So you may remember back in the day my tale of a drunken evening at Beer Deluxe with one of the Back of the Ferry crew One of the discussion topics that night was that their Blog had just be named Blog of the month on Crafty Pint.
Fast forward a couple of months and it was this here beer soaked tome which had ‘won’ the accolade for June. That’s right, if you haven’t heard you are reading an award winning blog.
Back of the Ferry played a part in this accolade so it was obvious to me that I owed them a beer. As always I wanted to continue the Sydneysider’s education in Victorian Microbrews. And when I think Victorian Microbreweries I think Mrs Parmas. You can guarantee that at any point they will have six or so great Vic beers on tap and another two speciality, limited edition beers on the rotating tap line-up (Not to mention a whole bunch of stuff in bottles)
There is a lot to get through, so enough set-up and let’s look at the four brews that we tasted over the course of the night.
First up was the Mornington Brown. As you know I love a dark beer, and it was about 4 degrees outside so it seemed an apt place to start. Combine that with the fact that Mornington Peninsula brewery consistently produce great beer and it was a safe bet that this would be good.
It was a dark brown colour, without much carbonation. It had lovely sweet chocolate notes through it. There wasn’t much Hop character, rather than being bitter, the hops really just removed the sweetness, meaning it was a beautifully balanced, very drinkable beer. Pint
Next up we moved to one of the speciality taps for the Otway Wild Hop Ale. It sounded exotic, but overall it was a little bit of a disappointment, the name suggests a wild crazy, out there hoppy beer, but what we got was just a little bland. Not a bad beer, not undrinkable but any stretch of the imagination, just not as interesting as I hoped. Schooner.
It was time to head back into the winter warmers. Next up the Hatlifter Stout from Grand Ridge, another brewery which is remarkably consistent in their production of great beers. Being a stout this was a black beer with a wispy off white head. It had subtle chocolate tones and a hint of coffee. It was quite full in body and packed with malts, There is not too much bitterness in the aftertaste, which means this is a great beer for a cold night . Pint
The last beer we will talk about today is called Doss Blockos by the East 9th Brewery. Now calling this a beer is generous. First a foremost it is a marketing concept, the beer and the flavour (or lack thereof) found within is clearly a secondary concern.
And by gingo it’s a good marketing concept. The back story is this: Doss Blockos (actually is Dos Blockos but I’m guessing there might be copyright issues) was a building, on East 9th street in New York city where a whole bunch of squatters were living from 1992-1999. This is all true you can read about it here of Wikipedia (because everything on Wikipedia is true).
Where the story gets a little less believable. East 9th Brewing Company (based in
New York Prahan) claim that some of these squatters brewed beer, and that they have replicated this recipe and released in commercially, because that’s how you stick it to the man, but taking products from the homeless and charging yuppie hipsters for it.
They even continue this Derelicte design philosophy through the packing. This beer comes in their own brown paper bags (although within the brown paper is a great modern art label, nicely coloured and embossed and ready to appeal to the fashion conscious).
This marketing concept is continued online, in the viral world, because viral is where it’s at man. (although I note this video has all of 16 views, so it might not be where it’s at) I think this video speaks for itself. These guys are just too cool for school, and of course no mention of the actual beer.
But what of the beer? Ordinary is how I’d describe it. I’m sure if you were a squatter and you were brewing with whatever you could find then this would be impressive, but for a modern day brewery, it’s pretty standard, bland pale lager. Pot.
Of course these guys aren’t trying to appeal to beer aficionados, we want pesky things like quality ingredients, and flavour. As I said the marketing concept is brilliants, so I expect to see people in skinny jeans and floppy haircuts drinking this sitting on their upturned milk crates in the Melbourne laneway bar within weeks (I also expect it’ll be so hot right now for about six months before it goes mainstream and dies a quick death).
But I can’t help thinking they stole the idea from somewhere: