Last Friday your fearless reporter (you can think of me as a modern day, non redheaded, dogless Tintin) set forth for the far flung suburb of Moorabbin.
Now anyone who had the pleasure of spending time with me would have heard me claim that my entire life happens in what I like to call ‘The Triangle’ – the triangle is bound by North Melbourne (where I live), South Melbourne (Where I work) and Richmond. In my more pretentious (drunk) moments I’ve been known to tell people that I feel uncomfortable outside the triangle, claim to not know where anything is outside the triangle, and various other spurious claims that no doubt piss everyone off.
Of course like most things I say this theory is complete rubbish. I grew up in the ‘burbs – in the beautiful seaside hamlet of Parkdale and then Aspendale, and I’ve been to the western suburbs twice, count them twice in the last month (stay tuned for a suitably beer soaked tale from my trip to Seddon). But when we hatched the plan to go to Moorabbin to visit 2Brothers it was still a journey akin to Columbus sailing for the new world.
If you are regular reader (all two of you) you know I’m a big fan of 2Brothers brews, and I’m willing to tell all and sundry of this love. Well it seems the boys at 2 Brothers where listening and they were kind enough to invite me down to the brewery to try a few brews, have a chat and experience the vibe.
But the problem was the brewery is in the back streets of the industrial area of Moorabbin, well outside the triangle. If I was going undertake this expedition I would need help. I enlisted the help of Frewy, who I always thought bore a striking resemblance to Uncle Travelling Matt from the Fraggles and Jordan, who I shall be calling Dora the Explorer for no better reason than I can’t think of any other female explorers.
Like a modern day Charles Lindbergh I’d spent Friday morning plotting a course, checking and re-checking the schedule. We were to leave a 5.33pm, catch the trambulator to Spencer Street station, and then a train, the 5.48pm to Frankston, alighting at Bentleigh.
By 5.34pm we were running late. Jordan had to send another email, we missed the trambulator and thus our train. There was only one thing for it, by 6.01pm we were seated a Loco-bar in the Spencer Street station having a quick Fat Yak as we now had ten minutes to waste before the train arrived.
Yak downed we headed to the train, only to be waylaid by a whistling hippy backpacker far to enamoured with the pictures of the native animals on strange aussie coins to put them in the ticket machine, and then Jordan failing to grasp the fundamentals of the ticket gates (she had a similar problem with every train we ever get on when overseas, you’d think I would have learnt by now to make her go through first, rather than me going through, walking purposefully towards the platform, and then turning around and thinking ‘where did Jordan go.’ She gets angry when this happens, I claim it’s not my fault .)
But we made it into the train with seconds to spare and settled in for what I was claiming was my first Melbourne train journey in a little over four years. Not sure what everyone whinges about. It was very pleasant, the late afternoon sun, no crowds, significantly faster than a trambulator.
Off at Bentleigh and a quick Taxi ride later and we were walking through the front doors of the 2Brothers brewery.
It’s an unassuming little building from the front, but surprisingly caverness inside. To one side are the beer tanks, spray painted with the names of New York City neighbourhoods, AJ later explained that the equipment was bought second hand from the now defunct Time Square Brewery. The story goes that the brewery building was bought by the Disney corporation, and they were going to sell the tanks for scrap metal until the 2Brothers boys saved them and shipped them down under. It would seem that the overgrown mouse is not a fan of beer (or beards I understand it, which makes sense since having one leds to the other.)
After a quick chat to AJ (our inviter and a very nice man, and a man I will be thinking of a Suburban Mick) we grabbed three pots of Chief and pulled up some chairs in the corner, next to a pallet of Gypsy (their pear cider which is quite nice, but won’t be review in this here beer blog), and settled in for the night.
Frewy and the Crowd
I examined the room, started taking notes with my eyes (and my iphone, but my eyes sounds more poetic). It was a diverse crowd, some people straight from the factory floors that surround this place, couple of kids playing pool, a birthday with three generations, and lots and lots of suburban guys in t-shirts. It was a friendly little vibe though, like everyone had discovered a secret oasis of beer and they were pleased you had too.
But it was time to get serious, we were meant to be exploring unchartered waters. I sent Uncle Travelling Matt back to the bar. Meanwhile Dora the Explorer headed to the bathroom and returned with stories of the most powerful hand driers this side of Tullamarine airport. (Have you ever experienced those Dyson hand driers at the airport, my god it’s like your hands a sky diving they are that powerful)
Frewy returned from the bar with plundered tressures, three pots of Guv’nor. This was the last minute addition to the Local taphouse’s Spectapular, it was a very limited run, and the stuff we bought was the ‘leftovers’ that have been bottled. It’s possibly the first English Barley Wine Ale I’ve ever tasted.
The beer is an amber colour, with just a slight reddish tinge to it. It smells like toffee, and had next to no carbonation. Just by looking at this you could tell it was strong. This beer is what I like to think of as a desert beer, in fact it reminded me a lot of a tokay or muscat desert wine. It was sweet, almost sticky, with just a slight hoppy aftertaste to remind you that you were drinking beer not hard liquor.
This is a beer perfectly suited to a late night on a big leather couch in the country, and a 10% alcohol it’ll warm your soul, in fact over the course of the pot Frewy labelled it falling over beer and then singing beer, this led to him singing the Pick-a-Part jingle to me over and over again, and a fight about whether the bass line was a guy going ‘pick-apart, pick-apart, pick-a-part over and over again or not. Frewy thought so, I thought the jingle was backing vocals free.
In recovery mode we moved something gentler – Taxi.
After that the journey of discovery continued – Growler, and American Dark ale. Now I had drunk this before, but never reviewed it.
Both Frewy and Jord claimed they could taste iced coffee flavours. I was struggling to taste anything as I’d just finished eating a hot salami pizza and my taste buds were shot. But I persisted and claimed I could sense a smoky aftertaste, but then again that might have been the smoke from the pizza oven.
The Growler looks like it should be a winter ale, it pours dark, with a thin head, a true ale. The thing is it isn’t wintery though. It actually quite refreshing, and easy to drink. I would happily drink it on a hot summer day. I’d also drink it on a winter day, but really that’s just because it’s a great beer.
So there it was our trip to the suburbs. If you ever find yourself in the southern suburbs on a Thursday or Friday night, you could do much worse than taking a little detour to Joyner Street Moorabbin and visiting the 2 Brothers crew, you’ll be sure to have a couple of good brews, and it’s a pleasure to drink amongst the crates of cider with some like minded beer lovers.
Oh and don’t be one of those inner city wankers and whinge about the lack of public transport, it’s really not that hard, plus you get to meet the elite of the Melbourne public, like a chick we saw on the way home wearing pink hotpants and matching knee high furry pink boots, heading to church I think.
Gov’nor: I’ll have a Pint thanks
Growler: I’ll have a Pint thanks
And just to settle the argument here’s the Pick-a-part ad. Seems we were both right.