Cheeky Monkey

The Travelling Monk and the View

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.

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Holgate Temptress & Mildura Choc Hops

Prologue I’m a firm believer in beers for all occasions. Because I’m a very client focussed, web 6.7 type of person I like to give back to my readers. In this spirit I found you a beer for Christmas so that you could make it through those long boring hours with your relatives. And becuase I’m super nice I’ve found you not one but two Easter Beers.

Easter time, the world’s most boring holiday. If you live in Melbourne this holiday is made even worse by the Good Friday appeal, where you have to put up with John Deeks interviewing with sick kids (they are sick John, for Christs sake leave them the fuck alone) and Home & Away stars butchering the names of Melbourne suburbs. “Fannie from Packing Ham would like to pledge $25, but she’ll double it if I read it out of TV so everyone knows that she’s such a giving person.”

Oh and it doesn’t get any better later in the weekend, particularly this year as it rolls into Anzac day so you’ll have to put up with those god awful McDonald’s ads where the friendly staff give the old digger a free cup of coffee. The old guy fought for this country, and the best you can do is a luke warm tasteless black liquid in a paper cup, How about honouring him properly, and get a real job, like joining the army or something, or at the very least get a haircut you hippy.

And then there is the ‘traditional’ ANZAC day clash between Essendon and Collingwood. Bruce McAvaney will remind us a thousand times that this game of football is a integral part of the day, and liken the battle of 36 men paid hundreds of thousands of dollars each chasing a ball around for two hours to a nightmarish military campaign that lasted for eight months where you regularly had to dodge bullets, live in muddy disease ridden trenches and 130,784 people died.

There are only two possible ways to make it through this weekend:

  1. Flee Melbourne. (which is what I will be doing/have done) Search for somewhere where they don’t do care if you ‘give that they may grow’ couldn’t care less about the AFL and don’t know who Bruce is.    
  2. Failing this, Drink Beer

If you choose option two, you should choose something appropriate though. Nothing says Easter like chocolate so my thoughts turned to Chocolate beers. Instantly I went out a grabbed what is reported to be Australia’s best chocolate porter – Holgate Temptress, and becuase I like a bit of competition I’ll pit it against the ‘made specially for Easter’ beer – Choc Hops by Mildura Brewery.

Packaging:  I love the Holgate Bull. But I hate this label. It has a strange stained glass effect to it which cuts up the label in strange way with black lines. And then there is the choice of colours, green, yellow and orange don’t say chocolate to me. I know it’s clichéd but I would prefer browns or purples.

The Choc Hops is a study in packaging brilliance. They know this beer will be given to Dads who don’t like Easter Eggs and therefore they have packaged it up in a nice two pack, with black and gold everywhere – all in all classy, and gift worthy.  

Appearance: A good porter or stout almost looks like a great espresso coffee. It will be a deep black colour, topped with a creamy brown head, which should resemble the crema on a well made coffee. Both the Choc Hops and the Temptress is a good looking porter/stouts.   

Smell: The Temptress smells very strong. Chocolate and coffee tones, but also alcohol. In fact it  reminds me of Kahlua liquer. The smell from the Choc Hops is more faint, but with definate coffee tones.

Taste: The Temptress is surprisingly gassy in the mouth, at least until you work your way into the glass. Following the gas is the hop bitterness, but this is fleeting and then there is an bittersweet aftertaste of dark chocolate.

I think the Choc Hops has a slightly fruiter taste (and certinaly more fruit than when I had it at the Microbrewers showcase) The fruit is in the front of the sip, but there is still powdered chocolate in the aftertaste. It’s not a highly carbonated as the Temptress and it quite a luxurious brew.

In conclusion:  The Temptress isnot as luxurious as the Choc Hops or as sweet as sometime like Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, there are a few too many hops for that, having said that it’s that slight bitterness is what makes it so drinkable and refreshing. The Choc Hops is less sessionable, and more gimmicky. They are both great beers but I think I prefer the Holgate Temptress.

So instead of giving everyone chocolate this Easter, why not give them beer? They will feel a lot better after drinking either of these than eating a mountain of chocolate. Probably not great for the kiddies though.        

Ranking: 

Holgate Temptress: A Jug Please     

Mildura Choc Hops: I’ll have a Pint Thanks