Sunday, 16 October 2016

Favourite New (to me) Beer - September 2016

Every time I sit down and go through Untappd, looking at the new beers I've been lucky enough to try I get reminded of how good the craft beer scene is in Brisbane. Literally a day doesn't go by where there isn't something happening. And event here, a new beer launch there, tap take overs, new bars opening, good beer is everywhere in Brisbane and it's just getting better.

Favourite new beer of the month for September 2016 for me was Boatrocker's Coffee Ramjet. I've seen this pop up on social media a lot and to be lucky enough to find a bottle up here was very exciting. Lots of dark chocolate and roasty flavours, with big coffee and whiskey notes towards the end. Thick mouthfeel made this a joy to sit and sip.

Oskar Blues - Ten Fidy was also an excellent beer. I've seen this one a lot on social media too, When I learned Oskar Blues beers were coming to Australia I knew I had to find them, and this one did not disappoint. I also learned it's called Ten Fidy because it's 10.5% alcohol, haha.

Brewtal Brewers - Double Kick is a local Brisbane beer. Everything I've had from Brewtal Brewers is smashing and the Double Kick was the same. Hoppy, bitter, piney, it was everything you'd expect from a double IPA.

Brouhaha Brewery - Finger Lime IPA, had this on tap at Beer InCider this year and it was delicious. The sweet tart flavour of the finger lime mixed perfectly with their smashing IPA. The good thing about Brouhaha is that they nearly always have a fruit IPA available, To me, fruit and IPA work so well.

Well that's about it for September. October is going to be an awesome month with a ton of great events coming up. Can't wait.

David (BeerFoodBrisbane)

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Oktoberfest at Newstead Brewing Co

Newstead Brewing Co is one of my favourite breweries. With a great core range of beers, small batch beers always on tap and selection of guest taps you can always find something nice to drink. So when I learned that they were doing an Oktoberfest event this year I just had to be there.

And just like everything Newstead does, it did not disappoint.

Gotta love that take home stein glass.

Starting with the beer, there were two beers brewed by Newstead specifically for Oktoberfest. Kaiser Sauer is a mouth puckering sour ale, and Kaiser Schwein a very smoky and rich rauchbier with interesting flavours all the way through. I tried these beers first and second, which was probably not the wisest decision but I wanted to give them a go before the days festivities took the best of my taste-buds (and sensibilities).


They also put a couple of  Weihenstephaner beers on tap, the Pils and the Hefe that always go down a treat. As well as Croft Brewing Co's Quick Draw which is a smoked helles that I hadn't had before. The Newstead rauchbier was intense with the smoky flavours while the helles was much more subtle (but equally as tasty).

As far as food went, we ate like kings and there is absolutely no chance that anyone would have left hungry. From the bread and pretzels on the table when we got there, to the continuous amounts of meat and sides that kept coming out. Highlights for me were the selection of sausages (that cheese kransky was amazing), and the pork schnitzel.

Musical entertainment was provided by these fellows who did a great job in getting the crowed into the Oktoberfest spirit. There were chicken dances, horn blowing contests, and a whole lot of fun.

Tickets were just over $80 and that included all the food that came out, four refills of the stein glass, the live entertainment and you got to take the glass home at the end of the day too. It's great when you can go out to an event and not have to worry about money. There should be more events like that.

I sit here feeling a little tender but all in all Oktoberfest at Newstead Brewing Co was an great day and one I'd recommend to anyone. The beers were excellent, the food was awesome, the place was alive and everyone was having an amazing time. 

Thank you for reading, and as always, drink good beer.

David (BeerFoodBrisbane)

Monday, 19 September 2016

Beer InCider 2016

Another weekend and another beer event/festival has come and gone. This weekend it was the Beer InCider Experience. This is the third time the annual festival has been on and it seems like it's getting better as each year goes by. The number of food and drink vendors increases each year, the selection of entertainment gets better and better and everything else around it improves.

This years festival was on a Friday/Saturday (September 16th and 17th). I went along on the Saturday and got there around opening time with RPM Beer. We had a bit of a walk around and a chat to some vendors before sitting at a table close (but not too close) to the main stage. All the tables with umbrellas were taken but there was cloud cover every so often and the event organisers supplied sun cream.

First beer of the festival was a Pirate Life Golden Era Golden Ale

A bit later on other people we knew turned up and we had a table of people coming and going as they went to stalls to get more refreshments and food. It was an awesome vibe, friendly people everywhere. But you often get that at good beer festivals.

Brouhaha Brewery are on fire these days.

The beer and cider selection at Beer InCider seems to grow each year, and this year was no exception. With over 40 different companies bringing their beverages to the event there was something for everyone. Top picks for me were the Finger Lime IPA by Brouhaha, the Hop, Skip, Jump IPA by Aether Brewing Company and the Milk and Two Pineapples by Brewcult/Newstead. Brewski had New Zealand IPA tent setup which was a pretty awesome idea.

For those that don't like beer (or can't drink it), there was a huge selection of ciders, mead, and an espresso martini stall as well. It may have been more beer focused during the first year but it's really an event for everyone now.

Mac n cheese, chips and chorizo. Perfect combo.

For lunch I visited a food stand called Mac from Way Back and mac n cheese with chips, chorizo and bbq sauce. Pretty much a perfect combination of food. Others on the table had burgers (that looks amazing), chicken wings, sweet potato fries and Mexican food. Everything looked awesome!

Newstead Brewing Co Tokyo Faceplant!

In previous years everything has been bought with "Bob", which is the Beer InCider currency. This year however, they used a cashless Currency Card system by Glownet Event Technology. I (like others) was sceptical but it worked out really well. It took a little bit of time to put money on the card initially, and when it had to be refilled but it was much better than walking around with a pocket full of tickets. And it also allowed the vendors to charge whatever they wanted for their wares, instead of rounding up or down to the nearest two dollars.

On the money front, I feel everything was really well priced too. Got great value for money with the small tasters being between $2 and $3.50 and the larger sizes being good value for money. Each stall was able to tell you how much was left on your card after the purchase too which made it really transparent. My only change would be to allow us to buy a card before the even with money already on it. That way we don't have to wait in line. Or sell the tickets with a pre-paid Currency Card.

I'm not much into the bands that were playing, but I found myself tapping my feet quite frequently. I think if they did the same event but with death metal and progressive metal bands I'd be in heaven, haha.

Thanks for reading, and thank you again to the Beer InCider organisers. You've put on a ripper of a festival and I look forward to next year.

David (BeerFoodBrisbane)

Monday, 12 September 2016

Favourite New (to me) Beer - July/August 2016

Another couple of months have come and gone and just like every other time I've sat down to write one of these posts I've been lucky enough to try a huge amount of damn awesome beers. The quantity of quality beers in Brisbane right now is just outstanding.

Being winter there were a bunch of dark beers (namely imperial stouts) that I hadn't had before that I really loved. The one that took the cake was a bit of a white whale of mine. I've seen Black Eyed King Imp on social media a lot, so what I heard it was available in Brisbane I jumped at the chance to pick up a bottle.

Probably the most expensive beer I've ever bought ($/ml) but it was worth it. Black Eyed Kind Imp Vietnamese Coffee Edition by BrewDog is a 12.7% imperial stout with coffee and vanilla. I was expecting this to be a huge flavour bomb but it was much more balanced and refined than that, and super drinkable.

A few notable inclusions to the list of awesome beers in the past few months.

Blaecorn Unidragon by Clown Shoes. Very rich and thick, almost velvety with dark chocolate, dried fruits and bitter hop flavours. A beast of a beer at 12.5% ABV and in a giant bottle too. I drank this one solo.

Brouhaha Passionfruit IPA. Brouhaha is a relatively new brewery on the Sunshine Coast (QLD) and had a tap takeover/launch at Brewski in July. In the picture is the Passionfruit IPA and the normal IPA (I can't recall which is which). Both were good but the addition of the passionfruit to the former made it interesting and something different. The team from the brewery were there on the day too, friendly and informative bunch. Looking forward to visiting in October.

Lastly, Milk and Two Pineapples, a collaboration between Newstead Brewing Co and Brewcult. It's an American IPA with pineapple juice and lactose. I was expecting it to be very sweet but it wasn't. The pineapple and lactose were there but not fighting with the hoppyness of the IPA. Instead they helped elevate it to something special. Drink local, drink fresh.

September is going to be another awesome month. Next weekend is Beer InCider, and the weekend after a sweet barrel aged event at Bloodhound Bar. Already had a bunch of awesome beers this month that I'm looking forward to writing about in October.

Thanks for reading, and as always, drink well.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Favourite New (to me) Beer - June 2016

Winter is well and truly here in Brisbane, some days it doesn't even get to 20 degrees, and this months batch of favourite new beers really reflects that. Going through the list of new beers I enjoyed in June I was surprised how many great beers there were,  beers that in other months would have made the monthly post very easily.

Also. I was lucky enough in June to try two beers that I've had my eye on ever since I heard about them. They both didn't disappoint either, and share the favourite beer for the month title.

So, first beer to show is...

Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout. I think anyone reading this already knows what KBS is, but to see it in Brisbane and relatively easy to get hold of was awesome. I've seen this beer all over Instagram but never had the chance to try it. Now that I have, I can see why people lose their shit (just like I did). I've bought another couple of bottles to enjoy at a later date. Even though it's fairly pricey it's that good.

Second top beer of the month...

Tactical Nuclear Penguin by BrewDog. This is actually a beer I've known about for a long time, well before I was into craft beer. Namely because it comes in at over 30% ABV and has previously been available in a large chain bottleshop in Australia. The awesome bar that is Brewski had a BrewDog tap takeover in early June and also had a couple of bottles of Tactical Nuclear Penguin and Sink the Bismark which could be bought in 30ml samplers. Not wanting to outlay $170+ for a single bottle this was great for me. I was mightily impressed by Tactical Nuclear Penguin too. Big, rich and concentrated stout flavours with the mouthfeel of a thick liquor. It was interesting and super delicious.

A couple of runners up this month...

I love these Mikkeller Beer Geek beers and the Vanilla Shake did not disappoint. Bitter coffee, vanilla and a warming alcohol presence. A great experience. I really hope we can find more of these Beer Geek beers in Brisbane, love them every time.

Ballast Point Pineapple Sculpin was the surprise of the month. I didn't think anything could top the Grapefruit Sculpin but this did. The pineapple flavour was much more reserved than the grapefruit but there enough to enhance the hops and bitterness from the base beer. I love the artwork on these labels too.

Well, that's about it for June. There were a ton more awesome beers but only so much room (and patience) to write. Heading back to Brewski today to check out the Brouhaha Brewery tap takeover. Should be fun.

Thanks for reading, and as always, drink well.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Two Small Things I Wish All Venues Would Do

People that have met me know that I'm a pretty positive person and not prone to having a serious whinge all that often, but there's two little things that I wish all craft beer venues would do.

1. Put the beer prices somewhere that's easy to see. Be it a board behind the bar, a sheet of paper on the bar, a menu at the tables. Somewhere. I'm not a poor man but I like to make my money go as far as possible and being able to plan beer purchases while out and about helps a lot.

2. Pop your tap list on Now Tapped. I've routinely popped into venues just because I've seen there is something I want to try or something I've had before and really enjoyed. I don't know if Now Tapped requires an outlay for the venue, nor do I know if there are many others out there like me that use it but the more info I have the happier I am and more likely I am to visit a venue.

That's all :)

Thanks for reading, and as always, drink well.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Chasing White Whales

Today I realised something about my craft beer hobby. It's not just a hobby now, it's an obsession.

A lot of my incoming beer data comes from Instagram. And I follow my fair share of American Instagram accounts (be that breweries, liquor stores, personal accounts etc). A beer that I've seen pop up a lot in the past few months is Founders KBS.

Now Founders KBS has intrigued me because...
1. It's an imperial stout that's been aged in bourbon barrels with chocolate and coffee.
2. I would see pictures of it multiple times a day on Instagram. KBS day creates a flood of Instagram content.
3. Rate beer has it sitting at 100/100.

Reason #1 is enough for me to be interested in it, but #2 and #3 are the icing on the cake (or the stout in the bourbon barrel if you may).

Fast forward to today at 2:00pm today. I see on Instagram that a local bottleshop has just got Founders KBS. A quick message and a bottle has been set aside (saving me from having to leave early). Left work at normal time and made my way there. While walking I realised I was way too excited for a beer? I felt like a kid the day before Christmas. Proper excitement. What have I become?

90 Minute IPA. Done!

It's embarrassing but I now plan outings with mates (that aren't as 'crafty') with the goal of making sure we go to craft beer venues. They sometimes mind, they sometimes don't. I've found the trick is to not start at a craft beer venue and move them to one. Especially if the venue has Connect 4.

Victory at Sea. Done!

My poor wife also has to put up with me standing in bottleshops, just staring at shelves for way too long. And the last two family outings (Mothers Day and Birthday) I've suggested we go to Newstead Brewing Co, and we did. Everyone had a great time because it's an awesome venue, but lately it seems to be all about me and my craft beer hobby.

Grapefruit Sculpin. Done!

Saying all that too, I'm not changing. Not going back to macro beers. Good beer might be more expensive, but the craft beer community is awesome, and craft beers themselves are even more awesome. I think I'll be doing this for a very long time.

Thanks for reading, and as always, drink well.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Favourite New (to me) Beer - May 2016

The months seem to fly by so quickly at the moment. There is literally new beers, new venues, kick ass events or other random things happening every day in Brisbane. It's a great time to be a craft beer drinker up here (even if we don't get our own Instagram-feed-spamming GABS event, maybe one year).

An interesting thing has happened in the world of craft beer (that I'm not really sure of my opinion on) and that is you can now get Ballast Point Sculpin and Grapefruit Sculpin legitimately in Dan Murphy's bottle shops. I'm drinking a Sculpin right now. On one hand, I'm glad that these two great beers will be much more accessible than they used to be. But on the other hand I like shopping at independent bottle shops and local breweries and would prefer my money goes there.

We all also know that Ballast Point "sold out" last year. How that affects beer purchasing decisions is obviously up to the punter, but BrewDog  have let us know how they feel about it. Would this deal with Dan Murphy's have happened if Ballast Point hadn't been sold to Constellation? Who knows? Do we care? 

It also brings up something else. Around my circle of beer friends Grapefruit Sculpin is seen as a beer that is put on a much higher pedestal than it deserves. Often it's cited that there are beers brewed locally that are much better. I don't disagree with that point at all, but I'm a fan of grapefruit IPA's and will actively go out of my way to try them. So this is good for me.

As for new beers go, there's been some crackers this month.

Favourite beer of May 2016 is....

Molotov Cocktail Heavy by Eviltwin Brewing. A monster of a beer coming in at 17.2% ABV, it's not just a beer that's delicious but an experience as well. It's not often one gets a chance to have a beer with double digit percentages, and this is well into that territory. I was surprised by how balanced Molotov Heavy was too. And such a puckering fruitiness that came through. Delicious.

Same day as the Molotov share I got to try The Kraken from Bacchus Brewing Co. Actually surprised I hadn't had this before and it didn't disappoint. A really nice vanilla and toffee flavour came through the bitterness of the IPA. Hope to get there and have it on tap some time soon.

Lastly, the Continuous Daryl by Mornington Peninsula Brewery was on tap at The Mill on Constance and it was delicious. A spot on IIPA that ticket all the boxes. Plus happy hour at The Mill is something to behold. Get there!

That's enough on the keyboard for a day. Thanks for reading, and as always, drink well.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Favourite New (to me) Beer - April 2016

Once again, another month packed with new beer experiences. Was lucky enough to go to multiple beer events around Brisbane as well as a trip to Sydney including a couple of visits to the awesome Modus Operandi brewery in Mona Vale. If you're ever in the area it's well worth checking out. Core range, specialty beers and excellent food.

Favourite beer of the month has a very local vibe to it, with two of the beers being brewed within a couple of km's of the Beer Food Brisbane household. Love it.

New (to me) favourite beer for April was...

The Mayne Harvest by Newstead Brewing Co.

The Mayne Harvest is a wet hopped version of The Mayne Thing, which is Newstead's core range golden ale. I'm a fan of their golden ale but when I go to Newstead I generally get a session ale, pale ale or an IPA. The Mayne Harvest though.. wow. Delicious hop bitterness that was punctuated by fresh floral and citrus flavours. So good, it's a shame this can't be around all year. One of the best beers I've had this year.

A few notable mentions.

Another local beer, the Green Beacon Barrel Aged Strong Ale. Lots of coconut with warming boozyness and a sweet malty backbone. I believe their next barrel aged beer is going to a porter, can't wait to try that.

The BrewDog Paradox Compass Box was everything I was expecting from a whisky cask aged imperial stout. Thick and syrupy, lots of dark fruits, raisins, bitter coffee and dark chocolate. All wrapped up with a lovely warming sensation. Shared with a non-craft beer drinking mate who also enjoyed it. Wish I bought a couple to let them age, maybe next time.

May has now started, there's a shit ton of events coming up. Looking forward to the Stone Meet the Brewer event at Brewski, and the Stone & Wood Stone Beer launch at The Woolly Mammoth. See you around

Thanks for reading, and as always, drink well.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Favourite New (to me) Beer - March 2016

Wow this year is moving quickly.

March has now come and gone. Brewsvegas 2016 was great. I was a bit unwell in the middle of Brewsvegas but had a great time and got to a handful of events. Looking forward to 2017, only 48 weeks to go right?

As far as new beers went, March was another bumper month filled with big boozy beers.

My favourite new beer of the month though, was without a doubt the Founders Backwoods Bastard.

Aged in bourbon barrels, this Scotch ale brings a huge but smooth booze kick with vanilla, dates and toasted coconut. As the beer warms up the flavours change in with the booze dropping off a bit and the other elements coming through a bit more. A real sipper of a beer, pretty sure I sat on this for two hours. Will buy again, it was delicious.

A few notable mentions.

Evil Twin - I Love You With My Stout and Soft DK.

Two imperial stouts that strangely was able to pick up from the same bottle shop. The bigger Evil Twin beers are quite hard to find  here in Brisbane so when I heard Hops & Vines in Hendra had them both I had to visit (straight after work, that afternoon). Soft DK was sweeter and easier to drink, I love you with my Stout was big and challenging and so much fun. Great beers.

Lastly, Batch 2.18 from 8 Wired.

Enjoyed this with a few other Brisbane beer bloggers over the Easter break at a bottle share/balcony session. Lots of dark fruits, bitter chocolate and vanilla. It's my kind of beer.

We're in April now, and I'm excited. It's still really easy to find new beers to drink, love the Brisbane Beer scene right now.

Thanks for reading, and as always, drink well.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Had the Stockade Family Around for Beers

What better day is there than Easter Saturday to get stuck into a bunch of beers from a brewery you've never had a beer from before? Well the stars have aligned because Stockade Brew Co were kind enough to send me a four pack of their core range of beers to try (thanks Melissa).

I've not heard much about Stockade Brewing Co until quite recently. I've seen them pop up on Instagram a fair bit lately which they are quite active, but they don't have a presence in bottle shops in Brisbane yet. I'm always keen to try new beers and that's what I'm doing.

Peachy Keen Peach Gose

First cab of the rank is the Peachy Keen Peach Gose. Gose is one of those styles that I haven't had much exposure to but one that seems perfectly suited to warm weather. Today is once again a typical early-Autumn day in Brisbane (meaning stupidly humid and warm) so this is going down perfectly. Lots of peach flavour on the nose and palate, with a strong sour notes that cut right through the peach. Not very hoppy, leaves a peach juice aftertaste which is wholly enjoyable. Great start.

The Sesh Golden Session Ale

Most session type beers I've had in the past are hoppy, but The Sesh is different. Massive amount of malt complexity going on, with a sweet caramel flavour all the way through. Not overly bitter at first but as the sweet malt flavour disappears I'm left with a refreshing bitterness. I'm truly surprised how much I enjoy this beer, it's delicious.

Duel Hoppy Lager

The Duel Hoppy Larger is brewed with Vienna malt and Ella hops. Both kind of fighting each other to be the dominant flavour. I guess that's where the name "Duel" comes from. It's really interesting as I can taste the two flavours inter-playing with each other. Lagers aren't my favourite style but with the extra hoppiness it's going down very nicely.

Chop Shop Pale Ale

Last but not least is the Chop Shop Pale Ale. A hoppy American style pale ale brewed with Fuggles and Cascade Hops. Big hop flavours punctuated with pine, citrus and tropical fruits. A bit of sweetness that then transitions to a slight bitterness. Very moreish.

Packaging is great, each bottle has eye catching artwork as well as information about the beers (hops, malts, IBU's, food pairings etc). It's a small thing but is appreciated.

I've had a great little session with these Stockade Brew Co beers. I hope to see them in bottle shops up here in Brisbane sometime soon. I've also seen they do an Oak-Aged series of beers, how good does that sound!

Thanks for reading, and as always, drink well.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Favourite New (to me) Beer - February 2016

February has come and gone. Another great month with plenty of truly exceptional beers to enjoy. There were however, three new beers that I was lucky enough to enjoy that stood out for me (all Aussies this month too).

Favourite new beer for the month though, was the Keller Door IIPA from 4 Pines Brewing Company.

That's some wicked artwork on the bottle, but the contents of said bottle deserved it. Big bitter and hop flavours with a balanced malt backbone and tons of citrus and tropical fruits. I'm a fan of the Keller Door series of beers from 4 Pines but this is by far my favourite of the range. Hopefully we get to see this again next year. Please???

Another thing I wanted to mention too, there is so much popularity around 4 Pines and their Keller Door beers. Their core range is great, but all these limited release beers they do really gets the social media beers nerds excited. I love it!

A couple of special mentions (which were both enjoyed at The Mill last week).

Mornington Peninsula Brewery - The Beast. I might have gone into the Beast with the preconceived notion that I was going to enjoy it as the regular RIS from MP is great, so it's no surprise to see it in this blog post. The Beast has everything the regular RIS has but turned up to 11.

Boatrocker Brewing Company - Braeside Crown Cola. Probably the biggest surprise beer this month. I was expecting something sickly sweet and not that enjoyable but that wasn't the case at all. Smooth, bit of booze, hints of coconut, lovely warming feeling. So good I went back for a couple more.

March is going to be awesome for the Brisbane craft beer scene as it's Brewsvegas time! Lots of great events coming up. If you see my ugly face out and about come say hello.

Thanks for reading, and as always, drink well.

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Had the Bling Family Around for Beers

I've got a bit of an affinity for Bridge Road Brewers in country Victoria. I don't really know why, I've never been to the brewery before, but I've had a heap of their beers and there isn't one I've not enjoyed.

This week however, I was lucky enough to get fresh bottles of each of the members of the Bling family, so why not drink them back to back?

Little Bling IPA (3.4%) bottled on 01/12/2015
Bling IPA (5.8%) bottled on 14/01/2016
Bling Bling IIPA (8.5%) bottled on 05/01/2016

Today I'm going in order from low to high.

Little Bling, Little Bling, let me in! The Big Bad Wolf would have said this if IPA's were around in fantasy tales. Little Bling is the baby brother of the Bling and Bling Bling. Coming in at only 3.4% you'd expect this beer to be boring and bland, but it's not. Big hop flavours all the way through, with a bitterness that lingers on the palate for quite a while. There's also a mild malty sweetness that sits right back there but makes it so very enjoyable. For such a sessionable beer it's got so much damn flavour.

Bling. After very much enjoying Little Bling I've now cracked open the Bling. A 5.8% IPA which is similar to Little Bling except with everything amped up. More hoppy and more bitter but still quite balanced with a mild malty sweetness in there. Said bitterness also sits on the palate for much longer. While Little Bling can be enjoyed quite quickly it's bigger brother requires a bit more of a sipping drinking plan.

Both beers so far have poured a beautiful amber colour, with a head that is retained for quite a while.

Bling Bling. Pungent and fresh the Bling Bling IPA doesn't hold anything back. Huge hop bitterness all the way through, with a bit more sweetness than it's lower ABV brothers. Tell you what though, it's hides its 8.5% ABV really well. So damn tasty. Every sip brings the palate to life. You can't go wrong with this beer, you really can't.

Great fun drinking all the Blings back to back. If you get a chance to pick them all up at once I highly recommend it.

Thanks for reading, and as always, drink well.