Zombie Frangelics

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.

Continue reading

Coffee and Beer

I was listening to Brews News Radio last week and the professor likened the craft beer industry to coffee. I have no direct quote because I can’t be bothered listening to the whole hour again to find it but the concept was this….

15 years ago everyone was happy with a can of International Roast coffee, but nowadays if your workplace doesn’t have an espresso machine you are likely to riot.  Back in the 80’s if you told people that in the near future they would happily pay $4 for a coffee everyday they would call you crazy.

And there is something for everyone. Nescafe may still be in the cupboards and there are coffee snobs doing cupping sessions (which sounds pseudo sexual if you ask me), but there is also everything in between. Cafes are just as prevalent in suburban shopping malls as they are in city laneways filled with ironic milk crates.

Imagine if you will the beer scene in 15 years, there will still be the Carlton Draught at one end and the Brewdog Toyko 18.2 at the other, but in between is where the excitement is. Imagine being able to walk into any pub in any suburb and find good quality craft beer available, the same way you can get a decent cup of coffee almost anywhere now.

Why all this talk of java though? Well today we are tasting two coffee-infused beers. The first is Mountain Goat’s collaboration with coffee roasters Seven Seeds, the Seedy Goat IPA, which is part of the ‘Rare Breed’ range of limited edition brews. Now first thing you need to understand is it’s not meant to taste like coffee.

And it doesn’t, rather it tastes like a slightly strange IPA. The coffee is meant to be imparting bitterness but not really taste, meaning that it’s doing the job of some of the hops. It’s an interesting beer, amber with a wispy head, scents of tropical fruits and a definite and familiar hop aftertaste, but just before those hops is an unfamiliar, un-beer like tang.

It’s a good beer and an interesting study in what can be done, but Mountain Goat make better IPA’s, both their regular one and the Double IPA, and there are better Coffee IPA’s out there, namely Mikkeller’s Koppi IPA .  Still worth a Pint though.

The second beer is one that is 100% meant to taste like coffee; it’s Burleigh Brewing’s collaboration with coffee roasters Zarraffa’s Coffee, the Black Giraffe, part of their ‘Bit on the Side’ range of limited edition brews. It is a black lager, or Schwarzbier for you German speakers out there.

This poured black with a creamy crema coloured head. It smelled of coffee, not burnt coffee like you get with many stouts, but rather sweet latte coffee.  It’s also an unusual taste; coffee, then fruits, then coffee again and then it melts away to a lingering aftertaste more like a coffee liquer or possibly an iced coffee Big M.

This is a seriously good beer, all the complexity you would expect from a stout but as easy to drink and refreshing as a lager. A new favourite – Jug.  

Long Bow Youtube clip: It might be possible to get decent cup of coffee in Melbourne, but it’s a bit tougher in the Mallee.  ‘A Decent Cup of Coffee’ by Wedding Parties Anything (with one of the later line-ups).

Matilda Bay Longshot

Prologue:  The guys at Matilda bay have answered the question that no one had thought to ask. What if we tried to combine coffee and beer? Alternatively you could see this as one of the smartest marketing ideas of recent times. If there is two thing Melbourians love (Longshot comes out of Melbourne, not Perth as a lot of people will tell you) it’s coffee and beer so why not combine them into one.

I’m a Melbourian, I like Coffee, and I love beer, and I could quite easily be called a beer wanker, so not surprisingly this appeals to me.

First Impressions: As I opened the bottle I wondered where the satisfying ‘Hiss’ was.

Appearance: There is absolutely no carbonation in this. Ales are not meant to be as carbonated as lagers, but this wasn’t ‘lightly carbonated’ it was ‘decarbonated’, there was only a single file line of bubbles on the edge of glass and no head what soever. Oh and it was dark, like Coffee.

Taste: This beer is almost sweet, It genuinely tastes like coffee and beer. Almost like you asked you local barrista to make you a long, long black and then drank it with no sugar. It’s nice as a gimmick , but you would struggle to drink more than a stubby of this though.

Packaging: There is nothing fussy here. I assume the hessian look is meant to evoke thoughts of coffee beans being hand picked on the slopes of Ethopia. the O looking like a coffee bean is very clever in a way that is appreciated by the inner city hipsters who this is aimed out.I note it claims it’s a ‘Rich and Creamy’ ale, personally I don’t see it, falvourful yes, but creamy, no.

Food suggestion: There is something about this beer that makes me want to pour a little over a scoop of ice cream. I fact I’m going to try it now. That’s not bad, it needs to be a little sweeter to be a true ice cream topping. Although maybe, if you added some honey. That is good, wow I feel like the dude with the beard and the hat off masterchef.

6 degrees of Norm:

This week we have a special edition. to acknowledge the coffee we are actually going to play – 6 degrees of Gunther. the dude that made the coffee on Friends.

Where we link every beer back to Norm from Cheers (George Wendt) Gunter from Friends (James Michael Tyler) in 6 easy steps.
1. Long Shot is brewed at The Garage in Dandenong
2. Which was home town of Gabriella Climi
3. Who’s song “Sweet about me’ was in an episode of Lipstick Jungle
4.Which stars Brooke Shields
5. With was in an episode of Friends with Jennifer Aniston
6. Who was in Friends, and was loved by Gunter.

Ranking: Maybe Just a Pot