Yesterday afternoon saw me catching up with a mate of mine whom I hadn’t seen in almost 5 months. Since we were both currently not working (him because he was on annual leave and I because, well, I’m unemployed), we decided to go and grab a few beers and regale each other on tales of our adventures overseas. After consideration of a few venues, I decided the Scratch down in Milton was the way to go. Scratch was my first “craft beer bar” in Brisbane and really my first foray into a much bigger world. In the past, I had gone to places like Little Creatures in Fremantle, and a few micro breweries in Calgary (Wild Rose and Brewsters to name a few), and I always knew it tasted fresher, but I never truly understood or grasped the concept of “Good Beer vs Bad Beer” until going to the Scratch. Being as I’ve neglected to head down there for a while, I felt that I really needed to head in. The fact that there was also the potential of a Bacchus Rocky Road beer being on tap was an added incentive.
When we arrived, The Rocky Road was unfortunately no longer there, but that didn’t really matter. Scratch always has great beer on tap, so we tucked in for some lovely sessionable (and not so sessionable) beverages. After dipping my beak into everything on tap, I decided that beer one would be the Fortitude Brewing Co‘s collaboration with Scratch called ‘Smashed Otter‘.
Smashed Otter is a single hop, single malt pale ale that is a real thirst quencher. In the 33°C heat, it was a welcome relief (even more so since I was brilliant enough to wear all black… rookie mistake). It’s fruity in the nose and palette with a nice grassy taste that I personally love. At 4.2% ABV, Smashed Otter is also very drinkable. I could have easily put a few of these down, but my quest for more check ins tends to get in the way.
I went a little more on the tart side with the Cavalier Brewing ‘Berliner Weisse‘. Weighing in at a mere 3% ABV, and having a mild finish despite the upfront sour notes made this one east to throw back. I figured I’d go a bit heavier next and got some Moon Dog ‘Bock Naked’. A 7.7% doppelbock with woody flavours and a nice hit of spice from the chipotle slowed me down a bit. It’s one to appreciate, as many from the Moon Dog crew are.
A bit of a BridgePort sampling happened at random (as these things tend to do) and I got to try a bit of the ‘IPA‘, the ‘Hop Czar‘, and the ‘Kingpin Double Red Ale‘. The stand out of the group was definitely the ‘Hop Czar‘, providing that nice hoppy punch. I was hoping for the same from the IPA, which fell a bit short and seemed a bit light on it’s feet. The ‘Kingpin‘ had a nice malty sweetness to it to help balance out it’s 7.5%, but just didn’t quite hit harmony. I did drink it a bit colder then normal, so that may have been a contributing factor.
Afterwards, a bit of Southern Tier’s ‘2xIPA‘ would set me straight for that big IPA flavour I was after and finished off with the Sunshine Coast Brewery’s ‘Czech Mate Pilsner‘. After the beers I had just consumed, this tasted a bit grainy, but I can’t judge it too harshly. I made the bed by destroying my taste buds earlier, so now I had to sleep in it. I’m sure if I had had this beer PRIOR to the hop bombs, I would have enjoyed it much more. It did go down fairly quickly regardless.
As I was enjoying the final beverage, a certain British beer blogger made his way in and I was finally able to meet the infamous 250beers. I’ve been meaning to get together with Mr 250 for quite a while, so it was a nice surprise. We had a chat about beer, beer related things, and beer at the cricket (one track mind these bloggers…) but I had to cut it short and get on my merry way to complete my house husband duties for the day. I did mention I’m unemployed, right? You can check out the 250beers blog here.
All in all, a delightful afternoon with good people, and I was able to Scratch off a few check ins.