Franziskaner Weissebier

Prologue Germany, One of the superpowers of beer. Famous for some purity law, and the world’s best know beer festival. They also have a love of sausages and beer gardens.

One would think therefore that Tipples would be all over this country’s beers. Yet despite my love of beer and a week spent in Berlin doing little more than drinking beer outside and consuming meat products (mind out of the gutter kids) Tipples has been a German-less domain.

That is until now, when we break out a Euro stubby of the easily pronounceable Franziskaner Weissebier

Packaging:  A monk rubbing his stomach whilst drinking a giant stein of beer – how could it get any better? It could be a 500ml stubby, oh look it is.

Appearance: Nice mist in the neck of the bottle as I opened this. Upon pouring into a glass is was cloudy golden colour with a white head which looked a little detergenty, this settled to a wispy swirl on the top of the beer.  

Smell: Agricultural and sweet, with scents of sweet banana  

Taste: Not as sweet as the scent would suggest. Quite gassy at the front of the sip, then a slight bitterness, before the sweet fruit aftertaste.

In conclusion:  A nice beer, easy to drink yet full of flavour, plus a monk with a beard, and a stein, Brilliant       

Ranking:  I’ll have a Pint      

The Long Bow Youtube Clip:  You know the tradition – Euro Beer, Euro Vision. In fact Eurovision will be held in Germany this year (in Dusseldorf). Why? Because everyone’s favourite little German pop princess (well since Nena and her 99 red ballons) won it last year with a song called Satellite and her name Lena…. Check out the amazing accent.

and for you oldtimers…..

Hef (by Burleigh brewing)

Prologue I’ve always been a fan of Survivor. In the past I’ve even run a Survivor Tipping game. I’m also a huge fan of Go! – even if they seem to have an abnormal love of Green Acres, and bury their best show – TMZ during women’s daytime. So now that Survivor is on Go I’m a happy little man.

Now the gimmick of this series (other than Russell and Boston Rob coming back, why Boston Rob doesn’t stay at home with his new born children is anyones guess) is the concept of ‘Redemption Island’ this is like a half way house for the vanquished

I like the concept, I like it so much I stole it. So this is the first of the Redemption posts.

Not many beers in the history of Tipples have been blasted, but Burleigh Brewing is responsible for one of them – the Burleigh Big Head. The world’s most pointless beer

But I believe in second chances, and I’ve heard good things about Burleigh (in particular their Black Giraffe), so I started thinking Bighead might not have been representative of the brand.

So it’s time for their wheat beer – Hef to change my mind.  

Packaging:  There is no consistency between the Burleigh Brewing labels. You would struggle to recognise any of them as brothers. Whereas I hated the Bighead label I like this one. The Mo, big, bold, strong. As we know a love of facial hair = good beer so this bodes well.

Appearance: It is a golden yellow, slightly darker than a traditional wheat beer. It had trails of bubbles and a thin uneven head. It was slightly cloudy, and checking the bottle I could see a nice sludge left in the bottom.       

Smell: Hops, bitter hops & wheat, It’s a smell that is very familiar, like straw on a farm.        

Taste: Very interesting. Citrus in the front of the sip and then unmistakable sweet banana tones in the aftertaste, It feels smooth in the mouth, almost velvety with just a light carbonation and not too much bitterness.

In conclusion:  So much better than I was expecting. A really interesting wheat beer. I love the sweetness in the aftertaste. Redemption is Burleigh brewing’s.  

Ranking:  I’ll have a Pint      

Six Degrees of Norm:

1.    The label has a awesome Mo

2.    As does Lachy Hansen, North Melbourne football and owner of Mow Man lawn mowing, this is interesting but not getting us closer to Norm so let’s go with….

3. As does Tom Selleck

4.    Who was in Three men and a Baby with Ted Danson

5.    Who was in Cheers

6.    Playing Sam Malone who owned the bar at which Norm drunk.   

Hahn White

Prologue  A cacophony of alarm bells and some blinding warning lights should have gone off when I ordered this beer. The reason for this is that the bartender responded to my request of the Hahn White with..

“We don’t have any fresh oranges to put in it, Is that okay?”

I was taken aback, why wouldn’t it be okay? I’ve never really wanted adjuncts put in my beer, no lemons, no lime, no raspberry cordial, occasionally some lemonade (when in Paris) and definitely no oranges.

The second warning sign was when she produced two giant towering glasses from beneath the bar. Everything started to stink of a marketing gimmick. Once she had poured my beers I got the final clue that I was being taken for a ride “That’s $13.40 please”

Packaging:  Stupid glasses are the order of the day if you are in a pub, if you pay $3.30 for a stubby in Dan Murphy’s you get a label that is more marketing gimmick. This is a summer beer, so of course it has a sun on it.   

Appearance: Clear yellow colour with a white head.

Taste: It claims to be ‘a Belgian style white beer made all the more refreshing with subtle orange notes.’  As Frewy (my drinking buddy for this brew) rightfully pointed out if this is a Belgian white beer it’s like Belgium has been replaced with its Disneyland doppelganger which has a ‘I can’t believe it’s not Belgian White beer’ soda fountain for which they sourced this ‘beer’.

This ‘beer’ doesn’t taste like beer at all. It tastes like orange flavoured mineral water. And not even good orange flavoured mineral water, really fake chemical tasting orange mineral water.        

In conclusion:  In the immortal words of Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons. Worse. Beer. Ever    

Ranking:  Nah Mate, Just a Butcher’s     

Matilda Bay – Redback

Prologue: It’s that time of year when a young man is dragged from the couch and into the mean streets of Melbourne. A time when a man is forced to drag himself from shop to shop in search of the elusive perfect Christmas present.

It was in this foul mood that I found myself in the city on Sunday afternoon. Because I’m so fricken Melbourne I was on a Tram. Because it is Melbourne it started raining. I had to leave the tram at my stop. I cowered under the glass tram shelter, but these things are designed for little more than carrying advertising posters and I was still be lashed by the wind and the rain.

Then it started. The hail. I had to make a decision. Dodging trams and traffic I dashed across the road and straight into one of Melbourne’s newest old pub.

Someone had the bright idea of turning the old mail sorting centre into a pub. not a good pub, but a pub none the less. But it was dry and it had beer so I ordered a Redback and settled back onto one of the many many couches to read my book and take refuge from the passing storm.

First expression: Gee this place isn’t busy. I’m the only person here who isn’t feeding their life savings into a pokie.  

Appearance: I pour the beer in glass (which I had to specifically request, which is the sign that this isn’t a beer lover’s pub) It is a golden wheat colour, with only slight carbonation and a little cloud.    

Packaging:  Very simple a dab of red paint in a oval with the word’s Redback Beer – Original Wheat Beer. The original is apt here. This is the beer that really started it all for Matilda Bay, back when they were still based out of Freo (rather than the less glamorous current Dandenong site). Matilda Bay have of course gone on to produce   some very fine brews, including two of my favourites Fat Yak and Big Helga.    

Taste: This beer is very wheaty indeed. It is very easy to drink with little gas and just a slight bitter aftertaste, although this bitterness was fleeting. The taste was familiar. It took me half a glass to work it out. It tastes exactly like Sourdough bread. Maybe a wholemeal sourdough.   

Food suggestion: Once I made the sourdough connection I wanted to dip this beer in some olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  

Drinking Location: Anywhere but the Mail Exchange hotel actually. I was nearing the end of my beer when I examined the change in my pocket and realised that they charged me $8 for the privilege of being their only customer.   

6 degrees of Norm: Where we link every beer back to George Wendt (Norm from Cheers)

1.    I drank this beer at the Mail Exchange Hotel

2.    Which was once frequented by postal workers.

3.    Postal workers not unlike Cliff Clavin

4.    Who sat next to Norm Peterson in Cheers.

5.    Is a number that we won’t be using here.

6.    Is the number of beers in a six pack.

Ranking:  Let’s have a Schooner

The ‘Long Bow’ You Tube clip:  I felt just like Tali under his glass bus shelter wall, complete with running across roads and pouring possibilities into half empty glasses.

Buffalo Wheat Beer

Prologue: Today I put my drinking fate into the hands of a waitress, As she boasted, “Oh we have heaps of boutique beers here.” I said ‘Riddle me this, Find me a beer that is wheaty and good.’ She came back with Buffalo Brewery Wheat Beer.

Appearance: Cloudy like a wheat beer should be, you could see the yeast floating about, so it was all going well at this point.

First Impressions: Like a dude in redgum song hearing the Channel seven chopper I had a flashback, I’d tasted this brewery’s beer before, it was at the little hamlet of Porepunkah, in a restaurant which had a caravan park at the back of it, as all good restaurants do. I remember that the ale I had on that occasion tasted like a mixture of vomit and wet cat, so I didn’t have high hopes.

Appearance: Cloudy like a wheat beer should be, you could see the yeast floating about, so it was all going well at this point.

Taste: Well it didn’t taste like vomit of a wet cat, so that was a good start, it tasted vaguely like beer, but beer that an angry bitter woman had spat in.

Packaging: I think I’ve found the angry woman, and I know why she is angry, it’s because she is as ugly as sin. they have gone for Buxom wench and ended up with busted face.

Drinking Location Suggestion: It’d be nice on a mountain, actually it would taste about the same, but you would be on a mountain, maybe, just maybe you should take a nice beer and head up a mountain for a tipple.

Food suggestion: I had it with a great big porterhouse, with mustard,a and it was alright, unlike a normal wheat beer, this probably isn’t smooth enough for seafood, but you need something a little more game and bigger.

In a word: Vaguely okay
Possible Slogans:
Drink it blindfolded

Ranking: Maybe just a pot
6 degrees of Norm:
Where we link every beer back to Norm from Cheers (George Wendt) in 6 easy steps.
1. The buffalo Brewery, has, you know has Buffalo in the name.
2. Neneh Cherry liked to hang on a Buffalo Stance,
3. Nenah was a guest on an episode of The Young Ones
4. As was Robbie Coltrane
5. Who was in an Episode of Frasier, With Kelsey Grammer
6. Who was in Cheers, siting at the same bar as Norm.

Bridge Road Bavarian Wheat Beer

Prologue: It was Friday Lunchtime, and Friday afternoon means it is time to head to one of those gastro pubs that ten years ago was a shithole that sold nothing but Carlton draught, VB and Invalid Ale and was frequented by dock workers. As this it now the late 20 zeros it now has some new carpets and is frequented by advertising wankers who arrive in a Audi four wheels drive and spend the first ten minutes they were there playing with their balckberrys and ignoring the waitress.
First Impressions: What’s this? A pretentious gastro pub that serves beer in a standard pot glass, that makes no sense. Where is the oversized stemmed glass with a logo on it and a gold rim?
Appearance: Cloudy like a wheat beer should be, a pale yellow, even a little dull

Taste: This was a true wheat beer, it genuinely tasted like wheat, it had that slight tangy aftertaste that it should have had.
Packaging: It came in a glass, as all good beer should. The internet sourced picture of the bottle tells me that it’s a little crap actually, sure I like the Bavarian font and the griffin like creature but I fucking hate that logo. I get it that bridge road is in fact not from Richmond as I first expected, but rather from Beechworth and Ned Kelly spent some time hanging around there, but you know that’s no reason to put him on a beer label, and why the fuck is he topless? This is the equivalent of a topless Carl Williams on some beer label and no one needs to see that.
Drinking Location Suggestion: Maybe you could go up to the Beechworth Bakery and drink it there, except you wouldn’t because the Beechworth bakery is the most overrated bakery in Victoria, and possibly anywhere in the world.
Food suggestion: I had it with a some lovely squid, and then black pudding, and some port crackling, and fuck it worked well, so you know do that.
In a word: IDies ist ein großer Bier – Ja (if you can work that out then, fuck off man Juden töten Nazi-Arschloch, or alternatively, Hi Shaun, nice to see you)
Possible Slogans: Bridge Road Bavarian Wheat Beer, it’s a mouthful
6 degrees of Norm: Where we link every beer back to Norm from Cheers (George Wendt) in 6 easy steps.
1. At the Bridge Road Brewery in Beechworth they make Pizzas,
2. Just like they did in the Pizza Shop of Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Shop, which starred Traylor Howard
3. Who was in Me, Myself and Irene, with Jim Carrey
4. Who was in Man on the Moon with Danny De Vito
5. Who is the husband of Rhea Pearlman
6. Who was in Cheers, and often served beer to Norm.  I’ll have a Pint Thanks  

Ranking: I’ll have a Pint thanks

Baron’s Lemon Myrtle Witbier

Prologue: It had been a long week of being shafted by ‘The Man’. The man in question bears a striking resemblance to Scooby Doo villain, which makes me  deeply suspicious that he hates us meddling kids.

Anyway the point is it had been a long week so myself, Frewy, MB and Jords decided to hit the crappiest, yet best little pub in South Melbourne, and drown our troubles with a little of the amber fluid.

Because this pub is crappy (yet wonderful) it had a poor selection of Tipple worthy beers. However as it is also a backpackers pub it did have the beer equivalent of the tacky Australian Souvenir – Baron Brewing Australian Native beer range.

Appearance: This thing is very very yellow, almost Lemsip unnatural yellow.

Flavour: The first thing that strikes you in this beer is the Lemon. Is it subtle? Well it strikes you in the sort of way that a smacked out junky strikes you in a back alley and steals you wallet.

Jords described this as ‘The closest thing you could get to Seafood in a beer (this lead to a tangent about a Geelong brewing company who puts mussels in their beer, which sounding disgusting.) Frewy was a little less complimentary telling us that underneath the lemon, this was actually a reasonably ordinary homebrew.

Packaging: Packaging was awesome. It looked classy and clever, so it was out of place in the crappy, yet brilliant pub. The labels on this had a nice rough feel to it.

Food Suggestions: Seafood is the obvious choice, preferably on a decking overlooking the ocean, scallops would be nice, or lobster or possibly lobster stuffed with scallops.

Possible Slogan:
‘Get a Tingle on your Tongue.’

Scores: Let’s have a Schooner

We also tried their Black Wattle beer, check back Monday for that review.

Gage Roads – New World Wheat Beer

Prologue: It’s that one day of the year where is celebrate all things American, like apple pie, torturing people and being fat and obnoxious. So I thought what better way to celebrate American Independence Day than with a great American Brew. But then we remembered American Beer taste like a mixture of vomit and urine. So instead we went to a brew from Gage Road. Now they were the brewing company that produced all those shit ads of bottles that looked like arses a couple of years ago but I was willing to give them a chance. Anyway the point is that a good old Australian company produces a beer with an American Flag on it, and that’s good enough for us for the 4th of July.
Appearance: Light, golden, bubbly, like San Francisco on a Saturday Night. So, kinda gay (I mean that in a happy way).

Flavour: Or possibly flavor being Yank day. Very Sparkly, almost Champagneisk, doesn’t taste at all like a Wheat beer, tastes more like it’s made from bubbles. (actual bubbles not Michael Jackson’s pet chimp)

Packaging: So American I wanted to go out a bash an Arab, hate a black guy and own a gun.

Food Suggestions: A sloppy joe, Peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and Buffalo Wings with ranch dressing, so the entire menu of TGI Fridays

Possible Slogan:
Drink this or we will invade your country and kill your family

Ranking: Maybe just a Pot.