their cider-drinking uselessness.
Beer choice is normally pretty good due to a manager who drinks only Little Creatures and a PA who thinks Coopers Pale is a good ‘mainstream’ choice, even though she doesn’t drink it. It all went wrong this week though when said PA was busy and a receptionist was sent to get the beer. She returned with Pure Blondes and Crownies.